While it is important to keep a maintenance schedule for your RV, crawling under your vehicle to drain the moisture from the air compressor can be a messy, sticky job. To make sure the job is done on a regular basis, and to keep you from crawling under the RV, you can replace the manual drain valve with an auto drain valve.
What Is a Drain Valve?
For vehicles that have air tanks, such as RVs, semi-trucks, trailers or buses, moisture and contaminants can accumulate in the tanks. You will need to drain the moisture that accumulates in the tanks on a regular basis. Many people do this weekly, but if you don’t find any water in the tanks, it is OK to drain them monthly.
Types of Drain Valves
Most of the drain valves on an RV’s tanks are manual, which means you have to open the drain by hand to get rid of the moisture. If you have a manual drain valve, you can replace it with an inexpensive auto drain valve that will automatically open to drain any water that has accumulated in the tanks.
There are two types of automatic drain valves for trucks, trailers, buses or other vehicles with air tanks.
* Electronic Drain Valves
* Pneumatic Drain Valves
Electronic Drain Valves
This type of auto drain valve will eject any moisture or contaminants in the air tanks every five minutes. A blast of air pushes through the valve to release the water and contaminants. You no longer have to do daily checks on your tanks and drain them; instead the auto drain valve is self-maintaining. With the electronic operation of the valve and enclosed heater, the valve offers protection for your RV’s air system all-year round.
Pneumatic Drain Valves
This type of auto drain valve works in the same way that an electronic one does. A blast of air moves through it to help eliminate moisture and contaminants that may have built up in the air tanks. This auto drain valve can also replace the manual drain valve on your RV, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to drain the tanks.
The main difference between an electronic and pneumatic auto drain valve is its power source. An electronic drain valve is run by an electric system, which could be self-contained. A pneumatic drain valve needs air or gas pressure to operate.
The air system on your RV is vital for working the air brakes and emergency brakes. If moisture accumulates in the air tanks, it could freeze and prevent airflow to the brakes. However, with an auto drain valve, you don’t have to be concerned with forgetting to manually drain the valves ever again.