Air Compressor Drain Valve Replacement

Standard operating procedure, the last thing I do, when shutting my shop down for the evening, is to drain the air compressor and leave the drain valve open. I have been told that leaving the drain valve open when the air compressor is not in use helps to limit moisture buildup inside the tank. So I leave the drain valve open when the air compressor is not in use.

The problem, this evening, when I went to drain my air compressor, I turned the knob to open the drain valve, but the knob just rotated but wouldn’t open the drain valve.

The solution, replace the current drain valve, which is a pain to open, with a ball valve.

Parts list, here is the list of the parts required.
1. 90* elbow, 1/4” NPT with 1/4″ male threads x 1/4″ female threads,
2. two 2” lengths of 1/4″ steel pipe,
3. 1/4” x 1/4” ball valve,
4. 1/4″ female x 1/4″ female 90* elbow, and
5. Teflon tape.

Removal of the existing drain valve, I tried using both an open-end wrench and then a box wrench. However, both of these wrenches just started rounding the brass hex head on the drain valve. So I switched to using vise grips and about a 15” length of PVC pipe for leverage, which easily broke the drain valve loose. The drain valve was then easily removed and replaced with the parts listed in the above “Parts list.”

Photo 1—Here’s a shot of the defective drain valve, which I removed.

Photo 2
—And here’s a shot of what I installed to replace the existing drain valve.

In closing, the drain valve replacement was an easy fix, and now the opening and closing of the ball valve is so much easier and faster than the original drain valve, which came with the air compressor.

Just wish I had switched out the original drain valve with a ball valve way before now, like on day one when I bought this air compressor.

Take care

John 3:16




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