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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Shop air lines

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mark poss

01-16-2020 08:17:50




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I have a 60x100 ft shop that I would like to run air lines from the compressor to 4 or 5 different spots in the shop. Just wondering if I could run them in plastic or do they have to be in steel pipe? Thanks Mark




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jacksun65

01-18-2020 13:13:57




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
I used plastic air line with driers at the compressor and at the end of the line. I had problems with water when painting. I put a roll of 3/4 copper mounted to the outside wall and problems went away.



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Oliver 500 Wa

01-18-2020 06:57:26




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
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You've been lucky is all. There have been enough recorded accidents with exploding PVC airlines that OSHA prohibits its use above ground unless it is enclosed. Also all PVC pipe manufacturers and the Plastic Pipe Institute recommends against the use of PVC pipe for compressed air. They don't do that because they don't want to sell more pipe.....

A machine shop I did some service work for had a 3" PVC line blow. Some of the pieces, near a foot long, were found over 100 feet away. 120 psi system. Fortunately only the shop foreman was in the building. He had come in and turned on the compressor so air would be up for the start of work and then went into his office.

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Bob

01-17-2020 20:23:13




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
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WOW!

Looking at the replies, there's a lot of you with WAY more disposal cash than I!

If N.T. sold $$$ store-branded air to breathe quite a number of you would trample over each other to get in line and fork over the $$$$$$!



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David g

01-19-2020 11:42:59




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to Bob, 01-17-2020 20:23:13  
What are you saying?



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Stephen Newell

01-17-2020 20:05:45




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
I've been using PVC for more than 45 years and haven't had any issues. Properly installed and used there isn't an issue. I mean you don't just put it up and put 200 psi in it. Other places I've worked they run PVC all the way to the end of the line and just put a little string or duct tape it down. Then when someone yanks on a hose they break the pipe. I adapt it to steel pipe at the end and firmly mount it to the building. Then I regulate the pressure down to 120 psi before it goes to PVC. Regulated down to that pressure there isn't any shrapnel if someone breaks a pipe. I've seen it broken many times in places I've worked. It just makes a lot of noise.

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61-4010

01-17-2020 10:58:07




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
I just completed the installation of the 3/4" RapidAir system in my barn and shop. LOVE the system. With all my air drops, not a single leak anywhere. And looks amazing. Since I have the compressor in the barn, I buried the RapidAir pipe between the barn and shop and added an air cutoff valve too. Compressor pumps to 175 but using a regulator w/filter, I regulate air in the lines to 150 and then use other air regulators at the quick connects if I need to reduce lower for a tool or whatever.

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2510Paul

01-18-2020 06:05:41




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to 61-4010, 01-17-2020 10:58:07  
Did you use the ridged type or the type in a roll?

I am afraid the type in a roll will look crappy.

Paul



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M w J

01-17-2020 09:48:41




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
I used air hose in mine and clamped it to the walls with conduit clamps . It works great in a straight line and around corners and fast to install.



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t.r.k.

01-17-2020 09:13:22




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
When I worked in the warehouse that had been a knitting mill, I threw away a whole pile of 1-1/2" PVC that was blown all to pieces. You could tell it had been air line because it still had the fittings screwed into the tees.

It was right after we moved into the repair shop I work in now we had a fitting blow out of the PVC in the wall. It flew all the way across the shop and hit me in the shoulder. When it failed the second time we ran that joint with black pipe which so far has lasted more than twice as long as both the original PVC fitting and the PVC repair.

I think I would stick with steel pipe if I was you.

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mark poss

01-17-2020 05:55:01




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
Thanks for everyone's replies. I think I'm going with the rapid air kit.



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4520bw

01-17-2020 03:39:01




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
I just put up a large hose reel that will reach most of the shop. With all the battery tools I seldom need air unless its for low tires.



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BobReeves

01-17-2020 01:44:34




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
DITTO on the Rapid Air kit from Northern Tool. Comes with everything needed and additional fittings/parts are easy to find. A whole lot easier installation than even PVC and much safer. The problem with PVC is the way it fails, copper, steel or PEX will expand and open a crack, PVC explodes throwing sharp plastic pieces every where.



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Old Popper

01-16-2020 19:29:30




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
I, like Kieth 427 used a Rapid aire kit. Bought mine from a vendor at the Clay county (Iowa) fair. Very easy installation.



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Mark-Mi

01-16-2020 18:19:14




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
In one of my shops I used plain pex.Cheap and easy to run the lines.Compressor set at 165 psi.
Pex is all I will use now.I use crimp rings.



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Steve A W

01-16-2020 18:00:26




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
I used to work for a small compressor repair service.
We were mostly commercial and industrial but would also work on small shops and home shops.
The bosses rule was to walk away from any system with PVC.
We wouldn't even work on just the compressor.
Life is short, don't make it worse.



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Geo-TH,In

01-16-2020 16:11:45




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
Mark, Listen to YT safety police say not to use CPVC. I don't but my BIL uses it in many different places.

However. research the shut off pressure and you'll find there's a wide range of pressures.
This one is 155 psi.
I've seen some HF cheapie that's much less.



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timcasbolt

01-16-2020 13:14:44




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
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Here is an article from Chicago Pneumatic about why you should never use pvc for compressed air: https://www.cp.com/en-us/compressors/expert-corner/blog/pvc-pipe-why-you-should-not-use-pvc-piping-for-your-compressed-air-system



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keith427

01-16-2020 11:53:13




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
I plumbed my shop with a Rapid Air kit from Northern Tool. It was very easy to install, comes with built in bleeders and have had no problems with it.



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Bob

01-16-2020 11:11:53




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
As an alternative, GOOGLE "pex-al-pex airline".



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Mutt and Jeff

01-16-2020 10:55:16




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
Dedicated shop airline plastic would be fine



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Steve@Advance

01-16-2020 10:28:23




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
Please don't use PVC.

It may work for a while, but it will eventually begin to fail, as in exploding into flying daggers of plastic!

Not hearsay, seen it actually happen!!!

Copper is very expensive but will work.

Galvanized pipe is rust resistant, but labor intensive and expensive.

Pex is proving to be suitable even though it is not approved. Cheap and easy to work with. I believe there is an approved Pex, but it's more expensive. It doesn't like heat, so keep it away from heat sources, hot air at the tank, etc.

If I were doing my shop, I would run all the main lines in 3/4 Pex, slant everything uphill from the tank. If that is not possible, add drip legs at the low spots. Then make the drops from 3/4 galvanized, coming off the top of the main line tees, secured to the wall or post at the bottom.

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Mike M

01-16-2020 10:24:35




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
Go to a shop that sells parts for semis. They will sell plastic tubing made for use with air and the fittings. It is usually pretty low price and easy to work with.



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jniolon

01-16-2020 10:16:22




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
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sweated copper will work fine..my shop is plumbed with 1/2 galv pipe but I added an air dryer built with copper...
here/s a good plan for plumbing



and my water trap



john

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teddy52food

01-16-2020 10:14:07




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
Friend of mine used 4 inch pipe with the outlets welded in as needed. He didn't use a tank & there was no pressure loss anywhere in his shop.



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deeretails

01-16-2020 10:07:18




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
I used 3/4" copper and sweat the fittings. I made sure all lines are pitched so any condensation drains back to the tank. 35 years and no problems.



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GlenIdaho

01-16-2020 09:27:54




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
I plumbed my shop using black pipe and discovered that it produces a lot of moisture necessitating a good filter. If you do painting I am sure you know that water is your enemy, same with air tools, not good. I did some reading and the problem with pvc is that it can become brittle over time and fail under high pressure. I also found that copper does not produce the moisture that steel does. If I were to do it again, I would use copper. It is easy to work with. I would make sure that it is not the thing walled stuff they are making now.

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Russ from MN

01-16-2020 13:05:27




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to GlenIdaho, 01-16-2020 09:27:54  
How does black pipe produce moisture? The moisture is in the air, condenses on the inside of the pipe, the colder the pipe is the more water you get. I would think copper would condense out just as much water as black iron!



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Oregon Tractor Jack

01-16-2020 08:48:25




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
I don't think there are any cast in stone requirements for air lines in private shops. Steel is always best but its a pain to do. I put my system in with PVC pipe. Its been 15 years and so far no problems. The mechanic up the hill from me did his in PVC 25 years ago with no problems. Keeping the PVC out of direct sun light is important. My shop has 12' eves so I ran the pipe right up to the eve. I also only ran the drops for the air lines down a few feet, anchored them to the wall and then ran short lengths of air hose for the connections. That keeps you from tugging directly on the PVC pipe. There are also now some flexible piping solutions similar to PEX that are available now that would work. Everyone has an opinion, so you will get quite a few on this subject.

OTJ

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dr sportster

01-16-2020 08:49:49




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to Oregon Tractor Jack, 01-16-2020 08:48:25  
Not opinion FACT !



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dr sportster

01-16-2020 08:48:22




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
No PVC is specified by any manufacturer for air lines . I use copper plumbers pipe.



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PJH

01-16-2020 09:53:14




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to dr sportster, 01-16-2020 08:48:22  
DR - using copper pipe, did you sweat the joints?

I have a roll of 3/4" copper that I've been wanting to use for air line. I see no reason why sweated fittings would not work, but I'm curious how you did yours.



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dr sportster

01-17-2020 07:27:21




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to PJH, 01-16-2020 09:53:14  
Yes I used 1/2 inch copper and sweated fittings.



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JohnDeere720GA

01-16-2020 08:45:39




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to mark poss, 01-16-2020 08:17:50  
There are a bunch of kits on Amazon



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Ivan in Mich

01-16-2020 09:53:45




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 Re: Shop air lines in reply to JohnDeere720GA, 01-16-2020 08:45:39  
I bought a kit like this from an auto supplier. Quick and easy to install and I have found very little moisture in any of the traps. It has been up for about 20 years now with no problems. The pipe looks just like Pex tubing



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