Air compressors have many uses in the home and can be a useful tools for completing various tasks. However, when considering an air compressor purchase, an important question is whether or not it is safe to get the compressor wet.
There are several things to consider when determining if your air compressor can be exposed to moisture and proper maintenance methods that should be followed for optimal performance and longevity. This guide will explore potential hazards associated with exposing air compressors to water and provide tips for how best to preserve your equipment.
Can Air Compressors Get Wet?
Air compressors are used for various purposes, from inflating tires to powering air tools. Many people ask if air compressors can get wet, and the answer is yes, in some cases. It is important to understand the factors affecting an air compressor’s ability to work when wet and what steps you should take to protect your compressor.
Potential Risks of Water Damage
Water and air compressors don’t mix, as water can cause permanent damage to your compressor. There are several potential risks of water damage when operating an air compressor in humid or wet conditions.
If your air compressor is left on and exposed to the elements, such as rain or damp conditions, it can result in electrical and structural damage. When water makes contact with the compressor’s internal components, it can lead to the corrosion of vital components, such as motor bearings and pistons.
This type of corrosion is a slow process that may not be noticed until further down the line when performance declines drastically due to components’ wear and tear.
In addition, moisture in sensitive areas can lead to uncomfortable vibration levels from loose parts due to corrosion taking hold over time.
Additionally, high volumes of moisture that enter into your air tank or any other enclosed cavities can freeze during periods of extended idle time outdoors if temperatures drop below freezing-point levels; this freezing action can cause severe internal damage if not detected early enough.
For your air compressor to run properly for long periods without risk of failure due to water damage, you must install proper weatherproofing measures tailored towards preventing water from entering any areas where exposed electrical wiring is present or within sealed cavities such as tanks & intakes.
For example, a waterproof electrical enclosure box should be constructed with adequate ventilation & drainage holes located at lower points on each side away from any cables or wires that could otherwise be affected by incoming moisture whilst running at full capacity. Doing this will help ensure your machine’s longevity by keeping the electrical elements dry outdoors for extended periods of use.
How to Protect Your Air Compressor from Water Damage
Air compressors are excellent tools to have in any workshop but can easily be damaged by water. If your compressor is exposed to water, it can ruin its internal parts, cause electrical short circuits, or even rust and corrode the motor. Understanding how to properly protect your air compressor from water damage is important to ensure it remains working optimally for years to come.
Keep It Covered
Covering your air compressor when not in use is the best way to protect it from water damage. When you are finished using your air compressor, shut it off and cover it with a tarp. Make sure to use a tarp with waterproof material and reinforced seams for outdoor use.
This will protect the air compressor from rain, snow, and other environmental conditions that may cause water damage.
You should also consider investing in a weatherproof storage shed or box specifically made for housing an air compressor while not in use. Generally, these weatherproof units are equipped with an external lock to secure your air compressor if necessary.
This provides added protection against theft and environmental conditions such as moisture. A weatherproof storage unit can also be used to store your hoses, power cords, extension cords and other accessories associated with your air compressor system so they stay dry and free of dust when not being used.
Use a Water Trap
One of the best methods is to install a water trap to protect your air compressor from water damage. A water trap is a device connected to the outlet of an air compressor which removes condensed moisture. The condensed moisture is usually generated by releasing hot compressed air into cooler lines or tanks. This can cause the formation of condensate, which can reduce the efficiency and lifespan of your machinery.
Water traps come in various designs, such as those that employ gravity entirely or others that work with a centrifugal mechanism to extract condensate. When it comes to protecting your air compressor from water damage, there are also other measures you can take in addition to installing a water trap:
- -Ensure proper ventilation for your equipment, as this will help reduce temperature extremes and decrease condensation
- -Install an after cooler along with it its drain – this will help cool down heated compressed air before being released into storage tanks
- -Check for any contributing leaks – ensure no hose splices or storage tank fill caps are leaking, or else too much moisture could be entering
- -Periodically empty any collected moisture from filters, bowls, and bowls at each component so that it does not accumulate over time
- -Maintain proper maintenance schedules as regular tune-ups prevent any problems related to water damage while helping to maximize overall system efficiency
Use a Desiccant
A desiccant is one of the best ways to protect your air compressor from water damage. Desiccants absorb moisture from the air, providing an effective shield against potential water damage. Most commonly, desiccants come in the form of silica gel bags and beads that are placed in or around the air compressor.
Desiccants can be used along with other methods, such as covers, splash guards, and other protective measures to keep your air compressor dry and running smoothly.
In conclusion, air compressors can get wet and should generally be stored in a dry environment. However, with the proper maintenance and protection they can withstand exposure to moisture. It is important to check your manufacturer’s instructions before using an air compressor in a damp area.
Additionally, air compressors must be regularly drained of moisture buildup, and filters should be replaced to protect against corrosion. Finally, make sure to use an appropriate grade of lubricant during the operation and maintenance of your compressor to keep it running efficiently and safely.