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Old 03-22-2004, 03:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Shop Air Plumbing - Galvanized

I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel on getting my shop ready to be a shop.. almost to the 1yr mark now..

Anyhow, drywall tape n' mud is done and I'm ready to paint, except I need to get the air system plumbed in and some holes cut (and taped) before I spray.

Air system is 3/4" galvanized. Shop is 34x28, with the back 10' or so of the 28' being bench/tool/stuff area. Primary work bay will be one stall at the south end of the 34' length.

Compressors will be on the north end, near my wife's parking bay.. I don't need access to the compressors, they don't give off sparks and stuff, and I wasn't going to use that space anyways.

Anyhow..

I've used teflon tape on my NPT fittings before, and it mostly works just fine, though sometimes I've had 'em leak.

I do NOT want to chase leaks on 100' of air in my attic space.

I have some of the brush-on stuff. I haven't used it before - is this the way to go to try and keep the leaks at bay?

I'm planning a full-circle/loop system in the attic. The center of the trusses are "open" with a walkway, so the air system will run down either side of the center upside down "V".

Both runs will be about 5' apart, and they'll run from N - S (the 34' length). I'll hook 'em together at both ends.

Drops will come off via a T, roughly in 10' intervals (convenient, with the pipe being 10' long), though not EVERY 10'.

Gonna "T" it up, then go to a 90 and shoot it to the top of the wall, where two 90s will get me a vertical to run a straight piece down from the ceiling to a useable height along the wall.

Then a drain and a tap out the side for a regulator and tool.

Thinking about putting a recently acquired 5'x12" air tank in the attic, opposite of the compressors (more or less above my work bay's wall).

I have it, might as well use it. It has a drain the bottom center I'll run down through the ceiling to a tap and drain valve. Should make a good expansion point for the hot air, and running everything in the attic will help cool the air down especially in winter.

Planning on sloping the whole system down to this tank to give a common primary drain point.

There'll be at least one overhead reel, too.

One or two drops will also T-out through the wall to give me air behind the shop in my wall-less storage area / long term parking.

Primary concern is if the brush-on thread sealer is the way to go vs. teflon tape.. once it's all in, it'll be hard to just give it another turn to fix a leak.. with everything all tied together and mounted in place.
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Old 03-22-2004, 03:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd go with the brush on stuff simply because there's no way you can put it on backwards.
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Old 03-22-2004, 03:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Buddha's Ghost
I'd go with the brush on stuff simply because there's no way you can put it on backwards.
Usually I get it right on the first try..

The downside, of course, is if I get the brush on stuff on backwards, I'll never live it down...
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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First off: Why galvanized? Personally I would've gone copper, but that may just be me.

Second: HUGE misconception that 90%+ people have - teflon tape is NOT a thread sealer. It's a lubricant. Pipe threads are designed to seal themselves (they're taperd). The teflon lubricates the threads and allows you to screw them together tighter/further up the taper, hence better seal.

Last: as for the brush on goo, don't know/never used it. Word of advice - whenever I had to put together some plumbing for something (compressed air, water, vaccuum systems, whatever), take 5 minutes and make it serviceable. Locate a couple key places where you could/would possibly ever want to take it apart for any reason and put in a union. Helluva lot easier than having to completely dissassemble everything from one end to the other if you ever need to hack into it (but that's also part of the reason I would've gone with copper ).

good luck.
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Too bad you already have it done.

You can use that white plumbing pipe, which is good for a minimum of 250psi.

The first time I saw someone do it I was sure it wouldn't work. His system is about 10 years old now, still no leaks.
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by evenBIGGERrock
First off: Why galvanized? Personally I would've gone copper, but that may just be me.


good luck.

thats what we used, way easy to work with
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by evenBIGGERrock
First off: Why galvanized? Personally I would've gone copper, but that may just be me.
Yeah, that's what I keep hearing now that I have the supplies all ready to go..

I've never worked copper, but I've played with regular metal piping enough, and have a thread cutter.

At this point, it's because I already bought 100' of the stuff.

I think Copper would've made the bends n' such a lot easier.. and I'm not about to buy a die for the JD2 just to bend up my air distribution system.

Quote:

Second: HUGE misconception that 90%+ people have - teflon tape is NOT a thread sealer. It's a lubricant. Pipe threads are designed to seal themselves (they're taperd).
I knew they were tapered.. didn't realize the teflon was just to let me crank down tighter on 'em. Thanks.

So get the connections as tight as I can..

Quote:
had to put together some plumbing for something (compressed air, water, vaccuum systems, whatever), take 5 minutes and make it serviceable. Locate a couple key places where you could/would possibly ever want to take it apart for any reason and put in a union. Helluva lot easier than having to completely dissassemble everything from one end to the other if you ever need to hack into it (but that's also part of the reason I would've gone with copper ).
I have ~5 couplers to install. I won't get every potential break point, but I'll get a few of 'em. The couplers are a bit spendy, compared to everything else.
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The only difference I've found between the tape and the goop is the goop needs to dry for about an hour or so before the system is pressurized. If you use tape the compressor can be fired right up.


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Old 03-22-2004, 04:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Go to your plumbing hvac supply and get some shit call Leak Lock in a blue bottle, good pipe dope. I had to redo some 500 fittings at the shop for the air cause we used teflon.
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by tsm1mt


Yeah, that's what I keep hearing now that I have the supplies all ready to go..

I've never worked copper, but I've played with regular metal piping enough, and have a thread cutter.

At this point, it's because I already bought 100' of the stuff.

I think Copper would've made the bends n' such a lot easier.. and I'm not about to buy a die for the JD2 just to bend up my air distribution system.



I knew they were tapered.. didn't realize the teflon was just to let me crank down tighter on 'em. Thanks.

So get the connections as tight as I can..



I have ~5 couplers to install. I won't get every potential break point, but I'll get a few of 'em. The couplers are a bit spendy, compared to everything else.
Couple more tidbits for future reference since you've already got the plan in action (i.e.: bought the materials )

Don't want to or need to bend the copper pipe (unless you get soft drawn copper tube, but that's not what we're talking about here). Elbows can be bought. Just like T's and everything else you'll need. Just cut everything to length, hit it with flux, slap it in the fitting and start soldering away. Couple things that make it nice: with just a little practice you'll be making connections that are gauranteed not to leak......every time. If you do actually get a leak, just depressurize and break out the torch and solder and hit it again. If you ever need to hack into it, just break out the tubing cutter, torch and solder, and whatever fittings for whatever changes you want and have at it.

Another little trick for unions (I'm assuming you mean union when you say coupler........coupler is actually something else). Unions are always a bitch to get tight enough to get the faces to mate and seal good. Put some teflon tape on the threaded part of the union. The threads aren't what makes the seal, but it lets you crank down on them a whole lot easier and get a better seal on the mating surfaces.
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by nakona
Too bad you already have it done.

You can use that white plumbing pipe, which is good for a minimum of 250psi.

The first time I saw someone do it I was sure it wouldn't work. His system is about 10 years old now, still no leaks.
You mean PVC? When I worked for uncle sam it was actually illegal for us to use that. Not up to code. Don't know for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if local building codes even prohibit it's use. In fact, even with copper pipe we had to use silver based solder rather than your local hardware store variety.

Why?

Fire hazard. If you ever have a fire in your shop you can be promised that PVC pipe will melt like hot jello on a summer sidewalk. Even the regular solder on copper pipe can melt in a structure fire. What does that mean? You now have a ~100psi blow torch feeding the flames/pumping air straight into the fire.

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Old 03-22-2004, 05:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Well then, don't set your shop on fire.
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Old 03-22-2004, 05:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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ack i wish i was ready for air lines.
im still running my electrical. all done external with metal conduit.
got all my plywood hung and painted on the walls though.
soon as im done with electrical its time to run my air. black pipe works for me
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Old 03-22-2004, 05:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by evenBIGGERrock


You mean PVC? When I worked for uncle sam it was actually illegal for us to use that.
it's a major osha violation too. it becomes shrapnel if/when it gets broken.
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Old 03-22-2004, 05:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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black pipe works for me

Rusts up inside too.
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Old 03-22-2004, 06:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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it's a major osha violation too. it becomes shrapnel if/when it gets broken.

Bah! buncha old women. You probably don't use chains either.
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Old 03-22-2004, 07:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Having seen a chunk of PVC shrapnel penetrate 2 layers of sweatsuit material, 1 layer of Carhart duck, the carhart Artric lining and a T-shirt from a range of ~25' and simple water pressure, I have NO DESIRE to imagine what happens with 120lb of air.
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Old 03-22-2004, 07:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Old 03-23-2004, 03:16 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Rusts up inside too.
Thats why I bought a dozen filter,waterseperator,regulator combos on ebay a while back.

actually i bought 2 dozen
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Old 03-24-2004, 01:33 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Toyota_Jim


Thats why I bought a dozen filter,waterseperator,regulator combos on ebay a while back.

actually i bought 2 dozen
I intend to put a water seperator/filter at the output of the compressor, before going into the distribution system.. but the distribution system itself is actually a big part of getting dry air.

Ideally, I would've built a "zig-zag" sloping up the wall back n' forth about 50' long before going *anywhere* else. Forcing the air to rise will have gravity trying to help pull moisture out.

Making it do sharp turns will also tend to get the moisture to drop out.

Then there's the plain old cooling of running the air through essentially a jumbo sized tranny cooler.. and cooler air holds less water.

So a first line filter at the compressor, then into the air system.

The "take offs" for air are a T, with the "T" going up, then a 90-deg that shoots a 10' section towards a wall, sloping down.

Again, the air has to make a 90 deg turn to go UP before another 90 to go "out" towards the wall, hopefully trapping water in the main line.

Then down the wall at the "consume" point, I'll have a T fitting. The side of the T will then have a filter and regulator and a disconnect for a hose.

The bottom of the T will go a little bit before a drain valve to drain off any moisture.

The two "main" lines are sloping down and away from the compressor, until they hit the far side of the shop.

I'm thinking there they'll go into a 5'x12" tank I picked up. I'll probably use hose here to bridge the end of the two "main lines" into the tank.

Tank'll be the lowest point, with a pipe coming out the bottom center, through the ceiling, and down the wall, ultimately to a drain valve as well.

I think I'll have one air drop in the shop that will get it's supply from the TOP of this tank.

Should make for some dry air that way. First the compressor filter, then then climb up the wall into the cold attic, then the slope down to the tank, cooling as it goes, then it goes into the bottom of the tank, and I force the air to expand into the tank, PLUS go UP and come out the top, dropping moisture on it's way up the whole way.

I'll be sure to use this driest-drop for painting when the time comes. Naturally, with a filter before the gun, too.

Couple good links on air line routing:


http://www.oldsmobility.com/air-compressor-piping.htm

http://www.ecompressedair.com/library/piping.shtml

I have half of my system plumbed.. need to get the other half squared away still..

Here's the rough layout:

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