An Unusual Problem with Tire Inflation (Page 1/2)
Dennis LaGrua NOV 05, 03:08 PM
I experienced a problem this morning the likes of which I have never seen. I have one Fiero that is kept outside and it was time to air up the tires. Started the compressor, took out the air hose, removed the air cap and put the air chuck on the tire stem- nothing. No air was entering the tire. Tried a new air chuck, replaced the stem valve-still no air would go into the tire. I finally removed the valve and probed down in the stem with a handle end small Allen wrench. It encountered a blockage so I just pushed it on through. Put back the air valve in and now the tire began to inflate.
Last evening it was 27* F outside and apparently what happened was that a drop of water got lodged in the valve stem turned to ice and that blocked the air from entering the tire. Air hoses develop condensation and that caused just enough ice to develop and be a problem. Has anyone else had this happen? .

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Patrick NOV 05, 09:00 PM

quote
Originally posted by Dennis LaGrua:

removed the air cap...

Last evening it was 27* F outside and apparently what happened was that a drop of water got lodged in the valve stem turned to ice and that blocked the air from entering the tire.



So even though there was a cap on the valve, a drop of water somehow got in the valve stem and froze solid? Can't say I've ever experienced that in 47 years of maintaining my cars!

Was the last compressor you used filling your tires with as much water as it was air?

steve308 NOV 06, 07:54 AM
It's always best to change over to 'winter air' before the first frost . Yes it is advisable to have a dryer on your compressor line and to drain the compressor of moisture a coupe times a year.
LT188GT NOV 06, 08:06 AM
I NEVER had that problem, but I live in Miami. On January 19 1977 it did snow in Miami and it lasted for 1 1/2 hour and hit a low of 31*
I do not remember if I put air in the Fiero tires, but of course Fieros were not made back then.
hyperv6 NOV 06, 09:31 AM
Yes they can freeze. Generally in cars that sit in cold. Once you drive the heat from the brakes heat the wheel and melt the moisture.
theogre NOV 06, 10:34 AM

quote
Originally posted by Dennis LaGrua:
Last evening it was 27* F outside and apparently what happened was that a drop of water got lodged in the valve stem turned to ice and that blocked the air from entering the tire. Air hoses develop condensation and that caused just enough ice to develop and be a problem. Has anyone else had this happen? .

Yes, I have and many times.

And Common "air drier" units used by most won't help much or at all. Worse... that often freeze if installed in any place w/ no heat or heat turn off/low.
Driers are simply traps and even if water doesn't freeze sitting it them, in low/no heat places then can be useless or freeze the guts and no/low air getting thru.

Real Driers are Very expensive, often connected to sanitary sewers or rain water plumbing and use Heat Pumps on 240vac or even 3 phase power. Most people have never seen them because even big places don't use them or it's hidden or people have no clue WTF looking at when they see them.

Drain the compressor. That is 1st place water builds up.
If have a "drier" Empty that too.
Many needs to drain both Daily.

Even then plenty of water often builds up in soft and hard lines down stream of those.
Use blower tip to flow enough air to move water out of them.
Then use a chunk or air tools.

Note: Fix-a-flat et al often does same in cold weather. And even if the can is warm to near heat limit on the label before trying them. If you get the can in the tire, often won't inflate right until driving. Even then maybe low and need more air ASAP and watch PSI until fix/replace the tire.

⚠️ Warning:
Do Not use Air "Anti Freeze" use by the Trucking Industry. This is often 100% Alcohol that can wreck most air tools, shop hoses, and more. Depending on exact Alcohol type, Can Hurt or Kill You as you breath in Fumes or gets on you.
● Failing to empty water from Compressor Tanks is Near 100% why compressor tanks blow up. Polluted Water sits in them and tank rots inside out until too weak to hold normal working pressure. If a tank is hard to get at etc... Then add more drain plumbing or even add some type of auto drain.

Even small 1 to 3 gallon tanks can hold a lot of water. More so when used for nail guns etc for roofers and related.

Side Note: Ever been near a truck at stoplights etc and hear bust of air but sounds more of a leak not brakes? That an Air "Drier" w/ Auto Dumping. Most are floats make dump valve to open. If dumps often then have system problems or have wet air > 65% Relative Humidity.

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[This message has been edited by theogre (edited 11-06-2021).]

hyperv6 NOV 06, 11:28 AM
We drained compressors every night in the shop on daily use. My home shop I drain it and leave it open on every use since it is not used daily.

If you run long lines you can and should use water traps especially if you paint.
steve308 NOV 06, 01:18 PM
Look up "Franzinator". Supposed to be very effective for removing moisture from the system.
Jake_Dragon NOV 06, 01:37 PM
Have never ran into that but I do remember going to school in the morning and it was so cold the night before the tires had flat spots until they warmed up.
Kitskaboodle NOV 06, 09:58 PM
Next time you have a blockage in the valve stem in those frozen temps, why don’t you try using a blow dryer on it for a few minutes? Just an idea.
Kit