Author Topic: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve  (Read 1284 times)

Offline awemawson

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Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« on: February 13, 2017, 07:41:28 AM »
I've been pursuing dry air recently, and had instituted a daily 'tank blow down' regime to keep the water level in the compressor receiver as low as possible. I had plumbed a pipe to the outside via a lever valve on the tank drain port.

Now my Hydrovane is located in a storage Portakabin a little away from the main workshop, and it's not somewhere I go very often, so this had become a bit of a bind. So I decided to automate the process.

A range of electrically timed valves have been emanating from China recently and I decided to order one and experiment. For the princely sum of £13.75 including postage I think that these are an absolute bargain.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/322324567502?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2648&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline awemawson

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2017, 07:49:17 AM »
I've had the device 'on test' on the bench for the last couple of days and it's performed flawlessly, so today the time had come to plumb it in properly.

It seems that they've taken a standard 230 volt solenoid valve, and made an interposer timer that sits on the connection pins as a feed through device.

My only criticism is the range of timing that it offers - it can blow down in bursts of 0.5 to ten seconds at a periodicy of every half minute to every 45 minutes. For my air usage this even on the 0.5 second timing is too frequent over 24 hours, so I've decided to run it through a plug in mains timer that I had left over from something else, to limit it initially to only 12 hours a day - I may reduce this further in the light of experience.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline awemawson

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2017, 07:55:27 AM »
Now (obviously) the drain fitting in the tank is at the bottom, and the device has to stick out to one side quite a distance to get round the curvature of the tank. This means potentially the whole lot may vibrate to pieces with resulting instant deflation of the tank - I'll observe it in use for a few days to see if this actually happens  :scratch:

So a quick rummage though my box of variegated plumbing fittings produced a reasonable set up 
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline awemawson

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2017, 08:00:07 AM »
So having screwed the elbow fitting into the tank and fitted the rest onto it,it was just a case of running a 15 mm plastic pipe to the outside world to drain out the condensate, and wait for the Loctite sealing compound to set up, which is where I'm up to now. I'll pressure it up in an hour or two and do a leak test.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline awemawson

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2017, 10:12:32 AM »
Glad to be able to report it seems leak free up to 125 psi  :clap:

I did notice a minor leak on some of the adjacent air plumbing, so that has been rectified. This air system is pumped up 24 hours a day and is distributed between four buildings so I 'm a bit paranoid about air leaks as they can cost a fortune in un-necessary compressor running.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline jcs0001

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2017, 12:47:41 PM »
Andrew - that's a lot of fittings.

I don't use my compressor enough to justify an automatic system however I often forget to drain it so such a system may be a good idea :doh:

John.

Offline awemawson

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2017, 12:56:19 PM »
John,

If I didn't need the timing bit visible I could have oriented it through 90 degrees and eliminated five fittings, but the strainer mesh would no longer have been correctly oriented.

My preferred solution would have been to anchor the drain valve to a wall, and connect it to the drain port on the tank by nylon flexible tubing. But the drain valve doesn't lend itself to wall mounting. Also when the compressor moves around the floor, which it sometimes does a bit, there is a danger of the tube being ripped out with a big whooosh !

A more elegant 'direct plumbing' job would have been to hard solder (*) a male and female fitting to either end of a bit of 15 mm tube, but as the fittings were there they got used !


(* ordinary plumbers solder would fail rapidly with the vibration of the compressor)
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline KB3RLJ

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2017, 01:28:09 PM »
I have a timer valve like yours on my compressor. To keep it from constantly blowing off or me forgetting to plug it in I put it on a motion detector. It only goes off when I'm in my shop. Fun part is it scares the begezits out of my wife when she goes in the shop by herself.

Offline awemawson

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2017, 01:40:52 PM »
I like that approach but it wouldn't work for me due to the compressor being in a remote Portakabin (unless there's the odd rat wandering about  :clap: )
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline David Jupp

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2017, 01:55:25 PM »
The purely mechanical auto drains (similar to steam traps) would be an elegant solution, but I suspect they'll cost a lot more than the electrically operated ones.

Offline awemawson

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2017, 02:01:42 PM »
David, I've not found them to be very reliable.

However there is insufficient headroom below the tank to fit one - the condensate has to flow into the bowl of the mechanical type by gravity, in order that the float rises and lets the water out. So not applicable in this case.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline PK

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2017, 03:25:31 PM »
We fitted an electronic drain that looks identical to yours two years back. It's been faultless.

Offline AdeV

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2017, 03:56:18 PM »
I like that approach but it wouldn't work for me due to the compressor being in a remote Portakabin (unless there's the odd rat wandering about  :clap: )

Pair of Arduinos with wireless modules
PIR sensor
A couple of hours programming

Problem solved :)

Added bonus, you might scare the wife if she happens to be near the compressor Portakabin when YOU move around in the workshop  :lol:
Cheers!
Ade.
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Location: Wallasey, Merseyside. A long way from anywhere.
Or: Zhengzhou, China. An even longer way from anywhere...
Skype: adev73

Offline awemawson

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2017, 04:12:12 PM »
 :lol: :lol:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline tom osselton

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2017, 04:19:28 PM »
Plumb it to the 5 o'clock whistle!  :D

Offline awemawson

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2017, 04:22:22 PM »
5 o'clock - you think we're part timers  :lol: :lol:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline DaveS

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2017, 05:54:13 PM »
I have a wireless alarm fitted to my shed which needs disarming indoors before opening the shed, there has been the odd occasion when I've forgotten. It's hell of a noise indoors but can't be heard in the shed but the wife soon lets me know after paniking to switch it off.

 Couldn't find an emotion of an irate wife.

Offline tom osselton

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2017, 11:31:29 PM »
Dave I have the same system I usually get the phonecall from the monitoring station!  :doh:

Offline kayzed1

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2017, 03:18:07 PM »
Hi Andrew, i just put hydrovane compressor manual pdf into Google and got loads of hits , i have just down loaded a manual with strip down rebuild in it.
Lyn.

Offline awemawson

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2017, 04:07:08 PM »
Lyn, can you post a link please, my googling failed me on this one  :bang:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline Biggles

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2017, 08:32:09 AM »
Thatís got some merit Andrew and will consider it in the future. At the moment I am (compressor) still under warranty which has a valve under the tank. I empty it every day.  :thumbup:

Offline kayzed1

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2017, 04:31:06 PM »

Offline awemawson

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Re: Compressor Automatic Drain Valve
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2017, 04:46:08 PM »
Lyn, many thanks - yes that's very similar to mine. Not sure how the 501/502 differ from the 15, but the drawings look the same  :thumbup:

 :nrocks:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex