Air Compressor Lines/Drops in Workshop? - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Air Compressor Lines/Drops in Workshop?

As I get my garage slowly put back together, I need to get my compressor reconfigured. I previously had a copper line running about 25 line-feet to a single drop with a filter/dryer. I want to make a longer run with multiple drops, but with the price of copper question the value/need to use it. I have heard of some people plumbing theirs in with white PVC plumbing pipe. That would sure be easier, but is it safe? I had used copper to help pull the heat out of the air, which I don't think plastic will do. Anyone have any experience using plastic? Other thoughts or advice are welcome!

Dave

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1969 Fastback, 351C, TKO 600, T-lock, Shaker, slats, fold down, yadda yadda, etc.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 08:10 AM
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I use standard black pipe to run my lines.
Not too much more than pvc and much safer.
Here's a good diagram of how the lines should be run to collect and let out moisture. Of course this diagram is overkill for a workshop but you get the idea.
http://www.tptools.com/statictext/ai...ng-diagram.pdf
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 09:00 AM
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I used 3/4 copper a couple years ago for a 24x26 shop. I had a local hardware store make the flex line with high pressure fittings which was probably overkill. I only have two drops, I use the furthest downline to paint so it dissipates some of the heat (and hopefuly moisture). I think it was under $100 for about 30 feet of copper and fittings.


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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 09:10 AM
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I would recommend the metal lines. I have fabricated mine line from 1/2 black steel pipes. The overall length is about 45 feet . I might use a 1 inch pipe for that length but still the pressure drop is ok for my use. I put overall 4 drop legs, each every 12 feet apx. I was surprised that even the last one still capture lot of moisture.
Using PVC I would affraid of dangerous pressure explosion in case of some accident .
Cooling benefit of steel lines is undebated also.
The metal one still do not take much longer to install.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 11:15 AM
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i used black pipe too . cheap and easy .
don't use pvc for air lines !!

1966 convert
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 11:33 AM
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I use a hose reel. Mine's mounted to my compressor, but one mounted nearby would be just as good. I've found that with a good 50' hose, I can easily get anywhere in the garage I need to, and some distance outside.

Actually, if I were to plumb a hard line, it would be to the outside so that I could work in the driveway. But, I have a second 50' hose for that.

Ideally, I'd run 3/4" hose, but it's not cost-effective for a homeowner/hobbyist.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 03:13 PM
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Look on Garage Journal

I would look here -
The Garage Journal Board - Powered by vBulletin

there is a lot of good info there - including don't use PVC pipe.
Consensus seems to be to use the black pipe.
You can sign up and search to see what other solutions are out there.

I sorta like the hose reel idea - I like the modualr garage concept where everything is mobile/reconfigurable.
Plumbing hard lines can restrict your accessibility.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 09:34 PM
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oh if you go black pipe use 1/2

1966 convert
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 09:48 PM
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I have to run about 130' in my shop, I priced up both black pipe and copper, the difference wasnt enough to justify the extra work of the black pipe. If you already have copper, cant you just continue off of what you have?

I started with PVC before I new the downsides and hazards to it. It did hold a ton of moisture. It was cheap and easy and lasted a good 10 years with no hazards but if I knew then what I know now, I wouldve just done it right the first time.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 10:03 PM
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Use black pipe or copper, much safer.


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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Doesn't black pipe lead to contamination due to the moisture? I do some painting, which I do filter the air through a sophisticated dessicant system, but I am quite particular about my paint work... I would be concerned about rust particles or other contaminates making it through. However, that said, I do know my compressor tank has rust in the bottom. Any thoughts?

I am leaning towards copper again for what it's worth. I have the old 3/4" copper lines I removed before the renovation and I also have a hose reel, but to do what I really want would need 50 or 60 more feet of copper.

Dave

1996 Mustang Cobra Convertible (Procharged/423 RWHP)
1969 Fastback, 351C, TKO 600, T-lock, Shaker, slats, fold down, yadda yadda, etc.
1972 Mach 1, 351C, FMX
1931 Model A Station Wagon 150B



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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 12:43 AM
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^ + 1. Can't find the reference I used when plumbing mine, but I had always heard that black pipe was not good for the reasons stated above.

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 06:46 AM
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Following the advice of TP Tools, I used black iron. 3/4" for the main lines and 1/2" for the drops, I used the TP Tools diagrams and have never had a problem with rust or scale or anything like that. I drain the water traps each morning and again each evening after I quit work. Each drop uses an Ingersall Rand regulator and filter. I have one drop that's dedicated to paint and powder coat and that drop also uses a coalescaling filter with a replaceable cartage element and a small inline filter at the gun.

I wouldn't recommend copper pipe, the soldered joints can fail and it is subject to damage because it's relatively soft.

Here's what TP Tools says about it:
Use Black Iron Pipe only. We do not recommend galvanized metal pipe, as galvanization can come off the inside of the pipe, clogging separators and regulators. Do not use PVC pipe, as PVC will not help cool the air; and glued joints often separate. Avoid copper tubing, as it is easily damaged; and soldered joints can come loose under pressure (Safety Hazard).
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Last edited by j persons; 01-30-2017 at 06:49 AM.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 08:29 AM
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This doesn't really answer the original question, but one thing I did that I am really happy with is ad an automatic blow down. It didn't cost much, I believe about $30 and I have it set to open drain for 10 seconds every hour to blow any moisture out of the tank. I have it plugged in to my light circuit so it comes on when I enter and flip my light switch.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 09:36 AM
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On my build thread there's info on how I ran my black iron. I read all that I could find and what I have is a routing that covers most everything. For some areas of the country it may be overkill, but in New Orleans I didn't want to have any condensation issues.

Wife,........."You drove how far for that thing?"
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