Air compressors are one of the most important inventions made by humans, and they have revolutionized the operations in the factories, among many other things. Air compressors are found in a lot of appliances like the refrigerator, the air conditioner, etc.
An air conditioner is nothing but a simple device that accumulates air inside the chamber to the point no more air could be fitted inside it. When the air inside the chamber reaches the upper limit, the compressed air is passed through a small opening and used in various ways. The compressor starts to refill the air once the air density inside the chamber reaches its minimum limit.
In various air compressors, the chamber contracts and expands, causing the air inside it to compress. But all in all, it does the same job. When choosing between air compressors, you have two broad options for going for an oiled version or an oil-less version.
The oil-less version is technically more advanced and does the work more efficiently but is very costly. It also produces. A lot of noise might be a problem for you if you work with it for more extended periods. The life of oil-less air compressors is also not much.
On the other hand, Oiled compressors are cheaper than their counterparts, produce less sound, and have a more significant lifespan relatively. But when it comes to performance and advancement, it is eclipsed by its oil-less counterparts.
Air compressors need a lot of maintenance as they are heavy-duty machinery and operate for long periods. These devices’ compressed air is supplied to other tools like jackhammers and painting tools in factories and other places. So, these machines would only be well operating if the compressor is also working well.
Best Water Separators & Filters for Your Air Compressor
Le Lemate AI303- Air filter
This small air filter and water separator is also the simplest water separator on our list. It does not come with any regulators or meters and has a single cylindrical body with a nut at the top to connect it with the air compressor and an opening at the bottom to remove the collected water. These air filters are very cheap compared to any other air filter in the market and are available at a price point below $20.
They are not the best air filter that you could get in the market, but it is quite an attractive deal at this price. They are what we call “value for money.” These air filters fit the ¼ inch lines. They do not have automatic draining systems, but they are straightforward to drain.
You can drain it with just a push of a button. Cleaning or changing the filter is also a straightforward job as you can do it by just opening the nut from either of the ends. These filters can handle medium levels of pressure at approx 150 PSI.
- They are incredibly cheap. You can get one well under $20.
- They also have a durable exterior, and you do not have to fear breaking it down that easily.
- It can handle a pressure of up to 150 PSI, which is a lot at a thin price point.
- The filters of these air filters are not that effective and advanced and can-do basic filtering only.
Pneumatic Plus is a very high-end air filter, and it has all the features to justify its high price. Unlike other air filters and water separators, these air filters have two chambers (the rest only have one chamber), and it also comes with a regulator to control the flow of air through it. Thus, it works as an air filter and water separator, and as an airflow regulator.
The two chambers of the air filter have two different filters, making sure that the compressed air is free of all types of dust and fluids. The first chamber has a filter with pores of size 10 microns.
This helps in the removal of all the bigger chunks of dust in the air. The second chamber has a second filter of 0.1 microns, making sure that the particles minutest cannot get past it. The use of two different sized filters saves you the pain of regularly cleaning or changing the air filter.
These air filters are super easy to install, and you do not need to call a plumber or mechanic for this. This filter’s-built quality is towards the higher end and can last for a way more extended time. The filters are also easily cleanable.
What is even better is that the chambers and regulators can be separated, and you can install either of them or remove either of them if need be.
- This air filter has an excellent built quality, promising it a long life.
- They are available in a plethora of sizes to meet your need.
- These features and qualities do not come in handy. You will have to pay a hefty price for this air filter—more than $100.
SMC AMG350C-N04BC Water Separator
This device, as the name suggests, is a water separator. It does have an air filter, but it is not the best, and you will have to buy an air filter and it for that purpose. But it is the best device in the market when it comes to water separation. If you already have a good air filter and need a water separator, then this is the product you should consider buying. They are only available in ½ inch thread size.
This device is a heavy-duty product that can handle up to 1500 liters of water per minute. Its water separating mechanism is very useful and powerful. And because it is so good and quick at separating water from the air, the collected water needs to let out frequently from the chamber. But worry not as it has an automatic opening of letting out the water, that will save you the pain of going back and doing it again and again while working.
- It has good ratings on amazon of about 4.7 out of 5 stars.
- Its water removal capacity is the best.
- It is not an air filter, and hence you will have to buy an air filter separately when buying this device.
Alpha Pure Water Separator
These fashionable water separators are just like the previous device as they both are water separators. These are, however, new to the market, and hence a lot of people do not know about this. Therefore, they refrain from buying it as they do not want to gamble their money. The separation in this device is done through centrifugal force and hence is more effective.
This device has a lot of similarities to the SMC water separator we discussed earlier. They also have automatic drains that flush out the accumulated water independently without you having to worry about it. It can withstand pressure ranging from 15 CFM to 1300 CFM. Apart from all the features, they look very stylish and sleek.
- It has an automatic drain that prevents you from being distracted from your work.
- It does not have an air filter, and hence you will have to arrange an air filter separately.
These are air filters for heavy-duty air compressors, and you will not need one for domestic needs. But you can still use it in homes to ensure that your air compressor and tools are in the best possible condition.
This device can handle high volumes of air, making it a go-to option for factory use. They have only one filter, which has pores that are 5 microns in size. It is certainly not as great in filtering as Pneumatic Plus air filters, but it offers value for money. They come in around $30, which is not even half of Pneumatic Plus.
THB air filters have manual drains. But with this device, you do not need to drain out the water after every 10 minutes as it has a significant volume for storage. This prevents you from being distracted while working. This way, it compensates for not having an automatic drain. These filters can handle high pressures of up to 150 PSI.
- At $30, this device provides good value for money.
- You do not need to worry about draining the water at quick intervals.
- It can handle high pressures of about 150 PSI.
- It only has one filter, which is 5 microns only.
- Once the filter gets dirty, you are required to change it as there is no cleaning option.
Neiko 30253A Water & Oil Separator for Air Line
Neiko 30253A is quite like the Le Lemate air filter that we discussed previously. This device is not that expensive and comes under $20, just like the Le Lemate model. This device comes in a ¼ inch line that fits most of the air tools you would want to use. It is a heavy-duty water separator and is equipped with brass fitting and rust-proof aluminum housing, making it very durable.
This air filter certainly does the job and can bear pressures up to 150 PSI. Like Le Lemate, this device also has a Manual drain system with a prominent and noticeable button. This means that you would be required to drain off the water from the device at quick intervals while the air compressor is on.
- This device is not at all expensive and is available for under $20.
- It is relatively light in weight.
- It is equipped with ordinary filters, so you will not get the best output from a Pneumatic Plus.
- It does not have automated drains making your task even more challenging.
Ingersoll Rand ARO F35231-400-VS Air Line Filter
This set of air filters looks attractive for an air filter. But it is not just the looks that are attractive but also the features. It comes with a 3-micron filter to filter out the dust and other impurities from the compressed air.
But you can also order 0.3 microns or a 40 microns element according to the requirements of the tools being used. It comes in a medium price range and is less than half of Pneumatic Plus’s size. This makes it an attractive deal.
The device can withstand a pressure of about 150 PSI which is suitable for daily use. Like the Pneumatic Plus, Ingersoll also comes with a modular design allowing you to adjust it according to your settings and requirements.
It is made of Polycarbonate material and hence is very light. This also means that it is free from threats of corrosion. It comes with an automatic drain for letting out the separated water.
- This device comes with a modular design making it easily adjustable to your setup.
- It is neither too costly nor too cheap and offers you good value for money.
- It looks quite attractive.
- This product comes with a two-year warranty.
- It has a manual drain making you work tougher.
The Campbell Hausfeld PA212103AV Water Separator
Cambell Hausfeld has released this new air filter which looks quite attractive in the blue color. The brand has a history of making lives years and has been around since 1836. This device’s filter is 5 Microns and traps all the water and oil molecules from the compressed air.
This device has two separate segments – oil separator and desiccant system. The oil separator traps 99.9% of the oil aerosols in the air, and the desiccant system removes the water vapor from the air.
This product is not that costly and falls in the mid-range product line. It costs under $40. The size of its filter is 3/8 inches. It has a manual quarter-turn drain meaning that you only need to turn the valve to 90% to let the water out. It can withstand a pressure of about 150 PSI. This product only comes with a 1-year warranty. It has received 4.5-star ratings on Amazon.
- Campbell Hausfeld is a very trusted and reputed brand, so you can trust that it will be of acceptable quality.
- This product has separate sections for oil removal and water cleaning, which guarantees that both the operations are in line.
- It is not very expensive as many other water separators.
- It only has a warranty of 1 year whereas other products have warranties of 2 years.
- It does not have an automatic drain.
- It does not have an air filter.
These are some of the best air compressor water separators and air purifiers available in the market. Make sure to check the different factors before purchasing a water separator for yourself.
The last thing you want to do is waste your money on something which is not even the best for you. Also, determine the budget beforehand so that the selection process becomes more comfortable and you do not spend more than what was needed.
It is always good to have an automatic drain in furniture as it will save you from the pain of draining out the water frequently while working. But if you are unable to get this feature under your budget, you probably do not need this feature and are good with the manual drain feature.
Make sure to check the warranty periods of different products. This is because these lines of products are heavy-duty, and you would want a good warranty cover for your air filter.
If you have the budget to buy a Pneumatic Plus, you should buy a Pneumatic filter as it is one of the best products available in the market. Also, remember to take proper care of these devices. Clean the filter regularly and change it when it has become weary.
Are Water Separators and Air Filters Important for Air Compressors?
Water separators and air filters are very important in an air compressor. It is advised to never use an air compressor without pairing it up with an air compressor and water separators. The compressed air supplied from the air compressor to the tools and other machinery includes many unwanted substances, dust, and moisture.
All these substances are very hazardous for your tools, and they can easily jam or clog them, causing rusts in them, among many other things. So, by not installing an air filter, you make your tools vulnerable to all these hazards that can quickly reduce their life.
A water separator is also a must-have because the filtered water molecules may accumulate and spoil the filter. Therefore, it is essential to let out the water from the system, and a water separator does just that. These cylindrical-shaped devices have used either centrifugal force or filters to filter out the water from the air, and other wastes and have an opening that lets out the water when the tank is filled.
The openings can be either automatic or manual, depending on the water separator you have. Therefore, you must have an air compressor water separator attached to the air compressor to increase the air compressor’s life.
What Are the Effects of Water in Air Compressors and Other Equipment?
The presence of water could lead to many adverse effects on the air compressor and the tools attached to it. Let us look at them one by one.
Lubrication is one of the essential things in mechanical devices as it reduces corrosion and reduces wear and tear by decreasing friction. The presence of water could result in erosion of lubrication from the moving parts of the equipment, and hence it will increase the wear and tear and act as a catalyst for the rusting process.
Lack of Consistency in Spray Paint Applications
If you are using spray paint to paint a surface, then the presence of water would lead to unevenness in the painting due to blockages and irregularities in supply due to water presence. This would result in the paint being nonuniform and of bad quality. The tones would not be as desired, and the whole job would become one big mess.
Corrosion of Connected Tools
The connected tools with the air compressor are the most vulnerable to moisture and dust-laden unfiltered air. As already discussed, the compressed air would cause the machinery to rust and clog, and hence the life of the tool will be significantly reduced. You will have to incur more costs on repairing or replacing the tools.
As can be observed from the above points, you will have to incur considerable costs to repair the devices than when buying a water separator. Hence a rational and money-saving technique is that you spend some money beforehand on installing the water separator and air filter.
Factors to Consider While Purchasing an Air Filter And Water Separator for Air Compressor
The Type of The Air Compressor
Air compressors come in various types and variants, and you will need to buy a different air filter and water separator for different types of air compressors. So before going ahead with your purchase decision, learn about the air compressor type and find out its model. The manual would help you understand which water separator will suit you the best.
Micron refers to the size of the pores in the air filter. One micron is equal to 0.001 millimeters. Thus, it would help if you also decided from different micron levels. A filter with a higher micron will have more prominent pores, and hence the filtering will not be that effective.
On the other hand, a filter with smaller pores will, though filter out the finest particles, but at the same time will accumulate a lot of waste and hence would need frequent cleaning and even replacements. It would help if you chose whether you want it to refine the minutest particle or work well enough with more prominent pores.
Flow capacity refers to the quantity of air that could easily pass through the air filter. It is measured in Cubic Feet per Minute or CPM. The higher the CPM, the higher will be the flow of air through it. If the airflow is not high, then a larger air filter is required, whereas when the CPM is high, a smaller air filter is required.
Now that you are well versed with the benefits of having a water separator and air filter and aware of the repercussions of not installing it, you should look for the ones that are the best for you and immediately install one if you have not done it already. Here are our top picks for water separators that you can go with if you do not have enough time to search them independently.