air compressor pipingIs your compressed air distribution system experiencing an annoying amount of pressure drop? A small amount of pressure drop as the air travels from the receiver tank output, through air compressor piping, and to the point of use is completely normal, but the ideal amount of drop in an optimized system is less than 10%. Is your gage reading more than that? Then your system is wasting energy and money.


Common Reasons Your Pressure Isn’t Cutting It

There are two general parts of your system that could be causing pressure to be lost on its journey to the point of use.

Air Quality Components

  • Filters
  • Dryers
  • Aftercoolers
  • Air/lubricant (oil or grease) separators
  • Moisture separators

Air Distribution Components

  • Filters (again)
  • Undersized hoses
  • Leaking hoses
  • Quick disconnect couplings
  • Regulators
  • Lubricators
  • Tubing
  • Air compressor piping like tees or elbows

That’s a lot to look at. After you inspect everything and maybe pinpoint an issue or two, some repairs for leaky pieces or old equipment are a good idea. Documenting all future routine maintenance is highly recommended, of course. But the real solution? Investing in better design. Most significant pressure drop issues come from subpar construction and design.


Avoiding Future Issues

It’s all about having maximum operating conditions in combination with the lowest possible pressure drop. Consider these tips in future designs for your compressed air system.

  • Maintain and replace air filters and dryers as needed to reduce the effects of moisture.
  • Choose separators, dryers, aftercoolers, and filters that have the least possible pressure drop for the rated conditions.
  • Similarly, specify lubricators, pressure regulators, hoses, and connections having the best performance characteristics at the lowest pressure differential.
  • Distance and bends in piping cause significant pressure drop. Piping must be optimized to the shortest possible length and least possible tees and elbows.

Your best bet for a system that has the least possible pressure drop is to consult a professional, experienced air compressor expert to help you with designing your system. Our team at Rapid Air has the industry expertise and engineering know-how to get your system where you need it to be. Contact us today for in-depth advice or check out our webstore if you know what you need. 

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