What Happens If You Don’t Drain An Air Compressor?

Compressors require proper care and maintenance like any other machine to last a long time and reach their peak performance. One of the tips you should know is to bleed the moisture from your compressor tank.

Air is pumped into your machine's tank and carries the moisture content. No matter what size your unit is, it is essential to remove the moisture. Otherwise, it will cause your machine to have unexpected problems.

So what happens if you don't drain an air compressor? How to do that?

Let’s read on to find out!

What Happens If You Don't Drain An Air Compressor?

If you fail to drain your air compressor, it will explode one day. Its tank will not explode like a bomb but instead explodes outward at its weakest point.

The compressor can explode if you fail to drain it

Failure to drain your machine's tank will lead to building up on the inside, leading to weakening the metal. So, the rust will negatively impact the tank's integrity and explode when pressurized.

Although it will not explode like a bomb and cause significant damage, its intense noise can damage your ears. The air's sudden outrush may contain minor metal particles from your tank that splattered across your room.

These tiny particles may lead to a small irritating scratch or even anything more serious. Everyone wants to avoid this situation, right? 

All you need to do is drain the tank after each use. Removing the moisture inside your tank will prevent rust from forming inside it and protect the tank, you, and around people.

How Often Should You Drain?

It is best to drain your machine after each use and before you store it.

For example, if you have used a compressor that day, ensure to drain it before leaving that night.

Draining it once a week is okay if you are busy and you typically use your air compressor for light use.

For example, using your machine for impact wrench or nail guns which do not work continuously is considered light uses.

However, if you use your machine for heavy uses, such as spray painting, draining it after each use will allow it to last forever.

A Step-by-Step Guide on Draining an Air Compressor

guide on draining an air compressor

Manual Process 

Step 1: Switch Off Your Machine

Start by turning off your air compressor. Toggle the switch to the off position and unplug your machine to ensure it is totally off.

Step 2: Release the Pressure

After shutting down your machine, you need to lower the pressure inside its tank to 10 PSI or less. To do this, you must pull a ring on the ASME safety valve. 

Before pulling this ring, we recommend wearing safety glasses since the released air can stir up debris and dust. 

Continue pulling this ring until your tank is empty or the PSI reaches 10.

Step 3: Open Your Machine’s Drain Valve

Now is the time to release the moisture buildup inside your tank. Locate your tank's drain valve, which is typically on the bottom of your tank.

Once you identify this drain valve, release it to allow the moisture to flow. Tilt your tank forward and back to remove all inside moisture.

Step 4. Put the Drain Value Back

Once you have removed all the inside moisture, it is time to close the drain valve.

Ensure this valve is shut tight. If you want to use your machine right away, it is okay to switch it back.

Automatically Draining Your Compressor

Step 1: Locate the Automatic Drain Valve

Let's start by determining where the automatic drain valve is located. This valve is typically located at the bottom of the tank.

Step 2: Set Up The Schedule For Draining 

Set the amount of time you prefer your compressor to drain water.

For example, it is okay to set it once a week or daily. After that, the tank will drain according to your schedule.

Pro Tips on Draining the Compressor Tank

Always wear safety goggles when working with compressors

  • Unplug your compressor before starting: You will have to turn off your compressor before draining the water.
  • Use safety goggles: When draining your tank, your eyes will be near the drain to avoid accidents and injury.
  • Check out leaks: Pour some soapy water drops on your tank and check if there are any leaks.

FAQs

How Often Should I Need to Drain My Air Compressor? 

We recommend draining your tank after every usage. It will prevent moisture from building up inside the compressor.

How Do Drain Valves of a Compressor Work?

When the drain valve is opened, it enables all of the tank's contents to empty into the external container.

The drain valve is usually located near the outlet connection on the bottom of most compressor tanks.

Why Draining the Compressor Tank Is Important?

Draining your machine after each use lag is insane. Moisture might cause corrosion and rust inside the tank, decreasing the life of your compressor.

Can a Compressor Kill Me?

While the possibility of a workplace fatality because of compressor failures is low, it can happen in some extreme circumstances. 

If compressors explode, they can endanger you. Therefore, you should wear proper protective gear when working with these machines.

The Bottom line

Through this post, we can help you find the answer to this question: "What happens if you don't drain an air compressor?"

We recommend draining your machine after each use to ensure it is always in top condition and to prevent it from exploding in the future.

We hope this post is helpful for you. Contact us if you have any questions about draining the air compressor tank. Thanks for reading!

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