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rfuerst911sc's Avatar
 
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air compressor question- what size lines/fittings ?

As a follow up to my caster question I now need to know what the conventional wisdom is when it comes to plumbing the home shop for air. I have a IR 60 gallon two stage compressor. All of my air tools currently use the 1/4 quick connect size couplers and fittings. Would it make sense to change to the larger 3/8 ? Or does it not matter for the home shop ? The compressor came with massive quick connect fitting it must be 3/4 and 50 feet of rubber hose but it's much too big for air tools. The previous owner was feeding a large sand blast cabinet.
Now onto the air lines. Is 1/4 inch sufficient or should those be 3/8 or larger ? And finally if I'm going to plumb copper around the perimeter of the shop is 1/2 inch sufficient or go with 3/4 ? The air tools I currently have are:

1/4 , 3/8 + 1/2 inch air ratchets
1/2 inch impact wrench
detail and full size spray guns
DA sander

That's it for now but I could add a small blast cabinet in the future plus maybe some additional hand tools. Nothing really volume heavy except for the blast cabinet. So what do you guys use ?
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Old 12-31-2010, 05:45 AM
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3/8 hose. I/2 supply lines are fine. Don't be afraid of pvc in this application, although I'm sure folks will chime in that its deadly.

1/4 hose will leave your high volume tools-ie 1/2 impact-without torque.
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Old 12-31-2010, 05:53 AM
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I am a big fan of copper. Use a 95/5 or a bearing solder to join fittings.
1/2 would be sufficient for your application.
Do a top take off for the line drops and a drip leg and a drain valve under your female connectors.
If you are doing any painting you may want to consider filtration for oil and water.
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greglepore View Post
3/8 hose. I/2 supply lines are fine. Don't be afraid of pvc in this application, although I'm sure folks will chime in that its deadly.

1/4 hose will leave your high volume tools-ie 1/2 impact-without torque.
Ditto!!
Old 12-31-2010, 06:40 AM
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Yeah, you'd need filtration for water for paint. I love inline oilers for tools, but only at line end so you don't oil the pipes, and you'll need separate hoses for "clean" air then for paint. You can put the separator or oiler on a male fitting and move it for outlet to outlet as needed.
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greglepore View Post
3/8 hose. I/2 supply lines are fine. Don't be afraid of pvc in this application, although I'm sure folks will chime in that its deadly.

1/4 hose will leave your high volume tools-ie 1/2 impact-without torque.
I would not install any main smaller than 1/2" and if there is any distance at all, I would go to 3/4". The incremental cost to install the larger lines is largely materials for these sizes as the labor (cost or effort) is about the same.

I would be one of those that will tell you PVC is deadly. I have witnessed the consequences of PVC failures in compressed air lines (100-125 psi) first hand and the thought of SHARP shards of PVC flying through the air at a person is not pretty.

There are other plastic lines that are rated for Compressed Gas services but I personally do not like them since they are very difficult to install, repair or add to properly.
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Old 12-31-2010, 09:05 AM
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My garage is aprox. 23 x 24 with the compressor going in the front left corner. So the copper run will be about 47 feet at its longest run. I'm basically going to make a " U " out of copper with 2-3 drops per side. I will face my quick connect couplers up and will add a drain valve at both ends of the lines. I think 1/2 inch copper is sufficient for this length of run ?
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Old 12-31-2010, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfuerst911sc View Post
I think 1/2 inch copper is sufficient for this length of run ?
Yes, it is. 3/4" is overkill.

Seamless hydraulic tubing is cheap and easy to install if you can borrow some tools. Just flare the ends and you are done.
Old 12-31-2010, 09:26 AM
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I like the SMC push in connections. You can get them in just about any size and the line you can get in any color. I have this line run all over from my basement to the garage.


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Old 12-31-2010, 09:51 AM
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Not to hijack the thread but what would be the recommended minimum rating of a compressor to supply the lines? 5 CF at 90 PSI? or ?
Barry
Old 12-31-2010, 09:59 AM
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Please - no PVC

19880520 The Use of Polyvinyl Chloride Pipe in Above Ground Installations

02/28/1991 - Use of thermoplastic pipe in above ground locations
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:25 AM
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SprayGunWorld.com - Professional HVLP Spray Guns

Get hi-flow quick disconnects, scroll down a bit you you will see them..

I got mine locally

HVLP Spray Gun Hoses
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:34 AM
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Indeed! if you go with a tubing make sure its either Polyurethane or Nylon Tubing!
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:04 PM
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Include an inline water knock out pot. I like quick disconnects, get more than a few and keep them handy as you always need an extra one. I prefer the one sold at Sears.

There MANY different makes and when you buy a new tool, you'll need a compatible male end. Nothing pisses ya off more than a QD that don't fit.

Nice to be able to reach into a bin and pull one out. Use Teflon tape on the threads.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:09 PM
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[QUOTE=cgarr;5756400]I like the SMC push in connections. You can get them in just about any size and the line you can get in any color. I have this line run all over from my basement to the garage.


[/QUOT/]
How do you get enough air flow during a draw to power tools? Looks like real small I.D. tubing. Looks like vinyl tubing to boot.
Old 01-01-2011, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green 912 View Post
How do you get enough air flow during a draw to power tools? Looks like real small I.D. tubing. Looks like vinyl tubing to boot.
The main feed tubing is 3/8 OD and seems to flow more than I use. I have an old 30 gal tank stuffed up in the garage and that feeds my needs closer if I need an impact wrench otherwise all the other tools I have don't require a great flow of air.

The tubing is SMC choice for this type of operation. Its what we have been using in our plant for better than 15 years without any problems.

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Old 01-01-2011, 07:02 AM
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Flexible tubing is ok since it does not shatter in failure like rigid PVC pipe.
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:27 AM
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Below diagram shows the correct way to pitch pipe, drains, risers, etc.

http://www.tptools.com/StaticText/airline-piping-diagram.pdf

small line may flow enough, but will have pressure fluctuations when demand changes.

One more for NOT using PVC: http://www.lascofittings.com/supportcenter/CompressedAir.asp

Last edited by dad911; 01-01-2011 at 10:00 AM..
Old 01-01-2011, 09:52 AM
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i want one of those...
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgarr View Post
I like the SMC push in connections. You can get them in just about any size and the line you can get in any color. I have this line run all over from my basement to the garage.
quite intriguing. gonna have to look into this in the next couple of months after we move...

http://www.smcusa.com/sections/products/prodoverview.asp
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:55 AM
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I read that 50' of 3/4 black pipe before the water separator will cool the air enough but when I use my cheap sandblaster it still turns into a water nozzle.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:08 AM
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:08 AM
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