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Old 03-16-2006, 08:22 AM
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piping compressed air from garage to shed

Hi,
Let me start by saying I appreciate all the help people contribute to this board. I currently have a compressor in my garage, and will be building a shed/paint booth in my back yard. I will be doing all my painting there when I get it completed. I would like to leave the compressor in the garage since it is 220 30 amp, and I only play on putting 110 in the shed. The problem is, the shed is going to be about 50-60 feet away, and it gets real cold in the winter here in the northeast.

This is what I had planned so far:

1.) pipe air to garage will multiple connecting points.

2.) have a ball valve to turn air on and off to the shed (since I will be only doing painting/body work there).

3.) Bury pipe below the 4ft frost line, and bring into shed.

Now, I have read many of the posts here on piping the air, and where drip legs should be and so on. I did not see a case like this, though I may have missed it.

A.)Will this even work correctly? (any novel ideas how to get it out of the garage and underground?)

B.)What should I do about pitching the pipe and drip legs?

Any other suggestions would be great.
Thanks In Advance,
Jamie

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Old 03-16-2006, 10:48 AM
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If you are talking about dropping the pipe below the compressor to bury it in the ground and then coming back up to the shed, as I think is the case, then you may very well be creating a big moisture problem with the dip and the fact that it will be underground will compound the problem. What you will have is a trap for water to collect with nowhere to go since it will drain in from both ends plus the buried line will condense water vapor very effectively due to the cooling from the ground. Unfortunately what will happen is the water will collect in the low line with no apparent problem for a while but when it reaches a critical point it will start to restrict the air flow and the air will then cause the collected water to be expelled in surges, not just droplets but ln large amounts! After the line has purged itself all will seem ok until the water again reaches the critical level at which point the cycle will start all over again, this will happen suddenly and without warning! I have been trouble shooting air systems for over 30 years and the situation described is one I have seen many times although usually it is just a low spot in the plumbing causing the problem but I have seen at least one buried line (about 100 ft) that was a nightmare for water problems. Unless you can plan for a collection device of some sort with a drain at the lowest point in the pipe I would strongly recommend that you rethink your plans especially if you plan to paint with this air supply since most water separators are not designed to handle water in amounts that large.

Last edited by oldred; 03-16-2006 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:32 PM
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OLD RED, Excellent Post.

If it were me, then I would put a water separator inline before it exits the garage, then pipe the line to an air tank in the Shed, and then put another water separator inline off the Shed tank. Any burst of water into the shed will collect in the bottom of the tank, and the 2nd separator should take care of the rest of the moisture. BUT (Don'tcha just love that word in a post?) The problem of water accumulation in the underground line will come about, and the only way I can figure out how to deal with it, is to evacuate the line with a vacume pump every so often, bringing the vacume down to 29". This will evaporate all the moisture in the line, but make sure to keep the pump going for about 3 hours. It's the same principal used to dry out A/C systems that have been opened. Good luck, gimme a critique OLD RED, whaddaya think?
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Old 03-16-2006, 10:32 PM
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Tech, I would think that a second tank located in the shed just might solve the problem. I have always tried to prevent the water from collecting in the pipe instead of just dealing with it but in this case, if there is no other practical route for the pipe, that might be an answer for his problem. As you said, maybe a vertical tank with the inlet near the bottom and the outlet on top feeding into a good water separator. Any burst of water into the second tank would cause a lot of mist meaning that he would be dealing with very moist air but a large well designed water seperator should be able to eliminate the mist ok and then an inline drier at the gun (if painting) would hopefully take care of any remaining water, these inline filters are a good idea anyway when painting. Might work
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Old 03-16-2006, 11:39 PM
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Could you take out some concrete in the garage, go down four feet, put your drain there with a extended handle, and slope up to the shed, or you could even go 6 or 7 feet down, I went down six feet last summer to bury a water and supplied air line.

That line is about 40 feet long, I came inside the garage about a foot or so, put the lines in conduit where they come out of the floor.

page #5 on my site has one picture of the lines coming out of the floor, not that good a picture.

Paint booth, Ventilation, etc.
http://www.2manitowoc.com/paintroom.html
Rob

Rob

Last edited by robs ss; 03-16-2006 at 11:43 PM. Reason: add pictures
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:32 AM
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what if you put a small steel tank at the shed end of the supply line, dig like a sump pump well inside the shed where the line comes in, and plumb the supply line into it. then bring the line up to the shed from there

add an autopurge to the bottom of the tank so you dont have to manualy drain it, and your all set

all the water that condenses inside the line will run into the bottom of the tank, and will be purged add some gravel to the bottom and use a sectio0n of drainage pipe for the sides and make a wooden cover for the hole

any water that gets purged can just soak into the ground

if you dont want to spend $ on an autopurge, just put a valve on the bottom of the tank, add a actuator lever, and put a lever on the wall. pull down on the wall lever, drain the water, pull up on the lever to shut the valve, whaaala, water is gone

a 5 gallon air tank with some new fittings welded to it will work great for the collection tank
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:41 PM
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Well, this is looking like it may be more difficult than I originally thought. I could pitch the pipe from the garage down to the shed ( the shed is not built yet, I have many options I can do there). I could then put in a tank like you suggested in the ground to collect the water.

What if I just ran my flexible compressed air line out to the shed on the ground when I want to paint. I know that may be a pain, but will that decrease my water problems? I believe the shed is at a lower point than the garage ( I will have to measure to see what it would be). If I could make a quick connect that was in the foundation or wall of the shed that was below the level of the start of the run with enough room for a drip leg inside the shed then I could run my line up and tee off from there?
Thanks for you help.
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Old 03-17-2006, 03:37 PM
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just vacume out your lines like mentioned b4, get a thin rubber tube ( like what a flowbee uses to connect it to a vacume ) put 1 end on your vacume, and the other on a open pipe, and close off the other side of the line ( should do this anyway so you don't fill lines that don't need to be, with a ball valve ) and turn the vacume on, and when it starts to make the no more air noise, open up the relife valve on the vacume, then you could open the ball valve and suck all the lines out.
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Old 03-17-2006, 06:02 PM
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put a quick fit thru the wall of both buildings at ground level or so,then just hook up a 60 foot line between the two when you need to use the air in the shed,when you don't need it just coil it up and hang it on the wall,no digging involved,if it ever did freeze up,you could bring in and thaw it out.
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Old 03-18-2006, 06:22 AM
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Nothing exotic is needed here, simply a collection drop with a drain at the lowest point in the line. If the shed is lower than the garage then the line will be sloped which will be an advantage. If it is not practical to have a drain at the lowest point then the second tank or "thump keg" should solve the problem or as Jim suggested simply use a temporary removable line.
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Old 03-20-2006, 06:59 AM
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Thanks for all the info. I think I will just go with the removable line between the two. That will probably be the easiest route to go.

Thanks again for your help.
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Old 03-20-2006, 08:22 AM
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James, For painting it would be a good idea to have a water separator located in the shed unless the one you have is already a good distance from the compressor. This is a good idea anyway when there is a really long hose or pipe which will give the water vapor a chance to condense. That removable line should be no more of a water problem than any other length of hose run in your shop but the farther you can locate the separator from the compressor the better. Just a little extra insurance
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:06 AM
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I will definitely get a water separator for the shed. The connection I make to go outside will not be very far from the compressor.

James
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