How to Drain an Air Compressor

Air compressors are handy machines, and they come in a variety of types and sizes. Whether it’s for professional work or DIY projects, air compressors need to function efficiently. One of the most crucial maintenance routines is to drain an air compressor. Draining an air compressor prevents the build-up of moisture, rust, and premature damage to the machine.

In this blog, we’ll take you through easy steps on how to drain an air compressor and some tips to keep it in excellent working condition.

Before starting the process of draining the air compressor, ensure that the following items are within reach; a container, safety gloves, eye protection, and a pair of pliers.

  • Step One: Switch off the power and release the air from the air compressor. Ensure that the gauge displays “0” to confirm that all air is released. Next, shut the air regulator and disconnect the air hose. It’s crucial to ensure that the air compressor has cooled down completely before starting the draining process.
  • Step Two: Locate the air compressor tank and the tank drain valve. The valve is usually positioned at the bottom of the tank. The valve can be either a ball valve or a standard drain valve. Most ball valves have a red lever handle, while standard drain valves have a wing or hexagonal nut screwed onto the valve stem. Use a pair of pliers to tighten the nut.
  • Step Three: Place the container beneath the valve to collect the water. Release the water from the tank by opening the valve. The water will start draining from the tank. Please wait until there’s no more water draining from the tank.
  • Step Four: Once the draining process is complete, dry the tank thoroughly by using a clean rag. If the compressor has a filter, remove and clean it before replacing it back into the air compressor. Don’t forget to reconnect any disconnected hoses to the compressor.
  • Step Five: Inspect your air compressor regularly, at least once every six months, depending on your frequency of use. Check for any oil leaks, rust build-up, or loose bolts and nuts.


Draining your air compressor is a simple but necessary maintenance routine. Neglecting the draining process could lead to rust build-up, moisture damage, and mechanical issues, leading to costly repairs. As we’ve demonstrated, the process is easy and straightforward, and it’ll only take a few minutes of your time.

Remember always to keep your air compressor in the best condition, keep it dry, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. With proper maintenance, your air compressor will last for years.

Ronald Cantrell

My name is Ronald and I'm a passionate home tools blogger who loves to help people find the perfect tools for their homes. I'm constantly on the lookout for the latest and greatest products so people can make informed decisions when it comes to their DIY projects. In my spare time, I like to tinker around with projects of my own and put my knowledge of tools to the test.

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