Under pressure times two, a reely big issue...

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 03-29-2014 09:50 AM 1493 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Yeah pun intended…

I have 2 concurrent compressed air system projects going on. After having some fits with my impact wrench, and my compressor just barely not making the required CFM @ pressure of the impact, I decided to try o to figure out how to get more CFM out of the end of the hose. So I am trying to get a working tandem compressor rig going. I really don’t have the space, or budget right now for a big 60 or so gallon 220V compressor even though I would LOVE to have one. So I figured this would do the trick. Hopefully I am right.

At the same time, i am also adding a Harbor Freight self retracting 50’ hose reel. I know HF hoses aren’t well regarded, but I figure in a hobby workshop, not out in the elements constantly pressurized and soaked in petrochemicals, they should last a while, when they go bad I will simply replace with Goodyear hoses…

Anyway, like always, my blogger entry is available for your perusal…

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10 comments so far

View Steve Kreins's profile

Steve Kreins

358 posts in 1780 days

#1 posted 03-29-2014 11:42 AM

Looked at the pics on your blog and it looks a lot better than what I have. I bet that hose last longer than anyone who snubs it. ;)

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3381 days

#2 posted 03-29-2014 09:57 PM

I am thinking the rubber hoses, which really do appear to be virtually identical tot he Goodyear hoses, will last. Especially in my hobby / home workshop environment. I somewhat suspect they do not have the inbibitors in the rubber that other hoses to to help them resist breakdown when exposed to petrochemicals such as brake fluid, transmission fluid, and ethylene glycol.

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View a1Jim's profile


117243 posts in 3726 days

#3 posted 03-29-2014 10:02 PM

I hope the duo does the trick,pretty creative thinking.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3381 days

#4 posted 03-29-2014 10:14 PM

We will see… The 9CFM spray gun rating I think is insane. I have used that gun, a LOT on the little 8 gallon compressor that is nowhere near capable of driving 9CFM… I think that must be with everything wide open and the trigger held open constantly…

The biggest offender is that 6 CFM impact wrench. I iknow not a woodworking tool, but a tool none the less… It was seeming to have reduced output / torque. I oil soaked it, then ran it wide open (it made a mess!). Not sure what it was, but pieces of clear plastic, like protective wrap like they put on electronics spit out of the exhaust port. I suspect during assembly some factory worker failed to remove the plastic from a component, and it got sucked into the inlet valve… It now seems a LOT beefier… I pull the trigger and it wants to twist my arm…

Honestly, I may not need the ganged compressors, but it is still an interesting setup…

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View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2156 days

#5 posted 03-29-2014 10:41 PM

I have a 5hp compressor I got when I worked for Snap-0n Tools but I had it mounted on a small tank. Here’s what I did when I wanted to increase the storage of my air supply. I found an old compressor that had a good tank (free) and hung it from the rafters right above the compressor, and just daisy-chained them together with air hose. Never had a supply problem after that. I regularly use air ratchets, air impacts, and have painted several cars with this setup.

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View changeoffocus's profile


467 posts in 1767 days

#6 posted 03-30-2014 12:27 AM

Quick reply,
Too much hose and high pressure drop devices, possible water in lines, maybe a lubricator on the impact wrench.
If you tandem just set the worst of the two compressors at a slightly lower pressure so it lags the primary compressor.
All lines should be connected in parallel so they add to your holding capacity.
Adding a receiver like the guy with the blue tank is a viable option.
The higher you set the compressor pressure the lower the efficiency.
I would do some main piping in a header arrangement and try to reduce those hose lengths.
All suggestions based on you have a high diversity of use (not running too many tools at once)

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3381 days

#7 posted 03-30-2014 06:17 AM


I am painfully aware of the “Too much hose” issue. The 50’ blend hose was a mistake, in more ways than one. Sorry if that wasn’t clear. However having said that…

As I mentioned, the long hose on the reel is on purpose to reach the areas I am likely to actually use air tools.

The lengths of hose to the “manifold” that feeds into the filter / regulator I am comfortable with as well..

The 50’ hose between the regulator / filter and the reel was a mistake. I could take it back, get a 25 footer, and still have at least 10’ too much hose attached, or, and I am tempted to try this considering the cost of the hose was so low, get a couple of hose end repair kits, and mount he reel, route the hose, and trim it such that once everything is bolted up and secured I have a foot, maybe 18” of slack to keep bends from being too tight.

Looking around and I see regulators / filters with 1/4” NPT so I know the ID is 1/4” on them, that are rated at 60 CFM @ 100 PSI.

So if the 1/4” ID will carry way more CFM than both of my compressors combined could ever dream of producing, and I am using 3/8” ID hose… what would the purpose of using larger hard pipe be aside from slightly increasing the compressed air storage capacity, and yes I admit, long term durability. Yes I do want to go pipe eventually, but for now, not a real option…

I worked for a rather large, well known tire MFG retail shop in a previous career, and I do recall the compressed air plumbing systems in those. Main trunk of 3/4, branch lines of 1/2, 3/8” whip / jumper whatever you want to call it connected the pipe to the hose reel, and every single station had a 50’ hose reel.

Same went for the service station I managed.

And my brother in law’s body shop.

I just don’t see a need to go that far overboard when the tee at the regulator, catching the full pressure 125 PSI, and the hose reel are the only usable ports in this system, and honestly, for the most part the hose reel will be the only one used. It’s not like I have my wife come in and we have HVLP paint fights…. Although now that I typed that it sounds like fun if it were safe, which I doubt….

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View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4237 posts in 3314 days

#8 posted 03-30-2014 03:56 PM

This stuff is way over my pay grade, but joein10asee’s in series extra tank looks like the most trouble free solution. I am going to remember that one. I only use a compressor for nailing, blowing, and tire inflation. I use a PC 6 gallon at both of my shops, and it is good enough for my needs. I do not ever intend to spray finish anything. And I don’t do any auto repair stuff. For changing from summer to winter tires, I have an ancient Craftsman electric impact wrench that is a brute.

Finding crud in a wrench reminds me of the problems I had for awhile with a kitchen faucet head that was one of the fancy spray or stream things. Something upstream was sending out small pieces of plastic the would clog in the intake screen. It was probably the hot water heater, that has subsequently been replaced. If it is feasible to pull apart that impact wrench, I would do it…..............

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View changeoffocus's profile


467 posts in 1767 days

#9 posted 03-30-2014 07:07 PM

Thank you for acknowledging my advice, I did not intend to “rub it in” on your existing conditions. I’m going to look thru my archives and try to extract a primer for air piping that I’ll post for all to use if they like.
I did not create any of this information it’s mostly derived from equipment manufactures that assembled and tested over time becomes one’s experience.
I do not have much to offer fellow LJ’s on woodworking but I do not want to be a free loader so this is something I can share.
I actually thought about suggesting you use a good grade of garden hose to get closer to the loads to a point where you can use the smaller terminal “whips” it would do wonders. I would want to see the rating before trying
I’ve posted this very simple term before. Double the pipe size quadruples the flow. Increase one size and double the flow rate.
Good luck in the spray paint battle.

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3381 days

#10 posted 03-31-2014 04:27 AM

No offense taken at all. I am working on what I have noted in my experience. I don’t claim to know much of everything let alone everything…

Okay here is the scoop best I can explain it…

#1. Aside from the impact wrench, my prior arrangement has worked flawlessly. No real reason to want more CFM. #2. In use tonight I needed to run the air ratchet, which uses the same air flow as the impact, it worked flawlessly. Yes the compressor cycled, but not bad at all. #3. I ran the air ratchet off of the plumbing as is, including the screwy 50 blend hose… Again, it rran fine.

Other issues…

#1. I am planning on mounting the reel 4’ in from the wall the filter / regulator is installed on. A 10’ connection is more than adequate. #2. If the impact works well on a single compressor, the multiple compressor rig goes away, and the little compressor gets permanently relegated to portable duty… Perhaps sold or donated to a good cause if I end up needing the space more than a portable / backup compressor. #3. I am not allergic to the idea of hard plumbing between the filter / regulator and the reel. I however do not have the skill or experience although I can likely figure it out, to solder hard copper. I have PLENTY of experience plumbing with copper tubing. Would 1/2” copper tubing with compression fittings work in a pressure application like this? I know the difference between tube and pipe is OD vs ID so the 1/2” tubing is measured in OD, where 1/2” pipe is ID… #4. If copper tubing is inappropriate then can you suggest a way to learn to solder those connections without burning the house down?

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