Medical Air Dryers

The 2005 edition of NFPA 99 in paragraph 5.1.3.5.3.3 states:

“Medical air compressor systems shall preclude the condensation of water vapor in the piping distribution system by the selection of the air drying equipment.”

Within the last two weeks EMGS has responded to four service calls to troubleshoot/repair medical air dryers and that is no coincidence. If you live in Georgia you already know that the hot, humidity-filled summers can make life a little bit unbearable.  Medical air dryers hate these humidity-filled summers as well.

For the most part, medical air compressors draw air from the roof of the building in which they are located. In the summer this air can be over 100° F., and due to heat of compression only gets hotter once it travels through the compressors, causing condensation in the medical air piping. Aftercoolers, filters, and drains help prevent the condensation of liquid in the medical air piping, but sometimes these are not enough.

The medical air dryers receive most abuse while separating the liquid from the lines. With desiccant dryers especially, it is very important to daily inspect the dryers, dew point monitor, filter canisters, and drains.  Simply draining the receiver and pre-filter canisters on a daily basis can save the desiccant from oversaturation of liquid resulting in costly repairs of the dryer system.  Remember, if the dew point monitor alarm initiates at the master alarm panel, it is probably too late and the dryer will need costly repairs.