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Thread: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

  1. #51
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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    Quote Originally Posted by duramax-rob View Post
    problem with rubber air lines is you loose pressure with them. i think its like 5lbs per 10ft of hose. please correct me if im wrong.
    its all in the sizing. with any pipe or hose thats rough internally you simply go up a size.
    what often happens is people have good sized main truck line then drop down to a small diameter rubber hose and thats where most of the losses happen. typically because they are using undersized hose, poorly sized fitting and bad connection design.

  2. #52
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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    Quote Originally Posted by duramax-rob View Post
    problem with rubber air lines is you loose pressure with them. i think its like 5lbs per 10ft of hose. please correct me if im wrong.
    Depends on how much you are trying to run thru it, at 5 cfm almost no loss, at 25 then that could be accurate on a 3/8 hose.

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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    OK I'm going to use copper pipe. What gauge or thickness. Would home depot carry the proper stuff. This will be new for me. Never sweated pipe.

  4. #54
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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    Type L copper. There is a thinner type M that you will also see in the stores, around here one is marked with red lettering and the other is blue but i forget which is which. There is also a type K that is really heavy but that is overkill. Only used for direct burial i think. You probably won't even find it around. All fittings are typically heavy enough to not worry about. The home stores will carry it but they have thinned out their selection of old style sweat copper in favor of the new quick connect things like Shark bites, so you may have limited selection. I know home depot was going like that, but we have Menards here too that still carries a wider range. The nice thing is you can use lead solder for this as it isn't potable water piping, if you can find it.
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  5. #55
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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    Around here HD still carries L and M. M is the hard temper pipe(cheaper) L is bendable; you can get most the other types K, dwv,acr,oxy,etc at either core and main, ferguson, johnstone or many other industrial supply houses.

    Requirements for water pipe in pretty much any building we have worked in were the thicker tubing... no M allowed... and if ground contact then it had to be protected.


    Only reason I used so much copper when I plumbed air to the shops here was the price was still reasonable back then, if I had to do it over now I would go pex and poly mainly because of costs.

  6. #56
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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    just a heads up, here most plumbing stores charge a lot less than Home Depot for copper, last time I bought 3/4 copper at Ferguson i paid half of what HD charges.

    Type L has Blue writing, M has red. two most common grades of rigid copper (for plumbing). L is thicker and will handle more pressure, and is what i hope to use when I build a shop.

  7. #57
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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    The pictures you posted are a perfect example of how too do it. Would I use a bigger pipe Yes. your first T is how all down feeds should be run.
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  8. #58
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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    If we look at the way those over and up hydrants are plumbed they are usually part of an air beyond system, not on the dead end in a small garage. Could turn a t the other direction on a dead end and have a drip leg, that would make some sense. I got nothing against copper, wish I would have used some modern plastic in part of my last remod but if I was a home gamer would make up a simple manifold out of a few pieces of steel pipe and take off from a riser to a spot or 2 I needed it.

  9. #59
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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    I use 3/4" copper in my shop. My new place in Texas is plumbed with plastic. That will be coming out. As far as pressure loss goes just run a continuous loop around the shop so feed from both directions.

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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    Quote Originally Posted by arcflash View Post
    As far as pressure loss goes just run a continuous loop around the shop so feed from both directions.
    Hmm...

    Never thought of that...

    Sounds like one of those ideas that is either shear brilliance OR a waste of time...

    kinda sounds legit... maybe.
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  11. #61
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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    I don't run loops in small shops, there is no point and it can actually trap water in some places. I like to drive any moisture down to an end to a leg or filter. It is a good idea,,, in a GM plant with long lines, lots of continuous use;.

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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    Hmm...

    Never thought of that...

    Sounds like one of those ideas that is either shear brilliance OR a waste of time...

    kinda sounds legit... maybe.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sberry View Post
    I don't run loops in small shops, there is no point and it can actually trap water in some places. I like to drive any moisture down to an end to a leg or filter. It is a good idea,,, in a GM plant with long lines, lots of continuous use;.

    ring feed is fairly normal for commercial setups where you have many outlets around the room. if you actually need it in a small shop is debatable, but it is most certainly a legit thing. if you have pipes running almost all the way around i would add a bit extra on and go completely around.

    ideally water should be removed before it gets to the piping. however if your running a wet setup for some reason its easy enough to put slope in and fit drip legs. water only gets trapped due to bad design.

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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    Quote Originally Posted by tweake View Post
    ring feed is fairly normal for commercial setups where you have many outlets around the room. if you actually need it in a small shop is debatable, but it is most certainly a legit thing. if you have pipes running almost all the way around i would add a bit extra on and go completely around.

    ideally water should be removed before it gets to the piping. however if your running a wet setup for some reason its easy enough to put slope in and fit drip legs. water only gets trapped due to bad design.
    what he said!!!!
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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    I plumbed my shop with 1/2" black pipe. As noted in another post, I have also included a way to avoid storing water in the bottom of the 80 gallon tank on my compressor, and have a drain that is used regularly. If you are working alone, the cross section of that 1/2" pipe will flow as much as more than 4 high flow fittings (P style) so unless you have a commercial compressor it won't keep up. Basically I'm saying 1/2" is adequate... all going larger will do is add to your tank's storage capacity. I also added a drier which is recommended to be at least 15' from the compressor, but to date I haven't seen a need to put the pellets in. Beyond the drier I have 3 drops, each attached to 50' of hose on a reel... 2 are 1/2", one is 3/8". At each end of the shop there is a P style high flow outlet, but for most tools a typical M style and 3/8 hose is adequate. The exceptions might be a sandblaster, syphon feed paint gun or 3/4" impact. For these items I can run up to 100' of 1/2" hose beyond the drop. Each drop has a regulator and filter with an automatic drain that empties when I shut down at night. I work alone, but to date I haven't had any issues with air volumes or moisture in the lines. The compressor is a 2 stage 5HP , 80 gal Ingersol Rand that max's out at 175 lbs.
    Last edited by whtbaron; 01-23-2020 at 11:54 PM.
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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    1" blue MDPE pipe with Kuterlite fittings, in my shop. Been good for years, in fact just moved buildings and re-used most of the pipe and fittings with some new copper inserts.

  16. #66
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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    I had some old 1/2" hydraulic hose around (rated over 3,000 psi and unaffected by oil) so I used it anywhere I needed a flex fitting or to isolate the vibration of the compressor from the fixed pipe. The high flow fittings bypass the regulator/filters for temporary max flow situations. Most of my tools just use M style fittings. The filters with automatic drains are at the bottom of each drop to keep water from collecting in the system.

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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    Bringing this thread back as the time is getting near for me to plumb my shop, dragging lines all over is getting old. I have decided to use 3/4" copper and solder it with plumbing solder as opposed to silver solder (I've done a ton of plumbing in my life and quite proud of my soldering skills). Main question is how are you guys connecting to the compressor to allow for vibration issues, do you hard pipe right into the tank or do you use a flexible connection at the tank? Also, in addition to drip legs and ball valves for drains what about a manifold setup to enable branches in different directions with ball valves to shut off branches not in use, any advantages to that idea?
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  18. #68
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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    Short piece of flex is good practice. Compressors vibrate, buildings not so much.

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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    I am gathering the rest of the supplies for my air system (cooler, refrigerated dryer, and more fittings) and this video is full of good info. I have no affilation, just easy to digest and free knowledge.

    Last edited by W.O.B.; 04-02-2020 at 10:24 PM. Reason: Spelling and run on sentence.

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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    I also saved this link because. It gives a good illustration of a "proper" set up:

    https://www.achrnews.com/blogs/16-gu...plasma-cutting

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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    My 10hp compressor is plumbed into the main lines with about a 3’ length of #12 hydraulic hose. It’s rated for 3000 psi, so no worries about longevity.
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  23. #72
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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    Quote Originally Posted by W.O.B. View Post
    I also saved this link because. It gives a good illustration of a "proper" set up:

    https://www.achrnews.com/blogs/16-gu...plasma-cutting

    their diagram is poor imho. no cooler, tho the lines to the drier can act as a cooler if long enough. main filters (including oil coalescing) are in the wrong place. you want them before the refrigerator drier.
    they are there to protect the drier. the drain legs after the drier are somewhat redundant. the ring main is ok.

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  25. #73
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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    got a 3/4" rubber flex at mcmaster.com, it was cheap and works great, many pressure ranges, sizes, tread options, and even colors to choose from. Good prices and quick to ship.
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  27. #74
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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    Quote Originally Posted by tweake View Post
    their diagram is poor imho. no cooler, tho the lines to the drier can act as a cooler if long enough. main filters (including oil coalescing) are in the wrong place. you want them before the refrigerator drier.
    they are there to protect the drier. the drain legs after the drier are somewhat redundant. the ring main is ok.

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    i spotted another issue.

    they have the ring main setup as a wet pipe system, which is ok if you don't have a need for a drier or do the drying at the machine.
    you may notice that all the entry and exit points of the system go up from the top side of the ring main.
    the problem with that is with a wet system, moisture can build up in the ring main with no way for it to drain. that can be risky as water can act as a blockage and water can be blown through all at once flooding the downstream drip legs and filters.
    easy fix is to slope it to one point and fit a drain leg on the bottom of the pipe.

  28. #75
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    Re: What is the best way to run air compressor lines

    Yeah, the ring piping really didn't make sense without some way to drain it.

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