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William
Air Compressor Piping?

I have a large industrial air compressor. I want to set it up so that I have two separate outlets; one lubricated (for tools) and one not lubricated (for sand blaster and painting).

What are my options as far as the type of piping I can use (I do not want to use hose for this). Can I use copper pipe soldered together?

What about PVC?

Or does all the piping have to be threaded?

MLB Construction
Re: Air Compressor Piping?

i use regular copper piping, works great and looks good. you'll be fine up to about 150psi

jkirk
Re: Air Compressor Piping?

copper or pex will work best.. i believe abs will shatter if fails as its not rated for pressure

dj1
Re: Air Compressor Piping?

Like was said before, copper rules.

Copper is expensive, because it's worth it.

William
Re: Air Compressor Piping?

What size? Half inch?

A. Spruce
Re: Air Compressor Piping?

Size will depend upon volume needed. Look at the specs on the tools you'll be powering at any given time and location, then size the pipe accordingly.

A quick Google search brought up this, which may be of assistance.
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/pressure-drop-compressed-air-pipes-d_852.html

67drake
Re: Air Compressor Piping?

Here is a thread from one of my gearhead sites. Lots of ideas and answers,along with some pictures-
http://forums.performanceyears.com/forums/showthread.php?t=676470&highlight=compressor+lines

Mastercarpentry
Re: Air Compressor Piping?

I know of many shops that use plain old PVC piping for their air compressor mains with no problems. This is not OSHA approved so I am not recommending it, but so long as you bring them up to pressure slowly and don't exceed 150 PSI it will work just fine. There is a risk of fracturing so it's best to keep these lines enclosed or distant from human-occupied areas in case a pipe blows as fragments may go everywhere and distance reduces their velocity. Another trick for smaller lines is to use truck air-brake tubing. This is more bendable than flexible but it too works well and lasts nigh on forever. Darn near anything that is meant for the pressure level you are using will work so long as you use common sense and understand the properties of the stuff then allow for that. Without common sense nothing is safe except staying away from the tools altogether and we know we can't do that!

Phil

MLB Construction
Re: Air Compressor Piping?
Mastercarpentry wrote:

I know of many shops that use plain old PVC piping for their air compressor mains with no problems. This is not OSHA approved so I am not recommending it, but so long as you bring them up to pressure slowly and don't exceed 150 PSI it will work just fine. There is a risk of fracturing so it's best to keep these lines enclosed or distant from human-occupied areas in case a pipe blows as fragments may go everywhere and distance reduces their velocity. Another trick for smaller lines is to use truck air-brake tubing. This is more bendable than flexible but it too works well and lasts nigh on forever. Darn near anything that is meant for the pressure level you are using will work so long as you use common sense and understand the properties of the stuff then allow for that. Without common sense nothing is safe except staying away from the tools altogether and we know we can't do that!

Phil

good answer, makes sense

guy48065
Re: Air Compressor Piping?

Copper has priced itself out of consideration as far as I'm concerned. I like the idea of PEX but wonder if the sag between supports will allow oil or water to pool?

I always wanted to run PVC air lines in my shop but I let the nay-sayers prevent me. I'm glad I ignored them and used PVC for my dust collector as the explosion hazard has been pretty much debunked these past 20 years or so. I wonder if shattering air lines is also an urban legend?

Mastercarpentry
Re: Air Compressor Piping?

Let me reiterate- shattering PVC is NOT an urban legend, you just have to bring the pressure up slowly. There are many documented cases of PVC shattering with injury, but almost all were flexed or stressed pipes, pressure higher than 150, or pressure brought up quickly. It does work within it's limits but you're on your own with using it!

Phil

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