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i'm having a shop built tomorrow and i'm putting in a 2 post lift among other shop equipment. my question is this: can i run PVC for shop airline??? i have been told that PVC will work fine. seems hard to believe that PVC used for water line @ pressures of 40 to 60 PSI will work fine for 125 psi air line. i'm going with a 5HP verticle 60 or 80 Gal compressor that puts out 125-135 psi and 14.7 [email protected] this is more than enough compressor for my shop. will the PVC work? or should i just go ahead and use iron pipe.
 

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A few years back I took a motorcycle tech course with a guy and he had schedule 80 PVC pipe fitted throughout his entire shop for air lines. It seemed to work fine for him, but I wouldn't use anything less than that for it. Personally i would use metal pipe but that's just me, you never know when something could hit one of the PVC pipes and cause it to break sending shards into your body somewhere.
 

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They have schedule 40 at work in quite a few places and it scares the HELL out of me.
Out of the three or four failures they've had, they've been lucky not to 'get' anybody.

I agree schedule 80 would suffice, but metals best.
 

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I used 1/2" copper "type L". The type L is thicker then regular copper pipe. I wouldn't use PVC for air. It will get brittle over time and could explode.
 

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We go through this every few months on different forums.
PVC is NEVER to be used for compressed air or any other gases. It can and will explode! The heating and cooling expands and contracts the plastic along with the pressure changes. This weakens the plastic, you don't have to bump it to make it explode, it can do it all by itself.
There is a reason that OSHA will not certify PVC for compressed air systems, they can be deadly. How would you like to have plastic shrapnel in you eyes?
I know I'm going to get the responses of: "I've had it in my shop for years and it's been fine". You're on borrowed time, and if you don't care any more than that for you and your family's safety, there is nothing I can say to change your mind. I wish you the best of luck, you'll need it.
Black iron pipe, Galvanized iron pipe, and Heavy wall copper pipe are the ways to go with this.
I was a pipefitter for 35 years and let me tell you, PVC is NEVER used for compressed gases on a construction project.
My shop at my house in Phoenix is completely made of Galvanized 3/4" pipe. My new shop will be copper pipe, soldered and tested.
PVC is sized just like iron pipe, schedule 80 is thicker than schedule 40, schedule 10 is for lawn sprinklers.
For those of you that have PVC installed already, I just hope you don't let your kids anywhere near it.
 

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Now there is an idea. If flexible plastic tube is good enough for 18 wheelers and air ride trucks, why not for a shop. Not sure how it will hold up over the years but if it blows it won't shatter like the hard PVC will making it safe for you and the whole family. Plus a minimal amount of space is needed to run the lines.

I would run the first 15 feet off the compressor as metal pipe though to avoid heating stress on it.
 

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air lines

I know and have met alot of very smart people in my time, but no one is as smart about pvc pipe then the man who built it. Go to the store and look right on the side sch 80 unthreaded rated to 260 psi. So unless you have on out of control compressor you will be fine. Ours have been in use for over 10 years @ 175 psi with no problems, and no rust either.
Good luck!
 

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Heli-Arc, you're playing with fire. You obviously don't know anything about it, because that is a LIQUID pressure rating. What part of not legal for compressed gases don't you understand?
 

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Gary,
That kit is an acceptable way to go, there is also plastic pipe made for air lines. They are made out of an ABS type material which will split, not grenade, but it's not cheap.
 

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Try kaeser smart pipe. Very easy to install albeit a bit expensive, but the ease of install and professional finish is worth the cost imho. We have a ton run at my work and love it.
 

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Here is my little story my brother used PVC in his shop 20 years ago.It worked great or so we thought.
We added more PVC to the system for a new part of the shop.We let it set for 3 days before we tested it.Everything worked.

After a few weeks the new pvc exploded it was not at a joint,there were pieces all over the place.It went though sheet rock walls!.

Talked to the compressor manufacturer and one big thing is the oils that are in the air of the pvc.


We Installed copper now he can sleep at night knowing someone is not going to get impaled
by some piece of plastic
 

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We go through this every few months on different forums.
PVC is NEVER to be used for compressed air or any other gases. It can and will explode! The heating and cooling expands and contracts the plastic along with the pressure changes. This weakens the plastic, you don't have to bump it to make it explode, it can do it all by itself.
There is a reason that OSHA will not certify PVC for compressed air systems, they can be deadly. How would you like to have plastic shrapnel in you eyes?
I know I'm going to get the responses of: "I've had it in my shop for years and it's been fine". You're on borrowed time, and if you don't care any more than that for you and your family's safety, there is nothing I can say to change your mind. I wish you the best of luck, you'll need it.
Black iron pipe, Galvanized iron pipe, and Heavy wall copper pipe are the ways to go with this.
I was a pipefitter for 35 years and let me tell you, PVC is NEVER used for compressed gases on a construction project.
My shop at my house in Phoenix is completely made of Galvanized 3/4" pipe. My new shop will be copper pipe, soldered and tested.
PVC is sized just like iron pipe, schedule 80 is thicker than schedule 40, schedule 10 is for lawn sprinklers.
For those of you that have PVC installed already, I just hope you don't let your kids anywhere near it.
Thank you very much Fairlane. We learn something new every day.
Rob
 

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You can use the flexible plastic pipe used on the trucks but it is almost as expensive as regular iron pipe. Not as durable as iron any stray spark from a welder/grinder will hole it plus if you are as clumsey as I you will always be snagging things on it. One can always note on a truck it is run inside the frame rails to protect it and there is always a steel/copper line from the compressor to a small tank to asorb the compressor heat before the plastic line
 
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