Compressor Hook-up Advice

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May 7, 2006
Kelowna, BC
I need some compressor advice.
I have 150 psi compressor with only a 3/8" out port (why not 1/2"?). My intended uses are dry air for plasma, general air tools and sand blasting with a pot blaster. I have a big desiccant dryer and I need to get a pressure regulator and participate filter - should they all be 1/2"?

Should I run 1/2" NPT out from the compressor storage tank (drill and tap to 1/2") to a 1/2" participate filter then through a desiccant dryer into a manifold for different take offs.
I have the RapidAir kit. Any advice
I picked up one of those kits as well, works great. The hose is 3/8" ID I believe, so standard air line. Depending on the distances you are running (there are online calculators for that too) 3/8 should be fine. Even if you go up to a 1/2 line, if you have the one restriction at the tank down to 3/8 it shouldn't make that large of a difference for most uses. Air tools like impacts and die grinders will be the most air demanding tools, even the plasma cuter usually only runs around 60-80PSI. Sandblasting and painting is done at lower PSI so it's not that demanding.
Make sure to have an additional water separator/dryer at the plasma and sand blasting unit to catch any and all moisture. Those two are the most sensitive to it.
If you chose to run 1/2" everywhere, put the dryer as far away from the compressor but before any forks, and have it the same diameter as the line. After the split you can likely drop down to 3/8 (depending on lengths) or continue with 1/2 until the final connection which can be 3/8. It steps down to 1/4 ID into most tools anyways.
Here, you like math ;)
I have a 5 horse 80 gal and I am currently setting it up . I'm running 1/2 black pipe. You have to be about 25ft down stream before you can add the dryer. Place I purchased from (KMS) recommends 1/2 for blasting and that's something I want to do. They suggested blasting is one of the most demanding air consumption activities and they recommended 1/2." This advice came from two different sales guys and one has been selling these for 16 years.

If you're curious here's a link to a pipe set up. It shows where to set up your dyer, filter, and moisture drop valves. The article discusses pipe size and has a handy layout diagram .

I looked at the kit you're referring to, bought and then returned it when I discovered the 3/8 is limiting not to mention it doesn't cool the air much which means moisture may build up. I think it will be more cost effective to go with the pipe. Bartle&Gibson have the 1/2" in 20ft lengths for around $14.00

I suggest Hose n'all can build you the manifold you need but valves etc are cheaper at B&G
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I will check it out.
In the desiccant dryer you can use silica gel crystals sold for various uses - drying flowers - kitty liter etc. Re useable when they turn color indicating they are wet- then heat to drive off moisture and they turn back to the original 'dry' color.
For example

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