View Full Version : Help With Air Compressor Regulator Piping
01-08-2010, 04:19 PM
I haven't posted here in a while so I thought now would be a good time.
I'm now ready to complete the regulator/filter piping and I wanted to run this idea past you guys. I want a system I can run tools from and also spray (wood and metal parts -not cars) with. So starting from the right side of the diagram below, my supply line is 3/4" which would go directly into a 3/4" regulator/filter combo and filter the big stuff. With the ball valve closed it would allow me to run tools/sandblast cabinet ect. without dropping the pressure and using the extra filtration from the second regulator/filter unit. If it's open, then the second regulator/filter is used. The check valve keeps the air in the correct side or "system".
I'm no engineer, so please comment on a better solution or if this won't work. Again, I won't be painting cars, just want a good home shop set-up. By the way, the diagram is not to scale and is just a mock-up.
01-08-2010, 04:28 PM
Replace the check valve with another ball valve. The will flow thru both paths with the one ball valve open. So if you were painting, some air would be filtered thru the second filter and some would flow thru the check valve. Make sense?
01-08-2010, 04:38 PM
Thanks for the quick reply. So if valve 1 is open then valve 2 is closed and vice-versa? I've updated the diagram.
Is there a concern that air will flow back through the filters (eventually stopping at the valve)? In other words, are the filters meant to be one way only?
I still need to buy the filters, are you the business and sell to the public?
01-08-2010, 06:09 PM
I am in the business, and do sell to the public. I can give you a hook up. -but- that is not the reason for the post. The filters are one way, there is no fear of them back flowing into the filters and causing drama. You are correct however that when you want to paint, close the one ball valve and double filter the air. If you want to sand blast and run tools go thru shut the other valve.
IMHO, the double filter is over kill. If you choose the right filter, your flow will not suffer and you will have clean dry air to paint or run tools. It will save you money as well since you do not have to by 2 units.
check out this link:
Let me know if you need more help.
01-08-2010, 09:48 PM
I already have a Wilkerson tank drain so I might as well stay with the same brand! I've sketched a layout of my compressor set-up. I'm sure it looks weird but I have a separate compressor room and the piping must also go around a corner. All the piping is 3/4" black pipe. I've got a flex line from the tank to the hard line and will also use it from the hard line to the hose reel.
As I mentioned, I want to run tools and do some spray painting. If the double filter is overkill, then what about both a coalescer and particulate filter/regulator combo? I want to make sure I don't have problems done the road with crud in the lines or oil blow by from the compressor. Given my compressor output is it best to stick with 3/4" port sizes?
More later based on your responses.
01-08-2010, 11:27 PM
DO NOT USE BLACK PIPE --- there is moisture in your lines - compressors tend to do that -- Remember - if you have 7% humidity - and you take that same air and compress it - now you that same amount of moisture multiplied in the smaller space and the lines WILL RUST INSIDE... Big mistake...
Go with Schedule L copper... and sweat it - and you can sweat on threads when you need them. I also used "couplers" where appropriate so that I could take a regulator out without undoing all the joints... and anywhere I put in a coupler I made sure to use a ball valve to shut that section of the system down.
JMHO... for what it's worth.
01-09-2010, 08:56 AM
Thanks for the reply Greg. Actually all the piping is in and fastened. In retrospect I should have used copper, but I've taken the following steps to remove water:
1. Compressor tank has an auto drain at the bottom that's activated by every 20 PSI fluctuation or when the compressor turns on.
2. I've sloped the main feed from the compressor. This is the where the hottest air is.
3. Built in two cooling risers that with drains at the bottom. As the air climbs the moisture will cool and separate falling to the bottom and collecting in the drain stubs which are galvanized with brass fittings.
My shop has some constraints given its size and shape that I've had to contend with.
01-09-2010, 10:31 AM
Sorry it's too late... I used black pipe through my whole shop - ended up tearing it all out and re-doing with copper. I too have a "lift" to the main run - with a slope - and risers off all of the take off points - and drops for the moisture/collection - and water separators at each regulator..
When I paint - I use a section of hose off the regulator that is full of desiccant.
There's drains at every run - and when I open the ball valve - I guarantee there's moisture that blows out under pressure. That would include both the main runs (ball valves at the end).
I live in a MOIST area (Pacific NorthWET) so rusting stuff is an issue to start with!
01-09-2010, 12:00 PM
What about schd 40 PVC, seen it used alot,
01-09-2010, 12:47 PM
I'm in Michigan. The temp swings are the biggest issue. It was 20 F in the shop this AM when I went out to turn on the heat.
I need to finish the filters before I can out the system to work and see if I have any water issues. I read on the garage journal site of guys using these (sometimes in series):
BTW, Steve. Everything I've read says to keep away from plastic. Order of preference: Cooper, Alum, or steel.
01-09-2010, 10:54 PM
01-09-2010, 10:56 PM
PVC is out. It is dangerous and is not designed to be used with compressed air.
Your set up looks fine. Since you have gone thru so much, throw another drip leg and drain at the bottom of that last run before you go into the filters.
The correct set up would be a coalescing filter, then a filter regulator combo into a desiccant dryer. If you were really concerned about paint quality, an after filter would be required after the dryer.
As far as black pipe is concerned, I see it in plants everyday. The key to preventing rust in the pipe is dry air. Desiccant dryers are easy to maintain and inexpensive for a home shop as opposed to a refrigerated dryer. I am not familiar with the HF unit, but for the price, it is probably worth a shot. The Wilkerson unit has an indicator that changes color that tells you to change the desiccant. Just empty the wet desiccant onto some aluminum foil and pop it in the oven. 200* for 2 hours or so drys it out and makes it reusable.
Let me know if you need more help.
01-11-2010, 09:36 PM
Darren - you have a PM.
01-31-2010, 11:12 PM
Finshed up earlier today. Since I couldn't engineer a better solution I threw $$ at the situtation. Best of all, I'm very happy with the results and my compressor is ready to go.
New Wilkerson products rrom right to left:
B18-04-GLG0 – Filter/Reg combo
M18-04-CL00 – coalescer
X03-04-M00 – dryer
A18-04-BL00 – after filter
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