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Cat California air tools compressor drain issue

Janger

(John)
Vendor
Premium Member
I’ve had my California air tools CAT 4gal compressor for several years now. I generally really like it as it is quite quiet. But I have had this persistent problem of water in the tank. I keep draining it empty but it continues. I had the bright idea of tilting it and had rusty syrup water come blasting out. A lot of it. :confused: Say most of a disposable cup - 300ml?

What the hell?

Turning it on its side I see the label where you can’t read it says to tilt the tank to drain it. This is stupid. You can see the fittings are nicely designed to be below the water line but the hole is at the side not at the bottom. So there is a puddle in the bottom maybe 4mm deep. I suggest everyone check their air compressor for this problem.
 

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DavidR8

Scrap maker
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
My Metabo is the same. I have to tilt it backwards to drain it. I think it’s that way because the drain valve is straight so there no clearance under the tank for the valve.
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Same. They should have welded a slightly extended fitting to sump the water. I have a slow leak somewhere in the system. I've replaced a few flexible lines already. Pressure falls off over a few days so I just now get in the habit of purging it more often & I think that helps a lot vs. letting moisture build up. Seems like if the pressure is high & crack the drain valve, I don't much liquid in the mist. But when I'm on the tail end like 10 psi to depletion I can see the small puddle on the floor. Mine is clear or sometimes milky white (oil?). No discoloration like rust though.

Depending on what kind of tooling or spray equipment is on the discharge end, you probably should be filtering now. I'm not sure if/how to remove internal corrosion once its started. Would it be so hard to have tanks internally coated at the factory? Seems to me that would be desirable if not safer. Corrosion pitting leads to the Boom factor.
 

DavidR8

Scrap maker
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
Same. They should have welded a slightly extended fitting to sump the water. I have a slow leak somewhere in the system. I've replaced a few flexible lines already. Pressure falls off over a few days so I just now get in the habit of purging it more often & I think that helps a lot vs. letting moisture build up. Seems like if the pressure is high & crack the drain valve, I don't much liquid in the mist. But when I'm on the tail end like 10 psi to depletion I can see the small puddle on the floor. Mine is clear or sometimes milky white (oil?). No discoloration like rust though.

Depending on what kind of tooling or spray equipment is on the discharge end, you probably should be filtering now. I'm not sure if/how to remove internal corrosion once its started. Would it be so hard to have tanks internally coated at the factory? Seems to me that would be desirable if not safer. Corrosion pitting leads to the Boom factor.
When I bought my 60 gallon compressor I flushed the tank out with water and then poured a gallon of Evaporust in and rolled it around. Any water I get now is only slightly discoloured.
 

Ironman

Ultra Member
Depending on what kind of tooling or spray equipment is on the discharge end, you probably should be filtering now. I'm not sure if/how to remove internal corrosion once its started. Would it be so hard to have tanks internally coated at the factory? Seems to me that would be desirable if not safer. Corrosion pitting leads to the Boom factor.
I know people who have had their tanks galvanized inside and out . This could be done before the sale.
As far as drain valves go the best I've seen are the Atlas Copco capacitive drains. They work when water is present, the other types are on a timer setup.
I got one for free, it was thrown out with a pile of plumbing waste, still in the original box, with tape measures, rolls of solder, thread tape, etc.
1720325261223.jpeg
 

Doggggboy

Ultra Member
Almost 1500 bucks
For that price I'd have to buy a better compressor.
I'm guessing these aren't for the home hobbyist.
 

Aliva

Super User
My 80 gallon, tank has a drain at the bottom center of the tank. I installed a 120v solenoid valve and piped it outside of my garage. The valve is manually activated via a switch at the opposite end of my garage. I drain the tank for a couple seconds about once a week, very little water. My water separator is located about 20 feet from the compressor.
i know convention says to have the separator as close to the tank as possible, but I found that I can clear the entire system of moisture with this set up, and have easier access to the separator. The compressor head is mounted about 6 feet from the tank on a floor stand.. I didn't have the head room to put it on the tank. The compressor intake is piped out side and filtered. I used to paint a lot cars and didn't want the intake inside where it could pick up paint from the atmosphere. Besides that it's quieter.
 

Ironman

Ultra Member
Almost 1500 bucks
For that price I'd have to buy a better compressor.
I'm guessing these aren't for the home hobbyist.
They are when they are free:p
 

Aliva

Super User
Were I used to work we had those on some of the compressors. They do work very well when new, but after time they tend to plug up with rust and debris. They become a high maintenance item. not really worth it.
 

mmcmdl

Machinist/Toolmaker ( retired )
I've got filter housings with coalescing filters .They are always cracked open at the bottom letting the water escape . I leave the drain on the tank cracked also . I don't use the compressor daily , and not worried about having a small pressure drop . I actually have 2 brand new tanks out in the garage I scavenged from work . They're rated for 250 PSI , way more than I'll ever use . I used to have all the oilers , regulators and the other stuff hooked in but I just don't need it all now . The air tools sit un-used . :)
 
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