How to Keep Water Out of the Paint Gun When Auto Painting

It is critical to keep water out of the paint gun when auto painting. No matter what you're painting for that matter, any and all moisture has to be kept out of the paint gun. The only way to accomplish this is with a properly designed compressed air system in your shop.


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    Think about the compressed air system utilization in your shop. What do you use it for? If yours is like most shops, you use it for everything you can. Is your shop comprised of separate rooms working off a single compressor or just one garage?
    • Water in the air lines isn't good for any pneumatic tool. But if you are on a tight budget, you can take measures to isolate the areas that absolutely must have dry, clean air to produce the desired results. However, this is a stopgap and will require constant monitoring to avoid contaminating your work.
    • Ideally, you will absolutely benefit from modifying your entire compressed air system. Regardless of what you do, the air supply cannot be too clean or dry. The investment in keeping water out of your paint gun will pay for itself many times over. The cost of having to repaint just one car would have paid for a thorough and efficient modification to your entire compressed air system.
  2. Image titled Keep Water Out of the Paint Gun When Auto Painting Step 2
    Start at the compressor itself. The compressor is the heart of the system. By taking measures to produce clean, moisture-free air going into your plumbing, controlling downstream line moisture becomes easier to maintain.
    • Install a high-capacity bowl drain off the tank drain. Condensation naturally forms in the tank. This, and all system drains, should be checked and manually emptied at the start of every work day and immediately before shooting paint. Do it more often if conditions warrant.
    • Install a high-capacity drain/water separator and filter assembly in the air outlet to the shop supply plumbing. This is where most of the moisture removal occurs.
    • Ensure that the breather filter is clean and dry when you want to keep water out of paint guns. If necessary, consider upgrading the breather with a high-efficiency unit.
  3. Image titled Keep Water Out of the Paint Gun When Auto Painting Step 3
    Ensure that moisture is removed at every point in the system where water can collect. Most plumbing has several to many points where water can accumulate. It doesn't take much collected water before the passing air picks it up, takes it to your tools and contaminates your work.
    • Install bowl drains at low points in the plumbing system.
    • Install bowl drains or filter/drain assemblies at every hose connection fitting, according to the jobs performed in that work area. Bowl drains would be fine for power tools. Filters are desirable for painting and pneumatic sanding tools.

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