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Electrical For Air Compressor- What You Need To Know

Electrical For Air Compressor- What You Need To Know

Knowing electrical for air compressor can be difficult when making a purchase so let the pros help you through it.

As a general rule that largest size air compressor that can be plugged in to a regular wall outlet is 1.5 hp. Even compressors of this size should be on a dedicated 15 amp or 20 amp 120 volt circuit. Once you surpass 2 hp and up you will need to have a 240 volt circuit installed.

Keep reading for the difference between the different types

Horse Power Rating Voltage Of UnitAmp DrawGallon Rating
Usage type
1/2 hp120 volt3 to 4
10 start up
10 gallonLight duty for air nail etc
1 hp120 volt8 to 10
15 start up
20 gallonmedium duty residential use
1.5 hp120 volt10 amp
15 to 20 star up
40 gallonHeavy Duty Residential
20 amp 120 volt crt recommended
2 hp240 volt6.25 amp
12 amp start
60 gallonlight duty commercial
15 amp 240 volt outlet
3 hp240 volt9 amp
25 start up
80 gallonmedium duty commercial
5 hp240 volt15.5 amp
45 amp start up
100 to 150 gallonHeavy Duty Commercial Use
30 amp crt with starter and overload protection

1.Electrical for air compressor

As you can see from the chart above there are many different types of electrical needed for air compressors depending on the size you choose. Some helpful tips on the smaller ones that plug in. make sure you keep them in a warm dry place. Cold areas with moisture will result in condensation build up in the tank. This makes it harder for the compressor to start usually resulting it is tripping. We learned this one from experience.

Any larger air compressor will need a larger power feed. Consult with your local electrician on that to wire it up for you. Make sure you ask them is you have the power available before you make a purchase. To see some more on the compressors we recommend.

2.Electrical for air compressors residential

It’s a good idea to get a back-up battery for an air compressor, however we prefer a gas or gas/electric starter engine rather than a battery.

Of course air compressors run at a lower temperature than electric motors so to save a little you can keep the compressor running at a cool temperature to be used over a hot summer day.

Air Compressor capacity

The most important factor is the power of the air compressor. If you’re working in a tight space, you’ll need to bring the compressor up to full speed, and then let it cool down a bit to be able to safely use the engine and get back down to normal pressure.

3.Commercially used air compressors

The first stop to make when you are looking for air compressor to purchase is the local hardware store. These shops can be found in most communities and you can get many of the parts you need there. Some people don’t even purchase their parts at a hardware store but rather go to a specialty shop.

Every air compressor will have one important part of the compressor required for it to work. This part is called the pressure gauge and it is a pressure reading device. Every compressor used will have an instrument that is known as a pressure gauge on it to display the pressure of air that is being used to compress it. This is what you will need in order to know if you have the correct type of compressor. Commercial compressors are more heavy duty and more common in garages and other type businesses.

The larger compressor has a larger storage and larger tank.

4.What are electric compressors?

Electric compressors are essentially the same as gasoline or diesel engines but instead of using the engine’s intake and exhaust to create pressure in the cylinder of the compressor, it is done by the compressor itself. They can be a little more complicated to use because they have so many different types of compressors, but they are by far the easiest to use. Also, they tend to last much longer than gas or diesel engines because they don’t use any of the gunk that can build up in a gas or diesel engine.

If you’ve seen an air compressor in a garage, you may think it’s a portable unit, but they’re not portable. You will also need a power source or supply to run it, but this is the same as gasoline or diesel engines.

electrical for air compressor

5.Can you use air compressor without power?

Absolutely not. The reason is that air compressors use high pressure systems of air that don’t function at low pressure. Without an electrical system of some type that can supply or exchange low pressure air the compressor is useless.

If the compressor you purchase has internal batteries, take care to ensure that the battery compartment is secured shut and the batteries are completely drained. Many companies have incorrect information posted regarding batteries, including the length of time that they are supposed to provide a charge, or whether or not they need to be replaced. It is up to you to make sure the battery compartment is secure and that all the excess air from the compressor is completely drained out before starting the system.

6.Does an air compressor need electricity?

As a general rule yes. You need electricity to do all of the work in an air compressor.

This is a household air compressor that can run on your standard 120 volt breaker. With just a standard four-pin NEMA connector you can plug this in. It plugs into the household outlet. The same setup can be used for a 240 volt transformer or alternator or a 220 volt compressor. If you need to expand the compressor in the future you can buy another four-pin NEMA connector from Amazon or other place that sells them. I use this type because I have 220 volt outlets in my house.

7.How do you wire a 240 volt air compressor?

More than likely you will need to source an external power converter. How an external power converter works is the compressor plugs into the compressor at your current voltage and output in DC. An external power converter will bring the voltage up to 240 volts and your compressor plugs into that. Once this is done, the power converter then converts the output voltage to AC which your compressor plugs into. AC is the natural power source for your compressor. Electric for air compressor.

The bottom line is you need a power converter that can handle a 240 volt system and that will plug into a 240 volt circuit.

The external power converter you need will depend on several things.

8.What can you do with an air compressor at home?

So, here are some practical uses for an air compressor in your home.

When was the last time you had to change the air filter on your car?

Let’s face it, when it’s 100+ degrees outside and you’re busy running errands you can be gone for a day or two. The time comes when you need to change the filter on your car. Did you know that most car filters are between 8-12 dBA which is pretty loud? Not to mention it can take up to 6 hours to change a filter, depending on the size and how dirty it is. By the time you get home, your car’s air conditioner could have died.

Those are your two prime use cases, changing a car filter and air conditioner.

9.Why are air compressors so expensive?

Air compressors are usually very expensive; this is due to the fact that there are so many different types of compressors available. Compressors come in many different sizes that are popular in the market. When buying an air compressor you want to know the electrical specifications and electrical requirements. You should be able to plug in an air compressor that has the same electrical rating as your wall outlet to a wall outlet in a manner where it will not overheat. Most brands of compressors have a small current draw, which is around 10 amps; however some of them can draw up to 50 amps. Some brands have a resistance required to pass through the meter and the resistance will also determine the maximum current draw.

7.How long does it take for air compressor to build pressure?

In normal use you should only experience a slight drop in the compressor’s output in the first few minutes, usually between 1 and 5 minutes. In long-term air compressor use, the compressor can run day and night.

How do I turn on the compressor?

The normal starting and stopping procedure will work for most air compressor models. Just pull down on the handle to release a huge burst of compressed air. If this doesn’t work, simply release the handle and slowly turn the handle clockwise.

11.How do I choose an air compressor?

If you need an air compressor that is portable then a step down model such as a 1 hp will work. Do not buy an air compressor that does not have a built in regulator. They do not make them anymore. They will work for a short time on low voltage power but the next time you need to pump that same charge will be way too much.

I need a compressor that is efficient and powerful. Is a 2 horsepower 2 stage compressor right for me?

Yes it is. 2 horsepower for a portable compressed air compressor is the power equivalent to a standard air compressor.

12.How do I know what size compressor I need?

Figure out what your vehicle needs and that you are willing to spend more for quality or you may not have the vehicle to support it. It’s better to buy a larger compressor to start and finish a job so that you get the best out of it.

Some high quality compressors are priced in the thousands of dollars but that doesn’t mean they aren’t well worth it. Always know your equipment limitations before you make a purchase. There’s nothing worse than leaving a job short or having a project ruined because you bought a quality compressor but it wasn’t able to handle the task at hand.

How long will it last?

It is always good to question the lifespan of your electrical for air compressor and be sure that you buy a high quality compressor that will last you for years.

13.What is a good psi for an air compressor?

A higher air pressure means a faster inflow of air into the compressor, the faster the compressor will be able to produce more air. Having a higher air pressure also means a longer compressor life. In most cases a minimum of 100 PSI is good, but some have exceeded this figure.

What type of electric for air compressor?

If you are looking for a portable model that can be easily moved with relative ease then an air compressors that run on AC should be the best option. If you are looking for a high powered portable air compressor that can be fixed anywhere with ease then a natural gas powered model will be your best bet.