Measuring for a New Air Hose Reel Measuring for a New Air Hose Reel

If you are planning to install a new air hose reel, use a little practical planning before you make the purchase. Determine what size hose you want to use, where you should position the reel and whether you need to piggy-back reels to reach every place in the shop or garage. With the different measurements in hand, you can better select an air hose reel that fits your specific needs. This decision process can perhaps save you time and ultimately help you choose a better compressed-air performance.

Choosing Hose Size

You can choose from several different hose sizes for compressed-air applications. Typically, home use and light construction won't need more pressure than is safely available through a 3/8- or 1/2-inch hose. For applications where the air flow will branch or pass through multiple regulator systems, a 5/8- or 3/4-inch hose may work better. But this is a rare situation for anything other than heavy-duty uses. Unless you have such use in mind, go with the cheaper, lighter 3/8-inch hose.

Measuring for Height

Decide where you will place the air hose reel. While you don't have to place it above eye level, doing so keeps the hose safely out of the way but still within reach. Make sure you have a suitable anchor available, such as a rafter or ceiling joist or even a wall stud. The reel has to resist repeatedly being pulled on, so it is important that the reel is anchored solidly.

Measuring for Reach

Place the air hose reel mount in the center of the shop or garage. This allows you to reach every corner of the area with the shortest possible length of hose. The two most common hose lengths are 25 and 50 feet, so use those numbers as a guideline for optimum reel placement.

Keep in mind, too, that ceiling-mounted reels will have additional length requirements. Keep the actual distance from the reel in mind rather than measuring in a straight line across the room. Never plan for situations where the hose will be fully extended. Adding constant pressure to an extended hose could cause the reel to stop winding properly or even result in hose connections pulling apart.

Adding Extra Hose

If you must cover a large area, you can either invest in a heavy-duty hose reel that can hold longer hoses or use multiple reels and piggy-back multiple hoses. To link hoses in series, place the second air hose reel within the last 5 feet of the first hose. Install a quick-connect male end for the first hose to plug into, then install the second reel in the same manner as the first.

When you have to reach the extra distance, pull out the first hose and connect ot to the quick connect of the second. Attach your tools or other devices to the end of the hose protruding from the second reel.

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