I’ve had a few calls lately with questions about our Desiccant Filter that I wanted to address and provide some Desiccant Filter Tips.
A Desiccant Filter is a very effective tool in removing moisture from the air before it reaches your handpiece. (Water is not good for bearings!)
Here’s how most systems work: A compressor delivers air through a hose to your filter/regulator. The filter/regulator removes moisture (in liquid form) from the air before delivering the air to your handpiece.
Here’s the problem. When moisture is very hot, like when it comes from a compressor, it travels in the form of vapor, not liquid. Vapor will pass right through your filter/regulator and then as it travels through the tubing, it will cool down and turn back into a liquid form. Basically, water just found a way right through your Filter/Regulator and now begins to take it’s tole on the bearings in your handpiece.
The trick is to cool down the air being delivered from your compressor so it travels in liquid form and can be removed before reaching your tools. We do this by running the air through a desiccant filter. The desiccant filter is installed inline before the filter/regulator. Air enters the desiccant filter and travels through desiccant beads. The air is cooled as it travels and the desiccant beads suck out all the liquid in the air. The air then travels downstream through your filter/regulator and to your handpiece after all the moisture has been removed.
Check out the Desiccant Filter to learn more. There’s a video showing you how it works.
TIPS for Using the Desiccant Filter
- Desiccant Beads can be dried and used over and over. However, the slower you dry the beads, the drier they will be and the better they will work the next time. Dry them as slow as you can! If you try to dry them too fast, they will POP like popcorn and you will end up with little bead fragments that can clog up the filter. The instructions (download here) say to dry at 275 degrees, but if you can dry them slower, you might find that they work better.
- When the beads turn pink, or you see moisture in your filter/regulator bowl, the beads need to be dried or changed.
- After you dry the beads, remove any partial beads or fragments before putting the desiccant back into the filter. I’ve seen filters come back that are completely clogged up with these pieces of beads. Only put the full beads back into the filter.
- Clean off the O-ring good before putting the lid back on. Pull out the O-ring and wipe it off. Also clean off the lip where the O-ring sits. If any beads or pieces are on the O-ring or Lip, the lid will not seal well and air will escape.
- Purchase a refill of desiccant beads so you can be using your equipment while drying the beads.