PVC Pipe: Why You Should Not Use PVC Piping for Your Compressed Air System

When installing a compressed air system into a business, people often look to PVC piping as an option to build a piping system because it is cheap, versatile and easy to install. However, using PVC pipe in any compressed air application is extremely dangerous and NOT recommended by multiple associations and manufacturers.

PVC piping is often used to transport liquids, mainly water, for multiple applications. If there is a leak in the piping while transporting water, often times the pipe will split and release water at a low pressure. However, water is not compressible and cannot store energy in the same way that air can. When air is compressed inside of PVC piping, the pipe can swell and burst at a high pressure, sending PVC shrapnel outward like a bomb, potentially injuring or killing anyone within close range. The maximum rated temperature of most PVC piping is usually 140 degrees Farenheit, but once the air travelling through the pipes reaches 110 F, the pressure rating of the pipe is cut in half. So a pipe that is rated for 150 psi, is now rated for only 75 psi, causing a high possibility of an explosion. PVC pipe also deteriorates over time and becomes brittle, making the chance of a leak or an explosion very likely as it ages.

In addition to the obvious dangers of using PVC piping for compressed air, it is also against OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards to use PVC piping for above ground transportation of compressed air and gases. In doing so, you run the risk of hefty fines from OSHA and a potential shutdown of your business if you have too many violations. The Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association has also stated that “Compressed air or inert gases should never be used for pressure testing plastic piping systems.” Many manufacturers of PVC pipe also place warning labels on their packaging stating that the pipe is not to be used in the transport of any compressed air or gas due to the large safety risk it creates.

So if I can’t use PVC, what type of piping should I use for my compressed air?

Both stainless steel and aluminum piping are highly recommended for compressed air transportation. Stainless steel piping is strong, durable and will not rust. Aluminum piping is light-weight, easy to handle, non-corrosive and cost-efficient. AirNet offers both stainless and aluminium solutions that are easy to install and comes backed with a 10-year warranty. 

Although it may seem like a cheap, easy option to install PVC for transporting your compressed air, the high risk of fines, damage, injury and even death greatly outweigh the perceived benefits of using PVC pipe. Contact us today for a viable, safe solution for the transporting of your compressed air.

We recommend AIRnet Piping System

AIRnet is a fast, easy and reliable piping system, designed for compressed air, vacuum, and other inert gas applications from the source to the point of use with the lowest total cost of ownership.


AIRnet saves you 70% on installation time vs. traditional piping systems  


3 simple steps: CUT to length and deburr, INSERT in the fitting on the marked depth, SECURE and tighten correctly 


All AIRnet products come with a 10-year warranty on all fittings and pipes, against any damages resulting from material defect 

Save the money that other piping systems spend

If you look at your total cost of ownership, AIRnet will turn out to be the best investment choice you can make. Airnet piping network is engineered to support sustainable operational excellence in your production process. Material and product design, installation and maintenance costs, flexibility and safety - they all influence your total cost of ownership and the level of efficiency in your production.

Sustaining energy efficiency

AIRnet keeps your energy costs down. The AIRnet pipes and seamless connections have superior sealing to prevent leaks and reduce friction to a minimum. This prevents pressure drops, saves energy and contributes to the sustainability of your production.

For any existing piping network

AIRnet supports the dynamics of your business. The comprehensive product range gives the flexibility to use the system for a wide range of applications. It can be connected to any existing network within no time & its modular technology gives you the advantage of modifying / expanding your network without affecting your production. AIRnet is the future-proof solution!

Call us to discuss how we can help you save costs, improve performance and achieve maximum efficiency.

AIRnet Aluminium installation is Fast, Easy and Reliable

AIRnet can be installed up to 85% faster than traditional piping system by one single technician. Installation is done with simple tools. No welding, gluing or crimping is required.

You can find applications everywhere: AIRnet systems are used in all sorts of industries.


We understand the importance of pneumatics in the automobile industry. The non-corrosive properties of the AIRnet system will ensure that your downstream equipment is protected from rust and contamination.


Compressed air is used for spinning, weaving, knitting and several other processes. The AIRnet system provides clean air for these processes to ensure high quality fabrics are produced.


The maintenance of the locomotives and coaches is very crucial to ensure passenger safety and on time service. We provide a comprehensive piping solution to keep the maintenance sheds up and running.

Food & Beverage

The compressed air for Food and Beverage industry needs to be 100% oil free. AIRnet piping system is silicone free and now certified “class 0” ensuring the purest air is delivered to the processes.


From amusement parks to the hotels, several processes in their operations rely on the compressed air. Whether it’s a critical braking system of a roller coaster or powering up an animation figure to amuse the kids, AIRnet system will deliver the compressed air with zero leakage and minimum pressure drop.


For manufacturing, repairs and overhauls, the aviation industry uses compressed air as the primary energy source to power their equipment. AIRnet piping system is efficient, light weight, easy to install and reconfigure, and can be an ideal solution for the air distribution.

Do you have an idea for our #expertcornerLet us know!

Who we are and how Ash Air can help your business!

Ash Air has been around in New Zealand since 1979, and we’ve grown into a nationwide company with international support and a reputation for quality and reliability.We look after all things compressed air for your business!

  • Reciprocating, Screw, air compressors
  • Vacuum pumps
  • Nitrogen
  • An extensive line of air treatment components

Ash Air's range of Chicago Pneumatic, Alup, Pneumatech, and Quincy compressors are used extensively around the world in industries ranging from oil and gas to food, automotive and farming, and we bring you these world class compressors here in the land of the long white cloud.Our technicians are compressed air equipment experts and are dedicated to addressing customer needs. Supported by a 13 locations nationwide, Ash Air offers one of the widest selections of compressed air equipment and parts available today in New Zealand.

Reliability and Efficiency

With Ash Air compressors, you can count on reliability and high performance for even the most demanding applications. We focus our efforts on the following:

  • Increasing uptime
  • Reducing unexpected repairs
  • Reducing energy consumption
  • Improving the cleanliness of compressed air

Talk to the team today:  CONTACT US CONTACT US

Read more from our #expertcorner