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 02-16-2005, 12:53 Post: 106233
k9fletch



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 Buried air line

I am in the process of planing my shop and would like to have a large air compressor in the back shop and then run buried air line up to the the garage, which is attached to my house. There is about 100' between the back garage and the front garage, I have an old 20 gallon air tank which I would mount in the rafters of the front garage as a reservoir or surge tank.

I have to dig the trench for the electrical once it thaws, and would put the buried air line in the same trench.

Has anyone ever tried this? I had considered using PVC pipe but was told that I can't because it can fail, so now I am thinking about using 3/4" copper, gal. steel would be my last choice.

I am open to your thoughts on this, I am just tired of dragging around air hose.






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 02-16-2005, 13:08 Post: 106235
HuckMeat

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 Buried air line

I'm doing something similar - I wanted 50psi air down in the barn from my garage, for blowing out plumbing, etc.

I buried a pex line alongside my water line. I bought it in a 500' roll, so I didn't have any joints buried.

I crimped on connectors to convert it to 1/4" NPT, and so far things seem great.

The problem with pex is that you really shouldn't pressureize it too high, but as I recall it was good to 120psi at 180 degrees for water.

I put a regulator inline between the compressor and the pex supply, so that the pex line is always at 50 psi.

You can buy the crimp tools, pex, and fittings on flea-bay.






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 02-16-2005, 13:20 Post: 106236
denwood



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 Buried air line

I have never seen air run in copper, is it strong enough. Galv. steel is common. We have even used the stronger rated black coil of tubing used for wells. I can't remember but I thought it was rated for 160 psi at 74 degrees F.? As long as you are not going over that and it is isolated a little from the hot compressor, it should be fine. I think I would just use it at the bottom of the trench.






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 02-16-2005, 13:48 Post: 106239
hardwood

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 Buried air line

I've never seen copper used for air either, there may be a reason, pressure limits, corrosion, maybe some other reason? Surely there is a plastic product that will replace galanized, I would'nt want all the buried joints either. My only concern would be water that will collect in the line over time, so maybe a blow off valve at the low end of the line. Good luck. Frank.






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 02-16-2005, 14:06 Post: 106242
Murf



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 Buried air line

I have my whole shop plumbed in regular 1/2" copper water pipe.

The misunderstood thing about ratings is that there is in reality two ratings, what something is designed to handle (read what the lawyers said was OK to say) and the point at which something breaks. Usually the 'rating' is about 1/3 of the 'burst point', so if something is 'rated' at 50 psi, it will burst at 150+ psi, sometimes burst is MANY times working pressures, not just 3 or 4 times.

I didn't build my shop so the buried utilities were done by the previous owner, a house builder. I wanted air at the house for tires and odd jobs, but that is so infrequently that I just picked up a small 120v compressor and leave it in the garage.

The other problem wiould be to run an air line any distance, the losses and reduced pressure would be a PITA anyway.

Best of luck.






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 02-16-2005, 14:15 Post: 106244
k9fletch



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 Buried air line

I currently have copper branch lines in my front garage for air and while trying to conduct some research I found that its an ok material to use for air but for most situations its cost prohibitive because of the labor used in sweating joints. I have access to copper and I don't mind in sweating on fittings.I haven't found any plastic pipe that is readily available yet but the search continues, I have got to believe that there is some type out there. As I stated before I would have liked to use PVC but I have it can burst and create a shrapnel effect upon bursting.

Thanks for your opinions and keep them coming.






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 02-16-2005, 14:23 Post: 106245
hardwood

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 Buried air line

Just another thought. When we wired the shop the electrican somehow wired the compressor so that it will only run when the shop lights are on. He had just replaced a compresor for his brother that somehow developed a bad leak over a weekend, it just ran till it melted down. Frank.






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 02-16-2005, 16:37 Post: 106252
yooperpete



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 Buried air line

We had our machine shop plumbed with special thick walled PVC pipe for air lines. It was suspended about 10' off the floor height. After about 5 years some of the joints began to let loose and some areas sagged from the suspension points being too far apart and collected moisture. When they let loose, the lines flung around. A couple of guys got slapped from it and we said enough with that. We replaced it with steel pipe. Frank make a good point about moisture and the need to have some way to collect and separate it. I'd stay away from buried plastic and would think that you may want to slightly separate other underground utilities from it in case you need to go back in someday to perform maintenance.






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 02-16-2005, 16:56 Post: 106253
havoctec



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 Buried air line

Just talked to a plumber friend of mine this weekend about the air lines he has in his shed. I noticed they were pex and asked him about it. He said a lot of the guys he works with use it for thier air lines and that is waht is run in the company shop. I bielive he said it was rated for 300 psi but not to sure about that number. I think that is the way I would go. No worry about corrosion with that stuff.







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 02-17-2005, 08:58 Post: 106276
AnnBrush



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 Buried air line

As Murf pointed out your biggest problem will be drop in pressure over the long length of line. You will have to oversize the line considerably. If I understood you correctly I would also have reservations adding a second "reserve tank", you might generate air flow in two directions, from the reserve back to the original compressor tank especially if you are drawing air from two locations on the line at the same time. This may affect the compressors ability to regulate the compressor tank pressure. I am not sure if this is problematic or not.






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