Last Update: 10 Jan 2021

Air Compressor Piping Diagrams and Tips

James Kelly
James Kelly

Hi! This is James. I'm a professional writer and working on this field for a long time. Basically I love to write about everything related to tools, diy and home improvement. All my writings speak for itself as I'm passionate about this. I love to explore new things as well as new places whenever I get free time. You'll never find me free for this reason!

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How is an air compressor piping diagram prepared?

To prepare the piping diagram, you just need to join an air compressor to an ultimate user tool using pipes. Simple right???

However, designing your own and building it, quite a tough job to do. You must follow some definite requirements and be careful with different aspects to complete the task well.

These requirements include providing the right angle to the pipe bend, regulating moisture, considering future maintenance, isolation, decent ventilation, etc.

To know more details on the air compressor piping diagrams and tips, read this article thoroughly.

Types of Pipes to Use with an Air Compressor Piping System

When you start planning to install a new air compressor piping system, the first question may arise: what type of pipe should you use?

Choosing the right pipe material is very important as the pressurized air’s quality will improve significantly.

There are mainly two types of pipes.

Plastic pipes present many crucial advantages, such as

A downside of plastic pipe is that you will get a low endurance in high temperatures.  

On the other side, metal pipes offer some benefits over plastic pipes, such as:

The downside of using metal pipes are, they corrode fast, heavy, and high in price. However, the benefits suppress these drawbacks.

You will find many types of metal material pipes in the market. Black steel, aluminum, stainless steel, galvanized, black iron, copper. Each has its pros and cons when used in an air compressor system.

Air Compressor Piping Diagrams and Tips

Diameter and Distance of the Pipes

The diameter and the distance of pipe to the pipe has a drastic effect on the air pressure. You may face two conditions.

One is when you use small-sized pipes. In this situation, the air pressure will increase significantly above the recommended levels.

Number two is when you use large-sized pipes, and the distance is too far from the piping system to the point of use. In this condition, the air pressure will fall below the recommended levels.

These two conditions can result in untimely wear and cost you more in the future.

So try to find out which sized pipes are suitable for your piping system. This will surely save you a lot of money.

Try to Avoid Sharp Angle as Much as Possible

A sharp angle decreases the speed of airflow and reduces the pressure in the piping system. So, try not to provide more sharp bends in your piping diagram.

For example, when you are driving a car, and you are required to make a sharp turn. Then you have to lower your speed to make that turn. Right???

The same goes for airflow in the piping system.

But as the air can’t operate itself on its own, it makes collisions inside the pipe because of sharp diversion. This also results in energy wastage. And this movement of air is called the laminar movement of air.

So the best way to keep the airflow smooth and to maintain energy is to provide a straight pathway. If the bends are unavoidable, then use 30 or 45 degrees bends.

Analyze the Layout

You can have two types of piping layout.

Straight piping layout

This layout is suitable for more extended and narrower plants

Loop piping layout

Loop style piping layout is perfect for square plants. Air will flow through the loop, and the speed of flow will decrease smoothly at the point of use.

However, this layout is relatively more expensive than the straight one.

When preparing a layout, four main points you have to consider,

Climate Temperature

Temperature inconsistency is a common problem in the workplace. This can influence the quality of the compressed.

You may need to pass the pipe through different rooms or underground. It may affect them exposing to above or below their suggested temperature.

Cold temperature can crystalize the air in the system. On the other hand, pipes can wear quickly when exposed to high temperatures.

So, to select the appropriate pipe material and measure, you need to know your workplace’s temperature variation.

Make Sure All the Obstructions Are Under Control

The major points for any obstructions are valves, connectors, sensors in the circuits, etc. The pipes have a reduced amount of width and area in these points.

As a result, some dust substances can quickly coagulate in these points.

However, you can keep this obstruction in control by providing effective filters to prevent any dust or debris substances from entering your compressor system.

To figure out any blockage, follow the pressure flow. Generally, you will notice a high pressure before a blockage and low pressure after a blockage.

The most commonly faced obstruction is due to corrosion. You can use non-corrosive pipes to avoid this. You may need some extra cash for this, but you will not regret spending extra money, to be honest.

Additionally, non-corrosive pipes will assist in reducing the risks that come with pressure buildups.

Maintain the Moisture

The undeniable truth is that we can’t remove the moisture in the world of compressors. All the air contains a specific amount of moisture.

However, while working with the air compressor system, you can try and regulate the moisture.

The moisture damages the pipes internally that you can’t see. It clogs the nozzle, makes the pipe rust and corrodes, and the pathway turns into a rough surface.

This obstruction leads to a reduction in air pressure. So, it is recommended to regulate moisture if needed.

One way is that you can alter the supply inlet of air from the beneath to the top of the air compressor. This will lower the quantity of moisture taken with the air as the moisture is weighty than air.

Another way to regulate moisture is to use an aftercooler. This aftercooler is proven to reduce more than 50% of fluid from the air compressor.

It is impossible to remove moisture entirely. But it should be removed as much as possible to reduce the damaging of pipes.

Understand the Future Maintenance Requirements

It will be complicated and costly to go back and customize the piping system again.

When designing by following the air compressor piping diagrams and tips, make sure you can increase the piping in the future. Try to make your piping system modular.

Use bigger pipes in the first place; you may need to oversize the pipe in the near future.

And, make sure you have a bypass pipe. It will help you to continue the airflow while the maintenance is going on. The bypass pipe needs to have a valve to stop the air supply when the problem is solved.

Things to Keep in Mind

Final Verdict

In short, you have to consider piping as a significant component. The perfection of a compressed air system depends on the piping system mostly.

The flawed piping system will result in pressure drop and contamination through the pathway of air.

Follow the above writing regarding the air compressor piping diagrams and tips to prevent making lousy piping. It will also help you to avoid mistakes along with the task.

These points will ensure your air compressor system’s security and the optimal potentiality of your air compressor.

Air Compressor Piping Diagrams and Tips: 6 Things to Keep in Mind 1