I havent got a air dryer yet, its on my wish list, all i have is a small Motor Gaurd filter, but so far i have had good luck with consumable life with my hypertherm, and i know i have some moisture in the air. Im wondering about your peirce height, it should be twice your cutting height, are you using sheilded or unsheilded consumables? How is your cut quality, is there alot of dross (slag)? Most of the cutting i do is 1/16 to 1/8 mild steel with fine cut consumables but it really shouldnt matter, ive had consumables make over 1200 peirces and still be usable. I did read somewhere that a guy had restriction of the air between his plasma cutter and the nozzle which gave him problems like yours also, but how they checked it out or fixed im not sure.