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: Air supply lines, what to use  ( 1831 )
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« : July 28, 2013, 02:39:01 PM »

Ok just moved into my new shop.  Just ran my electrical outlets to where I need them and getting ready to run my air supply lines to where I need them.  The question for the air supply lines should I use 3/4" galvanized pipe or 3/4" PVC pipe?
Curious what others have used.

Thanks,  Scott
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« #1 : July 28, 2013, 02:50:52 PM »

Not recommended PVC. Galvanized is fine. I just use a 1/2" air hose strapped to the ceiling. Have used this setup for years with no issues. Last shop for over 25 years and now my garage for about 6 so far. Same hose also. I just place a water catch at the end that my coiled lines connect to.

Minichillo's Upholstery
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« #2 : July 28, 2013, 03:14:35 PM »

I have galvanized at least 25 foot long tilted back toward the compressor.  I also use the line to spray finish -

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« #3 : July 28, 2013, 03:34:37 PM »

If I can refer you over to a thread on Carr's Corner that came up a few years ago:

The diagram in the link I provided at the beginning of the thread is rich with details and data if you study it.

Oops, I see it's "members only" section.  Pasted here:

There was a good article in Fine Woodworking #160 by Roland Johnson.  If you don't have access to that article, here are the important points:

  •     Iron pipe works best Roland starts of with 3/4" as his main.  Iron is easy to do and change. Copper is more expensive and requires talent to sweat the joints.  In rehab work, sweating on site may be dangerous if there's a lot of dust or lint.  Plastic may explode.
  •     Use a flexible hose to connect the compressor to the line  This prevents the noise and vibration from the compressor from spreading through the whole system.
  •     The first pipe should be vertical  This is where most of the water will connect.
  •     On the main horizontal line, allow 1" drop per foot of run to allow moisture to drain
  •     Minimize moisture in drop lines  Where you need a drop line, install a T-fitting, upward, and two street-Ls to create a 180 degree turn.
  •     All drops should go beyond the connection (a T-fitting) and terminate in a ball valve so you can drain moisture
  •     Add filters & regulators where you need them.  Use filtered air for tools and spray guns.  Unfiltered air is ok for blow guns and inflation chucks.
  •     Use ball valves generously  In addition to the end of each drop, you can use a ball valve at each connection and between the compressor and the system to shut off each without disrupting the system.

A good diagram on pneumatic piping


« : July 28, 2013, 03:37:34 PM byhammerandhand »


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« #4 : July 28, 2013, 07:20:52 PM »

my new shop is only 1000SF  so like paul I just run my hose to where I need it.

right now im going to install a suspended ceiling so I can install AC rather then  a high ceiling over my tables
« : July 28, 2013, 11:13:11 PM Mike »

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« #5 : July 28, 2013, 10:53:27 PM »

Thank you all for your feed back.
My shop that I just moved from I had 2000 sq. ft. and I did use PVC fro my air lines and never had a problem with them in the fifteen years I was there.
The new shop is 2700 sq. ft..
After reading Hammerandhand's article, it does make sense about using metal pipe, in the aid of cooling down the air.  I guess I will go with the metal and take the time to add the ball valves for drains.    But the PVC is so much easier to work with and get it done in no time.

Thanks again.  Scott
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« #6 : July 29, 2013, 06:32:48 AM »

I know alot of buddies who used PVC in their race shops and never had an issue. Typically they ran 3/4 and main lines and then used 1/2 inch as feeder lines.

If I had to do it today I would use PVC just because of the ease of installing.

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« #7 : July 29, 2013, 09:11:15 AM »

I'm going to take all these tips under advisement. I currently have my compressor in a back store room about 75 feet from my main work area. I ran 100 feet of regular vinyl hose through the ceiling from the compressor to a hose reel in my work area. Every week, I drain more than 2 pints of water from the tank.
I've tried those filters at different points along the way. They never catch even one tiny little droplet of water.

But frankly, I can't think of any instances of my air tools ever incurring any damage due to moisture in the air line. However, I DO have to replace the fittings often, which may be a result of o-ring erosion caused by moisture.

BTW I did work at Texas Instruments back in the early 80's. They had PVC air lines. But I guess that since the lines were all in a climate controlled environment, there wasn't any condensation to worry about.

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« #8 : July 29, 2013, 11:10:03 AM »

I have a friend who's PVC air supply line blew up in his shop because something fell and hit it.  He replaced it metal pipe.  I know a lot of people use pvc without a problem, but I wouldn't use it if it were me. Just my $.02
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