Air compressor contained about a gallon or so of beads, not metal or glass, that fell out when removing broken copper line. What are they and why are they there?

  • 1
    I'm not sure of the composition of the beads, however I believe they are there to pull moisture from the air.
    – RMDman
    Apr 20 at 16:16
  • Small(1/8 inch diameter) white beads? Probably the same as those small packets found with new tools.
    – crip659
    Apr 20 at 16:26
  • Probably the wrong site to ask. If they were in the pipe, then I would suspect that they should be removed. Apr 20 at 19:52

1 Answer 1


They are Desiccant Air Drying beads.

To be safe, check with the manufacturer. It isn't clear where they were supposed to be, inside a filter or just in the tank.

Since this is Home Improvement SE, I am assuming that this isn't an industrial setup with a separate air dryer. Like a 200HP unit.

But since you have copper lines, you've got something more than the typically hobbyist/light professional pancake compressor with an hose, like a 6 gallon dewalt.

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