*Air Compressor Drain Valve Upgrade*
By: John1lt
27 February 2023

I don't like the drain valves put on most air compressor tanks. The valves twist and the handle isn't user friendly; difficult to reach and turn. I can never remember which way to turn the valve to open or close it so I do it by trial and error and if there is no air in the tank I can't tell if the valve is open or closed. The factory valves often jam and stick. When air is compressed it squeezes the moisture out of the air so to help prevent the tank from rusting from the inside out you should drain the air and moisture out of the air tank periodically, consult your owners manual for the manufactures recommended schedule.

To cure the faults, as I see them, of the factory valve I went to the hardware store and for a few dollars obtained the parts to make a better drain valve. Did I mention the main fault of the valve on my compressor was it was jammed in the open position. The tank on my air compressor is curved so I bought a couple of elbows, one 45 and one 90 degree elbow, I planned on using the 45 but also knew that if it didn't work like I wanted there was a good chance I could position the 90 pointed down hill. I wanted the pipe to point down to help drain moisture from the tank. I attached a length of pipe to the elbow and put a ball valve on the end of the pipe. I like the ball valve because I can easily see if the valve is open by the position of the handle; aligned with the pipe open, 90 degrees to pipe closed. The fittings for my tank are 1/4" inch pipe; check yours to be sure of what size pipe to buy.

I've been very happy with the new valve, easier to use and operate. The valve is now where I can reach it and I know just by looking if the valve is open or closed. I have noticed when looking at new air compressors that they are already fitted with a ball valve instead of the screw style valve.


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