Condensate draining of equipment is possibly the most ignored area of a compressed air system, which if not properly taken care of can cause large problems. No matter how much money is spent on high-quality compressed air equipment, it can quickly become worthless if the condensate is not discharged from the system.
Condensate drains are typically installed on moisture separators, coalescing filters, air receivers, air dryers and drip legs, to remove condensate from the compressed air system. The condensate should be piped from automatic drain valves to oil/water separators to remove the oil from the condensate prior to discharge to a drain.
Pay attention that the drains operate properly. Only in this way can you be assured the filters and separators are successful in completing their task.
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- Inconsistent supply of dry air
- Formation of rust and scale in air piping systems
- Under-performance of filters and dryers
- Water can back-up into the compressor and destroy it
- Wasted energy
- Product contaminant
- Moisture in air lines will wash away lubrication from tools and cause erratic performance, downtime and maintenance
- Formation of rust and scale in air piping systems will foul equipment
- Air dryers and in-line filtration will not perform if they are overloaded with liquid contamination.Slugs of water due to drain failure can cause major problems in a desiccant dryer
- Condensate transferred to the end user can lead to irreparable consequences to the final product or process.
Absolutely! Poorly maintained drains can cause the same problems as not having them at all. Some of the issues could be:
- When a drain fails to eject all of the condensate collected, oil and/or water will collect, affecting filter efficiency and causing carry over into the system.This can freeze-up in the winter can have catastrophic consequences to pipes and machinery
- Drains stuck in the open position due to condensate debris can be a major source of wasted energy in some plants