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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-08-2012, 07:24 PM
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Default PVC Pipe for air lines?

Anybody ever use PVC pipe for air lines across a shop? I need to run about 80-100 feet across the shop and am looking for a reasonably cost effective way of doing it. I'm tired of rolling out hoses and tripping over them all day. I run about 175 psi max.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:40 PM
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Not unless you want to kill yourself. They aren't made for air pressure, only liquid and not the type of pressures that you see in a compressed air system. Check garagejournal.com for extensive discussions on this very subject. Only use black pipe, heavy wall copper pipe or pex rated for air, rated at 300 PSI burst pressure. Some will say yes, but your wife is worth more than a few dollars for cheap air lines.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer_X View Post
Not unless you want to kill yourself. Some will say yes, but your wife is worth more than a few dollars for cheap air lines.
Thanks for the info. I'm gonna guess that "wife" was a typo.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redmt View Post
Thanks for the info. I'm gonna guess that "wife" was a typo.
Yeah, sent it from my phone. stupid autocorrect . Meant to type life.
Although if married, maybe the wife would appreciate the thought.
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:23 PM
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When PVC fails (and it will under air pressure) it is a catastrophic failure. Little shards everywhere. The stuff is bad news. Guys will say they've never had a problem, but it is just a matter of time.

Look into the aluminum tube type systems that are popular now. The tube is coated with blue epoxy, makes it real pretty.

Next choice would be sweated copper lines.

Last choice is black iron pipe. You'll never get it to seal 100% so it is problematic.

There is also a system available that uses nylon tubing to connect from fitting to fitting, but I don't have any experience with it.

Paul
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:37 PM
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With that high of pressure I would not use PCV. I agree that some use it and have never had problems but most of the time they do not use it above 50 lbs or so. I think that is even too high.

Yes there is many different types of PVC and some would work better than others, but I would not use it at all for that high of pressure. You would be asking for trouble...in my humble opinion.

I would use Pipe for this specification. Yes black pipe will leak down. However, you can get a seal on it but it is very hard to do. But do you leave your air compressor on all the time or only when needed. If you turn it off when not in use, then pipe would be the way to go.

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Old 03-12-2012, 01:15 PM
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Black iron will seal after some time if the ere is a little moisture in the line, they will rust and seal. My old shop it took about 9 months for the lines to hold pressure overnight.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:03 PM
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i use black pipe myself......copper is ok, but i run high line pressure, copper sweat joints scare me at 150-175 psi
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:47 PM
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Another option is 1/2" air hose. Reasonably priced, easy to route and made for that use.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:47 PM
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yep, going with the simplest, cheapest way out for now. Just going to run a 1/2" line through the overhead.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:03 PM
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[QUOTEWhen PVC fails (and it will under air pressure) it is a catastrophic failure. Little shards everywhere. The stuff is bad news. Guys will say they've never had a problem, but it is just a matter of time.
][/quote]
I'm not saying to use PVC, just telling you of my expirence with it...Built my shop (40x50) in the mid 90's,was out of money by the time it was done, so I ran about 200' of air line thru it,used one inch PVC,(BTW:rating says 300 psi on it) it was the least expensive option and I could do it myself..I have a fairly large commercial type compressor, set at max of 160psi....so far, no breakages,guess I'm just lucky....Schedule 40 PVC is even thicker and probably has a higher psi rating.......2 large commercial body shops in the areause nothing but PVC throughout their shop with great results......

Whatever you use for your air lines,try to have a "slope" in them so the moisture in the air will drian and not collect or "pool" in any sag you may end up with...........

David
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:18 PM
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Thanks for that info David. I was thinking Schedule 40 might be a better solution than regular PVC. I did not know that it had such a high PSI rating. I have probaby used over a million feet of the 3/4 pipe over the last 25 years and have never used it in this application.

Thanks for the info on the hands on experiance.

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Last edited by 4RE KLR; 03-13-2012 at 04:50 PM..
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4RE KLR View Post
Thanks for that info David. I was thinking Schedule 40 might be a better solution than regular PVC. I did not know that it had such a high PSI rating. I have probaby used over a million feet of the 3/4 pipe over the last 25 years and have never used it in this application.

Thanks for the info on the hands on experiance
.
I just was in my shop and checked, I used all schedule 40(can't remember that far back, must must have hit a deal on it) thru out the shop for both water and air lines........the max psi I run in my shop is 160psi..

And the schedule 40 PVC pipe is rated at 480 psi!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 03-13-2012, 04:51 PM
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Wow, I had no idea. Thanks.

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Old 03-14-2012, 06:31 AM
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When I did my garage, I used heavy wall copper pipe which worked well for me, but now there are kits out that make the install much easier. I think I saw one on the Eastwood site, but I'm sure others have them too.

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