Can I connect PVC to copper for air compressor??


Old 12-25-05, 06:27 PM
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Can I connect PVC to copper for air compressor??

I my manufacturing plant I have some 1" air lines. I have one shut off valve reduced to 1/4" line with a nipple. I'd like to use PVC line to run to a machine that needs air. A local plumber said there is no fitting that can connect the copper to the PVC. Is this correct or are there any other options.
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Old 12-25-05, 07:58 PM
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One thing PVC pipe is never used for is compressed air. Every plastic pipe manufacturer will have this stated with their pipe and fittings, in the literature, somewhere.

You need to look at 1/4 flex copper if you need a 1/4" air line.

There are bushings made for this transition.

Good luck and if you have more questions, ask and someone will answer you.
Old 12-26-05, 05:54 AM
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I'm wondering if he means flexible tubing rather than rigid pipe like schedule 40, is this for a pneumatic application or perhaps some sort of air cooling line?

It sounds like you have a hose bib on the end of your 1" pipe? I'd think that if your air pressure is too high for that connection, then it might be more than you would want in pvc anyway... In a way, though, isn't there compressed air hose that has pvc? It might be a little different because there's internal reinforcement.
Old 12-26-05, 07:08 AM
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Pvc air

Under No Circumstances Use Pvc For Air Lines Unless It Is Made For That Purpose!! It Will Explode And Take Your Eyes Out And Other Body Parts!! Go With Metalic.
Old 12-26-05, 09:15 AM
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The coiled, neoprene like pnuematic air hose is made for that application.

Hard plastic pipe and fitting is not rated for compressed air and has a history of accidents and mishaps.
Old 12-26-05, 04:36 PM
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Plan "B"

Well, I guess it's time to go to plan "B". When the 1" line was installed I had them put some 1/4" T's and nipples in for future expansion. I was hoping to use PVC because I could have the guys in the plant add runs where and when needed. Just use glue and not have to solder. (We don't have a maintenance dept.) But I see that won't work......I'm frugal but won't trade $ for safety.

Thanks for your help

Old 12-29-05, 09:41 AM
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Here's my take...

You CAN use PVC for air (100 psi air is little different from 100 psi water).
BUT, you need to make sure you are using the thick wall PVC, not the thinwall. Also, PVC won't take abuse like hard pipe will, which may be of some importance in a manufacturing/warehouse enviroment.
Fittings are available to mate just about anything to anything else.

I've used PVC in my shop for YEARS, with the regulator set at 100 psi. The pipe itself is standard sch 40, 1/2" PVC pipe, rated for 600 PSI.

Am I worried that my 100 PSI of air is somehow going to explode the 600 PSI rated pipe.. NO.

Long story short, you need to take into account the pressure the pipe will be at, and the enviroment it will be exposed to. If you only needed 5 or 10 psi, you could use silicon tubing if you wanted to.
Old 12-29-05, 11:45 AM
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been using sch 40 pvc on a 160 psi system for 9 years with two failures. both were fitings, one poorly glued, and one where a bracket let loose and allowed the 90 to sag an collect water. first freeze and that was that
Old 12-29-05, 02:04 PM
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All manufacturers of PVC pipe, and I believe ANSI, prohibit plastic pipe in compressed gas system. The problem is the failure mode of plastic under stored ( compressed) energy. Too much danger of damage and injury.
Old 12-29-05, 02:55 PM
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Regardless of what people have been getting away with, it is quite clear that permanently installed pvc or similar air lines may by regulation only be used if the material is approved for use with compressed gasses AND that it be encased in some type of shielding if in above ground service.

No matter what the pressure rating of the PVC or similar tubing is, the problem with it is the fact it can shatter if subject to mechanical damage.
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