Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


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
1915 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
199 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.


09:52PM | 05/17/17
You'd mentioned:

"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."

What is WG?


06:08AM | 05/18/17
wg means with ground.

Mr Waker

02:57AM | 02/18/18
Member Since: 02/18/18
9 lifetime posts
1503323844 mzjs1i soulful cyan
I am also using a 60-gallon Industrial air compressor for my home garage. It is Industrial Air ILA3606056 60-Gallon Single Stage Cast Iron Twin Cylinder Air Compressor. It has a powerful 3.7 hp motor which produces the max pressure of 155 psi and 13.4 CFM at 40 psi & 11.5 CFM at 90 psi. This industrial model supports 208-240V voltage.

Mr Waker

03:04AM | 02/18/18
Member Since: 02/18/18
9 lifetime posts
1503323844 mzjs1i soulful cyan
My next target for the Quincy QT-54 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Air Compressor. It is also 5 HP, 230 Volt, 1 Phase, 60-Gallon Vertical model Industrial Air Compressor. It will more powerful of my present version. The motor of this Quincy QT-54 delivers 175 psi of max pressure!
It is here:


04:38PM | 03/30/18
I also have the same compressor as llgt67 in the thread above, but my compressor is located 75 feet away from the panel where I intend to place it. Can I still use 12 gage wire (romex)? would a roll of 12/3 wire be sufficient?


10:50PM | 09/30/18
4wires on my 5hp motor how ihook then to wire that goes in pressure swith


01:50PM | 12/07/18
Absolutely not 12/3. You will melt the wires. You should be using 6/2 or 8/2 at a minimum. I have this very compressor and you will risk burning the wires with 12ga wire. When you opened the cover to wire in, you need the same guage as what is in there. The motor actually calls for a 50 amp breaker per the instructions due to the amperage pull at startup.


09:39AM | 06/04/20
Walk away dude, just walk away.


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