Spray painting projects can be fun.
Or really, really challenging depending on what methods you opt for!
One of the essential tools for painting job is the air compressor, right?
Unfortunately, most of the compressors that are designed for DIY purposes aren’t suitable at all. No matter how hard you try, there will always be some water left in the compressor.
Do you know what happens when the compressor lacks any means of removing excess water from its system?
It ends up with ugly blisters in an otherwise flawless paint job!
To get the desired dry air supply, you need the best water separator for air compressor that can remove all contaminants before it gets to your machines.
In addition, such efficient tool can prevent the internal parts from getting rusty and helps keep the performance of the compressor up to the mark.
Interested to know more and get your hands on one of these handy devices?
Okay then, let’s explore!
Tailonz Pneumatic 1/4 Inch NPT Air Filter Pressure
5 out of 5
Neiko 30253A Water & Oil Separator For Air Line
5 out of 5
NANPU DFR-03 3/8" NPT Air Drying System
4.5 out of 5
THB 1/2" Particulate Filter
4 out of 5
NANPU 3/8" NPT Compressed Air Filter Regulator
4.5 out of 5
What Is An Air Compressor Water Separator And How Does It Work?
An air compressor water separator is basically a small tool addition that attaches directly to your compressing device to eliminate water from it.
Spray guns, woodworking tools (e.g. nailer), automotive machines or other air tools require an air compressor to come to life.
If you need painting tools, automotive machines or other tools, you can get instructions from ToolsInstitute.com.
But what if the same thing put them down and shorten their longevity?
Apparently, that’s exactly what happens when water meets your beloved tools!
All air contains moisture in it. And when the compressing device tries to force the water out somehow, the moisture gets inside some parts of your tools. Over time, this collected water makes your air tool’s internal parts rusty. And the performance starts to decrease at the same time.
That’s where a water separator comes into play.
A water separator or filter dryer on your air compressor is designed to remove all the liquid water, vapor, solid particles, oil and oil vapor from the machine. As it removes all sorts of contaminants from the compressed air, clean and dry air gets delivered to your tools instead of unfiltered air.
11 Recommended Best Air Compressor Water Separator 2021
1. Tailonz Pneumatic 1/4 Inch Air Water Separator
Are you up for watching your machine die a little every day?
Don’t worry, you won’t have to do that when you have the Tailonz Pneumatic AW2000-02 Air Filter Pressure Regulator to help you out!
When air exists a compressor, it’s often warm, contaminated and filled with moisture. Along with harming your surrounding environment, it can also shorten the life of your air tools at the same time.
Before your air tools get hampered an air water separator filter like Tailonz comes into the rescue by controlling and cleaning it well. The main job of this regulator is to filter out air particles, moisture, dust and other impurities in the air.
With a ¼ NPT sized air inlet, the filter can handle up to 145 PSI quite easily. And the system is super user-friendly as well! Pull the button on the filter, rotate it and the pressure goes down just like that!
Tailonz comes with a pressure gauge integrated into its system. With 2 units of measurement scales (PSI/MPA), this dial can determine the air pressure accurately.
To set up the filter gauge, the product accessory pack includes a 2x1/4x1/4-inch NPT Male Pipe, a metal bracket and a Teflon tape for your convenience.
2. Neiko 30253A Water & Oil Separator For Air Line
Tired of your compressor shooting out water endlessly?
At a considerably reasonable price, Neiko 30253A is a complete steal for anyone who wants an in-line filter that can solve that problem instantly!
Equipped with a brass fitting and aluminum housing, this tool is heavy-duty and lightweight at the same time. As it has a reliable filtering system that eliminates all kinds of dirt particles, oil, water vapor etc., the lifespan of your tools gets increased with this oil separator.
Do you live in a humid place?
Then you must have known the pain of having ugly water spots on oil-based varnishes, right?
With Neiko Water and Oil separator, you will never have to think about any sort of condensation, contaminants and oil hampering your tools ever again!
With the universal ¼-inch NPT inlet that’s connected to it, it’s compatible with most air tools and spray guns available on the market. The filter itself is quite easy to drain (A large push button that’s quite noticeable), clean and maintain even for the newbies in this world.
The filter has a standard operating pressure of 25 PSI that can reach up to 150 PSI when needed. It's pretty easy to install and separates about 99% of the water in line every time you use it with your air tools.
3. NANPU DFR-03 3/8" NPT Air Drying System
Has the regular filter failed to meet your expectation?
While there are some really good single filters that perform well, you can’t beat the convenience of having a double air filter combo package by any means!
NANPU DFR-03 Air Drying System consists of 2 air filters instead of the ordinary single package. With a 3/8-inch port size, this double air filter helps remove most liquid and contaminated particles from the air supply.
While other separators on the market come with Polyethylene as their filter material, NANPU is constructed with a double 5-micron brass element. Can you guess what difference this little upgrade means for the filter?
It means the filter gets to serve you for way longer time than the ordinary filter does!
Also, the whole structure becomes strongly corrosion resistant and possesses the ability to filter air more accurately at the same time.
The optimal temperature-range for this tool ranges from 41 to 140-Degree Fahrenheit. At 90 PSI, it can manage 2000 liter of flow rate per minute. The separator tool can handle up to 145 PSI of supply pressure at its max capacity.
To help you keep track of the pressure, NANPU air line water separator has included a 0-150 pressure gauge and a bracket in its system. The semi-auto drain system makes sure the water gets drained faster and increases the longevity of your tools by a good margin.
4. THB 1/2" Particulate Air Compressor Water Separator Filter
Want something that can handle your daily use like a pro and still manage to impress you every day with its hardcore performance?
Meet the THB Filter that can trap particles and water as well as drain the contaminated water when the pressure is released automatically!
Before going on with any other highlights, let's give you a preview of its drainage system which kind of resembles an overnight drain.
The ½-inch NPT particulate filter features a semi-automatic drain. When there’s pressure on top of its bowl, the drain gets ready to hold water as long as you don’t manually remove it. Once the pressure gets lifted, the drain releases the water without any help from you!
The 5-oz polycarbonate bowl with a metal guard bowl is heavy-duty and lasts for a long time. As the micron filter is capable of removing almost 95% of debris, it can be considered as a reliable product that’s up for rough use on a regular basis.
Worried whether your tool is going to get a decent amount of airflow?
With 106 CFM of flow rate, this product provides better airflow than most of its competitors on the market. The max input and output pressure this tool can handle is 175 and 145 PSI accordingly.
5. NANPU 3/8" NPT Compressed Air Filter
Filter, regulator and lubricator.
How about if we offer you a super combo that offers you these three things at a reasonable price?
Apparently, NANPU is rocking the industry with its 3-part system!
The filter element is responsible for removing most liquids and solid particles. The regulator helps adjust the outlet pressure. And the lubricator is always there for you when you need to oil up your air tools and increase their life expectancy.
NANPU believes in giving its users flexibility when it's needed the most.
For instance, the metal housing construction of this tool is quite sturdy. However, the unit is also flexible enough so that you can break it up and add an extra outlet if needed.
If air-powered tools could speak, they would tell you how much they need filtered air and a little bit of oiling to keep going!
As the AC3010-03 model keeps the tool line clear of debris and features an oiler unit, this is a worth buying product for extending the lifespan by a good margin.
With a semi-automatic drain and 0-150 gauge and bracket, this air compressor moisture separator is user-friendly and easy to handle. The operating pressure of this device ranges from 0 to 145 PSI and has a 5-micron brass filter element that ensures its longevity.
6. Ingersoll Rand ARO F35231-400-VS Air Line Filter
Ingersoll Rand Filter is the dream product for people who want P.E.R.F.E.C.T.I.O.N. in every way possible!
While the standard filters come with 5-micron, Ingersoll allows you to order a coalescing model, which can remove particles that are as small as 0.3-micron.
And guess what?
The unit is equipped with an ARO-Flo filter, regulator and lubricator. All of them which make sure less air is choked during air preparation and your air tools get to enjoy the top-notch performance!
With a 3/8-inch NPT port size, the FRL model from ARO-Flo series has an efficient flow rate of 107 CFM. Also, to help remove the contaminated water, there’s a manual drain for your convenience.
Made of polycarbonate material with a bowl guard, the air compressor water separator filter can withstand pressure up to 150 PSI. The optimum temperature range for Ingersoll Rand Filter is between 23 to 125-Degree Fahrenheit.
Although the standard filter features 5-micron elements, you can buy and get a 40-micron element if needed to adjust to your tool's requirement.
7. Heavy Duty High Flow Compressed Air In-Line Particulate Filter With Metal Bowl
Want an air water separator that requires minimal maintenance yet performs like a champ?
Meet the in-line particulate filter from T-H-B CO EDGE INDUSTRIAL brand, which comes with a promise to behave exactly like that!
With a ¾-inch inline port size, this particular unit traps all sorts of moisture and contaminated particles inside your compressor. The 5-micron filter element makes sure your air tools get a good-quality air supply by removing 95% moisture trapped in your machine.
Be it a small or big compressor, T-H-B CO EDGE unit is compatible to run with them all!
Just make sure the unit is mounted in the upright position in a way that the drain is facing down. To remove the excess water in it, push the pin upward and let the water drain properly.
Tools such as spray guns, impact wrenches and drills require a constant air supply of air. To maintain that high airflow, T-H-B comes with a 140 CFM capacity so that it’s suitable for any ¾-inch high flow air pressure equipment.
Any excess moisture that’s collected in the bowl needs to be drained manually. However, there’s a transparent indicator that lets you see the water level for your convenience.
8. Air Filter, 3/8" NPT with Quick Release Bowl
Campbell Hausfeld has a history of making quality products since 1836.
It started its journey with agricultural equipment and ever since then it has expanded its horizon by making a complete line of air tools. The air tool series, for instance, include a compressor, paint sprayer, nailer, stapler, pressure washer, water separator etc.
The Campbell Hausfeld PA212103AV water separator for air compressor is one of the company’s cleaner/dryer equipment that removes moisture from air tools. Just like the company's other products, this one is an excellent addition to making your life easier by completing every project in record time!
The model has 2 separate systems: Oil separator and Desiccant system. The oil separator helps trap 99.9% of aerosols and the desiccant removes the water vapor in it.
Wondering whether the desiccant particles have a chance of entering into the airstream?
Turns out there’s a separate outlet screen that keeps the air stream dry by filtering out the desiccant particles for you!
With a sintered brass element that’s installed on this tool, it can capture particles as small as 5-micron in size and separate them from the filtered air. The quarter-turn drain that comes with the package makes your life easier by draining water more easily and quickly.
9. LE LEMATEC Air Compressor Filter
Only the best water separator for air compressor can give you that opportunity for real. And this is where LE LEMATEC kicks in!
This air compressor filter provides full protection for your air tools. As a result, your tools get to experience better days while you can concentrate solely on your work at the same time.
The ZN312 model from this brand comes with a ¼-inch inlet that's built to be compatible with even the most complicated layouts.
The compact and minimalistic design is quite impressive even if you are a picky chooser. Made from heavy-duty aluminum, zinc and steel, it's fair to say this tool is built to serve you for a long time.
The main duty of an inline water separator for compressed air is to expel trapped water, oil and dirt, right?
Well, LE LEMATEC does it in style!
Instead of dissembling the whole thing, you can just press the push button on it and easily discharge of all the contaminants in one go just like that.
To help you with the installation part, the manufacturer includes a Teflon tape that measures about 1.2x110-cm and a secure box so that you can carry it around.
10. PneumaticPlus SAF3000M-N03B Compressed Air Particulate Filter
You might not realize your compressor has moisture inside it, but it has lots of it actually!
Hook up a PneumaticPlus air compressor water trap in your compressor and you will notice these moisture contents accumulating inside it immediately.
Even the best air compressor filter dryer will fail to impress if you set it up improperly. With a 3/8-inch port size, this particular unit is compatible with most air tools.
To help you install it easily, the manufacturer has included an L-shaped bracket, which is used to wall-mount the filter.
A good way to keep both your tools and this filter safe is to install it a good distance away from each other. That way, the air temperature in line gets a chance to normalize before passing through the filter.
The brand PneumaticPlus is all about giving its users freedom. And this theory reflects in their products as well!
For instance, it gives you two bowl options (Metal/Polycarbonate) to choose from. also, you get a chance to decide between having an auto or manual drainage system as well.
The SAF series use a 10-micron filter element. However, you can also go for 2, 5, 20, 40-micron elements as an option if needed.
11. CrocSee C1.8C.027 1/4" NPT
Is manual drain not your cup of tea?
The CrocSee presents an air water separator for air compressor that comes with an automated drain to help you out!
While other competitors require you to manually remove the contaminated water, CrocSee filter auto-drain itself whenever there’s enough pressure on the line.
The unit features a max flow of 26 CFM and has a standard working pressure that ranges from 45 PSI to 145 PSI. Its max working temperature is approximately 140-degrees Fahrenheit, in which it can separate oil from air quite easily.
What’s the most important factor for you? Price or quality?
CrocSee seems to be a champ in both of these worlds!
While the price range of this tool comes under a super-reasonable budget, the manufacturer makes sure you get impressed by its build quality as well!
Made of metal, the top section of this filter is sturdy enough to withstand a long time. In addition, it’s designed to work with high pressure while fitting most compressors with its standard ¼-inc NPT port size.
Water Separator For Air Compressor Comparison Table
Air Inlet Port Size(NPT)
T-H-B CO EDGE INDUSTRIAL
Air Compressor Water Separator Buyer's Guide
A drain is an essential part of a water separator tool. It removes the excess water and helps keep your pneumatic tools up and running for longer time.
There are 3 different types of drains available on the market currently.
The Manual drain requires you to check its moisture level and drain it by yourself when needed.
The Semi-automatic drain excretes when there's no pressure and closes while the airflow is passing.
The Automatic drain usually drains itself when the water level on the bowl is ½ way full. At that point, the float gets displaced and lets some moisture out of its system.
Depending on what you need, you can choose either one of these three categories.
The bowl is one of the main components of the filter that needs to withstand lots of pressure. So, it’s important that you get a bowl that’s good quality and can last for a long time.
Typically, these bowls are made of plastic or metal. The metal ones are of much better quality. However, if you do decide to go with the plastic ones, make sure the material is thick enough to serve your purposes.
All loads of your air compressor falls down on your water separator. Even the best water separator for air compressor will be useless if it can’t cope up with the air compressor load.
Usually, the manufacturer mentions its standard pressure and max output pressure. It’s important to check whether these numbers match your requirement.
Have you chosen a separator with a manual drain option?
Then using a glass sealed separator is a really good option for you.
If the material is made of glass, then you can check the moisture content inside it through the glass display and know when it’s the right time to drain the water completely.
How To Use Water Separator For Air Compressor?
Step 1: Maintain A Good Distance Between Tank And Inlet
- The air needs to cool sufficiently before passing through the filter. Otherwise, it may get too hot and not work properly. Make sure there's at least 50-feet of the airline between the tank and inlet.
Step 2: Mount To The Wall
- Connect the provided L-bracket to the filter.
- Screw the bolts tightly.
- Take a block of wood and screw the filter on top of it. Mount the whole thing onto the wall.
Step 3: Connect The Tank Hose
- Connect the tank hose to the inlet of the filter. Make sure the port size matches your requirement.
Step 4: Run The Air Tools And Drain If Necessary
- Connect the hose of your air tools to the other end of the filter.
- Switch on the power button.
- If you are working with a manual drain, then watch whether the filter is getting full and drain if necessary.
People Also Asked (FAQs)
1. Do I Need To Change The Filter?
Answer: Yes, after a certain period, you need to change the filter if needed.
However, it’s hard to tell the exact time period, it depends on your usage and the humidity of your living place. Also, you need to replace the filter if you see any leakage, distortion etc.
2. Does My Compressor Need Water Separator?
Answer: Yes, it does.
The main reason behind this requirement is water and oil contaminants. These two things get mixed with the compressing process and destroy the entire system.
Also, the air tools you use start to lose their efficiency over time if you don't use any separator.
3. Why Is The Port Size So Important?
Answer: The input and output port of the filter should be compatible to work with your compressor and air tools. If the size doesn’t fit, you won’t be able to connect the devices properly. However, most separators are compatible to work with all types of air tools.
4. Why Does My Separator Smell Odd?
Answer: If you notice some weird smell in the separator unit, then chances are, it has been invaded by some bacteria!
Bacteria are usually super-active when there's a lack of oxygen. Once they spread on the surface, they can produce hydrogen sulfide, which can cause a bad smell.
Suppose you have bought a very expensive smartphone, but forgot to purchase its screen-protector for some reasons.
So what happens afterward?
The screen becomes scratchy, blurry and if it falls on the floor by mistake, it breaks down completely!
The same theory applies to the water separator. If you don't protect your air tools and compressor by installing this filter, chances are, both of these machines won't last long enough to create a memory for you. In short, it’s a small investment to protect the more valuable things in your possession.
Hopefully, our article has provided enough information to make the right investment and will help you pick the best water separator for air compressor.
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