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PEX for compressed air lines

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This topic contains 40 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  theamcguy 4 years ago.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 41 total)
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  • #256917

    Hey, I’ve been reading here about the different metal air lines for shop compressed air. Saw some Youtube videos where they used PEX. Has anyone tried using PEX for their hard line compressed air distribution in their shop?

    #256957

    thedude306
    Moderator
    Foam Lake, SK

    We did it at the farm shop. We tested the line to 500psi before it split.

    It holds a LOT of moisture in the droops if that makes sense. It’s been in there for 10+ years with no problem on a 25CFM 175psi compressor.

    It doesn’t leak at all either.

    Brad T
    Self employed Pro since 2014!!

    #257034

    staker
    Pro

    That’s a great idea I might have to try that as I want to run about 50′ of air line for the workshop.

    #257046

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    We did it at the farm shop. We tested the line to 500psi before it split.

    It holds a LOT of moisture in the droops if that makes sense. It’s been in there for 10+ years with no problem on a 25CFM 175psi compressor.

    It doesn’t leak at all either.

    Thank you for the update Brad. Never knew you could use pex for air.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #257075

    How about air hoses run to where you want . Start from a homemade manifold. You can use old ones you don’t use anymore.

    Always willing to learn .

    #257119

    kswiss
    Pro
    edmonton, AB

    I would rather run copper/steel but pex will work just make sure you have a way to drain condensation.

    #257162

    Anonymous

    I was just talking about this the other day with a guy, We both agreed Pex should be fine in a wood shop. But not so good if you do any welding or cutting of metal. The sparks could burn through it, Even from a grinder

    #257168

    thedude306
    Moderator
    Foam Lake, SK

    We have our pex up about 10 ft with drops on the wall. We do a TON of welding and grinding. Never had an issue. I would like to give it a test though. Maybe next time I am at the shop.

    I think the key is it splits over shattering. (like PVC or ABS)

    I do prefer the copper in my garage though, and the new shop with have transair.

    Brad T
    Self employed Pro since 2014!!

    #257172

    Anonymous

    We have our pex up about 10 ft with drops on the wall. We do a TON of welding and grinding. Never had an issue. I would like to give it a test though. Maybe next time I am at the shop.

    I think the key is it splits over shattering. (like PVC or ABS)

    I do prefer the copper in my garage though, and the new shop with have transair.

    Keeping it high is good and even with Pex drops I guess ya just need to be aware of where they are, I know I started cardboard on fire by trying to block the sparks from my cut-off saw. I torch would be worse, It’s good to know ya haven’t had an issue with it……….What is transair?

    #257177

    thedude306
    Moderator
    Foam Lake, SK

    Transair is an aluminum piping system with plastic fittings for bends. Super slick.

    Pex is pretty thick. I wouldn’t want to hit it with a grinding wheel but you would really need to be laying into it to get the sparks to melt it (i think!)

    Brad T
    Self employed Pro since 2014!!

    #257187

    mattryyc
    Pro
    Calgary, Alberta

    Check out Pex-Al-Pex as well, just as easy as pex but has a layer of aluminum sandwiched in, might be the same as the Transair system, I’ve been looking into it for my new shop before I close the walls in.

    #257192

    Anonymous

    Transair is an aluminum piping system with plastic fittings for bends. Super slick.

    Pex is pretty thick. I wouldn’t want to hit it with a grinding wheel but you would really need to be laying into it to get the sparks to melt it (i think!)

    Check out Pex-Al-Pex as well, just as easy as pex but has a layer of aluminum sandwiched in, might be the same as the Transair system, I’ve been looking into it for my new shop before I close the walls in.

    Well then cool, Sounds like it would be ok. Especially with what Matt found

    #257193

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    WE built a dentist office several years ago and the plumber ran all of the compressed air lines in PEX. 8 years later, we have had no issues.

    I would not hesitate to use PEX for air lines in a shop. It would be a quick and economical way to set up air lines. I wont think I would do it in a commercial shop where it was in use day in and day out. Our shop is not that highly used so I think it would be fine.

    #257197

    staker
    Pro

    I don’t think that I would put it in the walls be a pain if you need to get to it.

    #257245

    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    i know several guys that have done it in shops, also guys that use pex fittings for field repairs to air hoses with out any issue

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #257246

    crotalusco
    Pro
    west bend, wi

    Hmm I would have never thought of using Pex, I will have to look into it myself

    #257302

    I didn’t know there were this many ways to connect PEX. Pretty neat.

    #257483

    Do you need the air to be fairly dry? I know an advantage to copper is that you can use the thermal properties of copper and take advantage of using a few U or vertical sections to have the water drop out and take some of the load off your air dryer if you have equipment that requires one.

    #257544

    thedude306
    Moderator
    Foam Lake, SK

    Do you need the air to be fairly dry? I know an advantage to copper is that you can use the thermal properties of copper and take advantage of using a few U or vertical sections to have the water drop out and take some of the load off your air dryer if you have equipment that requires one.

    This is a great point. And I notice a sig difference in my shop in the city that uses copper.

    I bet you could add a copper section off the tank and it might help…. hhmmm GREAT idea if it works.

    Brad T
    Self employed Pro since 2014!!

    #257552

    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    Something else that might help with a PEX air system is to run the PEX line high like Brad mentioned but make all your drop legs from copper. The big issue with PEX air lines is that the PEX allows moisture to stay airborne so if you had a 5 foot copper drop with a tee for your connection a foot up from the bottom of the drop and a drain at the end of the drop…It wouldn’t get rid of all the moisture but it would surely help.

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

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