Air Compressor plumbing size?

Discussion in 'Garages, Workshops & Tools' started by Johnny Blaze, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. Johnny Blaze

    Johnny Blaze Veteran Member

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    Jan 24, 2013
    New Washington, IN
    I recently purchased a new air compressor to replace my worn unit.

    Old one was a Craftsman 6hp 60 gallon, 10scfm@90psi, oilless noise maker. I had plumbed my garage with a RapidAir kit from Eastwood with 3/8" line. I have a total of less that 50ft of line plumbed.

    New compressor is 5hp 80 Gallon belt drive, 16scfm@90psi.

    I have read all the debates of black metal pipe vs copper vs pvc.

    My concern is will my current 3/8" line put too much restriction on my new compressor and hurt my scfm.

    Since its there and I have invested $$$$ in the line I would like to keep it, but at the same time I don't want to lose the extra scfm I got from my upgrade.

    Would it really be worth spending more $$$$ on new line?
     
  2. Dogwater

    Dogwater Veteran Member

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    Dec 23, 2010
    SanAntonio Tx
    I would say the 3/8 line does add an unneeded restriction but it all depends on what you want from it. I knew when I plumed in mine I was going to be painting my 78 so I used 3/4 black pipe an changed the 1/4 in. quick disconnects to 3/8's. Sort of the same thing about when I ran new water line to my house, I was going to use 3/4 PVC but was told to use 1 in. Instead, more volume.
     
  3. kttrucks

    kttrucks Member

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    Jan 13, 2014
    Nashville TN
    I used the Rapidair system as well, but went with the 1 inch, with 1/2 inch drops to my wall regulator and 1 inch to my filter behind the booth. 3/8 will definitely be a restriction if you're planning on using air tools.
     
  4. dcart1

    dcart1 Veteran Member

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    Jan 22, 2009
    springfield,ohio
    The bigger the line the less restriction, the less restriction, the less build up of heated air which means less moisture in line.
     
  5. Rick WI

    Rick WI Veteran Member

    10,400
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    Jul 9, 2001
    Madison, WI
    3/4 will work fine. 1" is fine as well.
     
  6. 76_TypeLT

    76_TypeLT Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    6,369
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    Jul 26, 2008
    Houston, TX
    another vote for the Rapidair system. I went with the 3/4" line, which is plenty for my 5 hp, 60 gal compressor. It was easy to install and looks very clean.
     
  7. 71flh

    71flh Veteran Member

    915
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    Jun 1, 2010
    DFW
    I'm not sure why people use expensive name brand systems in order to use plastic pipe.

    Since you upgraded the compressor, why not live w/ the existing air system for a while? Maybe it's not perfect, but none are.
    You may want to go big on the air system after a bit in anticipation for the next compressor upgrade.
    Are you secretly collecting air toys at the swap meet?
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  8. 76_TypeLT

    76_TypeLT Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    6,369
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    Jul 26, 2008
    Houston, TX
    The Rapidair system is pretty affordable, esp when compared to viable alternatives like steel or copper pipe. Also, the Rapidair pipe is not simple plastic pipe. It's aluminum sandwiched in between HDPE. Plus you don't have to worry about rust forming in the line like with steel pipe. So it has its pros over other options.
     
  9. Johnny Blaze

    Johnny Blaze Veteran Member

    911
    21
    Jan 24, 2013
    New Washington, IN
    71flh

    the reason u was thinking of going bigger is simple.

    I upgraded compressors to better run a media blaster.

    Blasters require a lot of volume, I wanted to make sure it would get enough.

    I plan on doing a lot of blasting.

    Thanks for everyones input.
     
  10. Johnny Blaze

    Johnny Blaze Veteran Member

    911
    21
    Jan 24, 2013
    New Washington, IN
    I also checked with the compressor manufacture and they said 3/4" minimum.
     

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