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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting ready to put in copper air lines, and already had a Jet regulator/filter that I was going to put at the end, but realized it says the max incoming capacity is 160 psi. My compressor goes up to 175 psi, so I thought about putting another regulator (no filter) at the compressor. But for a few more dollars, I could just get a better regulator/filter like the Sharpe 880A some of you have mentioned here. Haven't found a max pressure for it though, when I called Sharpe, I got a guy who sounded like he probably does electronic warranties too. First he said the max it could handle was 165 psi, then when I said I needed at least 175, he said it was 175(???). I'm talking about incoming pressure, not the max gauge or output pressure.

So does anybody know what the Sharpe's max is? I don't get why you'd have a regulator that needs another regulator (like the one I have seems to be), lot of 2 stage compressors out there. Or is there a another setup, or regulator/filter you'd recommend?
 

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First off you can adjust the EP switch down to 160 psi , and second I would not use copper for supply. If you insist on it then use hard copper and fittings with sil-flos. I do have the 880 and it is nice.
 

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BeeTX said:
I'm getting ready to put in copper air lines,
Isn't copper a little dicey for 175 psi? Iron pipe is the usual piping material for air lines both for the pressure and for the thermal mass that will cause the residual moisture in the air to condense out.
 

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Copper is better than iron for heat dissipation but either will work just fine and although I am not saying it is ok (it is not ok!) I have seen that 880 Sharpe connected to supply lines running well in excess of 175 PSI. It is common practice around the mining areas I serviced to overpressure compressors to maximize tool performance even though this is dangerous and detrimental to tool life it is still done. Don't mess with the regulator setting on that compressor even to lower it because it is the design setting for that motor/pump/tank combo and will be the most efficient setting. The Sharpe 880A is an EXCELLENT choice and 175 PSI will be just fine for that unit.
 

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oldred said:
. Don't mess with the regulator setting on that compressor even to lower it because it is the design setting for that motor/pump/tank combo and will be the most efficient setting. The Sharpe 880A is an EXCELLENT choice and 175 PSI will be just fine for that unit.
I don't agree , sorry, he is not talking continuous shop duty here and he does want to use his Jet regulator if he can ( which would probably be fine at 175 psi) especially since it is already out of warranty. I keep my 7.5 / 60 gal. at 135 normally and if I am going to spray paint or blast i crank it up. It really all depends on the amount of volume of air he has available.
 

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Richard, There is nothing to be gained from dropping the pressure it only makes your compressor less efficient. Depending on pump design and driven speed the design shut off setting is optimized for that tank size and HP rating and to change this setting only wastes power. Sorry but I have sold and serviced compressors and air systems for both shop and mobile maintenance rigs for about thirty years and it has been my experience that tinkering with that pressure switch usually leads to trouble and rarely if ever provides any benefit. As far as the regulator I would never tell anyone to exceed the max inlet pressure but I have seen many such regulators run for years on settings higher than 175 PSI with no problems, some as high as 250 PSI :pain: I have no personal experience with that Jet but 15 PSI over pressure is not very likely to hurt anything and that Sharpe would in all likelihood stand a great deal more than that, I can safely say there are thousands of them at this minute hooked up to 175 PSI and higher.

As an added note since I have mentioned these higher pressures, I am not saying it is ok to run higher than 175 PSI and in fact I have for years warned against this but it is a fact that a lot of people do. It is a bad idea because it is not only dangerous but there simply is no logical reason to do it. That shut off pressure was chosen by the engineers who designed that compressor and not by the shop janitor so if there was any major benefit to any other setting then that is the way it would have been supplied. My advice based on over thirty years experience with these things is to leave that pressure switch alone.
 

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boatbob2
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air lines

hi,as other guys here have said,only run steel pipe for your air lines. BUT put a large U bend in the pipe(using 90 % elbows(4 of them) make the bend at least 2 feet long,and put a garden hose bib in the center of the bend (at bottom) that way the water will collect there (condensation) and you can drain it using the hose bib. im boatbob2
 

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Why only use iron pipe? Copper is a better choice in about every respect except for price (the price is staggering compared to iron) copper will cool better, will not rust inside and is easy to work with. Type "L" 3/4" pipe is pressure rated at nearly 600 PSI which is more than strong enough for air lines and is commonly used for shop air systems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here's a link to copper.org tables for type M pipe. 3/4 " at 150 deg F. holds 346 psi working pressure. Actual burst tables show 4700 psi (wow). And the price has come down some lately, $15 for 10 ft. of type M. :) Solder I'll use is 95-5 tin-antimony. I agree with oldred for his listed reasons, my decision on copper was partly from his posts here. I think you guys will find his experience is very valuable if you read his many detailed posts on air related topics. Thanks for the clarification on why not to lower pressure cutoff oldred, the machine/paint shop here did that on theirs and recommended it to me (not that I was going to). Your explanation makes sense.

I have a pretty good idea on the airlines, I've done a couple before with downward slope, leg coming off the top and drains at low points. Just wanted to know if the Sharpe's showed a max on them. Sounds like it'll work. Maybe the Jet would too, although I noticed tonight it says 150 psi max on the unit, could be outlet though as that's what the max gauge reading is. The globe on it is glass, if there's any chance of it blowing not worth it as I have 2 little boys who come to the garage often. I just don't want to buy another that can't handle the pressure (sounds like me in a job I had once :D ).
 

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Old Guys Rule!...EVERYTHING!
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Left field suggestion ...Use schedule 40 PVC plastic pipe! I have an air system in my garage where I used a 2" sch.40 PVC main header in the rafters and ran 3/4" down to each air station, and then changed to 3/4" galv. pipe and threaded fitting on the walls. This is held in place with uni-strut. The PVC is cheap and easy to work with. It'll (sch.40) easily hold 175 psi air, and I used 2" main header to "help" as a reservoir. That was 2 yr.s ago, still no problems at this time, and I don't have to worry about rust in those sections of the system. My $0.02 anyway, Good Luck! ...Mark
 

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Echo, This subject about PVC has been discussed to death here. PVC is about the worst choice you can make for air pipe because in addition to the fact it is VERY dangerous (especially that 2" section :pain: ) it is by far the worst thing you could use for moisture control except for maybe rubber hose. It has been banned by both OSHA and IMSHA to transport compressed gas including air due to injuries that have occurred when that stuff ruptured and threw razor sharp shards of plastic, IT DOES HAPPEN! The pressure rating on PVC does not in any way make it safe because that rating changes drastically with age and relatively minor temperature changes and even if it is operating within the proper temp range a blow from a hard object, blunt or sharp, can cause it to rupture. If you have PVC for your set-up you would be well advised to scrap that junk before hurting your self or someone else. Some people will scoff at this and point to systems that have worked ok for years but the fact that some gotten away with it still does not make it safe because some have not! Make no mistake it is dangerous and it can hurt you :nono:
 

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OLDRED ...What you have stated is true! AND if I had a shop open to the public I would not have used PVC. But I did use PVC and that is why I put it up in the rafters, it is not subject to "hard object, blunt or sharp objects" and is located in an area where "IF" it did rupture the "shrapnel" would only upset my insulation and my wife's old curtains (no big lost there) All the exposed air system is sch.40 galv. steel pipe. Now I know that OSHA has a "thing" about public safety, and some of the people you meet need all the help they can get, but this is my shop, only I work in it and I take responsibility for that! If I mess up I'm the guy that has to pay the bill. And I'm not going to run out and try to sue somebody because I hurt myself on or with their equipment. Dangerous? ...Yes, but so is the table saw I use to cut wood with. You pay your money and you take your chances! ...My $0.02!
 

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Echo, If you are so aware of the known dangers then why in gods name would recommend it for someone else? :rolleyes: The moisture problem alone is enough not to use it and before you come back with the "my air is dry" argument let me point out that I have replaced several PVC piping systems because of water problems which is usually the case. For someone to take a chance like that with their own safety is irresponsible but to suggest to someone to do it who may not be aware of the the hazards is just plain inexcusable!
 

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PVC = bad news for air lines. I did a very temporary setup with PVC. Then it was going on longer then temporary so I took it down and put up copper (still not the best). Each joint where I had used PVC cement fractured as I was disassembling it. Not just broke, but shattered in several small and very sharp pieces. This was brand new Charlotte Pipe PVC, manufactured in 2006 and installed by me in July 2006. Learn my lesson - sure did. There are several other threads here in the last year or so as well decrying the use of PVC and defining what are the best piping systems - and by real experts. Don't - it is beyond inexcuseable and is irresponsible if you have prior knowledge and possible illegal. If your air system injures someone and you are sued, this thread is public can be used as evidence.

Dave
 

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Oldred ...I only put it out as a option, the final choice is up to the end user! As far as the "water problem" all you need is low point drain and/or a separator/filter elimainates that issue.
You may have unlimited funds, but most of my life I've had to deal with used or broken equipment I've found in the junk yard or flee markets, and I think that is the case for afew here. But there are options to everything and having to deal with them is apart of this hobby. You think my idea is bad, then don't do it! ...But Please don't try to dicate to me what I can or should do.

P.S. ...I don't have a belt guard on my air compressor, should I go shut it down and not fill up my flat tire?
 

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Echo I did not tell you to not use that junk I did suggest you get rid of it because I assumed you simply did not know better, a lot of folks don't. "I could not afford anything else" is a poor excuse when the cost of iron pipe is not that much more and is cheap insurance indeed but even if cost were an obstacle then simply using rubber air hose would be cheaper still, just as effective as PVC for cooling (which is very poor) and a hell of a lot safer, BTW that 2" section you mention could easily be lethal! People come here and ask questions because they want to know how to do something and anyone who replies has a responsibility to put safety FIRST above all else. If you have something to add to a discussion fine by all means speak up and if you disagree with someone then put in your opinion and tell everyone why you disagree but you should NEVER tell someone who may not know better to do something that may get them hurt or maybe even killed. I disagree sometimes, sometimes strongly depending on the situation, and I try to respect the other guys opinion if he thinks he is right even if we never agree but I will never have respect for anyone who would carelessly endanger someone else. As far as OHSA having a "thing" about public safety as you put it they certainly do and for a darn good reason! I have worked around and serviced the mining industry since 1970 and I have been unfortunate enough to witness several serious accidents including three fatalities and in each case MSHA rules had been ignored or at least not followed to the letter. You sir are an accident looking for a place to happen and for you to recklessly recommend a known hazard and then point at your guard-less belt as an act of defiance says volumes about your character, or lack of.

FWIW, At a mine in Southeast KY in 1979 I had a friend who all but lost most of his right hand because of a missing belt guard on an air compressor, I am not making that up it is the truth. You do things the way you see fit and the rest of us can only hope that you will cause no one else any harm.
 

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OldRed,
Thank you for posting what you have in this section. I am knew to the forums and and still "setting up shop" (for 2 years now). I have my compressor (somewhat cheap Craftsman) set up with the regulator and filter / trap right off the compressor with a 50' hose.
Don't worry, you don't have to say it.... I'm looking at getting rid of that setup before using the compressor any further. I've had my impact gun spit water enough times and my blast cabinet clog up like crazy in the summer.
I will also drain down the tank and make sure everything is cleaned out before doing any work.
I've kind of grown attached to all my body parts and would like to keep all of them in working order until I no longer need any of them.
I will be using pipe to plumb a main feed around the garage to several outlets.
What I would like to ask you is the following:
1. Would it be better to run the main pipe around the top of the ceiling (8') and then put drop-downs' in, or run it around at working height slightly sloping down to one end on each wall? I was also thinking of running the main feeds up through the attic and then dropping down, but think the temp. difference in the seasons may affect the moisture problem more than the rubber hose?
2. What size and type pipe should I use? What do you use to seal all joints and connectors?
3. I've been looking at a setup from TP tools but it seems like I could put it together cheaper from Lowes or Home Depot. What do you think of this?...
http://www.tptools.com/product_view...KITS&mscssid=25X467VPPR7W8MUPMAHWRUGE6FTG2D4D
4. Finally, can you recommend a good shop compressor for a serious hobby shop for $900 or less?
Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, thanks for the replies here, I know intentions are always to help. I didn't expect to get into the airline material discussion. Good to have concientious folks point questionable reasoning. If it ever gets to the point somebody can sue because they did something they read on the internet, and it was bad advice, the lawyers shall inherit the earth. ;)

I'm actually replacing the PVC lines I had in my garage, which I put in before I found this great forum. They're inside plywood walls, but as oldred pointed out, point is to cool and condense, they'll be even worse at that inside there.

I'm confused though why the words to describe copper lines are "dicey," "not the best," etc. I realize black iron and galvanized work fine, but why not copper, other than cost (which isn't much different with type M now)? I'm willing to listen to opinions. As oldred said, 3/4" type L copper (table here) is good to close to 600 psi at 100 deg F., type M (table here) over 400 psi at that temp. 95-5 solder (table here) good to over 600 psi too. Type M still gives me a safety factor of 2 over 175 psi required. In my small garage, seems ideal. I've heard some use type L copper, but that doesn't seem necessary either unless these tables are wrong.
 

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Bee type M should be just fine I have installed a bunch of "L" but this was in shops for companies with deep pockets. Copper does have advantages in cooling and the fact it stays so clean inside, it always was and still is my first choice.

Just a note about strength, I know of a home made align boring mill that has some short pieces of copper pipe, not sure if it is "M" or "L" just some left over pieces, that are sometimes subjected to nearly 2000 lbs of hydraulic pressure and he has not busted one yet. I don't think it would be too "dicey" for air line :)
 

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BeeTX said:
Well, thanks for the replies here, I know intentions are always to help. I didn't expect to get into the airline material discussion. Good to have concientious folks point questionable reasoning. If it ever gets to the point somebody can sue because they did something they read on the internet, and it was bad advice, the lawyers shall inherit the earth. ;)

I'm actually replacing the PVC lines I had in my garage, which I put in before I found this great forum. They're inside plywood walls, but as oldred pointed out, point is to cool and condense, they'll be even worse at that inside there.

I'm confused though why the words to describe copper lines are "dicey," "not the best," etc. I realize black iron and galvanized work fine, but why not copper, other than cost (which isn't much different with type M now)? I'm willing to listen to opinions. As oldred said, 3/4" type L copper (table here) is good to close to 600 psi at 100 deg F., type M (table here) over 400 psi at that temp. 95-5 solder (table here) good to over 600 psi too. Type M still gives me a safety factor of 2 over 175 psi required. In my small garage, seems ideal. I've heard some use type L copper, but that doesn't seem necessary either unless these tables are wrong.
I went copper, better heat dissapation, because galvanized and black pipe can introduce contaminants into the air system...rust...I went with L because it is thicker wall than M and that makes me sleep better at night...the difference in price was nominal and depending on what type of airlines you like 1 or 2 50ft 3/8 auto reels will reach quite a way in your shop and not require extensive/expensive piping

 
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