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How to Build an Effective Air Dryer for an Air-Fed Ozonator

You’ve done your Due Diligence. You have researched water ozonators ad nauseum and finally purchased an air-fed one within your starter ozone budget. You bought one with its own air dryer because you became convinced (and rightly so) that NoX is not a good thing to have in your water or ozonated olive oil. You proudly hook it all up to ozonate your first glass of ozonated water and by the time you’ve done only a few glasses or less, the air dryer has turned pink and needs to be recharged. Sigh! After having gone through the process of removing the desiccant, heating it in the oven and putting it back in the stupid little tube a few times, you give up in disgust and quit using the ozonator altogether. You wonder why you didn’t buy an oxygen-fed unit to begin with.

You would think it would be beneficial if you could build an air dryer that would last much longer between recharges. With a little networking, a few of us have come up with a fairly simple plan to do this. Anyone with basic building skills can do this. Special thanks to DK in Minnesota for his research into this project.

Materials List:

1) – Westinghouse clear polycarbonate heavy protective sleeve for fluorescent tubes. These are available in 4 or 8 foot sections at most large building centres like Home Depot in the lighting section.

2) – (2) Genova 1-1/4″ PVC end caps or equivalent. Available in the plumbing section of the same hardware store.

3) – (2) 3/8” NPT X ¼” hose barbs in plastic or brass. Same plumbing section.

4) – (2) pieces of felt (or suitable porous material) or 2 large cotton balls sufficient in size to fill the 1-1/4 PVC end caps.

5) Desiccant – enough to fill the size of dryer you choose to make.

Description: clear silica gel beads with 10% blue indicator beads used for drying flowers. Price: $12.99 for 5-pounds. The brand is Dri Splendor packaged by Miracle Coatings, Anaheim, CA 92806.  The store with the lowest price was Hobby Lobby — They have a chain of retail stores and also sell online under the name of Crafts, Etc..

They have 44 stores in 33 states.

You will need approximately 2 lbs. 14 oz to fill a 4 foot drier, so if you want to make an 8 foot drier, you will need two 5 lb bags of desiccant and have a bunch left over for later.

Let’s Build!!

1)      Decide how large a drier you want to make dependent on where it can be placed for use with your ozonator etc. Remember that because inexpensive vinyl tubing is cheap, the air dryer does not have to be near the ozonator, just hooked up to it. Since only room air is going through the tubing, expensive ozone tubing is not required to hook up an air dryer to an ozonator. A long drier will mount nicely under most kitchen counters. Make it removable because you will still have to recharge it sometime. Velcro works great for attaching it where you need it. Making 2 smaller (perhaps 2 foot) driers can be better than one larger one. This way one can be recharging one while the other is in use. The longer the drier and the more mass of desiccant in the drier, the longer it will last between recharges. Using an air drier in a bathroom is never a good idea because of the increased moisture. You are better to mount the air dryer outside the bathroom and supply tubing from the dryer to the ozonator if you want to use the ozonator in the bathroom. If you want to make 2 smaller driers, you will need double the other parts listed except the clear poly protective sleeve.

2)      Cut the clear polycarbonate sleeve to the desired length of your air dryer, removing burrs with sandpaper.

3)      Drill a 15/16” hole in the centre of the two 1-1/4” PVC end caps

4)      Tap the holes in the PVC end caps with a 3/8” NPT tap.

5)      Screw the 3/8” NPT X ¼” hose barbs firmly into the tapped holes.

6)      Attach large cotton ball or felt disc inside each end cap with suitable glue. Use glue sparingly. This will keep desiccant dust from entering the tubing. Be careful not to glue over the inside ends of the 3/8” hose barbs.

7)      Glue one PVC end cap onto the cut clear tube.

8)      Fill the tube with desiccant.

9)      Attach the other PVC end cap making a firm air-tight seal without glue. Use Teflon plumbing tape if necessary. Remember which end is unglued. It may help to mark it. You will need to open this end to recharge the desiccant.

That’s it! You’re done. You can attach the drier to your ozonator in different ways.

If your ozonator has its own built-in air pump and a nipple on it to attach an air drier, simply attach either end of your new air dryer to this inlet with tubing.

If your ozonator does not have a built-in air pump, you will need an external air pump. An aquarium pump is great for this. Wal Mart sells double outlet aquarium air pumps which work great when “y”d together. Buy a “y’ adaptor and enough tubing to go from the aquarium pump to one end of the air dryer and from the other end of the air dryer to the ozonator.

Even if you have a built-in air pump in your inexpensive Chinese ozonator, you may find it helpful to attach an aquarium air pump to it anyway to increase the flow rate of the air through the ozonator and keep the ozonator cooler.

Recharging the Desiccant

 When the drier beads have all turned pink, it is time to recharge the desiccant

Remove the unglued end cap from the drier. Dump out all the drier beads into a metal or ceramic oven-proof container. Dry the beads in the oven at low temp (200 F) until they have turned blue. It helps to stir them a couple of times in the process.

When blue, allow them to cool then using a funnel, pour the beads back into the dryer and attach the end cap. The dryer in now ready for use again.


Best of luck and happy ozonating!


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