You have a big gallon air compressor and want to run multiple pneumatic tools at once, right? Usually, folks have different projects in which a compressor is needed and they want easy access to it. It means that if a guy is utilizing the air tool for running the framing nailer, then at the same time, the other guy should use it who is operating another tool. This issue can be solved by installing a piping system in your area where you will connect the compressor to piping and can do your work.
Air compressor piping is not easy work; you have to plan everything carefully; otherwise, you will lose your money and energy. But, don’t worry, we are here to help; we will guide you to install the whole pipping system with the help of a diagram and tell which type of pipe will be the best option
6 Factors Should be Considered for Piping System
Whether you want to do pipping at home, garage, or workshop, this comprehensive guide will help you to draw the whole piping structure. You must consider these crucial aspects if you want a good piping system.
You have to be careful about the pipe size because if the size is small, it will be difficult to pass the air pressure through that pipe. While if you are using a bigger pipe, it will drop air pressure inside the pipe, which will not be good for the air compressor.
You should use a pipe size that matches the compressor hose because the manufacturers have done many experiments before creating the hose. They have tested it properly and made the hose that will not lose any pressure. Always buy pipes that match the air hose size because more or less sized pipes will not be able to deliver the required pressure. You can take the air hose to the shop or measure the diameter to get the exact size. Let’s begin the pipe installation.
Distance is another main aspect that should be taken into consideration. Suppose you have a small tank air compressor and want to use it to deliver pressure to the long piping system. You will not get the required pressure which means no proper job done. Due to a large network of pipes, some pressure may drop before reaching the endpoint. So, make your plan accordingly. Just install a long piping structure if you have a big gallon compressor.
The layout is a vital factor in making a compressor piping system. If you haven’t designed the piping layout professionally, you may face the consequences after installing the whole pipe structure. People usually use more sharp angles, which results in low pressure. You can’t run a tool effectively if it has this problem, so avoid it. You will get a perfect idea of sharp angles here. Also, see the piping layout diagram below.
Try to reduce sharp angles because it may cause a pressure drop. If you use too many sharp angles while piping, the passing air will lose its potential when there is a sudden change in direction. For example, the air passes through a pipe at full speed; when a sharp angle comes, air collides with that area, and we receive less pressure at the end.
The temperature should be optimum for the piping compressor and not too high or too low; the air compressor works perfectly in average temperatures. If the temperature is low, the air will not pass freely through pipes, and you will not be able to complete the project.
Keeping the humidity low in the compressor pipping structure will help to get maximum pressure at every end. As there is moisture in environmental air, airflow through pipes along with humidity starts corrosion. Stop if you are thinking of using metal pipes in your piping layout! First, read our guide on different types of piping and which will be the best option that you should go for.
Kind of Pipe To Use
There are two types of pipes, plastic, and metal, in which metals have further categories that we will discuss here.
Plastic pipes have advantages over metal pipes for many reasons like plastic pipes do not get corrosion or rust. Plastic pipes are also lightweight as compared to metal pipes. You can easily carry plastic pipes as it has not much weight as metals.
Moreover, with the plastic pipe, you can easily cut pipe from any place with basic tools without the need for a special cutter, and for the joint of plastic pipe, there is no need for welding.
You can use PVC pipes too, but those pipes can’t face the pressure of air from the compressor. So, our recommendation is you should use pipes that are made from polyethylene and HDPE.
People who want their pipe’s long life and protection from breakage will go with metal pipes as they think they are stronger and will never be satisfied with plastic pipes.
With the usage of metal pipes, no doubt they have some certain advantages over plastic pipes. Metal pipes are strong enough that they couldn’t easily break as there are chances in plastic pipes.
Metals pipes are categorized into further subclasses, which are
Stainless steel pipe:
Stainless steel pipe for air compressor is durable and long-lasting. It is also corrosion-proof, which means it has good corrosion resistance and is an alternative to steel or iron pipe.
But stainless pipe has some disadvantages too in which difficult to modify or cut.
Copper pipes are easy to use and easy to cut. You can easily fit this pipe anywhere, and this is also a corrosion-free pipe. You can use this pipe, but as you know, the price of copper nowadays is too high, so this is its disadvantage.
Aluminum pipes are rust-free and lightweight too. Aluminum pipes can be easily manipulated, and you can install them easily. Flexible to use and performance can be obtained from this type of pipe.
But the disadvantage is that this is also costly same, like copper, and it is difficult to change if you have to do some modification to the air compressor system.
Galvanized steel pipe:
Galvanized pipes have the same characteristics as black steel pipes. But the galvanized coating increases corrosion resistance and is a durable and stronger pipe for air compressor usage.
Galvanized steel pipes have one bad thing: they degrade with time and can cause the blockage of air in the air compressor.
Black iron pipe:
For air compressors, black iron pipes are considered standard to use. This type of pipe is stronger and more durable too. The disadvantage of this pipe is that it is heavy to use, while this black iron pipe cannot give protection from rust or corrosion. Often these pipes have rust on them, and due to rust pipe becomes weak, which sometimes causes air leakage from this type of iron.
I hope these tips will help you to secure your air compressor piping. And will reduce your cost and resources, which occurs due to poor planning or the wrong type of pipe choosing for your compressor.
Before purchasing everything related to your compressor piping network, make your custom diagram or structure according to your garage or shop. Once the diagram is ready, you can proceed.
What is causing my air compressor piping to make noises when in use?
Air compressors create more noise when their parts get rusted. Due to the rusting components, they get friction and start producing sound when they work. Make them smooth with some oil or lubricant.
After if the problem is persisted, then check the piston of your compressor. If it needs to replace, replace the compressor’s piston, and you will get the solution.
Why not use an air hose for compressor piping?
There are many drawbacks of using a hose for piping compared to benefits. As the hose is made from rubber, it can easily burst if there is a little fluctuation in pressure. You will continue facing leakage issues if using an air hose, which also costs extra. Another disadvantage of using a hose is that you will not get the right size connectors and valves. So, please do not use an air hose for your piping network; otherwise, it will waste your money.
What kind of piping should I use on an air compressor?
In our testing, we observe that metals pipe get rust or break over time due to a rigid body. But plastic pipes made from polyethylene are stronger and long-lasting. So, based on our observation, we recommend you go with polyethylene or plastic pipes.
What is the average cost of air compressor piping?
The average cost of compressor piping depends on the quality of parts you will buy. As there are different quality pipes available in the market and have a high price. Your room or shop size also depends; if your hall is big, you have to put more piping and other required components, and it directly increases your expenses. Usually, the piping network will be installed in an average size place at almost $600 – $1200.
Is PVC pipe good for an air compressor?
PVC pipes are easy to cut and turn in any direction, but it is not reliable for building a piping network. These pipes cannot bear high pressure from an air compressor and can get cracked easily.
Is ABS pipe good for an air compressor?
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) pipes can be used for the compressor piping structure. They cost less than metal pipes, and you don’t need to worry about rust and welding. But, it is not recommended to use as the US government has said to avoid using these pipes.