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candygram 08-09-2004 07:55 AM

Hard piping air lines ... help (LONG)
Okay guys, stay with me please this may not be easy. In making out my piping diagram I am running into some problems/questions.
Things you need to know;
a] part of the garage is 2 stories- both need 4 air taps. only one or 2 will be used at the same time
b] there is a long run of 62 feet that need to have air for tire pressure/ impact gun use only this is separate from the 2 story main work area- might as well pipe it in anyway.

My questions are as follows-

Since I am using a 2 stage 7 hp oil lube compressor with a total piping length of just under 200 feet I believe 1" or 1 1/4" galvi piping is what I need- Correct?

Do each of my air line take offs need to have regulators, water filters, oilers? Or do I only need one main one at the tank? or do I need one in all locations? oh I am soo confused.........

When coming off the main line with a tap is it best to come straight off into 1/4 or 3/8 with a tee- or make my run to service then reduce to use size? Runs will be about 6 feet

In the 2 story garage are the main pipe loop will be ceiling height of the lower level, service drops will be made for that area and service risers will extend up to serve the floor above........ how close can the taps be? Does it matter since usually only 1 or 2 tools could be used at the same time?
Also any good ideas on how to artfully make the risers that will go up so that they have a nice drain-able drip leg?

Sorry this is so long......... but if anybody can help it's you!

Beenaway2long 08-09-2004 09:18 AM

Your definately on the right track with 1" lines. The larger the diameter, the more capacity (storage). It will also have the least pressure drop. I would use the 1" right up to the air fitting. Why restrict it? If the piping in the wall, come out with a short nipple, and T it vertically. The lower leg of the T should have a 6" min. nipple and a valve to drain the leg. Come out the top of the T with a Street Ell, and then a bushing to reduce to your air fitting. IF you were to have your 1st and 2nd floor fittings directly above/below each other, you could eliminate the Ell and use a T in its place. You also would only need to drain the lower leg, as the moisture would not make it up the pipe.

Line dryers should be away from the compressor to be effective.
Regulators can be at the compressor
Oilers should be after the dryer

You can put outlets as close as you want. Each one costs money , though ! :drunk:

Machine154 08-09-2004 09:34 AM

Hi. I was wondering why you would install so much hard lines instead of using one or two hose reels on swivel mounts? Are you trying to make sure that you overbuild it so you don't have to worry about it later?


Kevin45 08-09-2004 12:13 PM


I was wondering why you would install so much hard lines instead of using one or two hose reels on swivel mounts? Are you trying to make sure that you overbuild it so you don't have to worry about it later?
Air hose is just about like extension cords. Install more outlets so you don't have to drag a cord around. And with larger hard lines you can maintain a better pressure instead of losing it on a small hose. The more small hose you have the more pressure drop.


candygram 08-09-2004 01:21 PM

okay, this is good
Just a duhhhhh question for you , a line drier is a water filter by another name. Right?
Also I like the idea of using a T on the outlets to serve both floors!
But I repeat one of my more expensive question.....Do each of my air line take offs need to have regulators, water filters, oilers? Or do I only need one main one at the tank? or do I need one in all locations?

I have noticed most regulator/filter/oiler combo's are 3/8 or 1/4" should I be looking for 1" ?

Yes, it will be overbuilt, for convenience and oversize because well thats just the way I am.... as my daddy said " whats a hens time worth anyway?"

LanceM 08-09-2004 03:35 PM

I would not use an oiler anywhere in the line. They are typically used for stationary machinery, oil in the line will drive you nuts if try to use that air to paint with, oil the individual tools by themselves not the line.

I would run unregulated air in the line, this will allow full compressor output at any point in the shop, important when using a heavy impact or other air eating tool. I use plug in regulators and use them when I need them, about the only place I do use them is in front of a paint gun or something like a die grinder where I want to control the speed. The thing to remember about regulators is that they will give you some cfm loss even running wide open so it's usually better to use them only where/when you need them.

I would make the first run of pipe from the compressor run up hill away from the compressor, a lot of the moisture will condense in this first section and slowly run back into the compressor, in which hopefully you are installing an automatic tank drain. Then further down the line add a moisture filter, one large enough to handle the CFM of the compressor, check some place like or granger for an industrial model.

Otherwise with your plan and the advice you got above sounds like you are good to go!

Kevin45 08-10-2004 01:47 AM

Cindy...Look at page three in my Gallery and I have about 4 pics of air line schematics. Although none for two story. Also notice on the following that the oiler is used for the air tools on outlet #2 and not for painting. You DO NOT want an oiler in the line for any paint equipment or you will be asking for trouble. Here is a pic that came from this site You may want to check it out for the complete artice that was written up about piping layout.


Beenaway2long 08-10-2004 07:07 AM

A pictures worth a thousand words, but dimensioned skematics are worth a "bazillion"....:thumbup:

HURSTW25 08-11-2004 06:19 PM

I have used hard copper lines in my garage years. It is a little more costly but easier to run and more maintenance free that iron pipe. Many people think I am nuts. A former supervisor for one, but when he helped build a new facility he used copper.

Kevin45 08-12-2004 02:18 AM

candygram 08-12-2004 04:48 AM

Kevin45- Actually I have saved and printed all of your info and diagrams from previous posts that i found in a search of this board! Consider it heeded and appreciated!

As to Hurstw25's info on copper lines- do you know if you used K, L, or M type copper? Certainly the price is friendly-er than galvi right now.........

I do believe I am closing in on this......wirings almost completed so this will be up next.

rodzz 08-12-2004 11:40 AM

Tank Drain
For those who might still have the little pet**** drain (like the drain on most radiators) on the bottom of your tank (the way it came when you bought it) and probably hard to get to... You may want to think about buying the fittings and extending it out to where you can easily get to it and put a small ball-valve-type of drain there. The parts are relatively inexpensive and are available at most hardware stores.

I have found that I now drain my compressor much more often than I did when I had to get under the there with pliers, find something for it to drain into, and get the rusty water all over my arm. Now, I just go to the valve, make a quarter turn, and it drains in seconds.

It works great for me. I hope it may for some others, as well.

Here's a Question relating to using PVC pipe...
I saw in a post above where PVC will explode and create projectiles...
In the case of using PVC with a 600 PSI rating and the compressor having a pressure relief valve rated at 180PSI (or close), should the PVC still not be used? How about if it is inside the wall between studs and behind sheetrock and other wall boarding materials?

Thanks in advance for any help!


alittle1 08-12-2004 08:28 PM


Personally I would go with the type 'L' 1" copper, run at least 25' diagonally or vertical before putting any fitting in except for a copper connector of the two lengths of pipe. At the bottom of this install a water drain. If you can't do this because of space restrictions then you can use a roll of soft copper (1 or 1 1/2" ) of approximately 40 ' in length. You can put a small fan on the end to cool the inside of the coil but allow room for air circulation, this will act as a mini dryer. The first 25 feet of the piping is the most critical, as warmth holds the most moisture, and this part of your system obtains its heat from the compressing of the air. The cooling air will lose its moisture as it travels up the pipe and will condense on the inside of the copper and run down the walls to the water trap below. Keep the regulators, oilers, etc to the ends of the branch lines as suggested by others. Your large supply lines will act as storage for extra air, cooled dried air, that is. If you can find an old central air conditioner coil this is perfect for use as a dryer and it has a good size fan already.

Good luck on your endeavors. AL

wp442 08-12-2004 10:31 PM

Kevin45: The graphic you posted above and all the info you posted about piping was taken from my webpage at . I spent a great deal of time researching the contents of that page and especially creating that layout graphic, which I notice has been watermarked with a Hotrodders watermark, covering up my own '' watermark. Not cool.

Kevin45 08-13-2004 01:51 AM

wp442...I apologize for it being covered up with HotRodders watermark. And yes it did come from your site. I saved it for future reference for myself and when this topic first started I thought I'd share for others. The reason I shared this one is because of the detail and it looked like the best layout. If you would like I will go back and edit the pic and remove it. My intentions were not to take credit and as you can see I did not take credit for it. Again my apologies.


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