Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Compressed Air Dryer Maintenance: What You Should Know

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Compressed air dryers are mission-critical systems for facilities that use compressed air for power. They remove moisture from the air, providing a pure stream of dry air to power tools and other equipment.

Without a functional compressed air dryer, moisture could be allowed to contaminate the air supply lines, causing corrosion, frozen pipes, and equipment contamination or failure.

Moreover, these are machines with moving parts that must be inspected, maintained, and serviced. Here’s the high-level takeaway on keeping these systems in top running condition.

The Importance of Compressed Air Dryer Maintenance
Since your facility’s compressed air dryer is vital to smooth operation, there are several poignant reasons never to overlook routine inspection and maintenance, where necessary.

One is efficiency. Compressed air dryers often have filters and drain valves (depending on the method employed) which can become clogged with condensates and other contaminants. A clean air dryer is an efficient one, which will use less energy and work more effectively. Inspecting and servicing your industrial air dryer can also help prevent water accumulation and microbial contamination.

In some industries, the purity of compressed air used in the system is necessary to meet stringent requirements. Even a tiny bit of moisture in the lines can compromise these standards. Inspection and maintenance can help catch problems before they become bigger than they need to be.

If your compressed air dryer fails or needs to be serviced or replaced, that will equate to unplanned downtime for your facility which will negatively affect the bottom line. Keeping the system inspected and well-maintained will help prevent losses incurred as a result.

Also, as compressed air dryer systems age, if they have not been maintained properly they will often require more frequent attention and repairs. Preventative maintenance can help keep up efficiency and performance as systems age.

Similarly, and perhaps most importantly, routine inspection and maintenance will help prevent premature failure or untimely replacement. These are expensive systems; the cost of a new one is steep, and the cost of preventative maintenance is pennies by comparison.

An Abbreviated Compressed Air Dryer Maintenance Checklist
With that defense of compressed air dryer maintenance out of the way, let’s talk about what you should actually look for and do.

● Where applicable, inspect the machine panel and all electrical supply lines to ensure that connections are property installed/fitting/connected, and not loose, worn, frayed, corroded, or otherwise damaged.

● Routinely inspect all pre- and post-line filters to ensure they are properly installed and in good condition; replace as necessary.

● Make sure the line pressure is at the appropriate levels at all times.

● If the system has condenser coils or pipes, check these for gas leaks using a soap/water mixture; bubbles will show wherever there is a leak. Replace affected or compromised components immediately.

● If the system has a solenoid drain valve, inspect it routinely to ensure it is working properly to bleed moisture out of the system.

● For desiccant air dryers, inspect and replace desiccant as needed.

Desiccant dryer systems should receive professional preventative maintenance and inspection every 3 to 6 months depending on load, and full service every two years, at minimum.

For refrigerant dryers, basic preventative maintenance should be scheduled with a professional every 1000 hours (if not more frequently, depending on load) and a full-service inspection every year.

Still Have Questions?
If you still have questions about compressed air dryer systems and routine maintenance, or what you need to do, contact the professionals at Air and Vacuum Process.

They sell a wide range of compressed air dryer systems, natural gas dehydrators, drain valves, desiccant media, air and gas filters, after cools, and other parts and accessories for these systems. If you have questions they can help; contact them at 866-660-0208 or at [email protected].

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