If you work in construction or carpentry and are looking for a tool that will help you save effort and time, an air compressor just might be the tool you’re looking for. Air compressors can be very useful for powering air tools and other necessary machine components.
If you’re thinking about getting an air compressor, keep the following factors in mind:
- Know your work environment
- Choose the right size compressor for the job or jobs you’ll be doing
- Determine the size of the compressor tank you’ll need
- Select a compressor that’s going to provide enough airflow for what you’ll need
- Figure out what tools you’re going to need
If you’re using an air compressor, there are many types of air compressor piping available to use, but it’s important to know the pros and cons of each one:
- Galvanized pipe: This type of air compressor piping is not recommended for use with air compressors. Galvanized piping is useful for use in general plumbing and resists moisture in compressed air, but the problem is that pieces of galvanized coating often flake off and end up getting in your tools. If this happens, the coating debris can cause damage to pneumatic tools and other components. It’s also important to keep in mind that when using an air compressor, galvanized flakes can shoot out and cause bodily harm if they make contact with people.
- PVC pipe: PVC pipe is cheap and easy to install, but it’s not recommended for use as air compressor piping. This is because PVC pipe can grow brittle and crack. Using an air compressor can speed that process up. This can lead to equipment failure which can potentially be deadly if there is any shrapnel produced.
- Black pipe: The most commonly used type of compressor piping for air compressors Is black pipe. It can easily found, it is durable and it’s easy to install. If you’re using it, keep a watchful eye. Black pipe tends to produce rust, which can damage pneumatic tools. The pipe is uncoated and the moisture from an air compressor will cause rust to form over time. To cut down on the amount of rust, a dryer can be used, but the presence of rust never truly goes away.
- Stainless steel: Another commonly used type of air compressor piping is stainless steel. Stainless steel piping minimizes corrosion and combines the durability and strength of black pipe and doesn’t come with the problems of rusting. Stainless steel piping is easy to install, but sometimes steel pipe threads can freeze up, which causes problems when you’re trying to do maintenance. Compressed-air system leaks can be costly; an 1/8 inch diameter hole in a 100 psi system can cost you more than $1,200 per year in wasted energy, so it is worth maintenance time to fix all sizeable leaks.
- Aluminum: Another highly recommended type of compressor piping is push-to-connect aluminum piping. Aluminum is lightweight, non-corrosive and leak free. Compressed air isn’t cheap to produce and eliminating compressor leaks will keep a system running and extend the life of your tools.
Purchasing an air compressor can help you speed up work on DIY projects around the house and for various tasks at your worksite. They’re easy to maintain and have a versatile range of uses whether you want to power nail guns, drills, screwdrivers or sanders. With an air compressor fitted with the right kind of compressor piping in your toolbox, you’ll be able to tackle any job that comes up.