There’s no such thing as too large a compressed air line

Whenever I am troubleshooting an application that is experiencing a pressure drop, the first thing I look for is the air line and fitting sizes. In one such application we reviewed the customer’s piping. The drop line size were within specs from the size and fitting charts but they were still experiencing a pressure drop at the application. The obvious conclusion would have been that they did not have enough compressed air to begin with. This did not bear out because their compressor was more than adequate.

Come to find out, the size of pipe they were using for the main header was too small to carry the volume of air the compressor could produce and needed throughout the shop. Their thinking was that the smaller pipe would reduce air consumption. In the end it does not work out that way. With the smaller pipe there is more resistance to flow which has to be overcome by increasing pressure at the compressor which is what they eventually did. Problem is, high pressure air is more expensive to produce and deliver than low pressure air. For a system operating at around 100 PSIG, a rule of thumb is that every 2 PSIG increase in operating pressure requires an additional 1% in operating energy costs.

The moral of the story is there’s no such thing as too large a compressed air line. To control consumption, focus should be centered on the point of use by using engineered nozzles designed to more efficiently use compressed air.

If you would like assistance with your application, give us a call at 1-800-903-9247

Joe Panfalone

Application Engineer

Phone (513) 671-3322

Fax (513) 671-3363




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