Devilbiss dad-500 clean air system for my plasmacam

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I previously posted about my Harbor Freight compressed air dryer that I use with my plasmacam to prolong consumable life and do better cuts.� This article is about the other parts of my plasmacam air drying system including the devilbiss dad-500 clean air system and pre and post filters to this system.

The main component in my drying system is the harbor freight compressed air dryer the second largest component is the DevillBiss DESICCANT AIR DRYING System model DAD-500.� I know people who use ONLY the Devilbiss DAD-500 for their plasmacam because it has a VERY LARGE desiccant filter and two other filters which provide clean, dry and oil free air.

The Devilbiss DAD-500 is a 3 stage system.

  1. First stage centrifugal filter removes particulates to 5 microns.� This is your standard air filter that you can buy at home-depot, lowes, sears, and other hadware stores.� The devilbiss one is large and can handle serious volume.
  2. Stage two coalescing filter which filters down to .01 micron.� This is once again a large unit and is great for removing crap in the air lines.� Some people (including myself) run one of these AFTER Stage 3 to make sure no dust particles/desiccant are in the air.
  3. Third stage desiccant removes remaining water vapor to a dew point of -40�F. This is the stage that zaps all the water out of the line and makes sure it’s dry.

That is the complete DevilBiss DAD-500 3 stage system. Now here are some pictures of my Devilbiss air drying system (commonly used for paint booths).

The devilbiss system is auto draining and comes with hoses to route the excess water. As you`ll also note it comes with a pressure regulator so that you can set the output pressure of your air line, it also comes with a valve to turn the air on and off and a small filter to put on the end of your paint gun (if you are painting).

This is a picture of the devilbiss clean air system on top of the harbor freight air dryer.� As you can see the devilbiss clean air is very large.

My original plan was to use the Harbor Freight Air dryer with a coalescing filter but I got a very good deal (under 200 total) for the clean air system with new desiccant beads.� I got the unit used but never used from someone who was getting out of the paint business.� The Devilbiss Clean Air system sells for around $400 to $500 new so adding it + the Harbor Freight air dryer is getting expensive and as I said before you don’t NEED both I just got a good deal on both items.

I had already ordered my other coalescing filter too so now I had two and decided it bes to run one before the desiccant (the one that came with the clean air) and run my other unit AFTER the desciccent to make sure all the dry dust from the beads were out of the air before it hit the plasma cutter.� Again, this is overkill but I like to be sure.

This picture shows the devilbiss clean air in location in my rafters as well as the drain lines from the first two filters and then the desiccent filter the regulator and my other coalescing filter is the last thing up there. Behind the devilbiss clean air is a motorguard m60 filter system, I only used it because I had it from when I was doing hand-held plasma cutting. It’s a very basic “toilet paper” dryer.� It cost <100 and works good for the occasional plasma cutting where cleaner air is needed.

The clean air and the harbor freight air dyer guarantee that I get the cleanest and most dry air to my plasmacam. DO I think you need both? No, but it doesn’t hurt when it’s cheap to add-on 🙂


  1. It is a good idea to install a coalescing filter before the air goes into your refrigerated air dryer. This prevents the refrigerated unit from getting plugged up with oil from the compressor.
    The set up should be , Compressor, Coalescer, refrigerated air dryer, Dad-500.

    I am rebuilding, flushing my refrigerated air dryer now, due to the fact that i neglected to install the coalescer before it.
    It worked fine for a while,,,,,,,,,


    Comment by jay — April 8, 2009 @ 1:24 am

  2. Jay – Good info.

    I didn’t mention that prior to the air dryer I have a water trap, and a separate/smaller (sears type) oil filter too.

    I`ll be re-doing this setup shortly as I’ve moved too.

    Comment by admin — April 8, 2009 @ 8:51 am

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