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Old 08-09-2008, 01:46 PM   #1
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I've noticed a very dangerous problem as the wife and I were looking at rigs to buy. Out of 10 coaches we looked at, all but 1 air tank for the brakes had water in them. Air tanks have a valve on the bottom for a reason, to drain the water (YES, WATER) out of them. Even if your air brake system has an air dryer, like we do on our big rigs, they need to be drained on a regular basis. One coach we looked at had more than 1 gallon of water that I drained out of one tank, thats bad news. Water can, and will cause your breaks to fail. Water can get into the diaphram and it will not function properly, or in winter in can freeze and you will loose all braking or the will lock up and you'll be stuck until you thaw out. Also, rusting on the inside of a tank that gets above 110psi can't be good. Please make this a part of your daily pretrip and if you don't know how, please ask someone to show you, the life you save may be mine!
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Old 08-09-2008, 01:46 PM   #2
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I've noticed a very dangerous problem as the wife and I were looking at rigs to buy. Out of 10 coaches we looked at, all but 1 air tank for the brakes had water in them. Air tanks have a valve on the bottom for a reason, to drain the water (YES, WATER) out of them. Even if your air brake system has an air dryer, like we do on our big rigs, they need to be drained on a regular basis. One coach we looked at had more than 1 gallon of water that I drained out of one tank, thats bad news. Water can, and will cause your breaks to fail. Water can get into the diaphram and it will not function properly, or in winter in can freeze and you will loose all braking or the will lock up and you'll be stuck until you thaw out. Also, rusting on the inside of a tank that gets above 110psi can't be good. Please make this a part of your daily pretrip and if you don't know how, please ask someone to show you, the life you save may be mine!
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Old 08-09-2008, 03:17 PM   #3
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I haven't done a manual drain on mine very many times, but have never found water in any when I did... I wonder if specific conditions are more likely to cause water in the air tanks??
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Old 08-09-2008, 03:35 PM   #4
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When I pretrip the Kenworth before every trip, I pull on the cords that go to the drain valves for about 1/2 second. Just enough to get it to spit out a little mist. I put about 425-500+ miles a night and every pretrip some mist comes out. If your tanks have the screw type valve its a bit more work, but, with the pull cord it makes it easy to just give it a little tug each time you do your walk around. Maybe with the miles I drive that makes a difference on the amount of water I find, but, some of the coaches we looked at had could've filled a shot glass with what came out. They were all 93-97ish year coaches.
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:13 PM   #5
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I just pulled both of my lanyards today - nothing but air. In fact,we've had this 8 year old coach 4 years and that is all that I've ever gotten.

I faithfully change the desiccant filter so I'm sure that is part of it. I just cannot imagine what others are doing to end up with water that consistently. I was under the impression that, with the heaters on the input and good filtration, water in the tanks was a rare thing. It is not that we haven't run ours - we've put over 30K miles on.
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Old 08-11-2008, 01:38 PM   #6
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I have two tanks with the screw type drain petcocks. The first drain (on the double drain equipped tank) is the "WET tank". Regardless of the dessicant and filter condition, this one usually should spit out a little bit of moisture due to condensation in the tank and lines/brakes etc.

The second part of this "double tank" is the "primary DRY tank". This should have minimal moisture if any, again due to a little condensation in the tank.

The second tank is all by itself re: having a single drain valve and this is the "secondary DRY tank". It should follow the primary tank.

Since I get a little spray/mist out of each, it tells me that my air dryer needs new cartridges, filters and valves. I will get to this and show the process as $$ allows.

I check/drain mine before any road trip, both going and coming from the house JIC.
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:05 PM   #7
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Why don't they put auto-drains on them? I had done this for all the shop and fire pipe compressors and air tanks that I use to maintained commercially. Every time the compressor cycles the auto-drain cracks open for a brief moment and drains the bottom of the tank off.

I now live in the humidity state (Florida) and have not had to manually drain any of my personal air tanks since I put the auto-drains on them.
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:19 PM   #8
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Some MH's have them as standard. Mine does.

They work perfectly.

Pulling the lanyard only releases air.
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:54 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Why don't they put auto-drains on them? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Like Dirk's, mine does also. I have a Spartan chassis.
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:10 AM   #10
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Daily tank draining used to be manadatory in the earlier days before good air driers came into play. Today's air driers do a great job at filtering out moisure or any other contaminents that could enter the brake system. When I pull my lanyards all I get is air with a slight spit of condensation.

However, air driers don't last forever. They need occaisional service work by changing the dessicant filter. I don't pull my lanyards every day. I'll do them once a once or every now and then if on a trip. It's important to not get lulled into a false sense of security because you only get air out, and no moisture. There will come a day when you drier will need service and the best way to tell that is by poulling the lanyards. When you pull the lanyards and see a fair amount of moisture spit out you now know it's time to service the drier. In theory the latest units ar supposed to last for 3 years but that is going to depend on a number of factors - how often you drive it and wher you drive it. If you travel in the Arizona desert you'll get long service intervals but if you travel in a swampy area they won't last that long. The lanyard pulling also will alert you to any impending problems with your air compressor. If your compressor is starting to go it'll throw oil out and the drier can only take so much of that until you start seeing it in the air drains.

So think more of the lanyard pulling as a diagnostic tool rather than an actual draining procedure.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:36 AM   #11
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Mark,

I am planning on replacing the dessicant, coalescing filter and purge valve/turbo valve kit soon. I get a little moisture out of the tanks and the main blow off port on the bottom of the drier always feels a little oily.

Is this normal? Spartan said all I need are these two kits for servicing this Pure Air dryer and that they should last at least 24 months.

Dirk, I have manual drain valves on the tanks. Can they be changed to the automatic ones or is this a BIG PITA? I will call Spartan this a.m. and ask as well.
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