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  • New OF45150 twin stack compressor

    Hello I've just got a new OF45150 twin stack compressor. Here's my setup: shop is a detached garage/shed. Power to the detached shop is wired from the house on a shared breaker from the house. The power is by means of about 75 feet of Romax electrical wire (in essence an extension cord). I'm not certain of the gauge, but it is the pretty standard stuff that home's are wired with on the inside. When I first lite off the compressor, it runs just fine, although it does make the fluorescents in the shop flicker on and off while it runs. After it's up to operating pressure and ready to roll, here is what happens: about 70% of the time when it drops to cut-in pressure, the thing fires right up no sweat. The remaining 30% of the time, it tries at first to lite off, then seems to become bogged, and just hums. Failure to shut it off quickly enough results in a tripped breaker. Once this happens, the only way to get it running again is to completely bleed off all pressure in the tank. Here's the question, is it more likely that I simply don't have enough power to run this guy, or may there be something wrong with the compressor itself (e. g. faulty unloader valve or something like that)? P. S. I rent, so modifications to the house's wiring might be possible, but are most likely not possible. Also, one last thing, I have determined all other things that are shared on the breaker in question, and none are on while using compressor.

  • #2
    Sounds like you are getting a voltage drop on the line. If this is the case all you would need to do is run a a lower gage wire to the shop.
    SSG, U.S. Army
    Retired
    K.I.S.S., R.T.F.M.

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    • #3
      You probably won't be allowed to upgrade the wiring because you are not the owner. However, you can have an electrician do it if the owner allows it. If I was the owner and you were willing to pay for it I would let you do it because it increases the value of the property.

      And I do agree with the others, you need to run a 50Amp sub-breaker out at the garage.

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      • #4
        Well, an update...I finally got around to hooking up the DVM on the circuit and it would appear that the voltage drop is the issue. Line voltage at no load is 120 VAC. Under load it's 110VAC. When the compressor lites off it drops to about 76VAC. Someone else suggested checking the check valve and if I understand how to check it, that appears to be functioning correctly. Wiring to the shop is indeed 12 gauge. I'm not sure what I'll end up doing. Maybe nothing as I hope to not be in this place more than 3-6 months before getting my own place. I'll just have to be diligent and stand very near compressor while using it so that I can quickly secure it those times when it won't lite off. Am I likely to do any long term damage to the unit if I am very careful? I considered taking this guy back and getting one of the PC's that only run at ten amps, but it's not near the tool (from a motor perspective) and I'd hate to do that when this will hopefully be a short term problem.

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        • #5
          Shoot, for short term occassional use why not just run a heavy gauge extension to your out building and plug it into that?? Just use a different circuit

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          • #6
            Just an observation from someone who is not an electrician:
            You said it is a "shared" breaker, so the low voltage when you're trying to run the compressor may also be affecting the other items on that circuit in the house. Whomever hooked it up may also have oversized the breaker, so you may be causing problems and safety issues you aren't aware of, even with a lower amp compressor.
            Yes, you can damage your compressor. Low voltage will cause the motor to overheat and could burn out the windings.
            If it were me, I would invest in a good real 12 guage extension cord, and plug it in, most likely to an outside outlet which Should be a GFI protected circuit. Whatever the circuit I plugged it into, I would look for one with little or no additional load on it, and one that does not have any computers/electronics on it. When you move, the extension cord goes with you. At my previous digs, I also had a shed/workshop 75 feet from the house that I would power by plugging in a 10 ga cord to the outside outlet. I ran my 5 hp (15 amp) compressor with no problems, as well as my table saw and shop vac. I popped the breaker once when I got a piece of treated 2x6 I was splitting hung up in the saw, and the saw's overload switch didn't work. But, the breaker did exactly wjhat it was supposed to.
            The best thing would be a professional electrician to get it right, but landlords don't usually want to spring for the $$. Using the extension cord in a protected circuit should at least prevent burning down the house.
            Before you do any of these things, please wait for one of the professionals on this forum to validate anything I mentioned. I'm mainly trying to voice some concerns about what you described.

            My $.02

            Go
            Practicing at practical wood working

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            • #7
              Latest update...I picked up a 50 ft. 10/3 extension cord. Found an outlet with the least amount of stuff on it. Run tests with the cord resulted in the following measurements: No load-120 VAC, minimum voltage when compressor lights off - 106 VAC, and voltage while running - 110 VAC. Compressor also lit off 10 for 10 with absolutely no hesitation. The minimum voltage was consistent with each light off of compressor. So...it appears that this will rectify the problem for the near future. Thanks to all who offered up thoughts/advice/etc.

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