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How to Hook Up Multiple Hoses to an Air Compressor

Mark Morris

Air compressors drive pneumatic tools, such as nail guns and impact drivers, that make household and commercial jobs simpler and faster. Most frequent tool users have multiple air tools that they use on a regular basis. If you are tired of constantly changing between tools, or need the capacity for more than one person to work at a time, multiple air hoses might be the best solution. This can be done with the replacement of a single piece of hardware.

Add multiple hoses to an air compressor to allow more than one tool to be connected.
  1. Unplug the compressor, or turn off the breaker if your compressor is hardwired. Unscrew the water release valve, found under the belly of your tank. It is typically a ¼-inch round brass fitting that must be turned counterclockwise to open. Turn the valve with a pair of locking pliers. Allow all of the pressurized air and condensation to bleed out, until no further moisture is evident. Firmly twist the valve clockwise to close completely.

  2. Use an open-ended wrench of the appropriate size, typically 5/8-inch, to turn the nut on the back of the air hose coupler (also known as a quick release valve) on the compressor. Turn it counterclockwise to loosen and remove the connector.

  3. Wrap PTFE tape around the threads of your new two- or three-way-split quick connector. Turn the threads of the new connector into the fitting from which you removed the original, and tighten it by turning clockwise until it is snug. Use the wrench for final tightening.

  4. Reconnect the compressor to the power and turn it on. Allow the pressure to build up until the compressor kicks off. Use a spray bottle filled with water and a few drops of detergent to test the new fitting for air leaks. Spray a little of the solution around the base of the threads, and look for air bubbles. If bubbles appear, tighten the fitting further and spray again until no bubbles are seen.

  5. Put a few drops of tool oil on the new connectors to ensure smooth operation and an airtight fit. Connect your air hoses to the new fitting as you would with a standard quick-release.