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Thread: SHOP TECH: Air Compressor permanent install questions

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    SHOP TECH: Air Compressor permanent install questions

    By permanent install, I am talking running hard lines and potentially mounting/hanging compressor overhead to get it out of the way...PLUS, ideas on sound muffling...


    What have you guys done/used for these types of things...pics would be good...
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    Blue Thunder may be able to help you out. He installed and sometimes services our shop compressors.
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    My airlines the blue aluminum plastic coated stuff.

    Sweet to work with

    Quick couple type stuff, add to or take away from whenever, add in down tubes and quick couplers anywhere anytime

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    Never actually taken pics of the install but they can be seen there, or if you ever showed up you wouldn't be asking this question prolly

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    ^ that aluminum piping is pretty good to work with. No special tools needed to mount or instal.

    Jeff what are you running for an air compressor? Piston? Screw?
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    Depends on the compressor itself. Service does need to be done and regulators, pressure switches, head gaskets ect do fail. Automatic drain or manual? Remote power or power on unit? Automatic unloader, centrifugal clutch?

    Compressors need cool clean air so my preference is in a high place out of the way but unobstructed underneath so you can get at for service and have a vent / fan to the outside to let heat out and pull clean cool air in. That way you can build an insulated box around it for noise. The other option is build a shed outside to protect from the weather access to cool clean air and then run a line through the wall. But once again that depends on where you live and the closeness to neighbours.

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    Piston...


    As a side note, maybe you could start a new thread explaining the differences in compressors...I think that would be a good shop tech thread...

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    I ran 1/2" copper lines around my garage. Cheap and easy to install, change or remove. next time I would go with 3/4"-1" sized lines and probably just use black iron. I'd love to run the blue aluminum stuff but I am just too cheap.

    I run the compressors(I have two small ones) to the P.A. deliquescent dryer (they call it a dessicant dryer but it is not one). It then goes through a filter, regulator and off to 4 take offs (3 at my workbench and one near the garage door.)

    My next upgrade is to find a good motor and compressor and around 3- 30 gallon tanks. I'll put the tanks in the attic and install the motor//compressor under the work bench. This should free up significant space under my work bench. When working with a 1 car garage with 2 vehicles, 4 bikes and a lawn tractor in it.... space is at a premium.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidepipes View Post

    My next upgrade is to find a good motor and compressor and around 3- 30 gallon tanks. I'll put the tanks in the attic and install the motor//compressor under the work bench. This should free up significant space under my work bench. When working with a 1 car garage with 2 vehicles, 4 bikes and a lawn tractor in it.... space is at a premium.
    I like what your saying here with regards to the tanks in the attic.

    attic tanks would be cool but their orientation is important. I would think that if you place them so that condensate would drain into the air line and collected somewhere that is easily accessible in the shop.

    CurrentLy I use 30 gallon upright with a hose that I drag around the shop. I'm sure this is how most do it. But I'm tired of tripping on it all the time... Time for some changes.

    Great ideas.
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    ^ some of the reading I have been doing about hard lines say to run a soft line from the compressor to a hard line TEE...from the TEE, have a drop that goes down as close to the floor as you can...and a pipe going up as high as you can...as the condensation comes out it will go down the pipe where you can have a ball valve for draining...the air going up would be dry (or close to it)...


    From there, run horizontal lines as close to the ceiling as possible (with a 4" per 50' slope - downwards as it goes away from the compressor...put a TEE in for every drop you want and again, run the pipe down as close to the floor as possible with a ball valve for draining...on those drops (about 3.5' - 4' from the floor) have another TEE and run your quick disconnects off those TEEs...


    From what they are saying, this should minimize the condensation getting to your tools and gives you plenty of room below your quick disconnects to collect the condensation and then drain it from the system.

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    I was just going to run a common drain line down into the garage and drain them together.

    I wouldn't want the air line carrying the condensate down. Your dryer or water separator needs to work harder as the compressed air will always be saturated with water.

    I would run a supply line to tanks and a supply line from the tanks to the dryer/ water separator. Doing this means there is more opportunity for the moisture to drop out of the air in the tanks and go down through your tank drain.

    IGAFJ.... I understand what they are trying to do there.... but why not completely eliminate the water from the system. The Princess auto air dryer( usualy goes on sale for $45 and the deliquescent beads are another $40 or so) I run eliminates all moisture from the system. I have a filter separator after the dryer and I have never had a drop of water in it. I have sandblasted frames, painted cars--all in the summer heat/ humidity and never a drop in it.

    ---------- Post added at 07:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:19 PM ----------

    http://www.princessauto.com/pal/prod...cant-Air-Dryer
    http://www.princessauto.com/pal/prod...-Dryer-Pellets
    Last edited by Sidepipes; 06-16-2012 at 07:23 PM.

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    I run a 19.5cfm with approx. 45gal. Everything is in the attic so when it kicks in i can easily talk, work, or hear the tv over it. Never had a problem with water but i run a dryer with my plasma, paint, powder coating and sandblasting.
    I feed down to my reel with. A 1/2in line the just drag the 3/8 around. But i soon am going to put up 3/4pipe as we just got a pipe threader at work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidepipes View Post
    I ran 1/2" copper lines around my garage. Cheap and easy to install, change or remove. next time I would go with 3/4"-1" sized lines and probably just use black iron. I'd love to run the blue aluminum stuff but I am just too cheap.

    I run the compressors(I have two small ones) to the P.A. deliquescent dryer (they call it a dessicant dryer but it is not one). It then goes through a filter, regulator and off to 4 take offs (3 at my workbench and one near the garage door.)

    My next upgrade is to find a good motor and compressor and around 3- 30 gallon tanks. I'll put the tanks in the attic and install the motor//compressor under the work bench. This should free up significant space under my work bench. When working with a 1 car garage with 2 vehicles, 4 bikes and a lawn tractor in it.... space is at a premium.
    i ran 1/2 copper silver solder the fitings, and pressure tested at 200 psi,if i do again 3/4 lines

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    i used 3/4" black pipe with threaded couplers and elbows. cost about $50 for what i did.
    i made sure there was a gradual slop towards the end of my manifold line where i have a lowpoint drain for precaution.
    used a short rubber air line to connect to the manifold as recommended by others to avoid vibration from the compressor throughout the shop.
    as for dumbing down the noise, i turn up the radio.

    piping in air to my shop is probably the best improvement ive made aside from increasing floor space by knocking down a wall
    Last edited by KillBilly; 06-18-2012 at 06:27 AM.

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    you could also use the new plastic pluming shit (pex i think its call ) its rated for 300psi
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    I found this link on Pirate a while back and thought it was great. hide the hose and wiring in the wall.

    http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1007317
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    Neat solution but I am sure ESA would have something to say about that up here. I would locate the electrical switch in a separate box if you need to get an electrical inspection.

    It would also be a little hard( not impossible) of an install in the wall if you are doing it in a pre-existing wall with insulation.

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    ^ I agree with the interesting setup...very clean looking...


    Personally, I think the garage/shop is supposed to be functional versus how it looks...I would much rather surface mount everything, including ALL electrical, water, any other services, etc. That way, if you ever need to change/add anything it is easy access...can still be made to look decent...

    I have seen exposed setups where the various pipes/conduits are painted in a colour code to quickly/easily identify the various services running through the shop...that was in a big shop though, not a home shop...

    The colours, if I remember correctly...

    Green for compressed air
    Yellow for Natural Gas (standard colour)
    Blue for cold water
    Red for hot water
    not sure if they had electrical painted or not...

    ---------- Post added at 09:08 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:02 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by j-p618 View Post
    you could also use the new plastic pluming shit (pex i think its call ) its rated for 300psi
    Interesting...I would only have two concerns about this...


    Being a soft tubing, if there was a sag/low point it would give potential to pool any moisture....granted, paying attention to detail in the install would prevent this...

    Second concern...I wonder if it would react the same way to compressed air as PVC does...getting brittle over time and creating a hazard for potential bursting...being soft tubing it may not be an issue, but I have read some horror stories of shrapnel flying everywhere when brittle PVC gets dinged with something hard causing it to burst...



    Makes me wonder what the pressure ratings are based on, if there would be different pressure ratings for a gas (which compressed air is) versus a liquid (water - as the PEX tubing is designed for)...

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    jeff with keeping the noise down ,we did this when i was on the show with our big CAT generators ,before the sound proofing you had to yell at the person next to you when stand by the trailer ,now standing right next to it you could not hear it at all and the only way to tell if it was running was putting your hand on the side of the trailer..now it was boxed in with insulation and ply wood ..see to side door was always open , you would walk in around a corner and then another tight turn and you were next to the geny at full power .
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