Transair piping

If you are installing, modifying, or upgrading a compressed air system, you may consider a variety of different materials for your piping. Options include black pipe, galvanized steel, copper, and stainless steel. 

Before making a decision, consider the benefits and drawbacks of aluminum piping. Strong, versatile, and reliable, aluminum piping can bring a fast installation for compressed air systems and better long-term performance for your total operations. 

It’s not always the right choice, but for many facilities, aluminum piping is a great option. SmartPipe (by Kaeser) is always a fantastic option. Kaeser is known for their quality engineering. But if SmartPipe isn’t available, we recommend Transair Aluminum Pipe.

Advantages of Transair

Like SmartPipe, it’s easy to connect and modify, making expansions for your compressed air system and facility faster and less expensive. The Transair push-to-connect system creates a firm hold to make the pipes leak-free. It connects with other piping, too. Plus, Transair comes in a variety of sizes, available in 1/2″ to 8″, and includes a warranty.

Unlike SmartPipe, Transair is readily available and may cost less than SmartPipe. (Contact us for details.)

Advantages of aluminum pipes

Aluminum piping brings a variety of advantages that make it ideal for numerous situations. When you need an affordable, durable, long-lasting system that can deliver reliable air compression, aluminum is often the ideal solution.

Aluminum is lighter than most metals. The mounting requirements and time to install are less than other heavier materials. 

Aluminum in general is less prone to corrosion, even compared to stainless steel. Even if there is a moisture trap (which we regularly install on air systems) there will be some water in the system, creating the right conditions for corrosion. This is less of a concern with aluminum. 

Disadvantages of aluminum piping for air systems

Although it remains one of the best choices for air systems, this pliable metal does have a few disadvantages. The upfront costs may be higher compared to other metals, which may cause some facilities to choose a different material. (But do your research; aluminum can bring long-term savings when installed correctly.) 

There can also be more thermal expansion and contraction, so controlling facility temperatures is critical. Although it meets the needs of most facilities, the pressure rating for some aluminum products may be lower as well. 

Your source for high-quality aluminum piping

Transair is a leader in the air-pipe industry. The company has a vast collection of lightweight, strong, corrosion-resistant pipes that come in a variety of sizes. These products bring excellent longevity and typically require less maintenance on compressed air systems.

When choosing your piping, you may need the guidance of an experienced professional to ensure the right pipes for your facility. There are a variety of sizes. (You should get the right size for your compressed air system.) Our installation team can help you determine the best options, add drop points, and more. We make it easy from beginning to end (including start-up).

Contact Elevated Industrial Solutions for expert service on your next installation for compressed air systems. We proudly serve western Ohio, eastern Michigan, and South Carolina. We’ll help you select the right pipes for your specific air requirements, and we’ll be available for installation and long-term maintenance.

5 common issues found in compressed air systems

A faulty air compressor can waste energy and resources at your facility. But, by keeping an eye out for common issues, you can keep your air compressor running efficiently.

1. Excessive operating temperatures 

Yeah, overheating. Air compressors shouldn’t exceed a temperature threshold for efficient functionality. A common cause of this issue is skipping maintenance visits. Regular maintenance visits by an experienced technician are the most important factors in keeping your air compressor running issue-free. It should be easy to schedule, too. Ask for recommendations, based on your environment, for maintenance if a warranty isn’t provided. 

mobile compressors

2. Air leaks

The Department of Energy estimates that roughly 20% to 30% of wasted energy from air compressors is due to air leaks. Leaks result in constant output fluctuation and a shorter compressor lifespan. So, addressing air leaks is one of the first steps to saving energy costs at your facility.

3. Choked airflow

If your air compressor isn’t outputting enough airflow, a few different factors could be causing the issue: obstructed intake filters, a bad pressure gauze setting, or a faulty coupler. If you’re unsure of the source of the obstruction, ask a compressor, can cut down the time required to get your compressor back up and running. 

4. A failing compressor

Air compressors that fail to start, stop, or provide enough pressure may be experiencing compressor failure. A common cause of compressor failure is inadequate oiling. Failing air compressors may be repaired, but in some cases need to be replaced. 

5. Uncommon sounds

Loud, weird noises or vibrations produced by your air compressor may indicate a problem. Possible issues include improper mounting, faulty pistons, or loose components. A vibration analysis could help determine the source.

Get help with the root cause

It can be difficult to pinpoint the root cause of your air compressor issues. If you’re struggling to determine the problem and perform the required repairs, Elevated Industrial Solutions is here to help. Our professionals have decades of experience in diagnosing and repairing faulty air compression systems. We can recommend new solutions and rentals to keep your facility up and running, meaning minimal or no downtime, too.

The importance of air compressor preventive maintenance

To preserve the condition of your air compressor, preventive maintenance is crucial. A consistent maintenance program can spare you from the expense, inconvenience, and downtime that can come along with air compression damage or failure.

The right vendor should make it easy to get maintenance, with a schedule ready for your facility based on its environment, run time, and more. 

What is preventative air compressor maintenance?

south carolina team

Standard air compressor maintenance involves updating the hardware, changing out the lubricant, and other related tasks. Although standard maintenance is essential to your air compressor’s function, it doesn’t necessarily prevent future damage. 

Preventive maintenance, on the other hand, focuses on identifying problems before they start to impact the entire system. During a preventive maintenance appointment, your technician will inspect all of the main system components to pinpoint any concerns. See what’s included in preventive maintenance.

What are the benefits of preventive air compressor maintenance


Emergency repairs are generally more expensive than preventive maintenance. By the time emergency repairs are needed, you may need to shut down your facility (meaning costly downtime) as well as hire an experienced technician. The repairs themselves may be more costly, too, such as parts that may be difficult to acquire.

By identifying potential problems before they require an emergency repair appointment, you can avoid a major, unexpected expense. 


Preventive air compressor maintenance can help extend the life expectancy of your air compressor. Given that replacing an entire air compressor system is often expensive and disruptive to daily operations, a longer lifespan translates to long-term savings. 

Avoid downtime

Preventive maintenance can help you avoid production coming to an abrupt halt and workers who are unproductive. Although a maintenance appointment may seem like downtime, unforeseen downtime is far more costly.

A sudden failure of your air compressor system could completely halt your day-to-day operations. Unlike a preventative maintenance appointment, which you can schedule at your convenience, you won’t have time to prepare for this downtime. For many businesses, the cost of a complete air compressor breakdown is unmanageable. 

Energy efficiency

Over time, air compressors may start to run at a lower capacity than usual or require more energy to reach the required output. Preventive air compressor maintenance will help keep you aware of any issues that are compromising the system’s energy efficiency. You can then amend these issues to improve the system’s efficiency (and save on energy bills). 

Schedule your maintenance today!

All of the above may seem far-fetched, but the Elevated Industrial Solutions team has seen this happen. One customer didn’t keep up with their maintenance plan and called us when it was an emergency. (Read the case study.)

Elevated Industrial Solutions has preventive maintenance plans for your business in Northern Kentucky, Southern Ohio, Northern Ohio, Eastern Indiana, Michigan, and South Carolina. Let us help you find the plan that works for your facility and team.

How to increase your industrial air compressor’s life expectancy

An industrial air compressor is a sizable investment in your business. So, you undoubtedly want it to last as long as possible and avoid spending extra cash on a premature replacement. Plus, you don’t want your compressed air system to fail suddenly, shutting down your production and business for hours while it’s repaired (assuming it can be).  

Luckily, there are several ways you can increase the life expectancy of your industrial air compressor. Our best tips, from our experienced service technicians, include the following.

Regularly change the filters

Air compressors draw in dust, dirt, and debris with every use. And the dirtier your environment, such as a concrete plant, the more debris there is in every use! As a result, air filters can become clogged quite quickly. When the air filter is clogged, your system will have to work harder to operate normally. This results in increased wear and tear, as well as higher energy bills. 

Generally, you should change an industrial air compressor’s filter once per week to prevent wear and tear. 

Ensure proper ventilation

common compressed air maintenance mistakes

Industrial air compressors generate a great deal of heat during operation. Overheating is a common problem, increasing the risk of damage and diminishing your compressed air system’s life expectancy. 

To help prevent overheating, ensure that the room housing the compressor is properly ventilated. Ventilation also reduces the dust and other particles in the air, causing the filters to clog less quickly. 

Check oil levels

Unless you have oil-free compressors or equipment, industrial air compressors must be properly oiled to operate correctly. If the system doesn’t have enough oil, it could incur damage. Make sure to check the system’s oil level before you use it. If it’s below halfway up, top up the oil before running the compressor. 

Schedule maintenance and don’t put off repairs

No matter how minor a repair or maintenance task may be, it could make a big difference in your system’s overall life expectancy. So, don’t delay scheduling maintenance or repairs for your air compressor system. Promptly completing these repairs and maintenance activities will save you money in the long run. 

Get a service technician you trust

Some technicians are available 24 x 7, 365 days a year. They’re there when you need them to quickly get your compressor up and running. Good technicians are also available for maintenance, covering the items on this list, to ensure everything is running at peak efficiency as per your specs. Great companies even provide a warranty with maintenance built into the plan. That warranty is peace of mind that your resources don’t have to spend time worrying about the basics because our technicians will do that for you.

Elevated Industrial Solutions provides maintenance and emergency repair services to help you keep your industrial air compressor in top condition. We have maintenance plans and warranty options to ensure your facility is always up and running. If you’re in South Carolina, Michigan, southern Ohio, or northern Ohio, contact us so we can help you get the maximum return on investment (ROI) for your compressed air system.

This is why you don’t use PVC

PVC is lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to purchase at any local building supply store, making it all the more attractive when it comes to selecting piping materials for a compressed air system.

Using PVC, however, has its risks and in certain areas, it may not be code compliant. It also carries a static charge which can lead to spontaneous combustion in certain dust-filled environments, it’s subject to bursting (yes bursting), and the adhesives used in installation are not compatible with all types of compressor oils. Despite the safety issues, many small shops and even some larger plants continue to use it.

A couple of years back we were installing a compressor at a medical device manufacturer in Colorado, and we noted the plant’s wide use of PVC piping. I asked the shop manager (who was three weeks from retiring) whether they’d had any issues with PVC cracking or bursting under pressure. He said yes, many times. “Pieces fly across the room.” He would just replace them. “No one’s been hurt so far…”

In a room with 4 huge, expensive injection molding machines and many employees, he saw no need to change. Different strokes, I guess.

Here are two more examples:

1. The remains from a 2” PVC pipe burst at a manufacturing plant in Texas. Thankfully no injuries, but some unscheduled changing of underwear.

2. In a small customer paint shop in Texas, a large section of PVC pipe burst during normal operation. Again, there were no injuries.

If you have PVC pipe in your shop or factory, make sure it’s pressure rated and regularly check it for signs of cracking.

For those of you considering using PVC pipe, I urge you not to—it’s really not worth the risk.

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