Air compressors are capable of running air tools and spray paint, and obviously supplying air to inflate toys and tires. Nowadays, people prefer keeping a small compressor as a worthwhile addition to their home shop. But, undoubtedly, the maximum versatility comes with larger compressors that hold the capacity to supply more cubic feet per minute.
It might help you to know that a popular home shop compressor is the 5 HP vertical with almost a 60-gallon storage tank. These air compressors are usually powered by 220 volts and are also hard-wired.
So, let’s say you want to operate an air sprayer or a nail gun, a 120-volt air compressor will probably suit your needs almost perfectly, but when it comes to painting, large-scale carpentry, or auto repair operation, you need to have a 220V air compressor.
The best thing is that with a much larger tank it also has a larger, more powerful motor to fill it. The point here is that the motor draws more current, and it runs much more efficiently at 220 or 230 volts than 120 volts.
Size of wire required to use 220V Air Compressor?
Once you purchase a 220V air compressor, the next thing that comes to mind is the size wire gauge you need for it. The thing is that usually, many people have such questions in mind when they buy their very first air compressor. An interesting fact is that sometimes, these small details sneak up on people as they did not consider before buying.
Surely, an air compressor is considered a very useful tool to have in your home garage or shop, but it is wise to make sure that you properly set things up correctly to be able to use them safely.
So, in order to securely wire a 220V air compressor, you need to have a 30A and a 10 AWG wire. You can easily wire the black and white wire at the hot wire. The size of the compressor matter a lot, therefore, make sure that 30A is enough for your needs.
Kind of outlet is required for 220 air compressor
Well, the motor on the 220 air compressor draws 16 amps. You need 12-2 wires (12 gauge), a 20 amp 2 pole breaker, and a NEMA 6-20 outlet. It is obvious, but just to remind you that never ignore caution any time you’re working with electricity. As discussed earlier, go through the manual for specifications on distance and current draw. Not all but some devices require a heaver breaker and possibly heavier gauge wire as well.
In addition, it would also help you if you know how to Wire a 220 Volt Air Compressor and Control Switch. In order to wire a standard 240 volt motor for equipment such as an air compressor, you would only see two insulated wires for the 220/240 volts and only one separate wire for the ground.
The point to note here is that standard 220-volt wiring for an air compressor has no polarity for both the red and the black wire, therefore, it is not possible to wire them backwards. Make sure that the disconnect switch is a 220 volt 2 pole type for both circuit wires.
Learn how to wire a 220 air compressor
Place it close to the circuit breaker
The first thing you need to do is to adjust the compressor as close to the circuit breaker box as possible. The whole point is to make sure that it is in an area where it can be easily accessed. After that, you need to bolt it to the floor with lag bolts and anchors.
Turn off the main circuit breaker
Now the next step requires you to shut off the main circuit breaker and remove the cover from the fuse box. Then, just simply install a 30-amp 220-volt circuit breaker for the compressor and run the 10-gauge 3-conductor wire directly into the box.
Connect the wires
You have to carefully connect the white and bare copper wires to the ground bus and then red and black wires to the circuit breaker terminals. In some cases, you might see two ground busses in the box, just attach the bare copper wire to one but the insulated white wire to the other.
Connection from the compressor to the junction box
This step of the process is very important as you need to secure the 10-gauge wire to the wall and then run it to a junction box near the compressor. It is necessary to make sure that the connection from the compressor to this box is made with a 10/3 flexible power cord.
Position a length of this wire right from the switch box of the compressor to the junction box. After doing this, attach to the wire from the circuit breaker box. You can make the connections between the two-wire types by simply using large wire nuts.
Connect the 10/3 power cord
It’s almost done, just remove the cover of the compressor switch box and patiently connect the 10/3 power cord to the marked terminals. It is recommended to use solderless ring connectors to make the connections.