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Air Compressor Plumbing

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  • Air Compressor Plumbing

    Hi guys - I built a new shop and I'd like to finish it out. I've always used one montrous hose reel and drug it out all over the shop but I'd like to plumb a few retractable reels around the shop - and I'd like to hide my lines. I've done what research I can do and found people using iron, copper, flex hose, etc. I will be using a 25 gallon compressor and running the occasional impact wrench, drill, ratchet, spray gun, sander, etc. What's the best way to run my feeds from my compressor to these reels - what materials, etc. Obviously I'd like to keep the cost as low as possible - but I also want it hidden, so I don't want to cut corners and have to tear into my drywall to do repairs because I skimped on the plumbing. I know I'll need drains, etc, but trying to hide everything will make it more difficult, so any input is GREATLY appreciated.
    Thanks guys!

  • #2
    Re: Air Compressor Plumbing

    I don't know about others but I have always used domestic galvanized pipe. I also had a mix of ceiling drops and wall outlets.

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Air Compressor Plumbing

      kd. i won't recommend an extra air storage tank

      what might be the easiest is to run either threade gal. pipe or copper in the overhead, over the joist and then put drops down into the stud bays. this will eliminate as much drilling and notching as possible. a 1/2'' or 3/4'' line as a main with 1/2'' drops is plenty big. good luck on finding domestic gal pipe

      sorry mark, that was then, this is now

      copper is also a good product and the price is high now, but the labor is easier than threading

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Air Compressor Plumbing

        Attached is a picture of a air compressor system,

        note: the air take offs are on top of the pipe.

        When I did my system I put pet cocks in the bottom of my moisture traps.
        I used 3/4" galvanized pipe in my shop but was not concerned about hiding the system.

        and it will run a 1" impact wrench with a 1/2" hose easily, (also have two stage compressor) and running 150 psi, in tank and piping, using regulators for 100 psi at air drops, (use regulators that are of proper size, not the micro ones, to much restriction).

        as to pipe, I don't have a recommendation, but do not use PVC plastic,

        http://torque1st.clubfte.com/OSHA_PVC_Pipe.htm

        http://www.thefreelibrary.com/An+Acc...en-a0136835982

        IF a plastic pipe is desired, make sure it is rated and approved for compressed air systems, then follow manufactures recommendations.

        had a friend who use this product or one like it., and was very pleased with it.
        http://www.ipexinc.com/Content/EN_CA..._2_Duratec.asp
        Attached Files
        Last edited by BHD; 05-07-2007, 12:32 AM. Reason: added info
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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        • #5
          Re: Air Compressor Plumbing

          Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
          kd. i won't recommend an extra air storage tank


          rick.

          Why not recommend an extra air storage tank?? I think its a great Idea!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Air Compressor Plumbing

            Soft copper and flared fittings will work nicely little more money but easy to work with.IMO freddy

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Air Compressor Plumbing

              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post

              good luck on finding domestic gal pipe

              sorry mark, that was then, this is now

              rick.
              Domestic gal is still available through Industrial Supply.
              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Air Compressor Plumbing

                Originally posted by biscuit View Post
                Why not recommend an extra air storage tank?? I think its a great Idea!!
                last week i mentioned an extra storage 5-10 gallon tank instead of 110' of 1'' copper.

                i also mentioned what i did don't ask, don't tell

                the 5-10 gallon tank is an excellent idea if you have a long run with a big air draw. this would be connected at the point of use with a tee. typical application is a long air hose with multiple guns firing. typical of a construction site or tim allen's tool time garage

                rick.
                phoebe it is

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Air Compressor Plumbing

                  Rick,

                  I was the one who started that thread last week and was just being a smartass here with my question.

                  Its all good.

                  Regards,

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Air Compressor Plumbing

                    Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                    kd. i won't recommend an extra air storage tank
                    Yeah - I found that thread while searching for info before starting this new thread

                    I appreciate the feedback, guys.

                    I'm liking the idea of running it overhead, so I can still access it in my attic if I ever need to do and just doing drops down the walls - sounds like maybe threaded galvanized? I assume the copper would be more expensive?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Air Compressor Plumbing

                      One plus for copper is no rust to deal with later on. Go cheap on the install and pay many times later on. It may not matter depending on what your use will be (air tools only), but if spraying is in your future think about it.

                      Copper
                      • Lighter weight = reduced hanger cost and less install time for hangers
                      • Faster assembly and fewer tools required to install
                      • No rust or particulates top deal with now or in the future
                      Galv. Pipe
                      • Threading, cutting, and wrenching tools required.
                      • Pipe vise and stands needed to work pipe.
                      • Multiple threaded potential leak points.
                      • Additional time and material to support heavier pipe required.
                      • Even galv. pipe will rust someday inside and start to create rust and debris which will plague you the rest of your days (ask me how I know).
                      Someone mentioned about running through an attic space. If it's an unheated space and you're in a temperate climate, this may be a problem when it is cooler up there. The pipe in this area will act like a condenser and any moisture will collect there and cause you problems when it gets carried over to your tools.


                      Someone else commented: "IF a plastic pipe is desired..."
                      I personally would NEVER use plastic for an air system which will have a working pressure of around 100-125 PSI. I would not trust most plastic piping at all for any compressed gas system. For low volume/low pressure stuff like temporary test tubing poly is OK, at higher pressures (above 100 PSIG) we use nylon which we have in two grades; 300 PSI and 500 PSI. Above 500 we use .038" wall copper tubing(up to 1500 PSI), .035" wall stainless tubing, or braided SS hose or some other material rated for high pressure.
                      Last edited by Bob D.; 05-08-2007, 05:57 PM.
                      ---------------
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                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Air Compressor Plumbing

                        Originally posted by KD. View Post
                        Yeah - I found that thread while searching for info before starting this new thread

                        I appreciate the feedback, guys.

                        I'm liking the idea of running it overhead, so I can still access it in my attic if I ever need to do and just doing drops down the walls - sounds like maybe threaded galvanized? I assume the copper would be more expensive?
                        copper is more expensive for the material. copper has tripled in cost in a year

                        the copper will be faster to work with, unless you have an electric pipe threader for the steel pipe.

                        i, would use copper since i can propress it and be up in running faster than you can cut and thread pipe. time is money and labor is more than materials cost.

                        what ever you feel more comfortable with is fine. they both work and are both acceptable. copper would be simpler down the road to cut in a new drop or tee.

                        as an added bonus, the copper has a value down the road if you scrap it and move. the gal pipe is somewhat worthless for scrap. copper is approx. $3.00 a pound scrap now

                        rick.
                        phoebe it is

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Air Compressor Plumbing

                          I am looking to do this in my home shop and have many questions; I think I am going to go with copper. What do you think??

                          What if I use a 1” or ¾” copper trunk line, and tap off all drops with say ½” copper lines? Is there any advantage to this, or should I just go with ¾” all the way around?
                          Is 1/2 “ copper good enough for a home shop with say standard air tools… ratchet/impact wrench, various nail guns, paint sprayers and sand blasters.

                          Also school me a bit on moisture traps, in line filters /filter-regulators and lubricators. Which ones do you recommend for a home shop with a copper system and why?

                          Thanks Guys!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Air Compressor Plumbing

                            When we run pex, we have to hydro test to 200 psi. Since most compressor don't reach that high, why not use pex? What's the disadvantage?
                            Buy cheap, buy twice.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Air Compressor Plumbing

                              pex is a good product, but you need pex crimping tool and the pex should not be exposed to uv light. although pex is new, the initial investment to purchase the equipment might be costly.

                              copper is at an all time high and gal pipe is very time consuming for a non plumber with manual threaders.

                              now pvc pipe is cheap and easy to work with

                              rick.
                              phoebe it is

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