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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 09-06-2010, 03:09 PM
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A friend of mine installs compressors and pumps for a living. All they use is Galvanized steel pipe, usually 1". He has seen copper blown out as it wears from the inside out due to the dirt and moisture in the air moving through the lines.
I showed him the picture of all the copper on the wall in an earlier post. He agreed with whoever said it may be ok for cooling the air but it is a moisture nightmare and all the 90 degree corners will restrict flow and will wear quickly

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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 09-06-2010, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-bucket23
A friend of mine installs compressors and pumps for a living. All they use is Galvanized steel pipe, usually 1". He has seen copper blown out as it wears from the inside out due to the dirt and moisture in the air moving through the lines.
I showed him the picture of all the copper on the wall in an earlier post. He agreed with whoever said it may be ok for cooling the air but it is a moisture nightmare and all the 90 degree corners will restrict flow and will wear quickly


I honestly don't see how anyone could think that set-up would be a "moisture nightmare", it should be obvious from looking at the pic that the water goes into the drops and does not lay in the bottoms of the "U"-please explain how it would contribute to moisture. I have installed two set-ups in the last year that are very similar to that design differing only in what was necessary to make it fit within the limited spaces it had to go and it does well-very well! The water is trapped in the drops and what little winds up in the filter/trap is about the same as a conventional system. as for the bends causing a restriction to airflow that is technically true and probably could be a measurable amount vs a straight pipe system but from a practical standpoint any loss is going to be negligible.


Also I have installed air systems for over 35 years, since the early 70's and I have seen a great many Copper systems some of them in large shops and very old and I have never seen Copper "wear out". I have seen Copper fail due to damage or from fatigue from poor support but wear out, no way in a normally operated shop! The only way that could happen is if there was some sort of abrasive being carried in the air and/or maybe heavy air flow for years and while I suppose that is possible it would have to be from a gosh awful dirty air system or if the air is clean a LOT of years of full time use! Suggesting that Copper is a bad choice and should not be used because it will eventually wear out is simply ridiculous. There are hundreds of thousands of air systems using Copper and have been for a LONG time so where are all the complaints of Copper pipe wearing out?
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
I honestly don't see how anyone could think that set-up would be a "moisture nightmare", it should be obvious from looking at the pic that the water goes into the drops and does not lay in the bottoms of the "U"-please explain how it would contribute to moisture. I have installed two set-ups in the last year that are very similar to that design differing only in what was necessary to make it fit within the limited spaces it had to go and it does well-very well! The water is trapped in the drops and what little winds up in the filter/trap is about the same as a conventional system. as for the bends causing a restriction to airflow that is technically true and probably could be a measurable amount vs a straight pipe system but from a practical standpoint any loss is going to be negligible.


Also I have installed air systems for over 35 years, since the early 70's and I have seen a great many Copper systems some of them in large shops and very old and I have never seen Copper "wear out". I have seen Copper fail due to damage or from fatigue from poor support but wear out, no way in a normally operated shop! The only way that could happen is if there was some sort of abrasive being carried in the air and/or maybe heavy air flow for years and while I suppose that is possible it would have to be from a gosh awful dirty air system or if the air is clean a LOT of years of full time use! Suggesting that Copper is a bad choice and should not be used because it will eventually wear out is simply ridiculous. There are hundreds of thousands of air systems using Copper and have been for a LONG time so where are all the complaints of Copper pipe wearing out?
I dont claim to be an expert about it but I rely on the expertise of people who install this stuff for a living. I was told copper is a no no for a safe system. If you look at the thickness of copper compared to pipe, there is no comparison. My friend only does industrial and the NEVER use coper, he says it is to easily damaged and wares out. Pipe doesnt
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-bucket23
I dont claim to be an expert about it but I rely on the expertise of people who install this stuff for a living. I was told copper is a no no for a safe system. If you look at the thickness of copper compared to pipe, there is no comparison. My friend only does industrial and the NEVER use coper, he says it is to easily damaged and wares out. Pipe doesnt
The air piping in our research building was installed in the 60's, it is all copper. We are a major University and this system moves some air. We use shop air to run a single cylinder 2.5L engine under boost at high load. That takes a little more air than a da sander.

My guess is they are not using it in an industrial setting because copper pipe would be easier to damage, not that it wears out, unless they are pumping something else besides air. If you ran a fork lift into a 3" copper pipe, it would be much more likely to rupture than if it was 3" steel. You can't compare industrial applications to non industrial.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:12 AM
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once again 35 yrs experience here in plumbing . copper can wear out or rupture at a seam but this is very rare .usually in both cases we are talking after years of running water 24 hrs a day 7 days a week etc. but then again i have repaired both black and galv lines which have rotted out from just a .5 psi . installed properly both will probably outlast you and i baring any unforseen accidents. if you are concerned about the copper wearing out use at least "L" tubing
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-bucket23
I was told copper is a no no for a safe system.


Copper is a very safe material to use and it is used in industrial settings all the time, I have installed a lot of Copper pipe in past years in large shops mostly in mine maintenance shops. The thickness of the Copper pipe is of no concern except in an impact situation and it will easily withstand pressures far in excess of what an air system is going to expose it to, I have even seen it used for hydraulic line which greatly exceeds the pressure ratings of the pipe and it still did not fail! (DON'T use it for that purpose, it is not meant for that and I only mentioned seeing it done to point out that it is much stronger than even it's rating suggests)


Quote:
Originally Posted by T-bucket23
f you look at the thickness of copper compared to pipe, there is no comparison.
True but so what? Either is a case of over-kill for air line pressures anyway and again the only disadvantage to Copper in this case is in impact resistance and that is hardly a safety hazard. Copper pipe would be hard to rupture in a blunt impact situation as it would just tend to flatten out and maybe plug the line and even if someone did manage to knock a hole in it what of it? It is not going to rupture explosively it will simply leak and although it could be argued that an accident, such as the fork lift example, could seriously damage Copper pipe I hardly think iron or galvanized is fork lift proof. Iron pipe would certainly be stronger in a situation like that but a comparison like that is a classic case of "splitting hairs" and no system is going to be accident proof although iron might be reasonably considered for that reason in a commercial shop.


As for Copper wearing out I am still wondering about the reasoning on that one, the air is going to eventually wear holes in Copper pipe? I stand by the comment that air wearing holes in a Copper pipe system is ridiculous and is no reason to not consider Copper. Copper is the best choice for a small air system that will not have a lot of cooling surface due to short runs of pipe, it is a safe material to use, is easy to install, has been used in countless systems for many many years with no reputation for failure (just the opposite actually) and unless it is exposed to some kind of abrasive or corrosive in the air flow it will last for generations!



One more note here, All this discussion pertains to hard Copper pipe of class "M" or "L" and soft Copper should never be used anywhere on an air system with maybe the exception being the commonly used Copper pipe from the pump head on the compressor to the unloader valve which seems to be usually soft Copper but then a lot of times this line is plastic.

Last edited by oldred; 09-07-2010 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 59 wagon man
once again 35 yrs experience here in plumbing . copper can wear out or rupture at a seam but this is very rare .usually in both cases we are talking after years of running water 24 hrs a day 7 days a week etc. but then again i have repaired both black and galv lines which have rotted out from just a .5 psi . installed properly both will probably outlast you and i baring any unforseen accidents. if you are concerned about the copper wearing out use at least "L" tubing
59 wagon man,

First off I just want it clear that I am not trying to argue with you.This is simply a question I have and I respect the fact that you have 35 years in plumbing experience.

Have you seen copper lines wear out when only air was running through them? I know water can wear out valves and pipe but it seems like there is a big difference between moving air and water.
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:31 PM
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hello

back on the "copper" air line system.

soldered more joints today,, is there an optimum position for the soon to be unified joint to be when applying the heat and subsequent solder?

For the most part I can sub assemble sections, then mount those to the wall. Did one today, soldered it while horizontal, on a few joints there was a very small area (on the absolute bottom while horizontal) where the solder did not flow together,, usually this is right next to a big drip of solder.

On these I re heated the joint to move the glob of solder to the void.
I will leak test these section tomorrow....

Back to the question, it seems like soldering fittings while horizontal is not optimum, for the most part I have some options here on positioning the sub assemblies,,is it best to have the solder flow "up" or "down" into the cavity one is trying to seal?

and where there is a glob or a void on the visible surface, is it OK to re heat and re smooth?

One more, how do you know when the gap between the pipes is filled, I feel like I am dripping lots of solder.

thanks.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:12 PM
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bbb

I have always had good luck by moving my flame back and forth around the fitting and touching the solder to it to see if it hot enough to melt. Once it starts to melt just hit solder on top of joint and it will find its way in around the joint never mattered it it was vertical or horizontal. I also put my line together and fastened it loosley to the wall. I got everything positioned then just started the solderin process and worked my way arond the room. you can buy a pad to put between wall and pipe while heating to prevent burning wall.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:18 PM
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tttttt

As far as how much solder if you start at top and it starts to drip out bottom you should have enough but also try not to over haet thats why you want to keep touching the solder to get it to flow without excess heat just takes practrice. try using some scrap and cheaper fittings to practice a couple times you will get done good luck. keep a damp rag with you and wipe joint of after soldering to clean of excess solder and the big drip
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Old 09-11-2010, 02:29 PM
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Exactly what he said! The part about practice is the most important but by the time you finish you will have mastered it.


"where there is a glob or a void on the visible surface, is it OK to re heat and re smooth?"


You can do that but don't try to heat the solder directly, heat the area behind it until the solder melts and it will tend to "wick" into the joint, that is if the joint was properly prepared. If the solder does not seem to want to flow into the joint when the pipe is at the solder's melting point the problem could be some kind of contamination on the Copper inside the joint, even oil from finger prints can cause this.
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:46 PM
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tip for estimating solder 1" per joint up to 1"

heat the opposite side of the joint to which you will apply the solder as the flame gets a green color to it move the heat around as you apply the solder. the cappilary action will cause the solder to flow towards the heat. you can wipe the joint to remove the little snot that hangs down or to make the joint look neater .i was taught by a guy who used his finger to wipe the hot joint . just be very fast and it hardly burns at all. if you are really nervous you can try and rent a tool called a propress it causes a compression connection between the pipe and special fitting. so far it has been holding 150 psi in my system no problem very quick system to install . you may even be able to find a local plumber and see if he will just come in and press it for you . it only takes seconds to do a 3/4" joint

snorulz no offense taken and i didnt mean to sound like some pompous ******* or anything . i ve never seen an air system blow a hole unless damaged . water lines definately do wear out ,depending on the application i.e, hot water recirculation line pumping water 24/7/365 only took a few years for pipe to wear out
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:01 PM
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Finished up the air compresor piping this week.
I think I did get good at soldering copper together. At the beginning I was pressure testing sections as I put them together, checking for leaks with soapy water, did not find any so I started moving forward with the assembly without on going pressure testing.
Actually went OK,,I assembled everything to the wall without solder, to get the lengths set, then took it down, assembled sub sections and put it back up,, no leaks,, seems real solid. I used doubled over aluminum foil when torching close to the painted wall, that did just fine,, per the tips on this board,, I carefully cleaned the sections to be soldered,, I bought the brushes for the ID work and the rings for the OD, put on a light coat of flux, heated evenly and soldered away.

Here are photos and the diagram.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/1371835...7624888065562/

I do not have the desiccant canisters connected in yet, I'll likley add a regulator and a pre-filter and a real good post filter.

There is 40 feet of 3/4 inch copper and 10 feet of 1/2,, so it should cool well.
thanks again.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:16 AM
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looks really good, nice job!
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:02 PM
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they say it's better to give then recieve so here is some tips for you guys.
if you really mess up and overheat the fitting you will not get the solder to stick in that case you can braze right over the solder joint with brazing rod . just heat the joint till it is completely red and the rod will flow all by itself

home depot sells a shed about 6' h x 6' w x 3' d works great for a 60 gal upright compressor. no more noise in the garage and if your neighbors aren't right on top of it then it's quieter then a lawnmower. you can bolt this to the outside wall of your garage run the electric and air line thru the wall and it's hidden from view. shed runs around $300

job looks very nice dadtruck hope it works well for you

last tip would be about the valve. the gas ball valve has a short handle which works ok but the lever handle offers one advantage. if you need or want to install a shutoff valve up hihg and it is not accessable easily you can make a simple handle ext. if the vale is on the flat or horizontal pipe you can drill a hole in the handle and either bend a piece of 3/8" rod to fit thru the hole you just drilled and hang down to a height you can easily reach. i'll try and post a pic tonite when i get home to give you a better example
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