air compressor filter dryer, sainttools

If you work with air tools, you must install a filter/dryer unit for optimum performance. Air compressor filter dryer setup isn’t complicated and can save you a lot of time, cost, and hassle in the long run.

Excess moisture in an air tool significantly impacts its functionality negatively. If you use a sandblaster, a painting tool, or a plasma cutter tool, chances are water droplets have shown up in your finished work. This happens because air condenses the water vapor inside the tank, and excess moisture builds up over time. The moisture then goes into and affects the air tools during operation.

Excess moisture transferring from the air supply to your tools will cause several issues later, such as corrosion and rusting. No one wants that, and a filter dryer unit can solve this problem.

How to Setup Air Compressor Filter Dryer?

Installing your unit will seem hard at first, but follow our directions, and you will have your filter dryer unit set up in no time.

Before you start, have a look at the tools required for installation.

Tools required for air compressor filter dryer setup:

  1. 3/4 inch copper wires
  2. Copper wire connectors
  3. 1/2 inch flexible hose
  4. Hose connectors
  5. Wall bracket
  6. Valves
  • 7.  Air filter
  • 8. Desiccant dryer
  • 9. Desiccants
  • 10. Pressure gauge
  • 11. 1/4 inch pipe bunks

Make sure you have all these items handy to make the process smooth.

Easy 7-Step Guide to Air Compressor Filter Dryer Setup:

Step 1 – Set Up the Desiccant Dryer

A desiccant dryer uses absorbent materials called desiccants to absorb excess moisture from the air supply. The desiccant particles will absorb liquid particles, significantly reducing the system’s moisture level and the moisture content in the air. 

A copper cooler will be sufficient for most air tools and perhaps even a sandblaster. However, if you require extremely dry air for painting or plasma cutting, a desiccant dryer is a must.

To set up the dryer, first, twist the top and bottom in opposite directions. Then unload a bag of desiccant beads into the metal bowl inside. Screw the lid back on. You are now ready to add it to the unit.

For maintenance, replace the desiccant particles in the bowl at regular intervals to ensure optimum moisture absorption.

Step 2 – Assemble the Filter Dryer Unit


5-micron filter element is capable of removing up to 95% of moisture. Therefore it is an essential part of the system.

Some manufacturers sell composite filter dryer units, so you don’t have to set it up. If yours isn’t a composite unit, connect the filter and dryer using connectors.

The filter comes before the dryer, so make sure you set it up in that order. Decide if you want to use only one filter or a pre-filter and post-filter. If you’re going to use only one, we recommend desiccant filters for better results. You will need one connector in between if using one filter and two connectors if using both. Install connectors on the ends for wires and hoses.

You may also use coalescing filters if you want to remove contaminants and solid particles. If you decide to use it, you need an extra connector as well as a more extensive wall bracket. To install it, attach it to the rest of your unit with a connector.

Step 3 – Mount the Filter Dryer Unit

A wall bracket will help you mount the unit to a wall, ensuring convenience and saving space.

Attach the unit to the wall bracket using screws. Make sure the assembled unit is steady. Mount this bracket on a convenient location on a wall.

We advise mounting your unit in a way that gives you easy access to it. You will need to access the valves and drains. You will also need to be able to change the pressure. Make sure there are no obstructions in the way.

Step 4 – Connect the Unit to the Tank

Once you have your unit set up and mounted, it is time to connect it to the air compressor tank.

Attach a 1/2 inch flexible hose to the filter and secure it with a connector. Attach the other end to the back of the air tank. Install a valve if required.

Step 5 – Install the Pressure Gauge

It is crucial to monitor the air pressure in your system. Therefore you must install a pressure gauge.

You must install the pressure gauge after the air dryer and before the copper wire connecting to the air system. Use connectors to install your preferred meter.

Some air dryers will have a pressure gauge attached. In that case, you can refer to this for a reading and will not need to install any additional meter.

Step 6 – Connect the Unit to the Air System

Use 3/4 inch copper pipes to connect the unit to the air system. Secure the setup using copper fittings. Weld a nipple fitting to the ceiling to attach the ascending copper pipe to the air system. 

Final Step – Test Run

Once your setup is complete, do a test run to make sure everything works properly.

During the test run, keep in mind the meter hand will oscillate between 90 PSI to 175 PSI. Try to keep the pressure at 125 PSI for optimum results and ensure your system’s long service life.

If there is a pressure drop, check if it is steady. While a pressure drop is inevitable, sudden changes are always hazardous.

If your setup is correct, you should have no issues.

Important Factors That Should be Taken into  Consideration:


Check the pressure rating of your tools and set the pressure accordingly. If a tool is rated at 90 PSI or 100 PSI, using a standard 125 PSI will reduce its lifespan. Adjust with caution.


Air compressor moisture should leave the tank, filter, and dryer regularly. There are two types of water drain – auto drain and semi-auto drain. In case of an auto drain, your tank, filter, or dryer will auto-drain when the bowl is full, so you need not worry about drainage. As for a semi-auto drain, there will be a drain valve. Open the drain valve regularly to drain out the air compressor moisture.


While a filter and dryer will solve moisture issues, you may still face an issue with heat. Heat may especially be an issue with high compression.

If you predict there will be a lot of heat in your system, consider installing a drip leg. A drip leg will collect any remaining moisture particle and drain off remains from water vapor

Also, consider an air compressor cooler. A cooler will avoid excessive rises in temperature, which will save power and increase efficiency. A cooler will also prevent damage to your pipes and units.


Getting a filter dryer unit for your air compressor will increase the lifespan of any tool you use. You won’t have to worry about any moisture particle from your tank ruining your plasma cutting or painting tasks or any particular tool. It will also save you the cost of replacing tools frequently.

Do prior research before purchasing your filter and dryer. Read reviews and check buyer experiences. Purchase the ones you think will fit your needs best, then follow our instructions and suggestions to maximize utility. Keep our guidelines about pressure, drainage, and heat issues in mind while setting up your system. 

We hope you found our setup guide helpful. We are confident you will have your system up and running smoothly in no time if you follow our guidelines and keep our advice in mind!

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