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Re: Anyone Use Schedule 40 PVC For Air Lines ?? [Re: billt460] #5189223 08/16/19 10:48 PM
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Kruse Offline
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Any time a post like this comes up, you always get the "I've had it for X amount of years and it's worked great." That does not mean that someday there won't be dire consequences.
As posted, PVC pipe, given the exposure to age and chemicals, can get brittle. I work with the stuff and have seen it myself. You could also have water in the pipe that freezes and creates a hair line crack that weakens it.
Stick with the approved material even if it has a higher initial cost.

Re: Anyone Use Schedule 40 PVC For Air Lines ?? [Re: billt460] #5189232 08/16/19 11:14 PM
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clinebarger Offline
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I've worked in many shops with S40 PVC piped air lines....I have never seen one explode & send shrapnel flying. What I have seen is.....Connection failures!
And once a glued connection comes apart, It will always be a problem until the entire system is replaced with new PCV. In locales that get really cold, I guess shrapnel throwing line blow outs could be an issue??

Does your compressor have a aftercooler? A 2 stage at 175psi without 2 stages of aftercooling will superheat the discharge air & will certainly cause issues with connections closest to the compressor! Your cheap box store compressors don't usually have any aftercooling.

You may get a good 10 years out of it at 150-175psi at a reasonable temperature....Install it as high as possible to prevent things from hitting it & isolate the compressor from the lines with a long reinforced rubber whip.

I went with two Rapidair 3/4" Maxline kits, While I haven't completed the install yet.....The quality is really good.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/U341E
2000 Toyota Avalon 1MZ-FE/A541E
Re: Anyone Use Schedule 40 PVC For Air Lines ?? [Re: billt460] #5189233 08/16/19 11:22 PM
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clinebarger Offline
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Originally Posted by billt460
Originally Posted by Trav


I use Maxline also from rapid air for my spray gun and breathing mask lines, great stuff and internally remains very clean unlike metal pipes. The problem with PVC is it tends to harden and become brittle with age and when subjected to oil fumes or mist.
Every oil compressor has some blowby even a new one and it only increases over the years, it isn't much but it doesn't have to be to be damaging. PVC is sketchy for compressor lines long term and if its a 2 stage high pressure unit an absolute no no.

The Maxline is 3 layer with aluminum not PVC, it is a type of alupex. Either the Rapid air 3/4 or 1" Max line will do a great job and last 50 years.

https://www.rapidairproducts.com/maxline

This stuff doesn't look too difficult to work with. And it's reasonable. (I would need a couple of hundred feet). The main thing would be installing it with the hoses tight enough, and with enough mounting connectors so it would look like something when I'm finished, and not be drooping everywhere. The stuff looks like PEX.


The line has a Aluminum core....Once formed & mounted, I don't see it "drooping".


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/U341E
2000 Toyota Avalon 1MZ-FE/A541E
Re: Anyone Use Schedule 40 PVC For Air Lines ?? [Re: billt460] #5190019 08/18/19 12:11 AM
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P10crew Offline
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OP please don’t use pvc for any sort of airline. I know of 1 shop here that was using a 2” trunk line and thank god over a weekend it blew up. And just as is all over the net it sent shards of shrapnel flying all over one end of the building.
There is no better or cost effective air system than sweat copper. It’s easy to work with and lasts forever.
I know of several shops here that the copper system is 50 plus years and going strong. I don’t remember but there is 2 different grades of copper red and blue. We use the heavier of the 2. I can post a pic tomorrow of a very slick way to make an after cooler to force your air to precipitate if you would want to see it.

Re: Anyone Use Schedule 40 PVC For Air Lines ?? [Re: billt460] #5190604 08/18/19 05:34 PM
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bchannell Offline
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If you've ever cut pvc pipe that as older than a few years, with pliers type cutters, you'd know how easily it shatters. I doubt that it's pressure rating is not for constant cycles of zero to 125 psi or some such, but for constant pressure.
Since there are so many other better choices, I'd say, why risk it?

Re: Anyone Use Schedule 40 PVC For Air Lines ?? [Re: billt460] #5190723 08/18/19 07:51 PM
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tom slick Offline
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Air compressor manufacturers says no PVC, OSHA says no PVC air piping, even the PVC pipe manufacturers say not to use it for compressed air.

Any of the “PVC is fine for compressed air” proponents care to cite a source that says it’s okay?


You get what you pay for...
So keep in mind how much you paid for this advice.
Re: Anyone Use Schedule 40 PVC For Air Lines ?? [Re: billt460] #5190817 08/18/19 09:49 PM
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clinebarger Offline
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I have seen it used many times & never saw a blow out send shrapnel flying....Just the joints/connections come apart. Usually at the most inopportune time to fix it even temporarily.

I truly believe, IF you keep it at a reasonable temperature (between 32°F & 140°F).....It can work. Would I use it in my shop, NO! It's only used because it's cheap. I would have used sweated copper myself......But didn't schedule things just right & had my shop insulated before installing the air system.

P10crew said he has seen one blow out.....I certainly have no reason to doubt that, I trust the guy 110%! Though I would like to know the temperature in which the failure occured.

Most compressor manufacturers have stepped away from aftercooling, Some still do it but at a lesser efficiency, Quincy just does 1 stage unless you get into their 7.5HP & above models, Saylor-Beall uses heat sinks that are not very efficient & more for looks in my opinion.
The old way was to use Finned Copper lines wrapped near the flywheel for both stages......Haven't seen much of that in the last 20+ years.

Your cheaper compressors have no aftercooling at all & 250° to 350° discharge temps are not uncommon at higher duty cycles.

I wouldn't say I'm a proponent for S40, But common sense & technique can go a long way.
*Maintain a reasonable temperature (between 32°F & 140°F).
*Isolate the PCV as much as possible from the compressor.
*Install a high flow ball valve at the compressor tank & gradually fill the system with air, Don't just flip it like a light switch & shock the system.
*Replace the system every 8-10 years.


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/U341E
2000 Toyota Avalon 1MZ-FE/A541E
Re: Anyone Use Schedule 40 PVC For Air Lines ?? [Re: billt460] #5190831 08/18/19 10:17 PM
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Last edited by P10crew; 08/18/19 10:21 PM.
Re: Anyone Use Schedule 40 PVC For Air Lines ?? [Re: billt460] #5192348 08/20/19 06:08 PM
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I used sch 40 1inch PVC piped from the compressor to my barn 150 feet away but I have it buried and use galvanized for a standpipe. works great.

Re: Anyone Use Schedule 40 PVC For Air Lines ?? [Re: billt460] #5209557 09/10/19 07:00 PM
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thooks Offline
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I can tell you that Charlotte Pipe, a major manufacturer of PVC pipe, begs people NOT to use PVC pipe for air lines.

Do not do it.

Re: Anyone Use Schedule 40 PVC For Air Lines ?? [Re: billt460] #5209754 09/11/19 02:07 AM
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I worked in a shop that had pvc air line. It is a waste of time and materials period. This shop at the time was unheated as well, so when most of it blew up we spent many days doing the job right the 2nd time. Your better off just using a long air hose than pvc.

Re: Anyone Use Schedule 40 PVC For Air Lines ?? [Re: billt460] #5210651 09/12/19 04:17 AM
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I’m going to be doing this same thing very soon. Just picked up my compressor yesterday.

Depending on how much you’re wanting to do, eBay has 50’ of 1/2” Goodyear (US made) hose for $60 shipped. You might be able to get a bulk roll of hose and some barbed fittings cheaper.

I’m planning on running my reel by the compressor and running a hose drop to the opposite side of the garage since I don’t have a decent central location for the reel.


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Re: Anyone Use Schedule 40 PVC For Air Lines ?? [Re: billt460] #5280763 11/29/19 09:53 PM
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Ozonkiller Offline
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Do NOT use PVC!!!

I personally have witnessed near disastrous mishaps. My nephew bounced a basketball into a 3/4" pvc line and it exploded leaving shrapnel everywhere. The other was in the plant where i worked there was an area that had PVC air lines. A 2" line at 165psi let go and blew a 2 x 4 foot hole in a cinder block wall. It was stunning

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