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Old 11-01-2009, 07:23 PM   #1
snakyjake
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Question Air Compressor: How important is filter and water separator?

I've used the smaller air compressors, and notice no filter or water separator.

I'm now considering a 60 gallon stationary vertical air compressor for the home garage (ratchets, grinder, metal work, auto work, no painting). Compared to the portables, it doesn't come with much, just an open port for the air.

I'll probably run my tools off a 50 ft hose.

Air Filter
1. There's already an air filter on the intake of the compressor. So why do I need one on the outlet?
2. Are those tiny dust particles that get through the intake filter going to ruin my air tools?
3. How important is an air filter?

Water Separator/Filter
4. How important is a water separator?
5. Is the amount of water coming from the compressor going to ruin my tools?

Tool Lubricator
6. Is an auto lubricator mounted at the tank going to offer much lubrication? Or is it significantly better to have the lubrication closer to the tool?
7. Any advantages of an auto lubricator vs. manual oil drops in the tools?
8. Since I plan on using a metal grinder, will more frequent lubrication from an auto lubricator be better?
9. From the tank through a 50 foot hose, will the auto lubricator create an oil mist that will better lubricate tools?

My goal is to keep this setup extremely simple.

Thanks,

Jake
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Old 11-01-2009, 07:32 PM   #2
nissan_crawler
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Default Re: Air Compressor: How important is filter and water separator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by snakyjake View Post
I've used the smaller air compressors, and notice no filter or water separator.

I'm now considering a 60 gallon stationary vertical air compressor for the home garage (ratchets, grinder, metal work, auto work, no painting). Compared to the portables, it doesn't come with much, just an open port for the air.

I'll probably run my tools off a 50 ft hose.

Air Filter
1. There's already an air filter on the intake of the compressor. So why do I need one on the outlet?
2. Are those tiny dust particles that get through the intake filter going to ruin my air tools?
3. How important is an air filter?

Water Separator/Filter
4. How important is a water separator?
5. Is the amount of water coming from the compressor going to ruin my tools?

Tool Lubricator
6. Is an auto lubricator mounted at the tank going to offer much lubrication? Or is it significantly better to have the lubrication closer to the tool?
7. Any advantages of an auto lubricator vs. manual oil drops in the tools?
8. Since I plan on using a metal grinder, will more frequent lubrication from an auto lubricator be better?
9. From the tank through a 50 foot hose, will the auto lubricator create an oil mist that will better lubricate tools?

My goal is to keep this setup extremely simple.

Thanks,

Jake
I would run a filter such as the motorguard m-60, and a separator. The filter keeps things from inside the compressor out, also.

I'm against automatic oilers, especially right on the compressor. You've contaminated every air line you own that way. Put a few drops in the tool and go (holding the trigger down lets the oil go right down).
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:32 PM   #3
e-tek
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Default Re: Air Compressor: How important is filter and water separator?

I'm with Nissan on the oiler. If they are your tools and you keep the oil handy, you're likely to use it before each job. Oilers are good for shops where emloyees may or may not use tool oil!

Compressors have intake filters to stop dirt going into the cylinder of the pump. That's totally seperate from the air that develops moisture and rust from the inside of the tank and lines. It's good practice to have a filter/seperator at the end of your metal piping run. As you're gonna use a hose right off the compressor, you'd put the filter right at your compressor. It'll keep the water, etc out of the hose.

Hope that helps!
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:53 PM   #4
Red Green
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Default Re: Air Compressor: How important is filter and water separator?

I have never had an air filter it hasn't seemed to be an issue but I drain the tank often.

If you are not painting or sand blasting a water separator isn't needed if you drain the tank often.

The main reason for an auto lubricator is because people don't put oil in their tools as E-tek said.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:58 PM   #5
snakyjake
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Default Re: Air Compressor: How important is filter and water separator?

Is there something that can filter, separate, and regulate all in one device?

The Motor Guards look interesting, but confusing: M-300 Ambush, M-60, AF-4510 Particulate Filter, AC-4535 Air Control Unit.

Looking for the most simple/compact setup.
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:59 PM   #6
scooby074
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Default Re: Air Compressor: How important is filter and water separator?

No oiler.

I prefer the individual pieced models. Milton makes ones that are decent quality and not that expensive.https://www.miltonindustries.com/upl...ages_57-58.pdf Motorguard makes a quality product too.

You really need to get the water out of your tools air, it doesnt help their life any.

Last edited by scooby074; 11-02-2009 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:03 PM   #7
Hiball
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Default Re: Air Compressor: How important is filter and water separator?

Yes.. Please stay away from automatic oilers... Especially if you run Air/Over hydraulic jacks, It makes a mess of the Air system and requires a full teardown and cleaning. Keep a bottle of your favorite air tool handy and just drop some in when needed.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:42 AM   #8
gofastman
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Default Re: Air Compressor: How important is filter and water separator?

You most definitely need an air filter, the're cheep, pick one up at Home Depot for $10
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:50 PM   #9
thedrivel
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Default Re: Air Compressor: How important is filter and water separator?

I got a 1/2" Speedaire regulator at Grainger, pretty inexpensive. Will get a filter once I run my hard lines.
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