Easy Air Compressor Mod = no water in tank!

grzewnicki

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Dec 9, 2009
3,617
Gordon from Jacksonville Fl
With these parts you can easily prevent water from going into your tank: Transmission oil cooler, water filter, some -8 braided fuel line and misc fittings.
What you are plumbing in is a cooler and self draining water filter between the pump and the tank. I cannot grab the hard line coming out of my compressor pump due to heat, but the hard line going into the tank is nice and cool; success! Parts: all but last from Amazon, the hose kit is from ebay,

1. Derale 15300 Tube and Fin Cooler Core,Black 8AN fittings on inlet and outlet! $65​

2. THB 1/2" Heavy Duty Particulate Filter Moisture Trap Water separator w/Auto Drain $50​

3. -8AN Male Flare to 1/2" NPT Pipe Adapter -2 REQUIRED @ FILTER $5 each​

4. 8AN Male Flare to 1/2 Tube Hose Fitting Adapter Fuel Hard Tubing Line -$15 each 2 REQUIRED @ COMP OUT AND TANK IN LINES- MOST HOMEOWNER COMPRESSORS HAVE 1/2" ALUM OR COPPER TUBE SIZE RUNNING FROM COMP TO TANK, CHECK YOURS TO ENSURE ITS SIZE. NOTE COPPER TUBE SIZE IS DIFFERENT THAN COPPER PIPE SIZE DON'T GET CONFUSED, TUBE IS SIZED BY OD PIPE IS SIZED BY ID, all compressors use tube.​

8AN 1/2" Fuel line Hose Fitting Kit Braided Nylon Stainless Steel Oil Gas 10ft from ebay. comes with 2 straight 2 45 and 2 90 deg fittings $39

Steps: remove hard line running from compressor to tank. YOUR SIZE STUBS MAY VARY FROM MINE. cut line so you have a 2 to 3" long stub to install into compressor head, and slightly longer maybe 4 to 5" stub where line goes into tank; install part 4 on both lines to convert hard lines to 8AN Male. You may need a new sealing washer where line connects to check valve that threads into tank inlet, the line at the compressor head is a compression fitting on my compressor and uses a rubber sealing washer at tank side, I am assuming this is to absorb vibrations.

mount cooler to compressor so the compressor fan/pulley pulls air through it, in my case I simply zip tied it to the metal cage surrounding the belt/pulleys, depending on your model compressor you may have to fabricate brackets, or modify the belt cover. You could also use one of the many kits on Amazon that mount these coolers to a car radiator.

find a mount spot for filter on front of compressor, (I would not weld anything to tank, use the motor mount or compressor pump mount bracket) on mine I simply used angle iron attached to the motor mount bracket that is welded to the compressor tank either weld, bolt or use self tapping screws to attach angle to motor mount, I then welded a piece of 3/16 sheet metal 2.5' wide x 3" long to angle iron so the filter would not hit the tank, then welded another piece of angle on end of 2.5" by 3" sheet metal for filter bracket to attach to. Its best to fab this bracket up off the compressor, drill some holes in angle for mounting it to compressor if your are bolting-not needed if you're welding it to motor mount, drill holes in angle iron that the filter bowl bracket will mount to, then weld each piece of angle to the 2.5" by 3" sheet metal piece (1 angle pointing up at compressor and angle for filter pointing down, this was your are not fighting the filter angle iron to get to the bolts you use to attach bracket to motor mount. If you don't have a welder you can bolt pieces together. Note: Filter bowl can be removed and rotated 180 degrees if necessary (so sight gauge is visible and "in" and "out" ports are configured correctly)

Using part 4 fabricate lines using included fittings to go from compressor output to cooler inlet, another hose to go from cooler outlet to filter inlet and finally a hose to go from filter outlet to tank inlet. I had about 30" of line left over from the 10' piece included in kit. With my style compressor I found the straight fittings work well at the compressor pump outlet and tank inlet, the 45 deg fittings were used at the cooler and both 90 deg fittings used at filter. If needed clamp your lines to prevent them from chafing against any part of the compressor, in my case all I did was clamp compressor outlet line and inlet line to tank together, and zip tied the cooler out line to the compressor handle (I shortened my handle so it would fit under bench and not hit my hose reel)

Since I installed this mod, I have had almost zero water in my tank. No water at my air tools! Plenty of videos and parts lists are on YouTube also. Wish I had done this 20 years ago to my old compressor, same model I have now (Campbell Hausfeld) was $299 in 2001, over $600 now, the tank failed due to rust. When I trashed that compressor the only thing I thrw out was the tank and wheels, kept the motor, compressor, fittings, pulleys, they will all fit my new compressor so I have a stash of spare parts now.

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tom3

Veteran Member
Aug 1, 1999
14,346
ohio
My original tank rotted out in 20 years. Often wondered if there was some way to eliminate the water that does this. Good deal there, and probably a lot cheaper way to do this with parts from the "shed." Neat idea with the heat exchanger in front of the cooling fan too. Thanks for posting.
 

Gary S

Administrator
Lifetime Gold Member
Apr 14, 1999
24,465
Bismarck, North Dakota
Probably a good ides if you live in a humid climate. If you live in a dry climate, you likely don't need to do anything because very little water will accumulate in the tank.
My small air compressor is over 30 years old and still OK. When I drain the tank after use, all I get is a small spit of moisture. My large compressor is around 20 years old and just a small spit of moisture when drained.
Summer here can be somewhat humid, but Winter is so dry that there is no moisture in the tanks at all.
 

grzewnicki

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Dec 9, 2009
3,617
Gordon from Jacksonville Fl
So how much air pressure can this take? My compressor runs up to 150 psi.
Hoses are good for 500 psi, filter is good for 175, Not sure on the oil cooler itself, I believe it is rated for 300 PSI, this is a popular mod, numerous people have used this cooler as a compressor after cooler with no problems noted, my compressor runs 135 PSI.
 




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