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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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plumbing air compressor lines

what do you guys do as far as using copper tubing for your compressor lines? i was thinking of running them 3/4 all the way around my garage with 3 or 4 outlets then to adapters. what have you guys done for an air dryer when using copper lines? is that pipe diameter good or go smaller/ or bigger? i have a 150 psi, 80 gallon compressor. i use all garage tools including spray guns- any input helps, thanks
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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 03:29 PM
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my shop at work used SC40 1" PVC pipe 120gal air tank at 150 with no problems at each drop let the pipe go down about 1 foot from airline connections with a cut off valve so the water in the line drop below hose connection and you can blead the lines.if you get build up in the lines. I would not go smaller or you will loose air useing high cfm tools as impacks ,drills, die grinders,and things like that.PVC is cheaper than copper and can be added to alot too easier. just my 2 cents my little shop is about 10 years old and it is holding up fine.
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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 03:33 PM
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I used the 1" PVC also.It is much cheaper than copper and holds pressure with no problem. You can also make additions to your system easier with the pvc.

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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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cool. we have a plumbing shop and plenty of everything laying around, so thats why i was thinking copper. something about pressurized air and plastic makes me nervous......holding 10 years is a lil reassuring though thank you! and yes it is cheaper and faster to install.......so thats two nice things to keep in mind.....

well u guys sold me- haha
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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 04:54 PM
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i plumbed a whole machine shop with pvc pipe and they are still using the setup. this was about 3 years ago. works fine with no problems and is very easy to install.
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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 05:11 PM
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I did my shop with PVC and have had several people say Im crazy. So far so good (over a year) and I keep 120psi on the lines all the time with cutoffs just before the chucks/hose reels.

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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 06:30 PM
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The thing about PVC is it can shatter. And when it does its bad. Now me, its what Ive got because I cant get copper right now but IF I could, NO question copper is the way to go.

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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 06:40 PM
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its burst pressure is really high for your average shop compressor. 180psi I think. My compressor kicks off at 125.

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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 08:18 PM
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I used 1/2" "L" type copper. It's thicker than "M" type. I wouldn't use PVC if it lets go it can cause serious injury, I don't think it is recommended.
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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 09:00 PM
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my shop has 1" for the majority of the shop and then tapers down to 3/4" the further from the compressor. Something about air velocity and all that crap...

Money permitting, go copper...

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post #11 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 09:27 PM
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Copper "L" type. 1/2" should be plenty unless you run a BIIIG air hog tool or a long run. I run a 1/4" die grinder and a 4" air grinder just fine with 1/2" YMMV. A lot of people make a cheap drier by have in a large diameter vertical pipe near the compressor. The air slows down and cools releasing the moisture. I never did it cause I have an 80 gallon tank and my duty cycle is pretty low.

PVC is not good for air. Oils from the compressor can and will compromise the strength. In addition, when the PVC breaks it shatters and the shrapnel is like a grenade. I know of one machine shop that originally plumbed in PVC and changed out after a few years . Being shut-down several hrs for a repair is pretty expensive in the production business.
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post #12 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 11:26 PM
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I used 3/4" copper with drop legs at each outlet with a valve to drain water. For a dryer for painting I use a water/oil seperator/dryer mounted with a quick connect that I can move to any of the outlets if needed. I also have hose reels mounted to the ceiling.

Use copper and you wont have to question it. PVC is not recommended. If your shop is subjected to freezing temps, PVC will not last long if there is water left in a line.
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post #13 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 01:48 AM
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It's not that PVC pipe is not recommended, it's illegal! Now I don't need to hear how many years you have had it in service at your house/work, it is absolutely not to be used for any compressed gas under any circumstances. I spent 30 years as a pipefitter and I have read the warnings, and seen the aftermath of people who used it improperly. PVC pipe under pressure from compressed air is a time bomb waiting to go off. The bad thing is you won't know when it's going to explode, and it does explode, just like a shrapnel grenade. There will be sharp plastic projectiles flying around your shop. How would you feel if it left your wife or kids blind or dead. It's not worth it, use copper, iron pipe, or a plastic that is made for compressed air. The little more you spend on the right stuff is definitely worth someone's sight or life.
Please read all of this site before you decide to pipe your compressed air system.

http://www.osha.gov/dts/hib/hib_data/hib19880520.html

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But it's a dry heat!

Last edited by AZFairlane; 06-28-2009 at 11:55 PM.
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post #14 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 11:58 PM
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Lots of views, but no replies. I hope that means that I have convinced you to pipe your system with the correct materials. It's certainly worth the expense to make sure that you, your family, and friends are safe.

Joe


But it's a dry heat!
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post #15 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 12:12 AM
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plastic sch 40

I have used the schedule 40 plastic pipe with no problems . The art casting shop nearby will wear out the 90's in the plastic from the air friction. They have die grinders that run constantaly. Have had no problems with mechanic usage for the last 9 yrs, 165-175 psi normanl line pressure- I/R T30 compressor. Tres...

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