Compressor plumbing & noise suppression.

by John

I am putting a distribution system for my air compressor in my garage and basement workshop. Should I use black iron pipe, copper, modular aluminum pipe or hose?

I will be using air tools for car maintenance and woodworking.

2.- How should I build a noise suppression enclosure for horizontal 5HP, 30 gal. compressor.
Hello John...

Thanks for your question and the answers will be part of the ebook The Home Compressor. I'm targetting the end of January '09 for completion, and I'll let you know when it's ready so you can have it at a discounted price if you wish.

With reference to your compressed air distribution, for many years black pipe was the norm due to it's relatively low cost for large diameter pipe. the installers used the black pipe for drops too, as the same sub-contractor would install all the air mains and drop lines.

Even though it's low cost, black pipe wouldn't be a first choice as far as I'm concerned due to it's tendency to rust and impart scale and rust to the compressed air stream.

Your least expensive option, albeit not so neat and tidy, is to use hose...that is if you can get hose large enough to handle for flow requirements.

For a dandy installation, if your budget can handle it, go copper. No rust. Looks real good.

If the aluminum is within your budget, and the pipe is rated for the pressures, a good option too.

As to noise suppression, first thing, put it behind a wall of some sort. And if that wall goes floor to ceiling, with an access door big enough to get to the compressor even better. Then, put insulation between the studs in the new wall, and you've got a sound-deadened compressor.

Use the small compressor room to store oil, spares and the manual for the compressor.

Don't forget to make it easy to get to your compressor drain to drain the tank. If I were you, I'd plumb that compressor tank drain out of the room, and put an auto drain in the line.

And, if the compressor room is smallish, make sure it's got a vent to allow free air into the room. Best option, plumb the compressor intake outside through the wall to pull free air from there.

Cheers, and happy new year.


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