Need A New Line From The Compressor Pump To Tank

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Need a new line from the compressor pump to tank on your air compressor?

We are talking about the line that is attached to the compressor pump head, an example of which is shown in the image below, where the compressed air exits the pump. This line allows flow of air from the pump head to a fitting (usually) on the compressor tank.

Caution: on most air compressors this line is made of metal. Reason being, the air exiting the compressor pump is hot, and gets even hotter the longer the compressor runs. So hot that you can burn yourself if you touch it while the compressor is running and for some time after the compressor stops.

The red dot on the photo identifies a typical line from the compressor pump to the compressor tank.

Need A New Line From The Compressor Pump To Tank - www.fix-my-compressor.com

Need A New Line From The Compressor Pump To Tank

Why?

Compressors tend to vibrate a great deal and over time a fitting on this line may break, or the line itself may develop a stress crack and start to leak.

In other cases, the manufacturer of some low cost compressors may use a material in this line that is not capable of withstanding the vibration and the heat at all, and these lines fail with some frequency.

Regardless, if this line fails on your air compressor, you need a replacement.

Cannot Find An OEM Pump To Tank Air Line

What often happens, particularly with low cost compressors, is that there are few spare parts available.

Short of buying the same compressor again and using the old one for spare parts – a procedure that may actually cost less money than trying to buy individual parts for the compressor – where does one get a replacement line like this?

Take The Old Compressor Tank Line With You

These lines connect to different compressor fittings in different ways. In order to get a replacement, take the whole line, and any fittings that attach it, with you, and visit the nearest plumbing contractor wholesale supply.

They should be able to fit you out with a copper tube of the same diameter, and prepare the ends of the tube if flaring is necessary, and provide the various fittings that will allow you to connect this new tube to the compressor.

Do not use plastic. Do not use braided line. Neither can be expected to stand up to the rigors and the heat of the job, unless it clearly says on a label attached that they are suited for this use.

Bending The Copper Tube

Experience has taught us that it is almost impossible to bend this tube without kinking it if you do not have a tube bender. Since copper tube is the material of choice from pump head to tank, and also from tank fitting to the unloader valve, if you can stand the investment of $20 or so you should acquire a tube bender.

The contractor wholesaler where you acquire your tube may provide this service for you. That’s why you want to have the old line with you, in case there are unusual bends needed for it to fit properly on your compressor.

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joe markstiener
joe markstiener
February 16, 2022 8:37 am

Why are some copper tubes between the compressor and storage tank coiled? What is the purpose of the coils?

James Gibson
James Gibson
July 24, 2021 7:12 pm

I am replacing my OLD 2 stage pump with a new larger one the tank is upright. The pump discharge line goes in the top where the pressure switch is I would like to enlarge the pump discharge line, but would have to go the tank side outlet for a larger fitting. Can I pump to and draw from the same place? Thanks!

Fix My Compressor Moderator
Fix My Compressor Moderator
Reply to  James Gibson
July 24, 2021 7:17 pm

James, I relocated this to a (perhaps) more appropriate page.

If you draw air from the same fitting that feeds the line to the air tool and also feeds the tank, it should work. If you are using an air tool while the pump is running, air will follow the path of least resistance, and if there is lower air pressure in the tank, air from the pump could flow there rather than to the air tool being used, depending on the back pressure in the air tool line. A relatively low cost experiment if nothing else. Good luck.

James Gibson
James Gibson
Reply to  Fix My Compressor Moderator
July 25, 2021 1:22 pm

Thanks for the information. The fitting at the top of the tank looks to be 1/2 pipe with a tap for the pressure switch The pump discharge is 1/2 copper. this would be a big restriction so I will go to the side of the tank an see how it works. I will let you know.

Fix My Compressor Moderator
Fix My Compressor Moderator
Reply to  James Gibson
July 26, 2021 12:00 pm

Hi James… you are, of course, leaving the one-way / check valve in the line from the pump? If not, you’ll need to add one as the air might flow back up the pump line and out the unloader without the check being in the line. Usually, the check is where the line from the pump enters the tank.

Daryk scheirich
Daryk scheirich
September 2, 2016 2:13 am

Whats this doohicky going between my head and tank?

Fix My Compressor Moderator
Fix My Compressor Moderator
Reply to  Daryk scheirich
September 2, 2016 10:19 am

Well, we are not 100% sure, but given the “fins” we would suggest that this is a cooling device to start cooling the air before it enters the tank. We cannot tell but the nipple that is closest to us in the photo is capped, yes?

Daryk scheirich
Daryk scheirich
Reply to  Fix My Compressor Moderator
September 3, 2016 4:50 pm

I think ive figured it out, most likely a cooler. The small steel line used to run to a second tank. The large vertical pipe is for the pressure switch to mount on, the small fitting in the back runs to the motor which I’m thinking is unloader…

Robert
Robert
Reply to  Daryk scheirich
December 31, 2016 8:23 pm

my old sears compressor also has one of these “cooler manifold”. it has 4 ports. one for pop-off valve, tank prssesure gauge,air input to tank, and one for electric cut off regulator.