Best Air Compressor to Blow Out Water Lines

You know that blowing out your water lines is important, but what is the best air compressor to blow out water lines? Before you make a purchase, take a look at our guide.

The last thing you want is to make a purchase for an air compressor and realize that it does not work.

The selection process we used is comprised of many things such as power, cost, and efficiency. As you know, there are many air compressors out there—we are only presenting those that actually give you value for your money.

air compressor to blow out water lines

Why do you need an air compressor to blow out water lines?

Before we look into the best air compressor to blow out water lines, let’s first discuss the reasons for using an air compressor for sprinkler blowout.

You need to blow out your water lines every after use during winter because the temperature can freeze the water in it. And as the water freezes, it expands and damages the pipes.

When you turn off your faucet, there is still water in the pipes. It is only when you turn the faucet on again that the water moves out.

The process is called winterization. You must do this during the winter or if you will be out for a long time. You want to ensure that no water flows in your pipes, so it does not cause corrosion or damage.

You need to use an air compressor to blow out water lines if nobody will be home. If you are staying home for the winter, then it is fine not to do this since the assumption is that you will use your heater anyway. The heater will prevent the water from freezing.

If you do this, you need to drain all the water out—both hot and cold. Then, you can leave and then perhaps spend the days in warmer areas. By the time you go back, your pipes are still fine—they would not burst since there is no water in them.

Apart from your water lines for your facets, you must also do this for your dishwasher and sprinkler systems.

However, if you are leaving for only a few days, you do not have to blow out water lines. What you can do is set the thermostat to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This should be enough to prevent the water remaining inside the pipes from freezing.

Best Air Compressor to Blow Out Water Lines

Here are our top picks when it comes to the best air compressor to blow out water lines.

1. Craftsman Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free with 13 Piece Accessory Kit (CMEC6150K)

CRAFTSMAN 6-Gallon Air Compressor Check on Amazon

The Craftsman air compressor is a product made with amazing engineering skills. It is easy to use, and it is a reliable compressor that delivers both performance and value. What I like about it is that it can work in any weather condition, which is great if you live in freezing temperatures.

Key Features

  • Portability – the air compressor is only six gallons; it is easy to carry and move to other locations.
  • Maintenance-free – the air compressor can last long, and Craftsman built it with durability in mind. It does not need oil, so there is no need to go through standard maintenance compressors.
  • High Pressure – the compressor can reach up to 150 PSI, which is more than enough for what you need to blow water lines; its horsepower is 0.8.
  • Accessories – your purchase comes with 13 accessories that include a gauge, blowgun, and inflation adapters.
  • Durability – since it is oil-free, it can last longer. The materials used are high-grade, even if some parts are made in China. 
  • Regulator – it has a regulator knob for the PSI; the high pressure is set between 120 and 150 PSI; and this high-pressure is set automatically.

Pros of Craftsman Air Compressor

  • Produces enough power; it can even inflate tires
  • Made of durable materials with rubberized feet
  • Lightweight for easy transportation
  • Does not need oil for the machine to work
  • Noise rating is only at 71 decibels
  • It runs at 120 volts at 2400 watts

Cons of Craftsman Air Compressor

  • No noticeable cons are present in this product

Apart from being a great air compressor to blow out water lines, this machine can also be used for stapling, wrenches, bolting, and roof nailing. Take note that it is not ideal for drilling, spraying, cutting, or sanding jobs.

Overall, it offers a lot for its price. From the design to its performance, I can say that Craftsman nailed it. It cycles really quickly to produce high pressure if that is what you need.

2. Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon Pancake Compressor

Bostitch  6-Gallon Air Compressor Check on Amazon

This model from Bostitch is an excellent choice if you are looking for an air compressor to blow out water lines. This air compressor can deliver 2.6 SCFM, giving it a fast recovery period. It comes with high flow regulators and couplers, which allows you to maximize its performance. Bostitch is something that I recommend not only for blowing water lines but also for some everyday work that you do at home.

Key Features

  • High PSI – the maximum PSI you can get from this engine is 150. The pump runs for long periods, and it also has a quick recovery period. What this means is you do not have to wait a long while for the pump to fill the tank again with air.
  • Easy Start-Up – the compressor runs in any weather, and it is easy to start. As an electric compressor, just plug it in, and it should work. There is a red power button on the machine for on/off.
  • Low Noise Level – the operational noise level is only at 78.5 decibels. At this noise level, it is like listening to the noise of a washing machine.
  • Portable – the machine is lightweight and is only 29 pounds; it is easy to carry and store. Its design is like a gas tank but smaller. What I like is that it has a handle at the top. Its diameter is only 16 inches in diameter and 18 inches in height.
  • Long Life – it does not need oil; it is maintenance-free, and because there is no oil, it will last longer than typical air compressors.

Pros of Bostitch Pancake Air Compressor

  • Horsepower is 0.8 HP
  • It can be used for bolting, framing nailing, roof nailing and other functions
  • Low noise levels

Cons of Bostitch Pancake Air Compressor

  • Warranty is only one year
  • No third-party laboratory testing for safety

It is going to shut off at 150 PSI, so it does have a safety feature. It does have a regulator to tell you at what PSI the compressor is operating at. It only takes about three minutes to fill up, and it comes with pre-installed industrial fittings, both of which are also regulated.

3. California Air Tools 10TL Ultra Quiet Tankless Air Compressor

CAT Ultra Quiet Tankless Air Compressor Check on Amazon

This air compressor to blow out water lines is super quiet, and it is also tankless. As such, you do not need to wait to fill it with air. It uses an oil-free dual-piston pump mechanism, the design of which can make it last for more than 3,000 hours of abuse.

You can use this air compressor in a variety of temperatures and even uneven terrains. It has a bleeder valve that allows you to adjust the PSI output.

Key Features

  • Ultra-Quiet – the compressor is tested to be 80% quieter than most compressors. On average, compressors produce 90 decibels of noise. This air compressor produces only 65 decibels.  
  • Powerful Motor – this one sports 1.0 horsepower, capable of producing a maximum output of 100 PSI and 2.2 CFM.
  • Multiple Uses – you can use this air compressor to blow out water lines and also for angle grinders, cut-off tools, and finishing nailers. You are buying a tool that you can use for many purposes.
  • Easy to Start – even if it is cold, the air compressor can withstand it; it only takes a low voltage to get it started.
  • Bleeds Excess Air – the bleeder is what continuously bleeds excess air; there is little risk of over-pressure, and it does not stall.
  • Long Running Time – the longest running time of the motor is one hour; it is an excellent choice for draining water pipes of carpentry work where you need an air compressor.

Pros of Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

  • It has a foot pedal that allows you to control the pressure
  • It is oil-free, so there is no need for maintenance
  • It is lightweight and small

Cons of Stealth Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

  • Has no wheels for mobility

I like the build of this air compressor because the manufacturer used alloy metal. The design and material are for heavy-duty use. It can produce a maximum of 2 HP and can produce an airflow of 2.2 cubic feet per minute.

4. DEWALT Air Compressor, 135-PSI Max, 1 Gallon Tank, 2.6 Amp (D55140)

DEWALT 1-Gallon Air Compressor Check on Amazon

If you want to work quickly, then this model is something you need to consider. It was built for the person who needs an air compressor for job sites. It has a durable build with a tubular cage that protects the machine from external forces.

The compressor can work for long hours. Because of the low amp, you can work it for eight hours. If anything, the only disappointment you can possibly have here is that it only has a one-gallon tank. This should be fine, as it takes only a few minutes to refill it.

Key Features

  • Oil-Free Operation – there is no need to change the pump regularly, and you also do not need to fill it with oil. As such, it is practically maintenance-free.
  • Powerful Motor – it has a 2.6 amp motor that works best with a maximum of 135 PSI. Coupled with 0.75 SCFM, it can deliver high-surge performance at maximum air pressure.
  • Silent Worker – the noise level of this model is only at 69 decibels, which is pretty much the equivalent of a normal conversation between two people.
  • Durable Build – the construction is made from heavy-duty cast iron, and it has a roll cage and protection frame. This build protects the machine from damage. There is also a wrap-around panel that controls the key parts of the machine.

Pros of DEWALT Air Compressor

  • Heavy-duty build; will last long
  • Low decibel rating; it works quietly like background music
  • Small and portable; it is only nine inches wide and 24 pounds

Cons of DEWALT Air Compressor

  • The tank can only accommodate one gallon
  • Hose and nailer are not included in the purchase

I recommend this air compressor to blow out water lines if you want something that is not bulky. The build is sturdy, but it is still easy to carry around. The machine also features a quick connection system, which makes it easy to use.

5. California Air Tools 2010A Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free 1.0 HP 2.0-Gallon Aluminum Tank Air Compressor,Silver

California Air Tools 2010A Check on Amazon

This model is an ultra-quiet compressor that also uses oil-free technology. In all the compressors in this list, it is probably the quietest, as it only produces 60 decibels of sound. It has a 1 HP motor, which can generate enough power for home use.

Key Features

  • Super Quiet – although the company claims 60 decibels, tests indicate that the average is 68 decibels. It is still quiet, and it will not produce any annoying noise.
  • Oil-Free – the compressor uses a dual-piston pump that makes it last longer than most compressors. There is also no need to buy a new pump or grease the engine for maintenance.
  • Fast Filling Time – the 2-gallon tank will fill in 50 seconds or a little more than that. It quickly recovers if you set the pressure between 90 and 120 PSI.
  • Great for Other Uses – the air compressor also works with brad nail guns, pneumatic tools, and impact wrenches.
  • Works in Any Condition – you can use it in cold weather; you can also use it on an uneven surface. However, it is best if the incline is no more than 15 degrees.

Pros of California Air Tools 2010A

  • Rust-free tank is made of aluminum
  • Can work on uneven terrains
  • The tank can accommodate 2.0 gallons
  • It weighs only 35 pounds; easy to carry

Cons of California Air Tools 2010A

  • The plug wire is too short; you will need a compatible extension cord
  • Lots of the parts are made of plastic and silicone

The piston pump of this air compressor can last up to 3,000 hours of use. Other compressors of the same kind only have a longevity of 500 hours. Since it is oil-free, you can use it in varying weather conditions, making it a great air compressor to blow out water lines.

6. Metabo HPT Air Compressor | THE TANK™ | 200 PSI | 6 Gallon | Pancake | EC914S

Metabo HPT Pancake Air Compressor Check on Amazon

The HPT is a pancake air compressor that is best used by professionals. The company built it for job sites, especially for nailers. For home use, the HPT is a high-performing air compressor to blow out water lines.

It is lightweight, but it is leaning towards the heaviest of all lightweight compressors in this list. Despite its size, it packs a lot of power, making it an ideal air compressor to blow out water lines.

Key Features

  • High Pressure – the cap pressure is 200 PSI, which is more than enough for blowing water lines. As such, it offers 25% more pressure than most air compressors in the market.
  • High Air Flow – the machine produces 40 CFM at 90 PSI; this power is enough to supply what body nailers need
  • Simultaneous Work – for other job types, it can simultaneously run two nailers at the same time; it has the power to supply pressure to five brad nailers.
  • Multiple Connectors – there are two hose connectors from which you can connect different devices.
  • Durable Build – the handle and feet are made of metal, not plastic; they will withstand the constant wear and tear that portable air compressors go through.

Pros of Metabo HPT

  • PSI of 200 makes it an excellent all-around air compressor
  • Provides a higher rate of air delivery at 4.0 CFM even if you set it at 90 PSI only
  • Large tank capacity at 6 gallons
  • Made of durable materials that can withstand robust jobs

Cons of Metabo HPT

  • It is a loud compressor; it is best for job sites outdoors
  • It is a tad heavy at 4 pounds

Metabo has done something that redefines what a pancake air compressor should be. It is a bit heavier, and the price is a little at the high end, but it is definitely worth the money.

7. WEN 2289 10-Gallon Oil-Free Vertical Air Compressor, 150 PSI

WEN 2289 Check on Amazon

Ten gallons is a lot, so this air compressor is best for garage work and blowing water out of pipes, especially for large water lines. It not only works for your pipes and sprinkle systems, but it is also one of the best air compressors for staples nails and spray guns.

Key Features

  • Large Tank Capacity – ten gallons of air means you do not have to refill often.
  • High Power – the airflow rate is at 4.0 CFM if you set it at 90 PSI; set it to 40 PSI, and it can generate 5.0 CFM. The maximum it can yield is 150 PSI.
  • Oil-Free – no maintenance is required, and you do not have to change pumps as the engine does not need oil. Since no external lubrication is necessary, it will also last longer.
  • Rubber Grip – the handles and feet are made of rubber, which gives it stability and firm grip on many types of surfaces. It also has two wheels for portability.

Pros of WEN 2289

  • It has an easy-to-reach valve for draining
  • Has quick coupler system for easy attachment; it uses the standard ¼ inch
  • It comes with two pressure gauges
  • It has an auto-shutoff valve when the pressure is too much

Cons of WEN 2289

  • Housing on to is made of plastic
  • Slow refresh time

Although the refresh time of the air compressor is slow, it has a large tank. What it means is that you can take a break after doing a lot of work while the tank is refilling. Also, the refill time should not be an issue since machines like this need to rest. Otherwise, it will overheat.

The build of this compressor is vertical, which means the tank is upright, not like the pancake ones that we have seen earlier. What makes this one of the best is that it offers variable control for the airflow, and the quick coupler system makes it easy for you to change devices or hoses. These features make it a convenient air compressor to blow out water lines.

8. California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 HP

CAT 10020C Check on Amazon

With two horsepower, the 10020C is built for blowing air out of pipes. It is an oil-free compressor designed for hard tasks. It is also quiet, working at a low level of 70 decibels. The motor operates at only 1680 RPM. As such, it does not produce too much noise, and yet it does not compromise power and dependability. This makes it a suitable choice if you are looking for an air compressor to blow out water lines.

Key Features

  • High CFM – it can generate an airflow rate of 6.4 CFM at 90 PSI, which is a lot of power for an air compressor.
  • Saves Power – despite the 2.0 horsepower, it does not use as much electricity as it should because it has a low amp draw of only 70 amps. It has a dedicated 15-amp outlet.
  • Big Capacity – you can fill it with 10 gallons, which should be sufficient enough for the work you need to get done.
  • Portable – the build is vertical, but it does have wheels and a firm-grip handle so you can pull it around.
  • UL Certified – the product is safe to use, and this standard allows the company to offer one year of warranty.

Pros of California 10020C

  • Maximum pressure is 135 PSI
  • Less maintenance and no oil is needed
  • Recovery time is only 25 seconds
  • It comes with two pressure gauges

Cons of California 10020C

  • It can only run between 30 and 60 minutes
  • Tank refill time is 120 seconds

This model has a lifespan expectation of 3,000 hours. Like other CAT models, it uses a dual-piston pump, which helps prolong the life of the machine.

It also has an Easy Start Valve system, which allows for an easier start-up with no need for large amperage. It releases a small amount of air so it can produce a no-load condition. As such, the motor can spin freely.

9. Metabo HPT Air Compressor, 4-Gallon, Electric, Twin Stack, Portable, Cast Iron, Oil Lubricated Pump, 135 PSI, 1-Year Warranty (EC99S)

Metabo HPT 4-Gallon Check on Amazon

This is a twin stack compressor, which means it has two tanks. Of all the products that we have here, it is the only one that uses an oil-lubricated pump with 15-amp direct-drive motor. This is not to say that it does not last long because it does. The manufacturer designed it to have protection against thermal overload, which makes this machine a suitable air compressor to blow out water lines. 

Key Features

  • Powerful Motor – it uses a direct drive induction motor, which makes it deliver efficient and reliable performance. The motor uses 15-amps of power.
  • Longevity – the pump is made of heavy cast iron; it is lubricated with oil to make it cooler. The design and build make the compressor last a long time.
  • Gauges – there are two industrial gauges that allow you to check and adjust the pressure. They are encased in steel, which makes them durable.
  • Pressure Switch – use this pressure switch to control the cycling period of the compressor.

Pros of Metabo HPT 4-Gallon

  • Easy to use
  • The tank contains four gallons; great for long work
  • Quiet compared to other oil-powered air compressors

Cons of Metabo HPT 4-Gallon

  • The electric cord can overheat and may need replacement
  • Not an excellent compressor for cold temperatures

While it is not exactly lightweight, the product weighs only 52 pounds. Considering that this is a twin tank, it is still light for this category.

best air compressor for blowing out water lines

Frequently Asked Questions: Using an Air Compressor to Blow Out Water Lines

How much is PSI needed to blow water lines?

20 PSI should be enough when using an air compressor to blow out water lines. The size of your pipe is one matter to consider when choosing the pressure per inch of the air compressor. On average, you must not exceed 50 PSI, or over pressurization will occur.

What size of air compressor to blow out water lines should I buy?

The minimum that you need is 20 cubic feet per meter (CFM). For professional use, they buy 50 CFM at a minimum but with lower than 50 PSI. You can buy the same provided that your pipes are less than an inch in size. Bigger pipes need more power.

Do I really need to blow up water lines?

Only if you live in an area where the temperature goes really low—below freezing. Blowing the water lines is an effective way to ensure that the water does not freeze and damage the pipes. Using an air compressor to blow out water lines is a safe method to avoid problems with your pipes during winter.

Should I buy reciprocating air compressors?

Generally speaking, they are excellent products. They are popular choices, especially among landscapers, because they meet the air demand for the job, and they are affordable.

However, you must know that air compressors like this may not meet the air volume that you need. At best, buy only the compressor that we listed here. These are by far your best options for blowing water out of your water lines. If you buy other types of compressors, you are taking huge risks as they may not be the best for your intended use.

How much horsepower do I need?

The horsepower or HP you need depends on your pipeline. You must buy between 1 and 4 HP. For small water lines, you can even buy 0.8 HP, and it will work. For medium water lines, you need 1.5 to 3 HP and up to 4 HP if you have large water lines. If your working area is small, always choose portable compressors as they are easy to lug around.

air compressor for blowing out water lines

Summary: Best Air Compressor to Blow Out Water Lines

There goes our list of the best air compressors. All of these are great choices if you are looking for an air compressor to blow out water lines, but I would prioritize the Craftsman model.

Before you buy, make sure you know the size of your pipe. Compressors work best only for specific pipe diameters. All the models that I recommend here will work with pipes that are one inch or lesser in diameter.

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