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Old 01-27-2012, 09:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Harbor Freight Refridgerated Air Dryer

I've had my HF Refridgerated Air Dryer running for over a month now. The setup is: Eaton/Polar 5HP, 2 Stage 80 gallon --> IR 125 PSI Regulator/Filter --> HF Air Dryer --> individual regulators for each piece of equipment.

I have a motorguard m60 which i'll install once I start using my Torchmate; for now, the compressor is just for my CNC Mill and other tools.

My air compressor's auto drain IS putting out some water, so I know it's creating moisture (it's winter, so there is less humidity than summer, and I don't run the compressor hard enough to get it very hot, just FYI). Despite seeing water drip/blast out of the compressor auto-drain, the HF air dryer has had NO water come out of that little red drain tube.

Can anyone else who has the HF dryer offer any insight if this is common? The air seems dry - but is there a way to test this (scientific or just practical)?
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You can take a spray nozzle and shoot the air at a piece of white paper and see if you're getting moisture.
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I am in the same boat--never seen a drop of water from my HF dryer. I do seem to have dry air though. Maybe in the summer the dryer will show the results better.

I have noticed better consumable life from my plasma though, so it seems to have made a difference. That, or the longer run of piping between the compressor and plaz table made the difference.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Not tryong to hijack- have any of you had freezing issues with your HF dryer? Did you have to make any adjustments. Seems if my dryer runs for a while, the air flow will dramitically decrease. According to the owners manual, that is because the internals are freezing.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Jatepper - glad you chimed in. I had that happen two days ago (decrease in air pressure). Didn't know what to make of it - but now that you mention the internals feezing, I'll have to take a look.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, IIRC, the instruction manuel said to adjust something. Don't remember off hand what it was though.

I will let you know when I dig in to it this weekend.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Well I have been dealing with all the issues above and here is what I have found talking to the tech support number. First if the unit is freezing up or not running within the operating 32-39 psi (2-8 C) the Hot Gas Bypass Valve needs to be adjusted until is operates in that range. Call them and they will email you the instructions. I had to adjust mine. The next problem I ran into yesterday was 30 min into a 1 hr 15 min cut I lost pressure and it mis cut. I had the same problem as you all did, never saw anything come out the drain tube, so I removed the filter and there was water in it up to the top of the float, so I emptied it and re installed and the machine performed flawlessly for the rest of the cut. I called tech support and confirmed my thoughts the the filter wasn't auto draining properly and would that cause it to loose air pressure, they said it would. So they are sending me a new filter, so we shall see if the new one will work properly.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You should post those directions


I had to adjust mine a little, too - too hot. Not sure if it's the same adjustment as above... After I did, it kept cool, even with the compressor running non stop for an hour.

My dryer is between the compressor and the tank... Even after about a year this way, no water in the tank.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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how big of a air dryer do you need? I have been looking at different air dryers and am not sure on how many scfm I need. How do you figure this out?
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think there on my other computer, I will post them when I find them. I ran another long duration cut today and I lost pressure again so, I am back to troubleshooting again. I think the unit is freezing up so I need it needs adjusted again I guess.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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i keep going back and forth on if these are worth buying. do any of you guys run your system 20-30hrs a week? if so how long have you had it?
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Here is what I did on mine:

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showt...6#post12688596

Quote:
If you buy this, there is a quick adjustment to be made - or at least on mine. I noticed that when the fan kicked on, the temp would drop considerably. So I adjusted the point where the fan kicks on. Now the air is still ~145*C going in, but the air going out is around 0-2*C, which is still low enough for the dew point and to pull water.

I ran my plasma on purge for an hour straight. The compressor cycled 4 or 5 times and the air temp never got higher than that 0-2*C...

Basically I set the fan low enough that it still cycles when the compressor is off. If you are looking at the control box (white box under the temp gauge), there are three phillips head screws. One in the top right, and then two in the middle'ish. The one on the left, was set at around 18, leave it. The one on the right was set at 10, I left it. The one on the top right was all the way down, so I simply raised it up to about the first white line.

Left side of the box is for the compressor. Right side is for the fan. The screw on the top right I'm assuming is a fine adjustment for the one below it. They both do the same thing, trigger the fan on/off setting....
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:47 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carslut View Post
i keep going back and forth on if these are worth buying. do any of you guys run your system 20-30hrs a week? if so how long have you had it?
IMO yes, it's worth having. We have fairly high humidity here, especially when it rains So I get a lot of water in my tank and lines. Now that I have this, I have zero water in my tank almost a year later. There are times this thing purges water every time the compressor cycles. There are times it won't, though. But I always run it...
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Wayne - my new HF air dryer was freezing up too, so I'm tackling your recommended adjustments this morning (thanks for sharing). Question: how do you measure the temp of the air going out?
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tikka308 View Post
Wayne - my new HF air dryer was freezing up too, so I'm tackling your recommended adjustments this morning (thanks for sharing). Question: how do you measure the temp of the air going out?
I'm not sure if my adjustments will keep it from freezing up. My issue was it wasn't cooling enough.

The guage on the front of the machine
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:12 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I purchased an Ingersoll Rand air dryer back in August. It has been worth every penny to save consumable life and materials. It sits about 70ft down line from my compressor and I get alot of water out of it even during the winter. Make sure your dryer is sized properly for your compressor. I also upgraded to the hypertherm RT torch. Definately worth it.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:35 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Wayne - there are six different gauges on the temperate gauge. Which is air temp out? You mentioned the ability to measure amp temp in too - how do you measure that?

Attached is a picture of my gauge.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:45 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tikka308 View Post
Wayne - there are six different gauges on the temperate gauge. Which is air temp out? You mentioned the ability to measure amp temp in too - how do you measure that?

Attached is a picture of my gauge.
Yup, that's the gauge.

temp in I used a laser temp thingie....
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:51 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I don't know if it's much help, but the medical air system at the hospital I work for runs at least -35 degrees F. I have a dew point meter, to test the system. Our medical air is run off of an industrial screw compressor, to 3 desiccant dryers then through a refer air dryer. (I know were not talking on the same level here but air is air) if you could source a dew point meter, and read the dew point of the air coming from the dryer, it would tell you where you are. If you get condensation you could always adjust the dew point lower. I have seen -35 at the outlets well over 400 feet from the source, and nit a drop of moisture. I have seen the dew point as low as -40 at the dryer, so it's possible to have 100% dry air. I don't know the range of the HF unit but how low does it say it will go?

I'll look at the meter I have at work tomorrow and report back on the brand. It was about $250 if I remember correctly. But we got it about 3 years ago so I could be off on the price.

Just looked at the unit at work it's an "Ohmic instruments model AMM-15." It works great. Might be worth a look. Good luck on keepingyour air dry.

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Old 02-20-2012, 12:51 PM   #20 (permalink)
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But which line is the temp [on the gauge]?!

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Yup, that's the gauge.

temp in I used a laser temp thingie....
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:18 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Depending on how the drain system works in the Harbor Freight dryer you may need to set it up before any regulator. They need the pressure change as the compressor cycles on and off to drain the water out. No idea if this is the case here but I have run into it in the past.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:32 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Depending on how the drain system works in the Harbor Freight dryer you may need to set it up before any regulator. They need the pressure change as the compressor cycles on and off to drain the water out. No idea if this is the case here but I have run into it in the past.
I know mine will spit just about everytime the compressor kicks on. I don't thikn? it does it during...? So there might be something to this....
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:14 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tizken View Post
Depending on how the drain system works in the Harbor Freight dryer you may need to set it up before any regulator. They need the pressure change as the compressor cycles on and off to drain the water out. No idea if this is the case here but I have run into it in the past.
Hmmmm....didnt know that. Maybe that is why I have been having problems?? I have my regulator before the HF dryer. Is this in the instructions or did tech support tell you this?

Thanks for the info.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:38 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Also, keep in mind, mine is between the compressor and the storage tank.... So mine sees 0-120-0 psi several times a day. Dang near every time the compressor kicks on, it shoots water out. I need to fix the water line so it aims at the ground or in a bucket. Right now it shoots across the shop floor!
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:22 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Wayne - can you attach or send a photo of your plumbing with the dryer between the compressor and the tank?

Does anyone have details on how (per the manual) to "adjust the hot gas bypass valve" which the manual specifically says it doesn't cover how to do?
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