Best Air Compressor Water Separator – Our Top 10

air compressor water separator

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
  • Rust
  • Solid particles
  • Bulk oil
air compressor water separator

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 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. 

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.

Specifications:

  • 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

Pros

  • It has a sight glass for quickly checking the separator
  • The filter drains when the air pressure is removed.

Cons

  • No negative reviews on this one

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.

Specifications:

  • 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

Pros

  • Simple, easy to use, and install.
  • Ingenious push-button drain system.
  • The small size is suitable where there is limited space
  • Less costly to mount one on each of my air tools
  • Simple, easy to use, and install.
  • Ingenious push-button drain system.
  • The small size is suitable where there is limited space
  • Less costly to mount one on each of my air tools

Cons

  • Has a very low capacity and therefore, can get filled up easily.
  • The filter may restrict the flow of air.

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.

Specifications:

  • 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

Pros

  • Easy installation 
  • Well-constructed
  • Works well 
  • The auto drain is fantastic

Cons

  • The filter doesn’t drain when the float value is stuck.

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.

Specifications:

  • 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

Pros

  • The filter is easy to mount and install
  • The metallic housing and the bowl are all are resistant to solvents
  • It is easy to change the filter
  • Less maintenance

Cons

  • The filter restricts the flow rate if it is not maintained properly.
  • For long life and durability, heavy-duty construction is required.

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. 

Specification:

  • 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

Pros

  • Comes with a wall mounting bracket.
  • Maintenance-free.
  • Easy to install and operate.
  • An efficient drain system.

Cons

  • The float value sometimes sticks and doesn’t drain
  • Prone to leakages.

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.

Specifications:

  • 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.

Pros

  • The regulator has an automatic blow-off to keep the pressure stable.
  • Well-constructed and tough.
  • Easy to mount and install.
  • Provides an option for custom installations.

Cons

  • Has a manual drain
  • It fills up quickly, in high humidity areas.

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.

Specifications:

  • Contains 3/8 – inch NPT both female inlet and outlet
  • 150 PSI maximum air pressure
  • Polycarbonate bowl and aluminum metal guard

Pros

  • Works perfectly for painting small projects.
  • Cost-effective.
  • Easy to install.
  • Easy to utilize.

Cons

  • Only removes moisture.
  • May not include mounting brackets.

The Best Moisture-Sensitive and Easy- To – Use Water Separator: Compressed Air Particulate Filter

Specifications:

  • 10 Micron Element Standard
  • Manual Drain & Polycarbonate Bowl
  • Has 3/8 – inch NPT Female Thread

Pros

  • Has the standard 10-micron element.
  • It has an option for both manual and automatic drain
  • The bowl is available either as a metal or polycarbonate
  • A good filter/dryer creates no leakage.
  • Contain bracket with this filter.
  • Easy installation.

Cons

  • Check product description, It might not come up with adapters for air fittings.

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.

Specifications:

  • 150 PSI maximum operating capacity.
  • 90 PSI standard operating pressure.
  • Has ¼ – inch standard female and male air inlet.

Pros

  • Three in one filter (water, oil, and dirt) 
  • Reusable filter making it economical.
  • Specialized push button drain system.
  • It has an indicator that guides airflow.
  • Works well with all the models of air compressors.
  • Cost-effective.
  • Shock-proof and can withstand different temperatures.
  • Designed and built with brass, which is a durable material.
  • It is cost-effective.
  • Has a crucial feature, i.e., Teflon tape.

Cons

  • Might significantly restrict airflow.
  • The filter might not drain water at a pressure of below 40 PSI.
  • The filter might get filled up with water. 

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.

Pros

  • Eradicates water vapors, and cleanses the air.
  • Guards against bulk oil, solid debris, and moisture
  • Easy installation
  • The filter is durable and tough (made out of steel).
  • Works perfectly.

Cons

  • The drain valve might not work properly.
  • The transparent bowl is made out of plastic, which is brittle.
  • The drain is also made out of plastic and it may break easily.

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. 

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