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Water Separator for Air Compressor Units | Five of Our Top Picks

Air Compressor Water Separator

There are two main options when selecting an air compressor. The first is an oil-less version. While these compressors are typically more efficient, they are also more expensive and noisier, which is why most people go for the second option, which is an oiled version.

Oiled air compressors have a greater lifespan, emit less noise, and are more cost-effective. They tend to be preferred for air tools and DIY projects.

These oiled compressors contain an oil and water separator. As its name suggests, this internal separator works to separate oil that lubricates parts, such as the rotary screw and other air compressor fittings, and water that remains within the compressor.

It is also a good idea to purchase an external oil-water separator if you are using an oiled compressor to ensure that there is no buildup of water in the compressor.

If you are searching for the ideal air compressor moisture separator for your air compressor, here are some of the best options.

On a Rush? Here Our Top 5 Water Separators

Photo Title Buy
Air Filter, 3/8 Air Filter, 3/8" NPT with Quick Release Bowl (Campbell Hausfeld PA212103AV)
NANPU 1/2 NANPU 1/2" NPT Compressed Air Filter Regulator Lubricator Combo Water/Oil Trap Separator - Gauge(0-150 psi), Poly Bowl, Semi-Auto Drain, Bracket - 3 in 1 Two Unit
LE LEMATEC Air...image LE LEMATEC Air Compressor Water Separator, 1/4 NPT Inline Moisture Filter & Water Trap with Easy Drain Valve, Up to 150 PSI Compressed Air Dryer for HVLP Spray Paint Gun & Pneumatic Tools (AI303)
PneumaticPlus SAU3030M-N03G-MEP Three...image PneumaticPlus SAU3030M-N03G-MEP Three Stage Air Drying System - Air Particulate Filter, 0.3 Micron Coalescing Filter & Air Pressure Regulator Modular Combo 3/8" NPT - Manual Drain, Metal Bowl

How Does an Air Compressor Water Separator Work?

A water separator for an air compressor is a simple gadget that connects directly to your air compressor in order to remove water.

An air compressor is required to start devices such as woodworking tools like nailers, spray guns, automotive machinery, and other types of air tools. Because most air tools have metal components, contact with water could shorten their lifespan.

Water Separator

The reality is that moisture is present in the air. While the compressor attempts to squeeze the moisture out, it can seep into some of your tools when you connect them to the compressor via a compressor hose.

Gathered water rusts the interior elements of your air tool over time, which can reduce its functionality and cause permanent damage over time. This is where a water separator, otherwise known as an air compressor moisture filter, can help.

The air compressor filter dryer is meant to eliminate all vapor, solid, and liquid particles. Clean, dry air is provided to your devices rather than unfiltered air that contains contaminants since it removes all types of impurities from compressed air.

Does Every Air Compressor Need a Water Separator?

It’s a common misconception that all air compressors need a water separator. In reality, only piston air compressors require one- as opposed to rotary screw air compressors. The main purpose of a water separator is to remove any moisture from the compressed air before it enters the tank. This is important because if moisture is allowed to build up in the tank, it can cause corrosion and damage to the compressor.

Five Best Air Compressor Water Separators

With the right water separator for air compressor units, you can prevent the accumulation of moisture in your equipment. Here are some of our top picks.

1. NANPU Compressed Air Filter, Regulator, and Lubricator

This 3-in-1 gadget may be used as a lubricator, air filter, and regulator, which is why it is currently among the most popular air compressor products on the market.

It aids in the removal of both liquid and solid particles, and the lubricator provides oil to the machinery in order to extend its service. An automatic pressure regulator can be used to select the optimum output pressure.

The NANPU 3-in-1 water separator offers great value for money and has a flow rate of 60 SCFM at an air pressure of 90 PSI.

This device also has a semi-automated drain, allowing you greater flexibility when using it. This air compressor water separator uses a 5-micron brass air filter element to ensure effective filtration.

2. Le Lematec Air Compressor Filter, Inline Water, and Moisture Separator

The most easy-to-use and most cost-effective air-water separator on this list is the water separator by Le Lematec.

It features a single body that is cylindrical in shape and has a nut at the top to attach it to the compressor. The device also features a convenient drainage opening to drain water that has collected inside the filter.

It is important to note that the device must be drained manually, as there is no automatic drainage feature, but draining it is fairly simple.

This is done using a push-button drain valve. Cleaning or replacing the filter is likewise a simple task that may be accomplished by simply loosening the nut from either end. These filters have a max. operating pressure of around 150 PSI.

Additionally, it does not include any regulators, which is something to keep in mind if you choose this option. While it may not be the best performing separator on the market, it does provide great value for money and is designed to fit 1/4-inch lines.

3. Campbell Hausfeld Air Filter

Another great choice is the Campbell Hausfeld PA212103AV Air Filter. The device has two filtration systems: the first is an oil removal system, while the other is a desiccant system.

Oil aerosols are removed by the oil filter, and desiccant particles are removed by the desiccant system.

The outlet screen stops particles from entering the compressed air, and when the desiccant needs to be replaced, you will observe a color change.

This water separator is great for use with painting tools and has a quick-release bowl, allowing you to track the fluid level easily. Metal guards protect it from being damaged, lengthening its lifespan.

4. PneumaticPlus SAU3030M-N03G-MEP Three-stage Air Drying System

This is one of the most expensive air filters on this list. However, it is a high-end option, so its features justify its high price tag.

These air filters from PneumaticPlus feature two chambers, as well as a regulator to manage the airflow through them. Therefore, it functions as a water separator, air filter, and airflow regulator.

Two separate filters are used in the separate chambers of the air filter to ensure that moisture and dust are removed from the compressed air.

A 10-micron filter is used in the first chamber, which helps remove larger particles, while a 0.1-micron filter is used in the second chamber to remove smaller particles from the air supply.

Because there are two filters, you do not need to change filters as often as you would with other similar filters, and these devices are incredibly easy to install on air compressors.

5. THB Heavy-duty Air Line Particulate Filter

The THB 3/4-inch Heavy-duty Filter is one of the best filters for air compressor tanks. This inline water filter features a 3/4-inch NPT port that ensures flawless performance. It has a manual drainage system and a transparent indicator, so it is easy to determine the water level.

This device also has a 5-micron filter and a flow rate of 140 SCFM, with a maximum supply pressure of 250 PSI and an output pressure of 215 PSI.

Water Separator FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In the section below, we answer some of your most pressing questions.

Does My Compressor Need an Air Compressor Moisture Separator?

It certainly does. Water vapor and oil molecules that can get into the compressed air are the main cause of this need. When these two elements are combined during the compression process, the entire system can be destroyed.

In addition, if you don’t utilize an oil-water separator, the air tools you use will inevitably lose efficiency and become damaged over time.

Why Does My Air Compressor Make so Much Water?

When air is compressed, it produces water as a byproduct. This is because air naturally contains water vapor.

Pressure and temperature affect the amount of water that air can hold, so the greater the temperature, the higher the water content of the air. As a result, humidity levels are higher in the summer than in the winter.

An air compressor compresses air at high pressures. When the air goes into a compressor, it is compressed or squeezed to about 12 times its typical atmospheric pressure.

Air that has been compressed cannot contain as much water as unpressurized air, so the water vapor condenses to form liquid water as pressures rise.

Water can build up inside the air compressor tank and in other parts. This moisture may be drawn back into the air stream if it is allowed to build up.

Moisture is a concern for air compressors throughout the year, but hot, humid air in the summertime can lead to enormous amounts of surplus water being produced, which can lead to the degradation of your tools. Using a water separator can help to eliminate this problem.

How Does Water Get into Compressed Oil?

During the compression process, water can get into the oil from the air. Dust particles and other contaminants can also end up in the oil during this process. In this case, an oil-water filter can help remove these impurities to get your air compressor working at its best again.

Do I Need a Dryer for My Air Compressor?

No, you do not need a dryer for your air compressor. However, using a dryer will extend the life of your air compressor by preventing moisture and corrosion from building up inside the unit.

When should an air filter be drained?

Air filters need to be replaced every few months, but what about drainage? Draining an air filter is a process that should be done periodically in order to remove any built-up dirt or debris. If this isn’t done, the filter will become clogged and unable to do its job properly.

Final Thoughts

Air compressors are one of the most useful inventions. They are used in a wide range of industries and come in many different shapes and sizes.

In order to get the best out of your air compressor and ensure that it serves you for several years, it is essential to invest in an oil-water separator to keep water out of your compressor.

This not only helps to prolong the lifespan of your compressor but can also help prevent the formation of rust on your air tools. We hope you found this list of the best water separators for air compressors helpful!

Picture of Daniel Lewis

Daniel Lewis

Live in Chicago Illinois.
A contractor with10 years of experience.
Works with air compressors for various uses.

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