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Electric Wheelbarrow Air Compressor - OL50145MW

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  • Electric Wheelbarrow Air Compressor - OL50145MW

    I have the following air compressor:
    5 Gallon Electric Portable Wheelbarrow Unit, OIL LUBRICATED
    Model #OL50145MW

    What is the recommended operating temperature for this unit?

    My Experience:
    My unit was outside in 20 Degree Fahrenheit weather and would not run. Is this something to be expected? Do I need to have my unit warmed up before trying use it in the cold weather outside?


  • #2
    Re: Electric Wheelbarrow Air Compressor - OL50145MW

    Have same problem, returned it to Home Depot, new one has same problem...
    looks like many others are also having the issue, see the reviews on the Home Depot site.
    I wonder when Rigid is going to do something about it, is obviously a manufacturing/design problem, it is reasonable to expect a power tool to operate reliably at temperatures below 40.


    • #3
      Re: Electric Wheelbarrow Air Compressor - OL50145MW

      What do you mean by "it won't run"? Do you mean that it trips the breaker when you try to start it or that you get absolutely no reaction when you toggle the on/off switch?

      While I might understand some particular starting/running problem with an engine-driven unit (carborator, fuel filter, fuel line freeze, fuel mixture problems, etc.); there should be no problems with getting some reaction from an electric motor-driven unit.

      With electric motor-driven compressors, the one problem that you usually have to recognize is that the viscousity of the oil may not be correct for winter temperatures. I had an old Ingersoll-Rand electric motor-driven twin tank wheelbarrel-type unit that would not start because the over-loaded motor would trip the breaker if attempting to use in any temperature below 35 degrees or so. Problem was that the normal 30-w compressor oil would be like molasses on cold days. The motor is definitely overloaded in it's attempt to turn the compressor which is stuck in that goo!

      Check your manual, to see if a different oil is recommended for cold weather use. I have a different brand oil-lube compressor that recommends 10W non-detergent oil for low temperature operation. If the manual doesn't mention it, then I'd call Ridgid Technical Support and address the issue with them.

      Please post back, because I'd like to know what your "won't run" means.

      Thanks, and I hope this helps,

      Last edited by CWSmith; 03-26-2009, 03:29 PM.


      • #4
        Re: Electric Wheelbarrow Air Compressor - OL50145MW


        What's the viscosity of the oil you used in this compressor?
        What is the recommended oil viscosity for this compressor?

        The reason I ask, is that if you used a straight 30 weight oil, then the oil's temperature might need to be 40F or higher before the oils resistance to flow is enough to allow the compressor to start / turn over. If it's 20F outside, a 30wt oil is going to be pretty thick like molasses. Going to a 10W30 still gives you the same 30wt protection at hot temperatures, but the oil's pour point will be better at colder temps and should be good for operating in temps 20F and higher. Going to a 5W30 brings the pour point down to -20F and would be your best choice if you're operating the compressor in temps below 20F. Exact numbers will vary between manufacturers, but hopefully you get my point.


        • #5
          Re: Electric Wheelbarrow Air Compressor - OL50145MW

          The owner's manual calls for synthetic 5W-50 oil for this model.

          Please see page 2 of this .PDF file.


          • #6
            Re: Electric Wheelbarrow Air Compressor - OL50145MW

            won't run means that it starts at a very reduced speed and after a few seconds blows the overload protector of the unit, if you reset it it will start again, slightly faster & blow the breaker again, lather, rinse, & repeat a few times and it might get going, depending on the temperature. it might also trip the circuit breaker of the supply voltage, it does on a 15 amp breaker in my (unheated) shop

            the oil is what was provided w/ the unit from Rigid, I am doubtful of an oil problem, because the when the unit does finally begin running there is no perceptible change in temperature of the unit.

            looks to me like it is drawing excessive current when cold, meaning below 45 degrees.


            • #7
              Re: Electric Wheelbarrow Air Compressor - OL50145MW

              Are you by any chance using an extension cord with this compressor? I have a 5 HP (not a Rigid) compressor and the owner's manual cautions against the use of an extension cord because of voltage drop and increased amperage load. They reccommend plugging in directly to a receptacle and using a longer air hose if necessary.


              • #8
                Re: Electric Wheelbarrow Air Compressor - OL50145MW


                The oil specified in the owner's manual does look like it is the ideal lubricant for use, especially in cold weather. So, I would normally agree with you that the problem appears to be elsewhere, and perhaps it's the lack of proper electrical current to drive the motor at it's full potential. As previously posted by "Killavolt", the question of an extension cord or a marginal circuit might come into play. At 1.5 "running HP" the motor should be more than adequat to power the compressor, unless of course it's being under fed.

                I don't see anything in the manual that offers a solution for questionable operation in cold weather; or, for that matter, even a trouble-shooting solution for weather related starting problems. A malfunctioning pressure relief valve would prevent startup, but generally these aren't weather related.

                However, your description of how the compressor is acting is exactly how improper oil viscousity and cold temperature will effect a compressor. There is just too much load on the electric motor because the colder temperature makes the oil thick ("like molasses") and thus places a heavier load on the motor to enable it to turn-over the compressor's running gear (crankshaft and connecting rod).

                As the oil IS moved, it slightly warms and thins, with the results being that each subsequent attempt get slightly better. While you may not detect the temperature change in the frame, the oil does actually warm and thin as it is splashed or moved around by the reciprocating action of the connecting rod.

                So, if it's not an extension cord or marginal electrical source, then I'd have to question whether your compressor actually does have the specified oil supplied. Have you examined it, and does it appear to be of a lower viscousity?

                Sorry this isn't more conclusive,



                • #9
                  Re: Electric Wheelbarrow Air Compressor - OL50145MW

                  extension cord is not the issue, have had same problem plugged directly to distribution box. the oil is what was provided by Ridgid, seems very light.

                  I bought the Ridgid because I thought I would be getting a high quality machine, not so impressed at this point.


                  • #10
                    Re: Electric Wheelbarrow Air Compressor - OL50145MW

                    I wonder if the grease in the motor bearings is getting super thick at low temp. That could do it too.

                    I think the first thing I would do is to buy a quart of name brand 5W-50 or (5W-30 which should work fine) synthetic oil and give this air compressor an oil change. Then see it that helps.

                    Question: When it won't start have you noticed this condition at 0 PSI air pressure in the tanks? I wonder if the head unloader is getting stuck.
                    Last edited by Woussko; 03-31-2009, 09:45 PM.


                    • #11
                      Re: Electric Wheelbarrow Air Compressor - OL50145MW

                      greased motor bearings ?? if that is true it fits what I have been experiencing, a greased bearing would warm/thin in the start cycles I have been seeing.
                      yes, have same problem at zero pressure, have been opening the bleeder to reduce the load on the motor.

                      any way to access the bearings to clean & add a better grease ?


                      • #12
                        Re: Electric Wheelbarrow Air Compressor - OL50145MW

                        More than likely the motor bearings are sealed. There is grease inside them, however. It should be a special synthetic ball bearing grease but who knows what it really is.

                        If you can remove the belt (if the compressor is belt driven) that may give you some clues. I really think step 1 is to give the compressor an oil change and find out if that doesn't help. If you can't find 5W50 synthetic oil in your area, give 5W30 a try. It should be fine except for heavy use in the summer and even then I really doubt you would have problems.

                        Have you tried the air compressor on different circuits? It's possible you have a Voltage drop issue right at the receptacle if it's some distance from your breaker panel or has #14 wiring. Put simple, we need to rule out things and keep moving forward.
                        Last edited by Woussko; 04-01-2009, 09:32 AM.


                        • #13
                          Re: Electric Wheelbarrow Air Compressor - OL50145MW

                          One other thought is that while it doesn't have the normal symptoms, you might have a bum motor starting capacitor. Normally they act up regardless of temperature.

                          I strongly recommend an oil change for now and then take it from there.


                          • #14
                            Yep, I had this cold morning tripping problem too...

                            Hi all,

                            Came to this AM to register my compressor for the extended warranty. I had tossed the box already, so first went to Home Depot to get the overall model number since my unit came with a promotional finish nailer. Noted the complaints there about low temperature start up.

                            I had forgotten that I had experienced this problem too; the wheelbarrow compressor is cranky first thing in the morning after being left in a cold garage. This seems to be a major flaw, either with the compressor itself, with the oil that Ridgid sent along to use, or with the internal circuit breaker. Ridgid should make this right somehow.



                            • #15
                              Re: Electric Wheelbarrow Air Compressor - OL50145MW

                              I have the same issue with my compressor, even at 40 deg. The colder it gets the worse it is. It is not the power supply (extension cord), I used the oil that they supplied. Even during the work day on a cold day if not using lots it will not restart.
                              Getting ready to return.