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  • Underground Air Compressor Line

    Hello All,

    I am building a shed in my backyard and want to build an enclosed area for a air compressor. When I run power out to my shed I also would like to run plumbing from my compressor to my garage. I will also run a line into the shed. I am a motorcycle/ATV/PWC mechanic but work on my own cars and trucks as well. I do it all sort of speak.

    My questions are these:

    A) I've seen in your forum the use of Copper piping for running air, however, I have read that I should stay away from copper and PVC and use a metal pipe. How true is this and why should I stay away from copper aside from the cost? Is there a better alternative?

    B) Should I stick with a 2 stage compressor because of my versatile work in mechanics? I am running a small 40gallon single stage compressor with not near enough ummmffff to break the big botls loose.

    C) What size compressor should I be looking for to run grinders and possibly paint sprayers?

    I would rather set my shed and garage up properly the first time since I'm taking out a loan to complete some home improvements/

    Thank you for your help.

    Chad

  • #2
    Re: Underground Air Compressor Line

    I put in a true 5 hp two stage air compressor, a few years ago, and run it about 140 pounds, it has a 80 gallon ASME tank on it, and I could not believe how nice all the air tools ran with a good compressor and with a LARGE regulator, even a 1" air wrench, for truck tires, and the like, and more than enough air and pressure.

    I put in 3/4 galvanized steel pipe with drop legs with drains on them, I put the compressor on one of the sheds of the barn building not where the shop is, jsut the other side of the wall, as the old single stage was so noisy, the new two stage is very quiet, it is nice not to have the room taken up tho in the shop area. also to make it simple and to cut vibration into the piping I used a length of 3/4 hydraulic hose with ends to go between the compressor and the piping.
    before I was dragging hoses from the old compressor and it would seem like the compressor was tied to the phone and would kick on it seem as soon as you would answer the phone.

    some places say to ring the shop with the air line that way you in a since have two pipes feeding the out let, area. I have 50' of hose on a reel, (harbor freight, with hose for I think it was about $40) and have been impressed with that, the 1" air wrench uses a larger hose, that I have quick connects on as well, but no reel,

    I am sure mine would run most any automotive type air tools, with out needing to stop and fill, but have not used on sanders or other types of body tools, I have the tools but have not used them since installing the new air compressor. but the tire machine and the air wrenches and paint sprayer works very well, the thing I really like the compressor kicks on about 110, the way I have it set, and is running before your down to "normal" used pressures, the other thing I like is the volume, if it is small the tank usually has more than enough left in it to fill a few tires or similar,

    I suggest to plumb in a elbow and a ball valve for the tank drain and put it where you can get to it, and then use it.

    on the air grinder, and sprayer, one would have to look at the CFM it needs and then I would make sure my compressor has at lest a 50% reserve on the CFM. and I would suggest the 2 stage so your compressor pressure is above your working pressures, if you want to ease the load on the unit, tune it down a little on the top pressure.

    and on the bolts you may jsut need to step up to the next larger size of air wrench, for years I had 3/8" 1/2" and a 3/4", and was always amazed how much more the 3/4 would do than the 1/2".

    Anumber of years ago my son bought one of the IR thunder guns 1/2" and it was rated for more FT LB than the 3/4" but the 3/4 would do bolts his would not budge, and the 1" makes the 3/4 look anemic, but have only found a few times I have really needed it, and even have found a few that it will not take off on old farm machinery that has been out in the weather for 50 years. so out comes the blue flame wrench then.
    Last edited by BHD; 03-27-2008, 06:31 PM.
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
    attributed to Samuel Johnson
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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    • #3
      Re: Underground Air Compressor Line

      Originally posted by drtbkmxr View Post
      My questions are these:

      A) I've seen in your forum the use of Copper piping for running air, however, I have read that I should stay away from copper and PVC and use a metal pipe. How true is this and why should I stay away from copper aside from the cost? Is there a better alternative?



      Chad

      bhd has given his good advise on the compressors.

      since the line is going to be buried, i would stay away from gal. steel pipe unless it's properly wrapped and protected. it will rot in the ground otherwise.

      copper is pretty easy to work with and overall will be faster.

      pvc. can explode at higher pressure and plastic shrapnel is a bomb.

      not too sure about pex or its working pressures.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

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      • #4
        Re: Underground Air Compressor Line

        No pex for air lines.
        Buy cheap, buy twice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Underground Air Compressor Line

          Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
          No pex for air lines.
          What are you basing that on.? I contacted Uponor and as long as the working pressure is below 150lbs they have no problem with using it for air. I've had a 3/4 pex line run from my shop to a shed (burried) for about 5 years now with no problems at all.
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Re: Underground Air Compressor Line

            yes galvanized does give up in time,
            I have a few old galvanized water lines on the farm here my Grandfather hand dug and put in when they first put in the cistern and the stock tanks, and there now pushing over 100 years old. (the cistern gave up long before the pipe has). but the pipe is nearing the end of its useful life IMO, no leaks yet, but my guess they will be coming in a few years.
            So some does depend on your soils and how metal reacts with it, (and galvanizing many have been better back then as well).
            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
            attributed to Samuel Johnson
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

            Comment

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