How to replace compressor metal air pipe

The following illustrates how to replace a ruptured or broken compressor (rigid) pipe. This type of pipe is often used between the compressor head and the air tank (reservoir).

Failed compressor pipe


The electrical tape solution to the problem was NOT MY idea. You DO NOT fix something like this with electrical tape.


Neither can you fix this with flexible (rubber, plastic, PVC, etc) pipe, no matter what its rated pressure is. When the compressor runs, a very high temperature is generated by the compressor head, and inside the pipe itself (due to the air being compressed). Only a rigid metal pipe can withstand this temperature and pressure.


Vacuum out any debris at the mesh filter

vacuum out debris in the mesh filter


Now is also a good time to drain moisture from the air tank.


Obtain about two feet of copper piping from a hardware or plumbing store. Bring your old hardware to the store to make sure you are buying the right size. Also buy two sets of nuts and sleeves. The sleeves MUST be a tight fit against the tube. There cannot be a gap between the sleeve and the pipe, otherwise the connection will leak. Note that the end of a cut pipe might not be perfectly round and smooth, making this sleeve test difficult.


Here is an illustration (courtesy of Watts) of how compression fitting works:

Compression fitting illustration


The original failure happened from a combination of high temperature and vibration. To prevent this from happening to your new pipe, you must put in a loop to relieve the stress, like shown here:

Repair of compressor tube


Note that with the loop as shown, there will be interference from the top plastic cover. Modify the loop accordingly. Use Teflon tape on the two threads. When tightening, hold the wrench at the tread end to prevent excessive twisting, which might break the thread off. Use hearing and vision protection and blow out dirt and dust from the top of the compressor.

˅˅˅ Additional valuable information is available at one of the links below: ˅˅˅


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Page last modified 19-Feb-17 18:49:12 EST
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