The purpose of an air compressor water separator is to remove contaminants as it leaves the air compressor and before it gets to your tools. These contaminants can include:
- Water vapor
- Pipe scales
- Solid particles
- Bulk oil
Water separators for air compressors are available in different trade names, and more or less, the qualities of the product are somewhat similar. This makes the process of selecting the best separators for air compressors, a daunting challenge.
The problem of the accumulation of water in your workshop air compressor is inevitable. When air is compressed, its temperature rises. When the air is used, it condenses on the internal parts of your air tank and collects at the bottom.
This water will eventually corrode the tank and can potentially be carried down the air hose to your tools. To curb this problem, an air compressor water separator or filter dryer is recommended.
In this article, we’re going to look into the best separators for air compressors, and what you should consider before finalizing the product.
- The Overall Best Water Separator: Pneumatic Plus SAD4002 Water Separator
- The Best for Money, Water Separator: LE LEMATEC Air Compressor Water Separator
- The THB 3/4” Heavy-Duty Particulate Filter and Moisture Trap
- The Best Water Separator for High Flow Rate: Pneumatic Plus SAF600 High Flow water separator
- The Best Water Separator for Auto Drain: THB 1/2″ Particulate Filter Water Trap Separator
- The Best Water Separator for Spray Painting: Pneumatic Plus SAU3030M-N03G-MEP Three Stage Air Drying System
- Air Compressor Water Separator for Plasma Cutter and Spray Booth: 3/8″ In-Line Desiccant Air Dryer
- The Best Moisture-Sensitive and Easy- To – Use Water Separator: Compressed Air Particulate Filter
- The Most Accurate and Versatile Air Filter: Air Compressor Filter and Water Separator
- The Best Air Filter for Quick Release Bowl
- How to remove moisture from compressed air
Here are our top picks:
The Overall Best Water Separator: Pneumatic Plus SAD4002 Water Separator
Pneumatic Plus SAD4002 Air Compressor Water Separator is the best overall water separator. The separator comes with all the features that you may want for the protection of your tools.
- Automatic drain
- Metal bowl and housing
- Float drain includes a ¼ – inch tube connection
- A sight glass for viewing the moisture level
- ½” NPT Female Thread ports
- No electricity is required to operate the automatic drain.
- 10-micron filter element
The Best for Money, Water Separator: LE LEMATEC Air Compressor Water Separator
This filter is suitable for compressed air systems that are occasionally used.
If you are intending to put dry air into your car tires, then an inline water separator may be your best choice.
- Traps water, oil, and dirt
- Convenient push-button drain
- All brass fittings and metal housing
- Shock-proof and durable
- Comes with a money-back guarantee
- Replaceable filter element
The THB 3/4” Heavy-Duty Particulate Filter and Moisture Trap
Finding an automatic drain on a reasonably priced water separator can be a challenge. Most of the low and mid-range compressed air water separators suitable for home or hobby shops are somehow, costly.
Thanks to the THB! The THB 3/4” heavy-duty particulate filter and moisture trap is a well built and durable water separator that comes standard with an automatic drain system at a favorable price.
- Heavy-duty construction for long life and durability
- 3/4 – inch female NPT fittings
- Internal float drain
- 140cfm flow rate
- 175 psi maximum out and input pressure
- The sight glass on the bowl for viewing the moisture level
The Best Water Separator for High Flow Rate: Pneumatic Plus SAF600 High Flow water separator
The Pneumatic Plus SAF600 High Flow water separator, is designed to operate in high airflow situations. This separator is suitable for an individual who runs a shop where large flows of clean and dry compressed air are required to keep the machinery operating.
- Automatic drain
- Metal bowl and housings
- Sight Glass for viewing the moisture level
- 10-micron filter element
- Includes mounting bracket
- Large airflow rates up to 460cfm at 90psi
- Maximum supply pressure 250psi
- Operating pressures 0 to 150 psi
- 1– inch inlets and outlets
The Best Water Separator for Auto Drain: THB 1/2″ Particulate Filter Water Trap Separator
This water separator can extend the lifespan of your compressor by removing debris and vapor from your air compressor’s air.
- Internal float drain
- 140 cfm flow rate
- ½ – inch female NPT fittings
- 215 psi maximum out pressure
- 250 psi maximum input pressure
- The sight glass on the bowl for viewing the moisture levels
The Best Water Separator for Spray Painting: Pneumatic Plus SAU3030M-N03G-MEP Three Stage Air Drying System
If want to make sure that you are delivering the correct amount of air to your paint gun, when painting, then the Pneumatic Plus SAU3030M, is your best choice. The Pneumatic Plus SAW3030 can be used to accomplish this task by delivering the highest quality of air with the required airflow and pressure.
- Maximum pressures up to 250 psi with a maximum operating pressure of 150 psi
- 16 cfm flow rate at 100 psi
- Includes a -3 and a-10-micron filter element for the driest and cleanest possible compressed air.
- Manual drains and metal bowls
- The filter has an easy to read gauge.
- Has no movable parts
- No electrical energy is required to run the filter.
Air Compressor Water Separator for Plasma Cutter and Spray Booth: 3/8″ In-Line Desiccant Air Dryer
The 3/8 – inch In-Line Desiccant Air Dryer is best for removing the moisture from the air compressed lines.
- Contains 3/8 – inch NPT both female inlet and outlet
- 150 PSI maximum air pressure
- Polycarbonate bowl and aluminum metal guard
The Best Moisture-Sensitive and Easy- To – Use Water Separator: Compressed Air Particulate Filter
- 10 Micron Element Standard
- Manual Drain & Polycarbonate Bowl
- Has 3/8 – inch NPT Female Thread
The Most Accurate and Versatile Air Filter: Air Compressor Filter and Water Separator
This airline filter is designed to trap water, dust, and oil in one unit.
- 150 PSI maximum operating capacity.
- 90 PSI standard operating pressure.
- Has ¼ – inch standard female and male air inlet.
The Best Air Filter for Quick Release Bowl
This filter is designed with two mechanisms two provide ease while using. These are Quick-release bowl and Quarter-turn drain.
How to remove moisture from compressed air
There are several methods for keeping moisture out of your air compressor lines. These are some of the common methods:
- Cooling down the hot compressed air makes the water vapor to condense. You can then separate the water from the air.
- Compressing the air at a pressure more than the compressor pressure. After compressing the air-water will get separated.
- Membrane drying.
- Use of sulfuric acid or sodium chloride as absorption substances to absorb the water vapor or moisture from the air.
- Adsorption drying method. This method involves the flow of moist air over hygroscopic materials such as molecular sieves, silica gel, activated alumina, etc.
Now that we have all that out of the way, this is enough for you to set up your mind on getting the best air compressor water separator for your air compressor.