06:17PM | 12/28/06
Member Since: 12/27/06
2 lifetime posts
I recently bought a 60 gallon air compressor. I am installing it in my basement so I need to hook it up. I have had one electrical project in my past, so I am not electrican savy. I can figure stuff out with help.

Air compressor specs 230 Volts 17.5 amps. Compressor is about 35 feet away from electrical box.

I was going to run 12 guage wire and use a 220 breaker. The question is the breaker has 2 screws on it for the hot wire. Do I need to run two hots. What about a neutral. I am not hooking up a receptical I am wiring directly to the air compressor. The air compressor has 2 prongs for electricty coming in and the base of the box has a screw for a ground for the conduit or bare ground.

I am confused, if I have to run two hots since my breaker can allow for 2 wires and I need to run a netrual (because that what I would do for a singe pole) how do I hook up 3 wires to 2 prongs on the air compressor.


08:00PM | 12/28/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1916 lifetime posts
What is the horsepower rating on the MOTOR NAMEPLATE. A hp rating anyplace else is often a advertising number and not really meaningful.

But often you will just find an SPL (special) on the nameplate and are limited to working with the current rating.

Based on that you can use #12 wire. But you should use a 40 amp breaker.

YES, THAT IS RIGTH 40 AMP BREAKER. The breaker is not to protect the motor. It has builtin overload protection.

The breaker is only to protect the wiring from a short, as this is a dedicated load.

Get a book on wiring or go to the library. Make sure that it covers 240 circuits.

But use caution in that most of them will focus on washers and dryers which use 120/240.

The compressor is similar to an aircondition and it only uses 240.

You will need 2 hots and a ground. There is no neutral.

So if you use cable you will only have a black and white (and ground). What you do is to Remark the white wire to indicate that it is a hot.

Use tape or marker. Typically black or red, but can be any color except white, gray, or green.


09:18PM | 01/09/07
Member Since: 01/09/07
197 lifetime posts
Like BillHart said, you do not need a neutral to operate this compressor.

But you might consider using a 12-3 w/g cable for this. This would have a black, red, & white wires, plus a bare ground wire.

This would only cost a bit more now, and leaves open the option of using this for a pair of regular 120V outlets in the future.

For your compressor, you would wire the black & red wires to the terminals, and just cover the white wire with a wire nut and leave it unconnected in the box. But if someday in the future you want to change this, you will have the wires for 2 separate 120V outlets at this location.

Easy enough to do this now, and not much more expense. Much easier than retro-fitting it someday in the future, especially if these wires are inside walls or ceilings.


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