With an air compressor having many moving parts, then maintenance is needed to ensure that at the end you a machine that works well. Having a leaky drain valve could be a disaster in waiting. It would be safe if you end up looking for ways on how to deal with such leaks each time they happen. The best way of dealing with a drain valve would be simply replacing it. Trying to repair it sometimes does not always help. When people hear about making the replacement, it is easy for them to get scared and think it is a hard job. Well, with the right tools, you can easily swap out the old drain valve and fix a new one for better safety
What you will need
- Adjustable wrench
- Small pipe wrenches
- Pipe thread compound
- Ball valve
- 4” and 2” Nipples
- Street elbow
How to Replace Air Compressor Drain Valve
1. Drain the compressor
Before you can start playing around with the compressor drain valve, it is crucial to drain it first. You can let it fully drain before you can start the repairs.
To help you with faster working on the air compressor, simply tip it onto the side so that you have easier access to the drain valve. With it the compressor on its belly, it would hard to reach the drain valve and easily swap it out.
2. Removing the drain valve
The drain valves are commonly threaded into the compressor with the provision of an adapter. You would need the right tools to remove it from the adapter socket. This calls for using the adjustable wrench for unscrewing the drain valve. It might be tight at first, but with an additional force, the drain valve should easily come out with ease.
3. Fixing a new drain valve
As you can see, the removal of the drain valve was quite easy. The installation should be easy too provided you have the right drain valve too. It is recommended that you switch from the drain valve to a ball valve. The idea is to end up with a great valve that will prevent any leaks for a long time. The drain valves currently do not always guarantee that you would have a nice seal at the end for years.
In this case, we opt to replace the drain valve by offering a ball valve. Proceed by testing your pipe fittings if they fit in the drain valve adapter. You might have to make adjustments to the street elbow pipe if it does not fit. Most of the time it would fit perfectly.
4. Fitting the pipe fittings
Proceed by applying some thread compound to the threads of the elbow pipe before fitting it. The work of such a compound is to help having a better sealant for the air compressor. Insert the street elbow into the adapter and tighten it using a small pipe wrench.
What follows next is to have the nipple with the female threads inserted. The idea is to bring the drain valve out more from the underbelly of the air compressor.
5. Screw the ball valve
It is now time to install the ball valve on the nipple pipe installed earlier. It is as simple as screwing the ball valve on the nipple and you are good to go.
As part of finishing up, you install another smaller nipple pipe into the ball valve. This should give you a better clearance and usability of your air compressor. By now, you should be done with the whole installation process of the better and improved drain valve.
Before you can completely write off the problem, it is important that you get to test the valve first. The testing will involve checking out if the valve can hold the air pressure and release it whenever needed. This would involve generating the air and testing out the new valve. If you followed the steps correctly, then it should work fine.
You should be happy about the results of what you have achieved. The air compressor would now be able to work correctly just the way you have always wanted it to do. Remember that the air would be under high pressure, so take precautions when draining it. Keep the valve facing away from you to keep the debris from getting into your face.