Condensate drains, or pneumatic drains, are a type of valve which is used to remove condensate from a pneumatic system. As the air cools within a system, the humidity within the air turns to condensate. It is important to remove condensate from an air system as water can cause damage and corrosion. Condensate drains are commonly used in pneumatic air preparation and compressed air treatment systems.
Condensate drains are available in a range of sizes and volumes depending on the system they're compatible with and how heavy-duty the application they're needed for is. Particularly useful are automatic drains, which reduce the risk of forgetting to empty the drain.
How are condensate drains used?
Condensate drains can be used in all kinds of pneumatic systems, for example in factories. They work in conjunction with filters to remove contaminants or to prevent them from building up in a pneumatic system. Excess lubricant, metal particles, rust and scale can be separated out from the system by filters, and then removed via a drain.
Condensate drains can be installed at low points in the system to help stop condensation collecting. They reduce the risk of damage to expensive equipment and the need for downtime.
Manual vs. Automatic condensate drains:
- Manual condensate drains feature a plug or button which can be used to release the condensate. This is operated by the user. Some valved can be left slightly open for continuous bleeding.
- Automatic condensate drains, also known as auto drains, use a float which rises when the water level goes up. This causes a sprung valve to open and release the condensate.
Where are condensate drains used?
- Receiver tanks
- Coalescing filters
- Water separators
- Air dryers