Once condensate has been separated from the airstream, it should be mechanically removed using a condensate removal system. There are various types of condensate traps which all have some shortcomings that a user needs to be aware of.
Timer traps are effective in removing condensate as long as they are set to acturate frequently enough for the prevailing moisture load. The amount of condensed liquid in a compressed air system can change as much as eight-fold depending on the ambient conditions at the intake of the compressors. Therefore a timer trap will waste compressed air if it actuates too frequently or will re-entrain liquid downstream if actuation is not frequent enough. For proper
operation of a timer trap, it would have to be adjusted seasonally and would still be difficult for an operator properly tune. For these reasons, timer traps are not the most ideal selection for removing condensate in your application.
Float traps are simple and cost effective but tend tend to stop up at the discharge orifice due to particulates and viscous lubricant.
Zero-Air Loss type condensate traps, are superior to float and timer traps for several reasons.
The Zero-Air Loss Traps remove moisture without wasting compressed air.
The discharge port on the pneumatic type no air loss drains can be specified at ½” which alleviates the problem of stopping up due to rust and scale.
There is a manual test button on top of the unit that allows the operator the check the functionality of the trap. An operator can also visually check the traps for functionality since the reservoir housing is translucent and condensate can be visually observed accumulating.
The electronic Zero-Air loss type traps have a benefit of an output alarm that can be sent to the closest PLC when the unit malfunctions.
No trap made today is maintenance-free; however we find the pneumatic type no air loss traps to be the most dependable on the market. The initial cost for no air loss condensate traps is higher compared to other types, but is well worth it since they are effective in preventing downstream contamination.