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How To Connect Air Compressor To Hose Reel? [Step By Step Guide]

Hardly anything beats having compressed air on hand when it comes to pumping tires or using air-powered items in the workshop. But what a nuisance it would be to constantly unfold an air hose and stumble over it every few minutes.

But if you build a detachable air hose reel system, as experts do in commercial workshops, then you can just reach up and draw the hose down from above. But for that, you have to know how to connect air compressor to hose reel.

For connecting air compressor to hose reel, you just need to buy a few items, e.g., a hose reel, tubing, and extra tools. Then assemble and fit all of that properly to prepare the connection system.

Let’s have a look at the steps to make a system that connects your air compressor to the hose reel.

Things You Need To Connect Air Compressor To Hose Reel

There are a few things you need to do to make your installation perfect. Start by buying a few essentials.

Buy A Hose Reel

Hose reels are pretty easy to find. Look for it at a local hardware store or online. Hose reels range in price from around $60 to more than $250. The one you get for $60 is 25-foot and is good enough for the ordinary DIYer.

A 50-foot version should cost around $99. The more expensive versions have a smoother functioning and a smart retraction function that eliminates the danger of any complexity.

Buy Copper Tubing

First, choose the space where you want to place your air compressor. It’s best to pick a spot right across from your car’s hood. Or, if you have a two-car garage, put it in the center of the garage. Ensure you choose a place that is out of the way.

Install the air compressor in that dedicated place. After that, you need to take measurements to buy the copper tubing.

  • Starting from across the ceiling of your garage, take measurements till you reach the compressor,
  • Then measure the length of your workstation.
  • Add roughly 15-20% to the length of the least you need.
  • Buy that length of 1/2-inch copper tubing.
  • Type L copper tubing works fine.

Buy Extra Filter And Oiler

Oilers and filters are usually a bit more expensive. They start at $61 but are a worthwhile addition to your system because the filter and oiler will maintain the system’s good working order.

Buy additional tools

There will be a few things that you will need to connect, disconnect, and fit the air compressor and hose reel. For example,

  • You will need fittings. Usually, the 90-degree ells contribute to dropping the pressure. Use 45-degree fittings to decrease that pressure drop.
  • You will need a snubber hose to attach and disengage the air compressor from the hose.
  • You will need adapters to attach the filters and oilers. Use a threaded adapter of type male. Choose the soldered-on adapters

Also, if you don’t have the basic tools, such as wrenches, drilling machines, saws, measuring scales, goggles, gloves, hammers, etc., you also need to buy those. And obviously, an air compressor is one of the necessary items to build this system.

Step By Step Process For Connecting An Air Compressor To A Hose Reel

Once you have all the equipment in hand, the rest of the process is a lot easier. You need to prepare and install all these items, and then you are good to go.

Step 1: Preparing The Tools To Install In The System

  • Begin by measuring the length of 2×8-foot on a wood plank. You need to add two rafters, and this length is sufficient to cover two rafters.
  • Use the hose reel to trace the size of the mounting holes on that plank. Draw the marks so you don’t misplace the holes.
  • Use a driller to drill 4 holes into the traced spot. The holes should be 5/16 inches in size.
  • To add the rafter mounting bolts, you will need two more holes in the plank. On each end of the plank, drill two more holes of 5/16 size. You will need to have the same holes in the rafter as well.

Step 2: Assembling The Equipment

After you are done drilling, you can install the hose reel on the plank. Make sure the nuts are facing down. As the system is heavy, you will need to have extra support. So you need to mount the plank along with the rafters. Use leg screws of size 5/16 x 4.5 inches to get your job done.

The copper tubing and fittings that you bought earlier should be assembled properly. They should go up to the length of the ceiling, starting from your hose reel. For the portion that’s running throughout the hose reel to the ceiling, you need to sweat that.

Once the sweated parts cool down, you need to attach your threaded fitting to the hose reel. But before that, the threaded fitting should be applied with pipe dope.

Step 3: Finishing The Installation

Then put together the rest of the tubing and sweat them. You need to assemble the tubing along with the frame till you reach the compressor. Every few feet, use anchoring to make sure the tubing is properly anchored to the frame.

Next, your oiler, filter, or additional pressure regulator should be installed on the wall. You should fit these properly to make the connection perfect. Then take the snubber hose and attach all of these to your air compressor.

After you are done, you can use your air compressor with the newly added air hose reel.


Having an air hose reel in your garage can come in handy in every step of your work. Even if you are a novice at this and don’t have any clues, you now know how to connect air compressor to hose reel.

Just spend a few bucks on the tools and equipment, then go through these steps so that you have your air hose reel system installed flawlessly.

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