The air compressor is your precious tool. You do not want to ruin them with moisture and dirt. That is why it is important to have the best air compressor water separator. They are made to remove contaminants as the air leaves the compressor.
You probably have a lot of tools on your workbench, like nailers or automotive tools… Right? You should be taking care of all your well-cared air tools. You may ask, why? Why do I need a water separator? Well, compressing air can create a water problem. How? You see, all air accommodates water vapor. Water can shorten the lifespan of your tools.
All the compressed air pushes the water vapor out. Those water particles need to go somewhere. And they usually to the air tank. That is why on the bottom of your air tank, you can see a drain valve. Manufacturers put them for a reason. Your routine should be regular maintenance of your valves.
Draining the air tank is a must. We will provide information on how they work, what do you need to look for. And lastly, which products do we recommend. But the question is, which one is right for me?
How Can Water Get To My Tools?
As you work, the air pressure in your tank goes up and down. From the connection hose. Up to your tools. The air picks up water vapor with the pressure change in the tank. And all that water vapor ends up in your tools. And even if you oil your tools and take good care of them. The water can still make problems. Especially if the water gets in the cylinders of your air tools. If we care about our tools, we should try to remove the water from the compressed air. Before the water reaches your tools and makes more harm. The best solution to this problem is to install the water separator.
A water separator will provide dry and clean air to your tools.
What Are Water Separators And How Do They Work?
The water separators are made to remove contaminants like water vapor, solid particles, liquid water, oil vapor, oil… As the air leaves the compressor, it gets rid of contaminants from the compressed. Stopping the contaminants to reach your tools. It is a small tool that you attach to your compressing device.
There are two methods. Both equally efficient at clearing the contaminants from the compressed air supply.
Centrifugal Separators push the air and induce a spinning or a rotary motion. This type of motion speeds up the contaminants. As the particles speed up, they move to the edge and collect on the separator housing. From there, it will be easier to drain. There are two ways to drain your centrifugal air separator. Either with an automatic drain system. Or manually.
This method uses a filter as a way to catch the contaminants. It traps the contaminants as the air moves. Important to notice, you need regular replacement of these filters.
LE LEMATEC Air Compressor Filter
THB 1/2" Heavy Duty Particulate Filter
EDGE INDUSTRIAL 3 Stage
Top 7 Best Air Compressor Water Separator
1. PneumaticPlus SAD402-N04D-MEP
This unit earned the reputation as the best overall pick. You can be sure that your tools are dry, using PneumaticPlus SAD402-N04D-MEP. By buying this unit, you will get a full package for an affordable price. It has all the features that you need to keep your tools dry. It comes with an automatic drain. 10-micron filter. Have in mind, you need to replace those filters once they get dirty and overused. The float drain includes a ¼ inch tube connection. The unit has a metal bowl and housing. Also, ½ inch NPT Female Thread ports. You do not need electricity to use the automatic drain.
- Construction is phenomenal, with an eye for details.
- For quick checking the separator, you can use the sight glass
- Nice feature – it empties if the air pressure is eliminated.
- It is very hard to find the cons to this unit. People are overwhelmingly positive about PneumaticPlus SAD402-N04D-MEP. If we need to nitpick… There are cheaper options.
2. PneumaticPlus SAU3030M-N03G-MEP Three Stage Air Drying System
No, this is not a picture of AT-AT from Star Wars! It is the phenomenal PneumaticPlus SAU3030M-N-3G-MEP. This unit is particularly good if you work with paint. You need the highest quality air if you want to spray finish. Whether you are working with a wood lacquer or automotive paint, this unit will provide you the best results. You do not want to get the fisheye or the finish pop due to contaminants in the air supply.
The PneumaticPlus SAU3030M-N-3G-MEP is the ideal choice if you need good pressure stability, nice airflow, and the highest quality of air. Using this unit, your finishes will be flawless. The three-stage unit comes with a max pressure of up to 250psi. With a max operating pressure of 150psi. It has a 16scfm flow rate at 100psi. You will get a 10-micron filter element with a .3-micron coalescing filter. That cleans even the cleanest and driest possible compressed air. The drain is manual. You will always have stable pressure thanks to the regulator and an easy-to-read gauge. There is no need for electricity.
- The gauge is very accurate thanks to the accurate regulator.
- Well designed. High quality.
- Easy to install and mount.
- Easily customizable.
- The manual drain
- It can fill up quickly, especially in high humidity areas.
3. LE LEMATEC Air Compressor Filter, Water Separator
There is no surprise this unit is Amazon’s Choice. If you do not want to break the bank and need a budget-friendly solution, look for LE LEMATEC. The unit is ideal if you need an air compressor and a water separator for occasional use. It is great for putting dry and high-quality air into car tires or you use only one pneumatic tool. You can mount this unit at the end of the air hose or to your tool. The LE LAMATEC traps oil, dirt water… It is Shock-proof and strong. It comes with an easy-to-use push-button drain. Metal housing and all brass fittings. And do not forget that it comes with a money-back guarantee.
- Affordable and very easy to use
- Easy to mount and install
- Compact size might come in handy if you have a smaller workspace
- Neat push-button drain system
- Since it is smaller, it can fill up with water very quickly
4. THB 1/2″ Heavy Duty Particulate Filter Moisture Trap Water Separator
Finding a good deal on a water separator with an automatic drain might be a tough job. Most units designed for hobby or home usage are way too expensive. Especially low and mid-range compressed air water separators. Do not worry! THB might ease your problems. It comes with a particulate filter and a moisture trap. All very well built. The water separator with an automatic drain system is very durable. This unit is designed to last long. It is very durable. It has a 130cfm flow rate with a 215psi max out pressure and a 250psi max input pressure. Plus, internal float drain and sight glass on the bowl! What more do you need?!
- Very easy to install
- The auto drain is great
- Works phenomenally
- Excellent construction
- You might have some problems with the float value
5. PneumaticPlus SAF600-N10BD-MEP
If you need the unit for the high flow rate, look no further! The PneumaticPlus SAF600-N10BD-MEP is ideal for you. Important to state, the high flow rate generates more water compared to the low airflow rates. Investing in a good water separator can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. This unit is made to deal with the oil, water, particles in high airflow situations… The PneumaticPlus SAF600-N10BD-MEP comes with an automatic drain. It has a metal bowl and housings. Let’s not forget the sight glass and 10-micron filter element. Airflow goes up to 460cfm at 90psi. The max supply pressure it can get is 250psi. Operating pressure goes from 0 to 150psi.
- Very easy to install and mount
- Well-constructed all-metal housing
- Filters are easy to replace
- Automatic drain system
- It requires to regularly change the filters, since it may restrict the flow
6. EDGE INDUSTRIAL 3 Stage
Another ideal unit if you want smooth operations. It is great for working with paint. It comes with a 3-stage filtration system. Using this unit, you will get the maximum effectiveness from your air compressor. It comes with a polycarbonate bowl and a metal guard for easier operations. The EDGE INDUSTRIAL has a filter rating of 5 microns. That means it is capable of trapping the smallest particles. It is lightweight and easy to use.
- It comes with a ¾ inch NPT filter regulator lubricator unit
- Well-built polycarbonate bowl and a metal guard
- Excellent filtration system
- Has some problems with leaking
7. Campbell Hausfeld
This unit comes with a 5-micron filter rating. This means it is capable of trapping the smallest particles. It comes with an oil-removal filter. It is great for water vapor. The cool thing about this unit is its desiccant. It changes color when you need to recharge it or change it. Users particularly like this unit for its lightweight design.
- Well-built metal guards
- Lightweight design
- Nice quick-release bowl
- The quarter-turn drain
- Some parts are made out of plastic
Tips And Tricks For Buying the Best Water Separator For Air Compressor
One of the most important things for the maintenance of your air compressor is filtration and air purity. You will see an improvement in the effectiveness of your air compressor as soon as you use the ideal moisture filter. It will not only save your tool but also your money in the long run. But it will save you electricity costs. Also, it will minimize exposure to dangerous compounds. One simple unit can improve your overall workflow.
You need to look for a unit that is designed for your problem. That depends on the manner of use and your environment. One of the major contaminants is water vapor. Water vapor can damage your machine and tool. It can also cause higher maintenance costs. Also, water can cause the corrosion of the pipes.
Be careful when you look for the best water separator for an air compressor. There are a lot of brands and models on the market. Look for the method of cleaning. Chose the one that works the best for you. Important to notice, a lot of models have filters. Look at the filter lifespan. Using bad and dirty filters will not help you.
Even if you use your air compressor only to inflate the car tires, you should think of investing in a water separator. Most people underestimate the power of water.