Compressed Air Hose Leaks and Air Hose Saftey

Posted: July 25, 2008 in Uncategorized

Compressed Air ANSWERS & TIPS are Important Information to pass on to those who work with  Your company’s compressed air systems & related equipment

How Air Hose Reels can save you time and money and increase satefy.
Plus – tips to prevent losing up to 30% of your compressed air because of AIR LEAKS.

Ask a Question:
What does OSHA say about hose safety?

Answer:  An OSHA guideline publication states:
“Hoses, cables, and other equipment shall be kept clear of passageways, ladders and stairs.”
OSHA says reduce your slips, trips and falls.
Slips, trips and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents, which cause 15% of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. The OSHA standard for walking and working surfaces apply to all permanent places of employment, except where only domestic, mining, or agricultural work is performed.

Consider adding reels to increase safety & efficiency with your electrical cords, welding cables, air hose, oil, grease, liquid/water or fuel hoses.

Ask a Question:
Why should my plant use Air Hose Reels with our air tools?

Answer: If your business or plant has multiple air hoses running from your air compressor to a variety of air tools, then industrial air hose reels can be one of your most effective equipment additions you’ll ever make…as well as one of the safest!

Here’s 5 Reasons to use Air Hose Reels:
1. Efficiency
Hose reels make all your hose handling more efficient. An organized, clean workplace is proven to be more efficient.
2. Safety
Hose reels decrease you chances of injuries from tripping hazards.  Reduce accidents and insurance expense:  Slips, trips and falls are the leading cause of work stoppage in industry.
3. Protects Equipment
Hoses (and cords) last five times longer when stored on a reel. This can save you from replacing hoses as often.
4. Stops Leakages
Hoses on reels can reduce the threat of expensive air leakages.
5. Increase Productivity
Locating your air hoses when and where you need them increases productivity.  All these factors help improve your work environment, which saves you time, equipment and money.

For more about Hose Reels visit


Have you ever wondered what that hissing sound is when you walk through your plant or shop area?  Most likely it’s a COMPRESSED AIR LEAK.

But what about the air leaks you can’t hear?  Size cannot be judged by sound.

Do You know how much your AIR LEAKS are costing you?

A Department of Energy publications states:
“Compressed air leaks can account for 20% to 30% of compressors cfm output  in small to medium size plants.”

In other words- you could be losing up to 30% of your compressed air because of AIR LEAKS! That’s your money leaking away! It is worth the effort to find and fix your air leaks.

Ask a Question:
How do you estimate the SIZE and COST of an AIR LEAK?

Here’s how to estimate the size of air leaks:
It’s not very hard.  We’ll use the “TIME METHOD” to estimate percentages of loss due to air leaks in your plant.

1.Turn OFF all air operated end-user equipment.
2.Start your air compressor and let it cycle 5 times.
(not pumping time) using your watch. (Example: 5 minutes)
(pumping time) using your watch. (Example: 2 minutes)
5.Calculate total percentage of air leaks
as follows: Add the OFF / UNLOAD and the
ON / LOAD times together:
Example: T(5 minutes)  +  T (2 minutes)= 7 minutes
Divide  ON / LOAD time T (2 minutes) by the total minutes: 2 ÷ 7 = 0.29

The result tells you 29% of your air compressor’s CFM’s are doing nothing but maintaining your AIR LEAKS.

How to figure the cost of air leaks:
Based on values from the Compressed Air & Gas Handbook, we can assume 4* CFM per air compressor horsepower.  So, if you have a 100 HP compressor and the above determined 29% air leaks -use this formula:
100 HP x 4*=400 CFM x 29% (.29 air leak loss) = 116 wasted CFM.
As the chart below shows, you now know that you are
losing over $13,000 a year because of AIR LEAKS.

Orifice Diameter Inches
1/32    ———————  1.6   —————–$211.70
3/32   ———————-14.5  —————-$1905.30
1/4    ——————–   104.0  —————$13665.60
1/2    ——————— 415.0  —————$54531.00

*These figures are based on values from the Compressed Air & Gas Institute Handbook. Calculations assume a conservative cost of $.25 /1000 cubic feet of compressed air, 100% coefficient of flow and working 8,760 hours/year at 100 psig.    
Owned & Operated by
Tommy McGuire
McGuire Air Compressors, Inc.
“Real People with Real Air Compressor Experience”

For Champion Air Compressors…

For Reelcraft Hose Reels for Air, Water, Oil & fluid
plus Electric Cord Reels & Welding Cable Reels…

For Arrow Refrigerated Air Dryers…

Email us:

Call us:

Fax us:

Mailing address:
McGuire Air Compressors,Inc.
P.O. Box 1100
Graham NC  27253


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