I know this is an older post, but for posterity I wanted to add that I installed a RapidAir system in my garage shop. I sweated a couple sections of 3/4” copper into a pattern to form a condenser, with ball valves at the bottom of each short ‘run’ of the condenser. This I secured on the wall behind the compressor, attached to the compressor with a short whip to account for vibration, on the other end of the condenser starts the blue RapidAir flex line. I ran that down the long axis of the shop, with several drops off the main in strategic spots. Most of the drops have two quick connections. I think there’s a total of 8 connectors throughout the shop. Two of them are dedicated to reel lines, and two are connected to those short springy coil lines for blowing off the benches. One of them is tied directly to a pneumatic tools table I built a long while back (Essentially just a section of copper and a couple quick connects mounted under a rolling table that is set up for nailers and such…I use it as an assembly table).
I was really worried about separating water out of the system (even though I live in a fairly dry area) and honestly I think I over estimated the need. A simple braided drainage line and valve off the bottom of the compressor tank manages the moisture just fine and I rarely get any moisture from the Condenser ball valves unless I’m running pneumatic tools flat out for a loooong time, which I rarely do. I had one of those cheapy HF desiccant traps installed and it cracked and separated internally allowing a bunch of the desiccant into the overhead airline. These ended up traveling and getting lodged into the two-stage husky quick connects that I thought were a great idea. While I like the fact the Husky quick connects allow for air pressure release before the male end ejects, they got all jammed up by the desiccant beads and required a bunch of repair. A couple of them were so messed up that I just gave up on them and replaced them with standard brass quick connects.
Most of the discharges also have an inline ball valve and a pressure reducing valve. Again, just the cheapy HD ones. They actually work pretty well. While it requires mores hardware, I highly recommend adding inline valves at each discharge. The vast majority of small leaks I’ve dealt with over time in my system are from 1) the quick connect hardware or 2) cracks in the whip lines or reel lines.
Overall, the RadpiAir system is, IMO, well worth the money. It’s relatively easy to install with a minimal number of joints (since it’s flexible and can make sweeping turns), and is easy to cut and assemble with the compression fittings meant for it. It’s also pretty easy to reconfigure or add drops to if you want to later. The downside is the almost-proprietary pressure fittings used for it. You pretty much need to order and buy their fittings, and they’re not free! That said, you get what you pay for and I’m exceptionally happy with the system in my shop. After having it for years now, I couldn’t imagine not having a system with multiple drops, even in a small shop.
When I eventually build my retirement shop (after I retire I suppose) I’ll use RapidAir again. In fact, I’ll probably not change a whole lot of what I’ve got now. One major change will be to move the compressor into a closet or outside the shop to reduce noise when it runs. I just don’t have room for that now. I’d also like to automate the tank drainage for moisture.
Anyway, not trying to hijack the thread, but hopefully the info in this thread helps someone down the road with some real life options to add air to their shop!
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