Air compressor cfm and hose size?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jcom, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. jcom

    jcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    We are considering changing our air compressor and have a question on hose size. What size hose do we need for a 60 cfm compressor? We have been using a 20 cfm compressor with 150' of hose on an air powered hose reel.

    Almost all of our blowout connections are standard hose bibs with maybe a 1/2" opening or so. And this has worked well for us as long as we did one zone at a time.

    Can we do multiple zones with a 60 cfm compressor?

    Thanks ,


    Snow should be gone this week. Jeez.
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 49,560

    Sure you can do multiples with 60 cfm, and you could still use a (heat resistant) garden hose for air. About now you'll begin to regret using cheapy (small opening) hose bibs and boiler drains.
  3. jcom

    jcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    Thanks WB for the insight. How about your opine on hose size?? The hose bibs are what they are. PVC pipe fittings with 1/2" fpt and the hose bib. But the fpt fitting is only 1/2". Standard install around here.

    O.k. for discussion sake, given that hose bibs are in place, am I going to gain in time saving with a 60 cfm unit over our 20 cfm unit like I hope?

  4. unit28

    unit28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,554

    I was on a job today and the last guy blew heads off.
    Tops were missing from 6 rotors and 4 others were intact, but completly out of the ground.

    I have no idea what he used since I'm new to the cold country, but geeze.
    There's a hose bib before the PVB, so he must have used some major stuff.
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 49,560

    Hose length figures into the needed diameter. At a hundred feet, you could live with 5/8, but if you're putting 150 feet on a reel, you might as well go 3/4

    You might keep an eye on whether hose bibs make a difference. Old ones (like Nibco or Lee, with aluminum handles) can be more wide-open than imports with cast handles.
  6. WalkGood

    WalkGood LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,910

    Most residential & small commercial blow out ports here are through a 1/2" fpt 'heel tee' on 3/4" or 1" copper off the POC to the manifold. There's either a boiler drain in it or just a plug. I've cleared up to 4 zones at a time using 125cfm with 3/4" heavy duty (red and/or black) garden hose. Zones w/6 rotaries each.

    The OP might get 3 resi zones together with 60 cfm. Your mileage may vary.
  7. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,146

    I use garden hoses, easier to hump and work fine for 3-4 zones at a time.
  8. betmr

    betmr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,663

    Probably a big compressor with no regulator.
  9. betmr

    betmr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,663

    I have installed 1" quick connectors on all my systems, and I use 1" air hose.
  10. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 22,812

    As long as you have some way to alter the psi of the compressor depending on the size of the the system, you'll never blow anything up; unless you need work.

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