copper vs pvc compressor lines?

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  1. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRod Lemmie see your b00bs. FABO Gold Member

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    When you start talking schedule this and that, I am way lost.
     
  2. 67Dart273

    67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    It's "what it's called." If you run into an older house with gal. pipe, it WILL be sked 40, that's about all that was used.

    Sked 80 is thicker, more pressure, and uses heavier fittings, elbows, etc.

    Who knows how the US got started down the road of pipe fittings, as they don't make sense to many people
     
  3. DA4AD

    DA4AD Well-Known Member

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    NEVER PLASTIC OF ANY KIND.
    1) An air molecule is smaller than a water molecule that is why plastic explodes with air and not with water.
    2) As for "schedule" basically the higher the number the thicker the wall. This applies to Most piping, copper uses K, L & M. Schedule 10 pipe will have a thinner wall than schedule 40, schedule 40 thinner than 80 so on and so on.
    3) Most piping is measured ID (inside diameter)or IPS (inside pipe size).
    4) As for size it depends on the linear footage of your mains and how many drop legs you require. For example a 30x50 shop with a air line on three sides (doors on forth) I would use 1-1/2" main and 3/4" drop legs (at 10' per) assuming there are three per wall. If your drop legs are longer than 10' bump it up to 1".
    5) "40" black steel piping is all I use and malleable iron fitting NOT cast iron!

    My 2 Cents.
    :burnout:
     
  4. Tackweld

    Tackweld Active Member

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    Read the last line concerning the effects from the compressor oil that will get onto every square inch inside that PVC pipe.

    From U.S. Plastics:
    No, PVC and CPVC pipe should not be used for compressed air lines.
    Here is what the manufacture has to say about it.

    WARNING! The use of plastic piping with compressed air or gasses can result in severe bodily injury or death.

    Harvel’s PVC and CPVC piping products are “rigid” thermoplastic materials. Harvel Plastics, Inc does not recommend the use of PVC or CPVC piping products for testing, transport, and storage of compressed air or gas. The compressibility of air and/or other gases result in tremendous amounts of stored energy, even at lower pressures. Should failure occur in a compressed air or gas system for any reason (i.e. improper assembly, mechanical damage, etc.) the failure mode will be very dramatic in nature due to the physical characteristics of the rigid piping in combination with the immediate release of stored energy. Under these conditions, the velocity created by rapidly escaping air and the resultant failure mode can throw shards of plastic in multiple directions (i.e. shrapnel/projectiles). This scenario creates a substantial hazard to personnel and property within the vicinity of the piping should a failure occur. Several cautionary statements and alerts against the use of rigid PVC/CPVC piping for use with compressed air or gasses are available through the Plastic Pipe Institute(PPI), American Society for Testing(ASTM), various other trade organizations, manufacturers, safety codes, as well as several State and federal Agencies(i.e. OSHA).

    Compressed air or other gasses should never be used in testing. Extreme care should be used to assure complete venting of all entrapped air when filling the system with water or other liquids used in testing. Whether hydraulic hand pump or available water line pressure is used, any slow build-up of gauge pressure in a completely liquid filled line shows some entrapped air in the system. Pressure should be immediately released and the line re-bled. Failure to do this can lead to a catastrophic failure when the decompressing gas suddenly accelerates the solid water column if a faulty joint separates.

    PVC and CPVC piping systems are not recommended for compressed air lines. Improper installation, especially poor cementing techniques can lead to an abrupt release of tremendous stored energy. Shattering of pipe and fittings is then apt to occur at directional changes and at point where the system is rigidly restrained due to instantaneous whipping action imparted by the escaping air. Internal surface cracks, due to the stress, ca be initiated which will tend to propagate and cause shattering, hairline or pinhole cracks over a period of time. There is also evidence that certain additives to system lubricants will initiate internal stress cracking which will again lead to similar failure over extended periods of time.
     
  5. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRod Lemmie see your b00bs. FABO Gold Member

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    Well, I tell yall what. Any of yall wanna come over here and replace what I got with something better, bring it on. All I can afford is what I got.
     
  6. 4spdragtop

    4spdragtop CONGRATS NORTH AMERICA! FABO Gold Member

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    Good in depth info there, thanks!
     
  7. jimharvard

    jimharvard JimHarvard FABO Gold Member

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    wow... i've NEVER heard of anyone considering using pvc pipe for an air line!! although i'm a retired attorney, i work part-time at home depot in the plumbing dept essentially for "entertainment" - been there over 7 years. there is NO plastic pipe safe for high pressure air use. ALL plastic pipe is for water use ONLY - unless you're using grey pvc for electric wire runs. black iron pipe is your best choice overall for price. you could use copper or galvanize but both are much more expensive. please forgive me for what i'm about to say, however, .... ANY plastic pipe for air line use is DANGEROUS and is AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN and only AN IDIOT would consider using it for that purpose!!! lots of things on FABO are a matter of opinion with various options possible. however, THERE IS NO DEBATE ON THIS TOPIC - YOU CANNOT USE PLASTIC PIPE FOR AIR LINE APPLICATIONS ... PERIOD!!!
     
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    • 64ragtop

      64ragtop Well-Known Member

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      Lots of folks in that situation, Rusty, and I guess most of them get away with it.
      But just one failure like those earlier in this thread could change your definition of "All I can afford".
      I just hope that IF there's a failure in your system you are far enough away that you can say "What was that??"

      BC
       
    • Oklacarcollecto

      Oklacarcollecto Life is an experiment

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      I would rather use air hoses and hang them on the wall rather than take a chance with PVC. My buddy loosing an eye and spending a long time in the hospital taught me a lesson. Much cheaper to use something safe rather than chance being maimed for life or dead. If I walk in to a shop and see PVC being used for an air line I go out the door immediately.
       
    • 4spdragtop

      4spdragtop CONGRATS NORTH AMERICA! FABO Gold Member

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      Bill that is exactly what I used, air lines strung thru the shop....50' of 3/8 for like $50, dont look pretty but better then me in the hospital, or 6 feet under...
       
    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod Lemmie see your b00bs. FABO Gold Member

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      Since I've lost one eye to a bobcat attack when I was eight, if I lose my other one, I guess my musical career will have to skyrocket.
       
    • 72Dodge

      72Dodge Well-Known Member

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      My black pipe setup didn't cost all that much. I can't really remember for sure offhand, it was a few years ago, but it couldn't have been more than $250 for everything. Just don't buy that /6 from the jackalope in the other thread and you're there LOL
       
    • Oklacarcollecto

      Oklacarcollecto Life is an experiment

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      Do the math, you can put a 3/4" black iron set up together pretty cheap when compared to an injury. I would take the 120 inch pipe and cut it in to 40 inch sections since Lowes offers the service free. Based off that it would take 3 Tees per 120 inches of pipe. $22.85 plus tax for approximately 125 inches of air line. If you can't afford all the air hose connectors at once a black iron pipe plug is $1.33 plus tax. The nice thing is you can start on the system and add to it as you have the money. If you happen to have access to a 3/4 inch pipe threader and have access to a wholesale outlet that sells to plumbers you should be able to save a lot on the pipe. My cost for a 20 joint is about 18.00.
       

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    • Oklacarcollecto

      Oklacarcollecto Life is an experiment

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      I am going galvanized because the cost difference is really small. $25.85 compared to $22.85 for the same items in the example above. The 3/4 galvanized elbow is actually 17 cents cheaper that the black iron. For the pipe plugs you could use the black if you needed any.
       

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    • 72Dodge

      72Dodge Well-Known Member

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      I've read some places to not used galvanized for air because little "flakes" can break off and get in your air stream. But, I would think they would be big enough for a filter to easily remove? I don't know. I have no experience with it myself, just saying what I've read in case anyone else has any add'l experience using it. I'd sure like to know in case I ever need to replace what I have.

      I didn't use galvanized myself, just regular black iron, and so far so good. If I had any sort of plastic pipe, I would make my very next expenditure iron for safety.
       
    • KENTON

      KENTON Well-Known Member

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      Also if your plastic line fails, and your not there your compressor will run non stop. That has burned down more than a few car shops, and the cars in them.
       
    • Oklacarcollecto

      Oklacarcollecto Life is an experiment

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      I can say I have never seen an issue myself but I won't say it can't because I can't say for sure.

      I used to work for Mercury Marine/Mercruiser in the maintenancedepartment and galvanized is what we had in the entire building, even on all three paint lines. We was running 160psi if my memory is correct.

      When I opened up my mattress company I used galvanized throughout all the manufacturing area and on all the pneumatic operated machines/cutters . I never saw anything from the inside of the lines.

      We ran galvanized in a buddy's body shop and he never had issues with it.

      I will note that all this was 1988 and before with American manufactured pipe so maybe things may have changed with all the imported pipe.

      I will call my buddy that owns Kicker Corporation and see what they are using since they moved in to a bigger set up about 5 or 6 years ago.
       
    • moparmat2000

      moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      at my work we also have about 2' piece of tubing drop straight down below a Tee fitting for the quick connects coming out of the walls, at the bottom of this we have a ball valve, and a rubber hose vented outside the building.this way as the heated air cools and condenses it collects in the tube below where your air hose fitting is. periodically you open the ball valve and drain the collected moisture right outside.

      i plan on doing this in my shop. i will be sweat fitting a copper pipe manifold and have a flexible line from compressor to the air manifold long enough to move my compressor outside when i am using it. i have a 22V 60 gallon upright i mounted on a 1/2" aluminum plate , and it has some craftsman tool box wheels under the plate to easily move it.
       
    • 72Dodge

      72Dodge Well-Known Member

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      Cool, thanks. I plan on doing some upgrades to my setup and if it seems ok, I'd start using galvanized for those areas, then just replace existing with galvanized if/as the need arises.
       
    • Oklacarcollecto

      Oklacarcollecto Life is an experiment

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      We did our blow off by making a drop that basically looks like a football goal post but the bottom leg was straight down. We also did a ball valve and a hose to the outside like you mentioned. At the mattress company, between the compressor and the galvanized lines we used a hydraulic high pressure line that was made for a Case backhoe front end loader. Lol, the hose was free since my buddy has sold his backhoe and new so why not?

      I mounted the horizontal tank compressor on motor mounts for a 1976 F-150 with a 390 to cut down the vibrations since it was upstairs. They really helped a lot.
       

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    • 67Dart273

      67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      ...............
       
    • torredcuda

      torredcuda Well-Known Member

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      Had a pvc line blow out in a sheet metal shop I worked at years ago, huge chunks shooting across the shop. Luckily it just scared the crap out of everyone and no one was hurt. Just because you`ve had pvc in your shop for years without incident just means you`ve been lucky! I`ll be running black pipe thruout mine, actually sitting here waiting for the propane co. to finish installing my garage heater, woohoo!!!
       
    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod Lemmie see your b00bs. FABO Gold Member

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      That was funny right there I don't care who you are. lol

      Alright. Yall convinced me. Since I have a smaller compressor, I won't run my big one until I convert it to some kinda steel pipe.
       
    • doogievlg

      doogievlg Well-Known Member

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      Seems like we got a few pipe slingers on this site. Good luck with your lines rusty. It's a fairly easy job just real tedious if you got a big shop.
       
    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod Lemmie see your b00bs. FABO Gold Member

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      I only have one line about 15 or so feet long on one side of the shop.
       
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