How to Connect an Air Compressor & Dryer


The temptation, upon bringing home a shiny new air compressor, is to plug it in, hook up a quick connect and start sandblasting or nailing something. Stopping first, though, to add a plastic moisture reservoir, or dryer, is a wise step. Compressed air cools quickly, and the cooler air becomes, the more water condenses from it. A water trap, or dryer, allows the heavier moisture to separate from the air to bleed off periodically. This helps to prevent moisture from reaching the sensitive inner workings of your air tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Quick connectors
  • Wrench
  • Dryer
  • Teflon tape
  • Short air hose
  • Pipe strap
  • Drywall screw
  • Drill
  • Tool hose
  • Wrap Teflon plumber's tape around the thread of a female quick connector. Thread it into the outlet of the air compressor. Tighten the connector by turning it clockwise with a wrench.

  • Pull the ring around the connector back to open it. Insert the male end of a short air hose into the connector. Release the ring to latch the hose in place.

  • Connect a male quick connector to the inlet of the dryer and a second female connector to the outlet of the dryer, using Teflon tape and a wrench.

  • Cut a piece of perforated pipe strap long enough to wrap around the dryer, leaving one hole in the perforation extra at each end. Wrap this pipe strap around the dryer, and drive a drywall screw through the two, overlapped holes to mount the dryer to the wall, over the compressor.

  • Attach the female end of the short hose to the male connector of the dryer. Attach a longer, tool hose with a male end to the quick connector on the outlet of the dryer. Attach your tool to the opposite end of the hose.

  • Turn the compressor on and allow it to charge. Periodically release the valve on the bottom of the clear dryer bottle counterclockwise to release the water from it. Turn the valve clockwise to close it.

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  • Photo Credit people at work, air compressor image by Greg Pickens from
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