Timed auto drains are no doubt a cost effective purchase option when looking for a reliable automatic drain for your refrigeration air dryer or distribution system. They are by far the most condensate popular option in the world.
What timing intervals should I set the drain for? As a general rule set the open time of the drain for a minimum of 4 seconds and the interval between drainage at 4 minutes.
This is a good starting point. However, bear in mind the drain is a simple timer, it does not know if the dryer or system is being fully drained of condensate at the end of every opening cycle. A dryer that has water backing up in the drainage area is a condensate generator NOT a condensate remover!
It is good practice to have 20 cm of clear PVC tubing immediately after the drain, before it is hard piped to a waste/oily water separator. The rational for this is that you can routinely check that the drain is fully clearing the dryer or filter of condensate. Always use push in fittings on this tube. It makes checking the drain so much easier. Change out the clear tube for a new piece when you can’t see the waste stream being drained.
A jubilee clamp on a solid rubber hose is the worst discharge option when it comes to system checking. There is a strainer in the shut off valve assembly, this assembly is always supplied and it MUST be checked at least once a month for debris. More frequently, if you have a system that is shedding rust or has a high dirt content. Set the opening time to exhaust all the liquid water to the point where only a fine mist is present when the valve is open.
A condensate drain that is blocked will lead to ALL THE CONDENSATE being forced into your airline system by the compressed air flow.
The drain times may well need extending or shortening depending on the season. Our country, South Africa, has very different rainy seasons dependent on where you operate, it may lead to you adjusting drainage times 2 or 3 times a year.
It’s a good idea to fit a dewpoint display SUTO iTEC S305 to monitor the system. It will alert you very quickly to a rise in water content in the compressed air leaving the compressor room. It’s not expensive and will ensure optimum performance.
We have 9 different drain options to suit all the needs of any compressed air system. Some are very sophisticated and some ridiculously simple. Watch out for more Helpful Hints Sheets. We publish one every month.