Here we go again: PVC PIPE FOR AIR SUPPLY LINES

Due to having no money and abundance of devil-may-care, I am thinking
of using P.V.C. pipe to put in my shop for air supply. I am thinking
of using 1/2 inch due the the highest pressure rating compared to
larger sizes.
Now, my thought is to buy some wire cloth - the stuff that has open
squares of ~ .5 inch and cut it where, when formed into a tube, it
would cover the p.v.c. pipe comfortably.
Should the pipe explode due to the air pressure, the wire-cloth should
stop large pieces from becoming killer pieces.
I expect the nay sayers to say: DON'T DO IT, YOU WILL BE KILLED. To
them I say: I don't expect to eliminate ALL CHANCES OF DEATH OR INJURY
BUT I DO EXPECT THE SHIELDING TO CALM MY FEARS RATHER THAN USING BARE
PIPE.
What say?
Thanks
Joe
Reply to
justme
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Just use rubber hoses, what's the problem.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus8003
I have had PVC air line in my business for 12 years. Runs 125 psi all day, 5 days a week. We have never had a break. Scared me to death, but my late partner had it installed before I was part of the company.
Almost all the pipes lower than 20 ft are steel, however, and all I have put in are steel.
The more immediate and lasting problem is sag in the horizontal PVC distribution lines. Moisture collects there until there is a big release of air further down the line and then liquid comes out the end. The PVC could not be placed so there was a continuous slope downward.
We have filters and a refrigerated air dryer in the line and that is a late addition. Most of the water vapor doesn't make it to the PVC, now.
Paul
Reply to
Paul Drahn
Cost, Iggy.
Reply to
justme
Thanks, Paul.
I feel better. What size are the pipes?
Joe
Reply to
justme
Cost of rubber hoses? You gotta be kidding me, they are very cheap.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus8003
I like the mesh reinforced vinyl tubing myself Gerry :-)} London, Canada
Reply to
Gerald Miller
Easy and safe and cheap.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus8003
They are 1/2", Joe.
Just wait 12 hours or so after gluing sections, before applying air pressure.
Paul
Reply to
Paul Drahn
Or the polypropylene or whatever it is black reticulation pipe - the heavier stuff used commercially or on farms.
Reply to
Dennis
If you can afford PVC Pipe and fittings, you can afford cheap imported Black Iron (really steel) pipe - they sell a lot of it for natural gas lines. Take the time to do it right, or don't bother and get lots of hoses.
They have the plastic coated rust resistant stuff too if you need to bury an air feed between the garage and house - coat the fitting with sealant, then wrap the fittings in the special tape and slather another coat of sealant over the tape to keep the water out.
Do Not use Galvanized pipe, the zinc flakes off and gets into the tools and valves.
And your 'Wrap chicken wire around the PVC " plan is doomed for failure - there is a LOT of captive energy there...
Run the riser up to the rafters from the compressor and refrigerated dryer or aftercooler, then when it changes to horizontal to head off into the shop leave a slight downhill - maybe 1/4" per 10' to the far end of the room - where you put an elbow and a drain leg down to a drain valve you can reach. Drain it every few weeks - you'll be shocked how much water coalesces out in the lines.
Do NOT buy lots of couplings - buy mostly Tees and Plugs, and put a tee every length of pipe with the third hole POINTED UP to the roof - when you realize you need a new drop there, you just pull the threaded pipe plug out of the tee and go.
If you plan to wait 20 years and then add a new drop by cutting the Black pipe and threading it for a new tee, FUHGEDDABOUDIT. You'll either snap off an old fitting, or twist the old connections and create a dozen leaks... And eventually between the hissing leaks and compressor cycling every fifteen minutes it will drive you mad, and you have to take The Whole Damn System Apart and start over.
The tap legs go UP from the main line for a few inches so if there is any moisture in the air you leave it trapped in the main line - and eventually it'll work it's way to that drain leg at the far end. Then you go horizontal over to the wall, and drop down to your drop fittings.
Oh, and put another tee there with another butterfly drain valve on the drip-leg, so if any water gets that far it's stopped again. Water in your air is bad news.
If you have the money you use Copper pipe - but you build it the exact same way with the drip legs everywhere, and up-legs to leave the water behind. Except you can skip the tees, it's easy enough to cut in one and solder or braze the tap tee as needed. (No threading in place.)
I use Silver Braze on Copper for Air (or refrigerant) - that way your Plumber doesn't think it's a Water line he can tap into. Which can get exciting.
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Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman (munged human
How about PEX tubing? Karl
Reply to
kfvorwerk
Every once and a while a bit of clorine in the gene pool is useful.
Wes
Reply to
Wes
I'd rather see you use PEX. It's similar to the polyethylene tubing used for industrial controls, and the failure mode isn't nearly as nasty as PVC. And you still get the satisfaction of doing something that's not recommended.
Found in a google search for "pex compressed air:
"I sent an email to a company that supplies PEX (pexconnection.com) here is what he said when I asked about using PEX for compressed air in a hobby woodworking shop
" Air is routinely used for pressure testing PEX plumbing systems, and we use it here to distribute the air for our air compressor, so I would say that it should not be a problem for you to do that."
Then I asked about exposure to fluorescent lights in my shop. And his reply was: "For best results, you will most likely need to cover it. PEX should not be exposed to direct UV light for more than 30 days. I will say, however, that the PEX we are using (for water and air) is exposed to direct fluorescent light and indirect sunlight and is performing well. Still, the recommendation is that it not be exposed to UV light."
and...
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Reply to
Ned Simmons
I like the idea several have posted using PEX. There is also a PVC designed and rated for air
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Reply to
Ralph E Lindberg
NorthernTool is selling a "RapidAir" air distribution set with 1/2" nylon lines and push-to-connect fittings for well below the "list" price... it actually looks like it's priced cheap for what you get; but a person could piece together their own set-up, too.
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There must be a cheaper knock-off from HF also, according to RapidAir's website "Please be aware that Harbor Freight has copied the Rapidair system. This is not our product in their stores. We have had numerous phone calls about the poor quality of this system."
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Reply to
David Courtney
PEX is their way of trademarking XLPE - Crosslinked Polyethylene, perhaps with a Nylon scuff layer on the outside. They are using it for the chassis air brake hoses on new heavy trucks, so they've got to be fairly confident in it's reliability...
But that truck stuff is also colored different so it has a little UV resistance - I wouldn't just toss up plumbing grade PEX pipe.
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Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman (munged human
Black??? Gerry :-)} London, Canada
Reply to
Gerald Miller
Green is still available - generally used for OXYGEN.
Reply to
clare
And anybody who has never worked with PEX is in for a treat. Stuff is amazingly easy.
Reply to
J. Clarke

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