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Don't mount the separator close to the compressor. You need 10 to 15 feet of line between the two. That allows the hot air to cool and the water to condense out. When painting I hang a bucket of icewater on the separator to draw more water & oil out. For show quality work I use a special three stage separator system with desesicant crystals in the final stage.

Also don't use the same air hose that's been run without a dryer. It could have water, oil or other contaminants inside the hose. The last thing you want when laying down the final coat is some crap spitting out of the hose because you thought you could cut corners.

What do I know about compressed air systems? I specified, designed and installed a 50 HP scroll compressor with 500gal. tank and refrigerated dryer system for a 90,000 sqft. machine shop. I added a 20 HP scroll a year later to cut down on the electric bill. It was set up to run 24/7 with the 50HP on standby to make up pressure & volume. Also added another 500 gal. tank 300 feet away from the compressor at the end of the line to compensate pressure drop. Main lines were 2" ID in the ceiling with drop legs & separators at every CNC machine tool. For the QA department I added another powered dryer that reheated the air going into the Validators to prevent thermal shrinkage.

OK, I won't bore you with any more details....
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