The best condensate drains for compressed air systems

condensate drains

Drains help to collect and remove condensate.

Condensate drains play a very important role in the compressed air system. They collect and remove any condensate that accumulates along the air system as the air cools. There are three types of drains: zero air loss drains, programmable drains, and mechanical drains. In this article, we will outline the key features of each type of drain so that you can decide which one to prioritize based on your needs. And do not hesitate to combine the different types to suit your specific needs.

The most energy efficient: the zero air loss drain 

zero air loss drain

Once the draining operation is completed, the zero air loss drain valve closes automatically without releasing any air.

Zero air loss automatic drains do not allow air to escape during the draining process. They have the lowest operating cost. They require a power supply to operate. Their mechanism is automatic and requires no human intervention. A sensor triggers the automatic drain when a predefined level of condensate is reached. The valve then closes without discharging any air. Because it is automatic, this type of system is the safest. 

Key features and benefits: 

  • Energy savings, no air loss 
  • No programming required for purge time and interval 
  • Automatic detection: no risk of programming errors 
  • Integrated filter to collect contaminants 
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance 

Tip from our technical expert

Consider this type of drain as a priority to save energy. It is perfect for the compressor room. It doesnt waste compressed air and requires no programming to operate. –   LohéProduct Manager at Topring 

His product suggestionTOPDRAIN 59.250 zero air loss automatic drain

The most economical to buy: the programmable drain

programmable drains

An accurate timer controls the frequency and duration of draining for the programmable drains.

Programmable automatic drains operate on a timer. They require a power supply to be activated. Their unique feature is that you set the frequency and the drain time yourself. The valve then opens at a predetermined interval to drain the condensate at a specific drain time. The drain keeps the programming settings in memory even after a disconnection or power outage. 

Characteristics and key advantages: 

  • Timer that accurately controls the draining frequency and schedule 
  • Saves programming settings in memory even after disconnection or power outage 
  • Quick and easy installation 
  • Low maintenance 
  • Easy access to remove contaminants that may block the valve thanks to its ball valve strainer 

Tip from our technical expert

Consider this type of drain when looking for short-term, economical solutions. It is ideal for regular use in areas with relatively stable humidity levels. – Lohé, Product Manager at Topring 

His product suggestion: 59.345 MAXDRAIN electronic automatic drain

The most versatile, no electrical power required: the mechanical drain  

mechanical drain

Mechanical drains are the only models that do not require an electrical power supply.  

Unlike other types of drains, mechanical drains require no electrical power source to operate. This makes them easy to install. They automatically discharge condensate that accumulates in the compressed air system. And they are highly resistant to corrosion. 

Characteristics and key advantages: 

  • No need for electricity, therefore easy to install 
  • Automatic condensate drainage 
  • High resistance to corrosion  

Tip from our technical expert

His product suggestion: Consider this type of drain for drain drops where there is no readily available power supply. It is a simple drain mechanism. It has been a proven performer for many years. – Lohé, Product Manager at Topring 

His product suggestion59.445 HIFLO Mechanical Automatic Drain

For more information or assistance in selecting the right condensate drain, contact one of our technical advisors at 1-800-263-8677 or by email: 


  • condensate drain
  • compressed air
  • air compressor condensate drain

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