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Water Filter Advice

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Jfile
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Water Filter Advice

Postby Jfile » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:13 am

I'm getting a new table in a few weeks and was looking for advice on a good water filter. I have an automatic purge valve on the bottom of my compressor and I have a small inexpensive 2 stage filter just a few feet after the air leaves my compressor. Those seem to do a pretty good job but there will be about 25 foot of line from that point until it gets to the plasma cutter and I feel like I should have additional filtering at that point. What would you guys recommend? Thanks in advance for any assistance.

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acourtjester
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Re: Water Filter Advice

Postby acourtjester » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:07 pm

What you want is really an air dryer, many here use the refringent type or the desiccant type and other use a series of tubing and fans to cool the air.
These help to have the humidity in the air drop out and return back to a drain point.
Do a search for air dryer here and you can what is used.
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Jfile
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Re: Water Filter Advice

Postby Jfile » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:35 pm

Thank you. I will do some research on it and see what I can find.

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Re: Water Filter Advice

Postby djreiswig » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:21 pm

We have one of these from Harbor Freight.
https://www.harborfreight.com/compresse ... 40211.html
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Re: Water Filter Advice

Postby rcecarbldr » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:25 am

I was gun shy about buying the Harbor Freight unit as some of the feedback isn't positive. Poorly assembled, freezing up, etc, etc. I bought this Schulz unit off Ebay for $725 to my door and man is it nice. I haven't hooked it up yet as I'm waiting for stainless steel whip hoses to arrive and a coalescing filter that will go between the cooling manifold I made and the dryer.

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Re: Water Filter Advice

Postby rcecarbldr » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:25 am

Not sure why the pic is showing sideways but if you click on it, it shows upright.

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Re: Water Filter Advice

Postby djreiswig » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:14 am

I used hydraulic hoses when I installed mine.
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Re: Water Filter Advice

Postby rcecarbldr » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:21 am


Jfile
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Re: Water Filter Advice

Postby Jfile » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:58 pm

Thanks to all who have replied. I think I have decided to go with one of air dryers not too far from the plasma cutter and then add one of the motor guard filters right behind the plasma unit. I read several good reviews on the Harbor Freight dryer so I'm thinking about giving it a try. Wasn't planning on spending that kind of money but from everything that I've read, you can't go wrong with multiple methods of filtering and drying the air used for cutting. Being a beginner, I want to avoid any thing that might make it more difficult to produce good clean cuts.

Thanks again for all of the advice.

djreiswig
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Re: Water Filter Advice

Postby djreiswig » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:53 pm

2014 Bulltear (StarLab) 4x8
C&CNC EtherCut
Mach3, SheetCam, Draftsight
Hypertherm PM65
Oxy/Acetylene Flame Torch
Pneumatic Plate Marker, Ohmic, 10 inch Rotary Chuck (in progress)

rcecarbldr
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Re: Water Filter Advice

Postby rcecarbldr » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:05 pm

I'm not going to lose sleep over $24 and I doubt my air system will ever exceed 200psi. Plus the stainless is prettier. LOL

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Re: Water Filter Advice

Postby djreiswig » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:51 pm

Works for me. ;)
2014 Bulltear (StarLab) 4x8
C&CNC EtherCut
Mach3, SheetCam, Draftsight
Hypertherm PM65
Oxy/Acetylene Flame Torch
Pneumatic Plate Marker, Ohmic, 10 inch Rotary Chuck (in progress)

dsanford55
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Re: Water Filter Advice

Postby dsanford55 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:36 am

Jfile wrote:Thanks to all who have replied. I think I have decided to go with one of air dryers not too far from the plasma cutter and then add one of the motor guard filters right behind the plasma unit. I read several good reviews on the Harbor Freight dryer so I'm thinking about giving it a try. Wasn't planning on spending that kind of money but from everything that I've read, you can't go wrong with multiple methods of filtering and drying the air used for cutting. Being a beginner, I want to avoid any thing that might make it more difficult to produce good clean cuts.

Thanks again for all of the advice.


did u get your dryer & motor guard filter installed?
how's it working out?

i'm looking at doing something also.
thanks,
dave

Jfile
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Re: Water Filter Advice

Postby Jfile » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:05 am

Hi Dave,

Sorry it took me so long to reply. It's been a busy couple of weeks and I just haven't been online much. I just received the dryer yesterday and installed it. I also have a motor guard filter a little further down line (maybe 6 feet) and right before the plasma unit. Honestly, I haven't even had a chance to try it out. When my table came in, I had to run a lot of the air lines, data control lines and just a lot of general set up. I have about 90% of that stuff complete now and I plan to pick up a sheet of 14 gauge metal tomorrow and hopefully make my first cuts this weekend. If I have any problems I don't think it will be related to moisture. I bought the Harbor Freight dryer since it had such good reviews and was priced lower than anything else out there. The Motor Guard filter also seems to be highly recommended so I figure with both, I should be fine. I have a friend who runs a large fabrication shop. He regularly cuts out parts from 1" steel plate and he doesn't have anything extra from what I installed. He may have bought a higher end dryer but otherwise, we have basically the same set up as far as removing moisture from the air.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well but I will definitely send a message and let you know how it works out. My only concern is that I plumbed my shop with 1/2" pvc for my air supply. I feel good about that but what I'm worried about is that once it gets to the dryer, the filter and the plasma, all of those are fed with hoses that have 1/4" NPT connectors. I just hope that I'm not reducing the volume to much by going from 1/2" down to 1/4". I'm hoping that since I won't be using my compressor for anything else while I'm using the CNC Table, I will have enough volume. Again, I think I will be ok since I will mainly be making cuts in 14 gauge material and occasionally 1/4" material. Plus, most of what I will be cutting will "artsy" type stuff in the 1*" to 24" size. From my understanding, the Hypertherm 45 will cut out most of that stuff in just a matter of a minute or two.

I should know more by Sunday afternoon!

Jeff

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Re: Water Filter Advice

Postby jimcolt » Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:29 am

In reality no one can suggest additional moisture separation devices for your shop unless: 1. we know your location, which affects the relative humidity. As an example the humidity in Arizona is almost non-existent, however summertime on the Eastern US is dripping wet. 2. What plasma system and what kind of duty cycle expectations (hobby, occasional cutting? Small business with balls to the wall 8 hour cutting sessions?) 3. Size and style of your compressor. (smaller compressors run more and generate more heat, which will allow more moisture to be suspended, then condensed as it cools. The fact that you have an auto drain device is good!

Here are some suggestions from my 40 plus years of plasma cutting:

- A refrigerated dryer is the best solution, though rarely necessary. If you can find a good operating used refrigerated dryer...go for it. You can always bypass it and shut it off during non humid months, run the heck out of it during high humidity. Refrigerated dryers use little power, and require less attention and maintenance than absorption filters, dessicant dryers, etc. A refrigerated dryer should be about 20' away from the compressor....with copper pipe plumbing between the two, allowing the air from the compressor to cool somewhat which will help the refrigerated dryer be more efficient.
- Filters are most often best used to control particulates that may be in your air line. In high humidity, if using filters to control water....expect to replace or dry filter elements often. As filters get saturated they block flow, and even allow some of the water to pass through. Filters should be mounted downstream (on the plasma side) of any other moisture traps.
- Water separators are often a coalescing type device that spins the air/moisture and centrifugally separates the water from the air once the air is cooled....the cooling allows the water to change from vapor to droplets, which separated easier. A refrigerated dryer must have a separator on the cool side , which will efficiently remove water.
- Don't over filter. We hear far more problems with plasma air inlet starvation than we hear real issues with water in the air. Every filter will create a pressure drop under dynamic (air flowing at the torch) conditions, every fitting, every separator, every extra foot of plumbing will create a pressure drop when air flows.
- Always, always, always install a pressure gauge hard plumbed at the inlet to the plasma cutter. with static conditions (system pressurized, no air flow at the torch) expect this gauge and one at the compressor to read the same (any difference will be gauge accuracy related), however when air flows at the plasma torch you will see the gauge at the inlet drop. The difference in pressure between a gauge at the compressor and the gauge at the plasma inlet shows the pressure drop caused by restrictions in your system. As filters plug or saturate....expect a larger drop in pressure. When air pressure is at or near the minimum pressure specified by your plasma system manufacturer, expect poor cut quality, shorter consumable life and error codes that are caused by inadequate pressure/ flow.

So, don't over do it. A good place to ask about treating compressed air is to stop into a local auto body shop. The air requirements for auto paint spraying applications are similar in pressure, flow and purity. Moisture in a paint shop ruins paint jobs. If the shop is local and experienced they will show you their air drying system which likely is based on use and the local climate as I mention above!

Happy cutting! Jim Colt Hypertherm



Jfile wrote:I'm getting a new table in a few weeks and was looking for advice on a good water filter. I have an automatic purge valve on the bottom of my compressor and I have a small inexpensive 2 stage filter just a few feet after the air leaves my compressor. Those seem to do a pretty good job but there will be about 25 foot of line from that point until it gets to the plasma cutter and I feel like I should have additional filtering at that point. What would you guys recommend? Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Jfile
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Re: Water Filter Advice

Postby Jfile » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:38 pm

Hi Jim,

Thanks for the feedback and advice. I plan to start testing on Saturday but I ended up going with the dryer and the motor guard filter both but I did set up the dryer with a bypass. I just kept hearing all of the talk about moisture and I talked to a friend who has a fairly large fabrication shop and set up my filter system similar to his. We are in NC about half way between Charlotte and Greensboro. It is a fairly high humidity area. About the time that I was reading your reply, I was wondering about the pressure drop due to the filters and connectors. I took some time today and installed a pressure gauge at the inlet to the plasma cutter. That was one thing that I had not thought of. When I test this weekend, I will now be able to monitor the pressure and make sure that I'm not losing too much pressure / flow. Depending on those results, I may have to re-think my setup. I do have my shop plumbed with 1/2" line though so I'm hopeful that I will be okay. I'm also using a dedicated compressor for the table and it's a decent 60 gallon unit. Again, thanks for the input! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for good results.

Jeff

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Re: Water Filter Advice

Postby jimcolt » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:21 pm

3/8" line is good up to 50', 1/2" beyond that. Sounds like you have a nice setup for compressed air. Jim Colt Hypertherm .


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