How to connect 2 air compressors together in parallel

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Sometimes there are good reasons why you may want to connect two air compressors together. While a single air compressor may not offer enough flow to supply a higher demand air tool and another single air compressor may have the same problem with that same air tool, if you connect two air compressors on one line to the same air tool, you may have enough airflow from the two to run that most demanding air tool.

This article will provide you with the necessary information on how to hook 2 air compressors together, how to do it, and the more important considerations!

How Compressors Work to Make Air

A quick review of how compressors work (also covered in detail on a page on this site) is that they have a tank of air into which air is pumped. . When the tank pressure reaches the cut-out setting of the pressure switch, the pump stops and nothing else happens until it starts using the compressed air that is stored in the compressor tank.

Custom that uses air, the air pressure in the tank drops. When the tank pressure drops to the pressure switch activation level, the pump will start and add more air to the tank until the tank reaches the cut-out pressure setting and the pump stops.

What Is it possible to connect two air compressors together?

However, if your air tool has a greater demand for compressed air than the compressor can deliver, it will use air in the tool at a rate greater than the that the compressor can deliver. and even though the compressor is running, since it cannot meet the demand from the air tool, the tank pressure will continue to drop until there is not enough compressed air to run the air tool.

To use a higher demand air tool, you will need a larger compressor. Or, connecting two air compressors to the same air line to the tool, if you have a couple of small air compressors this might work.

In this situation where your air tool requires a higher air demand at a higher rate than the compressor is capable of supplying, by adding a second air compressor and feeding both on the same line, you will have more CFM to deliver the tool.

Let’s say If we have a second air compressor that has the same CFM rating as the first and is the same make and model, we could double the system’s current CFM rating without any additional control complexity. This is how you connect 2 air compressors in parallel, or just run 2 air compressors in tandem!

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This method of connecting two air compressors together for more CFM pumping capacities, while time providing a higher CFM on the compressors output, available for use with your tools.

Here is a YouTube example of the methods being used!

In In some cases, it will also be possible to connect two different makes and models of air compressors, with different CFM ratings. For example, you could hook up a 5 CFM air compressor with a 10 CFM air compressor and have 15 CFM available.

Here’s a YouTube demo that explains this method in more detail!


How to Wire Two Air Compressors Together

If you have two air compressors, select which one will be the lead air compressor and plug a tee into the discharge coupler of that one. At your discretion, you may consider removing the regulator from the line so that the flow to the tee is full pressure.

The tee is set up as: one leg of that tee is the primary air supply compressor, one leg of this tee is the secondary air compressor supply, and the last leg is where you install the air line to your air tools.

I’ve chosen a T-style manifold available on Amazon that would be perfect for this work. When installing one, it is recommended to use quick connect fittings whenever possible so that you can easily disconnect and reconnect the system when necessary.

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If both air compressor tanks are full of compressed air when you start using your pneumatic tool, compressed air will be drawn from both tanks… at least, in theory. The reality is that compressed air always flows through the easiest path from high to low pressure.

As air is drawn from the two compressor tanks to the air tool, the compressed air from one tank will flow into the other tank. and vice versa, instead of everything flowing down the air line to the tool.

By installing a check valve in the line between the secondary air compressor and the primary compressor tee. This will prevent air from the primary tank and compressor from returning to the secondary tank, and if the secondary compressor is not running, air could be lost from that compressor’s unloader valve.

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Installing check valves will be easy as they usually have arrows representing the direction of flow! Your setup should have both compressor outlets connected to check valves via hoses and then to a tee manifold which then has a hose at its outlet where you can connect your air tools.

Once the pressure in the hose the air tool drops due to the use of air and the main compressor tank is no longer maintained, air will also be drawn from the secondary tank, helping to maintain flow and pressure to the air tool.

If the regulator(s) are removed on the compressor, a regulator must be installed at the point of use of the attached supply so that the air tool can operate with the best efficiency and minimum air usage.

Important Considerations

As just mentioned, check valves are an important component to consider when connecting two compressors together to get more CFM. When the secondary air is flowing, once again, the air from that second tank could flow into the primary air compressor tank instead of down the line to the air tool, since the air will always flow the path of least resistance.</p

Solution? Another no-way valve before the tee on the primary compressor discharge fitting, allowing air to exit the tank, but not re-enter from the other compressor.

The image above is of a simple, in-tube, check valve for compressed air. It is also known as a non-way valve. If you google air check valve, you’ll find many sources with a variety of connection options.

With the male thread on each end of the pictured check valve, installation is not complex . Note the arrow on the body. That shows the direction in which the compressed air can flow through this valve. Be careful not to install it backwards!

Setting up the two compressors to feed one line will allow the job to be done more successfully with a high-demand air tool, but if the air tool exceeds the capacity of the two air compressors, then it would be time to consider a larger compressor to increase airflow if that tool is going to be used a lot.

Running 2 air compressors in tandem is a great idea for continuous air tool applications as the combined air system now has a higher CFM. It’s also suitable for intermittent use, where specific air tools require a higher CFM than your single air compressor is capable of delivering.

That being said, however, connecting two air compressors each other for intermittent use just maybe a little radical. It’s probably worth buying an extra air tank rather than a full compressor, as it requires only very short periods of continuous use.

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It may also be that you need to buy a new compressor that is adequately sized for your air tools and can deliver the correct CFM can be more profitable. This is significantly case by case, you may have a neighbor who has an air compressor that you can easily borrow whenever you need the extra CFM, so it would be a more cost effective method.

Duty cycle is another important consideration to understand so that if you are getting a second compressor, it will have the same duty cycle as your current one, ensuring that none will exceed their rating and overheat, causing component damage and premature wear.

After you get a second air compressor and hook it up using the method described in this article, you’ll need to adjust the pressure switches to make sure the gap between them isn’t too great. If that’s the case, one of your air compressors will do most of the work, starting and stopping much more frequently.

This will cause premature wear and tear on the compressor by working harder, which means you’ll need to perform additional maintenance, and it will undoubtedly have a shorter lifespan. In an ideal situation, to achieve the full CFM potential of the combination air compressors, the cut-in and cut-out pressures should be the same.

But you may not always need the full potential of the system , so it may be recommended that one of the compressors be turned on and off at pressures 5 PSI lower than the other.

This results in you having primary and secondary air compressors. And, an important consideration here, is that some air tools can only draw air from one compressor (the primary), so it’s a good idea to periodically adjust the pressure switches on the compressors so that one isn’t always doing ALL the work.

If you have air compressors of the same make, model, and size, then the two compressors will almost certainly already have the same on and off pressures, so you won’t have to sync up! ! In theory, both air compressors should run at about the same amount, depending on the requirements of the tool.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

If you have any questions about connecting 2 compressors together, please leave a comment below so someone can help you.> p>.

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