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Thread: Running pipe for compressed air...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Bruno, Arkansas and Tallahassee, Florida
    Posts
    948

    Thumbs up

    Copper is my choice for any air line installation. Easy to work with, won't rupture and make you mess your pants, and will not shower your work with rust flakes like black iron. We had black iron at work for years and the compressor was in a small room across the hall with no ventillation. Boy did that baby make water in the Florida humidity. We were going to use PVC to replace it but the safety office said no way!!! I have used copper and love it.

    Be safe out there,
    JRW
    Jim (KB4IVH)

    Only fools abuse their tools.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Cheyenne Wyo
    Posts
    643

    Post

    Tony, you can do the copper, I'm sure of it. Just try a couple practice pieces first, saw them apart and see how you did. Like others said, if you start with clean metal,well fluxed, you'll get good joints. If you're going to be in that location for any length of time, it will be $ well spent and a new skill you won't soon forget.
    I'm here hoping to advancify my smartitude.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    22

    Post Running pipe for compressed air...

    Hello all,
    I just bought a used air compressor and would like to run pipe up to the ceiling and over to the other side of my garage. I'm planing on using 3/8" hose at the end of the pipe for the misc. air tools. The simple question is do I need to use pipe bigger than 3/8" or not?? Pipe will be about 35' total, 50' hose on end.
    Thanks,
    Tony

    ------------------
    I'm Learning, have a long way to go
    I\'m Learning, have a long way to go

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    182

    Post

    Tony
    The simple answer is that you can. The complex question is how big is your compressor and what air tools are you intending to run with this system? Ifyour planning on running air hogs like D/A sanders, paint guns, big impact wrenches then you may be lacking. Air rachets, filling tires, etc. you'll be fine. If your air compressor is 110 volt you'll be fine. If you've got a real 5 horse machine that can deliver 12 scfm or more then you'll be lacking. Whatever you do, do not use PVC pipe unless its rated for air service.
    lg
    no neat sig line

  5. #5

    Post

    Use 1/2" black iron pipe from Home Depot, Lowe's or a plumbing supply. Easy to put together and safe.

  6. #6

    Post

    If you want to have a lot of fun, go crazy and follow this shop air design guide I setup 4 air drops using this and I couldn't be any happier with them:



    -Adrian
    When in doubt, doubt your doubt.
    www.metalillness.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    237

    Post

    You will have a pressure drop over a distance the same as with electricity (you need larger sized wire the longer your extension cord). Ideally metal pipe is the best answer, but if you are going to use rubber hose, use 1/2 inch for the first 50 feet and then use 3/8 hose. Some people will have a smaller (5 Gallon) tank at the end of the 50 foot line and then hook up your other 3/8 line.

    Mike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    767

    Post

    I use copper both at home and at work. At work I've got a 15HP Boge rotary screw with a chiller and separator, that's plumbed into 150' of 1.5" trunk line. Every 10' section is joined by a 1.5 to 3/4 T with the T facing up. A short length then goes up to an elbow then to a ballvalve, unused valves are capped for future use. By going up out of the trunk line I reduce moisture in the lines although the chiller/evaporator and separator leave the air 99.9% dry. I prefer copper because it's easy to install, repair, and splice into. My father used black pipe in his garage, just try adding a drop or fixing a leak, you've gotta take half the pipe down. I did the copper at work about 4 years ago, no leaks or problems in that time under heavy use. In fact if I had it to do all over again I'd do it exactly the same way but I'd do it in the winter instead of June! Sure is hot sweat soldering pipe 20' up in a warehouse in 90 degree weather! My drops are either 3/4 or 1/2 depending on the need.

    ------------------
    -Christian D. Sokolowski

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Sheboygan Falls
    Posts
    205

    Post

    Anyone notice that the compressor pump in the picture above looks like a mans face wearing a goofy hat.
    Super Dave
    RapidtoCNC.com

  10. #10

    Post

    suprdvn, Go outside and breathe deep for a while.

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