PVC air lines are deadly!!

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  • #31983

    Many years ago I ran my shop airlines utilizing Schedule 40 1″ PVC. Seemed like a good idea. Pressure rating marked on pipes was 400 p.s.i. Worked just fine for 8 years or so…but then…I knocked over my 3 “D” cell MagLite and it bumped the line terminated at the end of the run. Holy crap!! The line violently exploded with 125 p.s.i. blowing PVC projectiles all over the place, embedding in anything their path including my forearm. After attempts by my wife and myself to “excavate” the shrapnel from my arm failed, a trip to the medical center was required and proved quite educational. A few things I learned was (1) PVC slivers can be very sharp. (2) When launched at substantial velocity they can penetrate flesh surprisingly deep. (3) PVC does not show well on x-rays and conscequently has to be dug out by feel in a very painful process. I’m sharing this information so others won’t have to go through this same nightmare. Of course now everything I read and most of the people I speak with tell me PVC shouldn’t be used. Believe me…it’s true. Don’t take the risk. Sooner or later it will fail, with the possibility of terrible results. I was lucky that my head was not directly in the line of fire or I may have lost an eye or worse. During cleanup from the aftermath, I literally found pieces so firmly embedded in the wood that it took pliers to pull them out, some were as much as 20 feet from the “blast site”. I’m running everything temporarily off the tank outlet until I buy and install the Eastwood air line kit. Anyone use the kit? Any feedback?

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