The most common piece of equipment that experiences significant explosions on a daily basis is an air compressor. If you don’t carefully monitor and analyze the air compressor and its equipment, excessive compression and operating might lead to damage.
Many compressors have automated drainage systems in place, which remove extra air from the compressor after use. But the question is, what happens if you don’t drain the air compressor? And that’s what our topic is solely going to be about.
Air compressors are simple and complex machines at the same time, minor negligence can result in an explosion, but if you look after them regularly, they will last you years or even a lifetime. I think enough time has passed; now, let’s begin and find the solutions.
What happens if you don’t drain the air compressor? – Expert’s Answer
Draining your air compressor is by far the most important thing that I can think of. We all are familiar with the fact that everything needs some sort of maintenance when used, be it machinery or a relationship. So, this is the case with air compressors.
In an air compressor, the air is in compressed form, which condenses water vapors, and the moisture accumulates. When you drain this air from the air receiver, you are actually cleaning the air compressor and making it set to rest before you start it the next day or time.
But, if you fail or forget to do it or get lazy and the next day you realize that it has air in it, it can result in minor or major destruction. You never expect it to work normally if it has been resting with compressed air that is creating moisture.
This moisture results in corrosion or rusting. Several manufacturers say that the material used is stainless and non-corrosive, but I personally don’t believe it because I have never seen any air compressor working fine after this.
It is possible for such compressors to face less destruction and corrosion than others. We all moved out of our parent’s house once in a lifetime, so it was my time when I bought a portable air compressor that was non-corrosive, and I forgot to drain the air out.
What happened next was history, but I was able to see it before starting the air compressor. Still, while I was draining the air compressor with water, it had rusted somehow, and the little flakes were coming out. Then I searched for ways for days before starting it to avoid any explosive situation.
In some other way, some people also complain of water coming out. This happens because after some time tank will start filling up with water instead of air, and from there, it will start coming out. Some people find the problem in this situation which can result in devastating conditions without any doubt.
2 Methods to use If You Don’t Drain Your Air Compressor
Yes, there are multiple solutions that we are going to discuss in this section of the article; every problem has a solution, just like I am going to tell you what I did and also what experts suggest you do.
A little context before; I have worked as an industrialist for a while, so I witnessed this case over there. Because of the increased water production during use, I advise opening the drain each time the compressor is turned off. Leaving the water in the receiver will corrode and could lead to severe conditions. The use of an automatic drain should be used for larger systems.
As you may guess, I’m referring to the compressors typically seen in the garage. To give you an idea, if you run a 2 HP shop compressor at 90 pressure and 6.2 cfm, you’ll produce about 1.5 gallons of water every day.
If you had a 20-gallon receiver/tank and only used it for 10% of the time, you’d have 3 gallons of water sitting in it and causing corrosion if you didn’t drain it once a month. As an added bonus, the water/rust in the tank will leak into your tools and eventually cause destruction to the air motors/pistons.
Moving on to the next method is a little new, and I heard from my friend, but at the same time, it is tried and tested. So, if the situation has worsened and you don’t want to invest in a new tank, this is for you. You can use a sealer that is basically used for bike gas tank restoration, and with that, you can use your air compressor for as long as it goes. Usually, it can last you months for sure.
Tips to follow during the process
- Make sure the compressor is disconnected and switched off before draining the tank, and always wear protective eyewear around compressed air.
- Find the drainage position, open it all the way, and leave it that way until the tank is empty, as instructed in the owner’s guide.
- There are compressors having automatic draining valves, but that’s also risky if you are concerned and want to make your compressor your lifetime partner. Always drain it yourself carefully after every use.
- Please have a look at your compressor’s parts once a month when you are using them regularly to avoid such conditions beforehand.
To sum up, an explosion of compressed air inside an air tank is probable. However, this only happens occasionally and usually because the user was careless with the air tank. Corrosion is the primary factor that contributes to the explosions that occur in air compressor tanks.
Above, I’ve talked about what happens when you don’t drain your air compressor, and I’ve also provided you with two exceptional methods of how you can get out of the situation. With that being said, I hope you had a good read and found this article informational.