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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 08-02-2012, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moparmuscle1 View Post
I'm surprised that pex piping isn't talked about more , Its used a lot now in home garages , according to the internet . I've been searching the pex air lines now for a while , before I put them in my garage . It seems like a 50/50 deal , some love it and some hate it . Its cheap enough and certainly easy enough to install . While it plastic , it no PVC . Its a lot stronger than PVC too. The only real complaint I can see it doesn't cool the air enough . Lets here the good and bad
"Old Fool" has already expressed his opinion on PEX in post #15

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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 08-02-2012, 09:25 PM
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Hmmm ... I will have to research this "Type L" copper piping. I'm hoping that is the common household plumbing stuff, because that is what I used.



I've also used rubber truck air brake hoses on both sides of this cooler in order to have flexible, vibration-free joints. Opinions on that?

I don't spend a lot of time in my home garage/workshop ... but the air is always on. That compressor is probably overkill for my usage, but it was an amazing deal ... couldn't pass it up.

Any time that I have spent out there, where I did use a significant volume of air with the die-grinder, air hammer, or even a blow gun ever resulted in any condensate making it as far as the water trap. That cooler seems to work awesome!
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:56 AM
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Here is some info I collected about air compressor piping that helps understand why we experience moisture problems.
The Science Behind Piping Your Air Compressor

A look at piping material choices (does not cover PEX)
What Pipe to Use for Your Shop's Compressed Air?

A very efficient mechanical moisture extractor. Probably the best piece of equipment you could add to your compressor. I just wish Home Depot/Lowes carried the 2-1/2" iron pipe necessary.
WTF is a Franzinator?

And an effective way to keep a compressor quiet.
Keeping Your Compressor Quiet

PEX is designed to expand when the water it contains is frozen, so I would suspect that it lacks the rigidity of even a cheap air hose. That tendency to expand and contract may not be desirable for air supply lines because of the effect it would have on maintaining pressure in the lines.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:18 AM
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Nice cooler 66GMC

There are 3 basic types of household copper pipe M, L, and K; M is very thin and in my opinion not good for air systems as it cant take much abuse, L is the most common in systems with good wall thickness, K is very thick ( and expensive!) and would probably be what i would use for an industrial application or had the extra $ to burn.

I like your cooler idea and I bet it works well, I cant see from the pic but I assume that there are drains at the bottom of the loops

The flexible rubber lines are excellent to eliminate system vibration caused from the compressor and as long as they are reinforced hose and not just small sections of regular air hose they should work great.
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:34 AM
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I email a major national supplier of Pex in the US yesterday and this is the reply they sent me . ( I know many people have used PEX for the application you have described, but we cannot recommend using PEX for compressed air simply because it has not been tested for it. ) On some sites that I searched looking for a answer , A lot of people have said they have been using it ever sense it came out without any problems . Some have been using it at higher than the 120 psi that I had planned on .
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by amcginley View Post
There are 3 basic types of household copper pipe M, L, and K; M is very thin and in my opinion not good for air systems as it cant take much abuse, L is the most common in systems with good wall thickness, K is very thick ( and expensive!) and would probably be what i would use for an industrial application or had the extra $ to burn.

I like your cooler idea and I bet it works well, I cant see from the pic but I assume that there are drains at the bottom of the loops

The flexible rubber lines are excellent to eliminate system vibration caused from the compressor and as long as they are reinforced hose and not just small sections of regular air hose they should work great.
Yes there are 4 ball valves behind the compressor, along with a "manifold" of sorts that directs any moiture collected into an empty pail on the floor. There is a "clean-out" fitting on the back end of this as well, in case it should somehow accumulate a bunch of crud.

The hoses are the ones used on 18-wheelers with DOT-approved crimped fittings. They are in a far less hostile environment (my garage) than down in the underbelly of a big-rig ... subjected to the Canadian climate.

There was a considerable investment in hardware, time, thought, and liquid refreshments before I got it finished. There are 3 or 4 hardware stores in my small town, and I pretty much cleaned them out of sweat-on fittings and ball valves ...

I've had a few guys from the car club that copied my design, and quite possibly improved on it. There are a few things I would do different in the assembly process, myself.

Call this one the "prototype" version. LOL
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:40 PM
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For over three (3) decades my home shop has been piped with air brake tubing and brass compression fiittings, the same stuff every truck and trailer on the road today uses for air brake service. I have never had one failure ever. I owned a truck dealership for 21 years and this stuff is bulletproof and cheaper than any thing on the market. Go to a trailer dealer (18 wheeler) and you can by the stuff in 250' rolls for about .20 a foot.
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 08-04-2012, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by capt546 View Post
For over three (3) decades my home shop has been piped with air brake tubing and brass compression fiittings, the same stuff every truck and trailer on the road today uses for air brake service. I have never had one failure ever. I owned a truck dealership for 21 years and this stuff is bulletproof and cheaper than any thing on the market. Go to a trailer dealer (18 wheeler) and you can by the stuff in 250' rolls for about .20 a foot.
I have an oilfield fleet customer that uses that synflex tubing and brass airline fittings as electrical conduit.

It's completely air and water-tight, and as you said, virtually bullet-proof.
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old 08-05-2012, 09:47 PM
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I've read this thread with considerable interest as I have built a new shop and am about to plumb my compressor. There have been a number of good tips involved in this thread, but one option (aluminum based) hasn't been mentioned. Rapid Air has a number of options that one might want to look at.
( Compressed Air Piping | Compressed Air Systems | Do It Yourself Compressed Air Systems ) As my shop is 24' X 40' and I want to plumb it for woodworking on the second floor as well as my main floor for automotive use, I'll use the Duratec 1" pipe and appropriate fittings. Compression fit and the 1" dia. will act as additional air storage and aide a new media blasting cabinet. Without attempting to condense all of the products attributes and messing it up, please take a look at the site and determine if it would be useful to one's requirements. For me, the price and simplicity as well as durability fits my needs. It will cover both dry clean air for painting and another circuit for air tools with an oiler and with my reading of this thread I will make up a water trap based on the tips contained within. Thanks to all who have contributed.

Regards,
Alan

ps: I know that this is my first post, but I've got 50yrs of experience under my belt and it began in the auto trade and was taught by some of the best. The only thing that stays the same is "change" and I am always looking out for new and better products and conditions which provide a learning experience every day. That's not to say that some things should stay the same, at least until they can actually be improved upon, but in the mean time there at numerous things that need to be changed and when those are, I attempt to adapt.

Last edited by AA Ford Guy; 08-05-2012 at 09:49 PM. Reason: clarification
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