Wiring a 220v Air Compressor Doesn’t Have To Be Hard. Read These 5 Tips

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Written By Michael

I love gardening, building, making and fixing things. 





Need to know about wiring your 220v air compressor? Luckily we have you covered.

Electric Air Compressor

An electric air compressor is an appliance that uses electricity to create compressed air for use in various applications such as cleaning and painting. The most common types of compressors are the reciprocating piston type or centrifugal-type. A typical household unit will be powered by 110V AC power from the wall socket. However, some models may require 240 VAC input voltage. Some units can also operate on 12 volt DC power supplied directly from batteries.

The basic components of any air compressor include:

Motor – This provides mechanical energy to turn the impeller which creates pressure inside the cylinder. Motors come with different speeds and torque ratings depending upon their application. Most motors used in air compressors are either brushed or brushless designs. Brushless motors offer greater efficiency than brushed motors but they cost more. They also need less maintenance because there are no brushes to wear out.

Impeller – An impeller is a rotating part within the motor housing that turns at high speed creating airflow through the machine. It’s usually made up of metal vanes attached to a shaft driven by the motor. There are two main types of impellers; axial flow and radial flow. Axial flow impellers produce higher pressures while radial flow impellers provide lower pressures. Radial flow impellers tend to run cooler so they’re better suited for low temperature environments like refrigerators and freezers.

Cylinder – The cylinder contains the working fluid under pressure. Air enters into one end of the cylinder where it expands rapidly due to heat generated by friction between the moving parts. As the gas cools down, its volume decreases causing the pressure to increase until all the remaining space is filled with pressurized gas. When this happens, the process reverses itself and the gas begins to move back towards the intake side of the cylinder. At this point, the cycle repeats itself again and again.

Exhaust Valve – After each compression stroke, the exhaust valve opens allowing the hot gases to escape before the next incoming charge of fresh air fills the chamber. If left open too long, the exhausted gasses could cause damage to other equipment nearby. To prevent overheating, many manufacturers place thermal cutoffs on these valves. These devices automatically close when the internal temperature reaches a certain level.

Intake Valves – Similar to exhaust valves, intake valves allow the fresh air to enter the cylinder during the suction phase. Once the desired amount of air has been drawn into the system, the intake valve closes and prevents further entry of outside air. In order to maintain proper operation, intake valves should not be allowed to remain closed longer than necessary.

Compressor Control Unit – CCUs control the entire operation of the compressor including setting the operating parameters, monitoring performance, diagnosing problems, etc. Many modern systems incorporate microprocessors along with memory chips and software programs to make them easier to program and troubleshoot.

Hot Wires

Hot wires are small insulated copper wire strands that carry electricity from an electric outlet to your appliance. Hot wires can get very hot if you touch them without wearing gloves. You must use extreme caution around hot wires as touching them may result in serious injury. Always follow manufacturer instructions regarding wiring methods and never attempt any repairs yourself unless instructed otherwise. Never work near overhead power lines!

White Wire

The white wire is used to connect appliances directly to the wall socket or breaker box. White wires have no insulation and will burn easily if touched. They also conduct electricity much more efficiently than black wires which means less current flows through them. This makes them ideal for connecting large loads such as lights, fans, dryers, ovens, stoves, washers/dryers, dishwashers, water pumps, furnaces, etc. However, because there is little resistance in white wires, they cannot handle heavy currents well. For example, most home AC units draw only 15 amps but their white wires would melt if connected directly to the line voltage. Instead, they need to be wired using heavier gauge wire called “load” wire. Load wire is available in three different gauges: 14 AWG, 16 AWG, and 18 AWG. Each size provides slightly greater capacity than the previous one. A typical load circuit consists of four-wire cable containing both red and blue leads plus a neutral lead. Red and blue are always twisted together. Neutral is often stranded rather than solid. Most homes contain circuits rated 20A or 30A. Some larger houses require 50A circuits. Larger circuits are generally protected against overloads by fuses located inside the panelboard. Smaller circuits are typically unprotected and rely upon overcurrent protection built into the device being powered. Overcurrent protection is provided by fuse elements mounted on the plug prongs.

Amp Breaker

An amp is a unit of measurement of electrical current flow. It’s defined as the rate at which electrons pass through a conductor per second. The SI prefixes for measuring current are milli-, kilo-, mega-, giga-. One millionth of a billion equals 1 mA; one thousand times bigger equals 10mA; ten thousand times bigger equals 100mA; and so forth. An amp rating refers to the maximum continuous current that a given appliance draws when it operates normally and this ultimately determines the energy efficiency tier rating and this ultimately determines the energy efficiency tier rating. If you’re buying a new refrigerator, look up its wattage first before comparing prices. Refrigerators usually run between 0.5 and 2 watts. Appliances like microwaves, hair driers, vacuum cleaners, and other devices consume considerably more energy. To find out exactly how many watts each appliance consumes, check the label under Energy Star ratings.

Pressure Switch

When pressure switches were invented, they were designed to protect people who worked with compressed gases. These days, however, they’re commonly found protecting household appliances. Pressure switches detect changes in gas pressure caused by leaks in pipes or tanks. When the switch detects a change in pressure, it opens a valve to release excess gas. In some cases, this prevents damage to the appliance itself. In others, it allows the user time to repair the problem. Pressure switches come in two basic types: spring loaded and mercury filled. Spring loaded switches open automatically whenever the pressure reaches a certain level. Mercury switches operate similarly except that instead of opening when the pressure rises above a set point, they close once the pressure drops below that same threshold. Both kinds of switches are inexpensive and easy to replace. But make sure you know where yours should go before replacing it. Many manufacturers specify specific locations for these components.

Fuse Box

Most residential buildings include a main service entrance that supplies electricity to all rooms within the building. At the service entrance, incoming cables enter a distribution board. From here, the cables branch off to supply individual outlets throughout the house. Outlets are installed wherever needed. Fuse boxes provide safety features including overcurrent protection. They prevent excessive amounts of electricity from flowing through faulty connections or damaged equipment. All fuses have numbers indicating the amount of amperes they’ll safely interrupt. The number indicates the maximum safe current allowed to flow through the fuse.

Power Box

The power box is an enclosure containing circuit breakers used to control electric circuits. A typical home has three separate breaker panels. Each panel contains several different sizes of breakers. Smaller breakers handle smaller loads such as lights, small motors, and fans. Larger ones can be used to turn on large appliances such as water heaters, furnaces, refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers, dryers, and ovens. Most homes also contain a master bedroom/bathroom breaker panel. This panel controls most of the wiring inside your bathroom and bedrooms. You may need to add additional breakers if you plan to use multiple lamps, ceiling fixtures, or heating elements.

Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers are metal enclosures that keep electricity flowing smoothly through your home’s electrical system. Circuit breakers work much like car brakes. As long as there isn’t any resistance, electricity flows freely. However, if something goes wrong—such as a wire breaks or someone trips a breaker while working around the house—the circuit breaker will trip. Once tripped, the breaker stops the flow of electricity until repairs are made. Some circuit breakers allow you to reset them manually. Others require professional help.

Overload Protection

An overload protector helps prevent dangerous situations from occurring. It’s usually located near the top of the breaker panel. Overload protection works just like a fuse but provides more flexibility. If a load draws too much electricity, the overload protector shuts down the entire line. An example would be a light bulb burning out. Without an overload protector, the whole circuit could burn up because every outlet along the way would try to draw its full capacity. With one, only those outlets directly connected to the burned-out bulb would receive electricity.

Safety Tips For Installing A New Air Compressor

1) Always use an approved power cord from your local electrician. Never attempt to modify any wiring yourself unless instructed by a qualified professional.

2) Do not work near water sources such as sinks, toilets, tubs, showers, fountains, pools, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, oceans, etc. Water conducts electricity very well and may shock you.

3) Keep children away from the area around the unit. Children have small hands and fingers and can easily get pinched or shocked.

4) Make sure that the ground wire is connected properly. Grounded outlets will protect against electrocution.

5) Be careful handling tools and materials. Tools can become charged and conduct electricity.


So now you know all the important parts, it’s time to put it into action, if you’re unfamiliar with the exact steps you need to take then watch this video

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