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Old 04-24-2012, 02:37 AM   #1
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30amp socket, 15amp compressor


I have a 30amp wall socket in my garage, connected to two 20amp fuses in my garage sub box. I bought a 60 gallon air compressor rated 230v 15amp (non-reversible???). I am under the impression that I can use this compressor with the socket I have. The compressor did not come with a plug but did have the wires. One red, one green, one white. The plug I bought to the match the socket has instructions for one black wire (hot) one green (ground) and one white (neutral) I guess my question is, would the red wire be my hot wire? Does everything else sound ok?

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Old 04-24-2012, 05:33 AM   #2
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If the unit is 240 volts then both the black and the white are hot.

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Old 04-24-2012, 05:48 AM   #3
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30amp socket, 15amp compressor


If the plug is labeled hot and neutral, are you sure it is a plug intended for 240 (230) volts? Plugs and receptacles come in a variety of styles specifically to distinguish among various amperages as well as 120 from 240 volts. (There are a few volt/amp combinations that share the same style.)

It is a good idea to change out both the plug and the receptacle instead of attaching the wrong kind of plug just because it matches the receptacle.

For 120 volt circuits, red (also any (non-white) color besides green) is also hot.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 04-24-2012 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:23 AM   #4
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30amp socket, 15amp compressor


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If the plug is labeled hot and neutral, are you sure it is a plug intended for 240 (230) volts?
I'm not actually sure of anything when it comes to electricity. (scary considering I've done a surprising amount of at home electrical work in my life) The outlet is marked 30amp. It doesn't have a voltage marking that I noticed. It has two horizontal and parallel flat holes (as opposed to the vertical and parallel flat holes on a house plug) it also has half round hole at the bottom of the of the outlet similar to the ground hole on a household plug. The whole outlet is about twice the size of a household outlet and a little bigger then the style you would plug a dry into.
The plug says it can be set up for either 30amp or 50amps but I don't remember a voltage on it. I assumed 30amp was 240.
The gentleman I bought the compressor did not know much about it. It had belonged to his father in law who had passed the year before. It looked like all of the tools in the garage where well taken care of except a little bit of dust. The compressor is older (I assume because it says, made in the USA in small print as if it wasn't unusual) but looks almost new.
Anyway, I know a lot of compressors can be set up to run either 110v or 220v but the sticker/plate on the electric motor says " volts 208/230" - "amps 15" - "hertz 60" or something like that.

I'll take some pictures.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:33 AM   #5
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You need a plug rated for 208/240 volts 15/20 amps.
And an adapter or replaced receptacle to match.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:35 AM   #6
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:38 AM   #7
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:39 AM   #8
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Ok, the outlet says 250v
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:42 AM   #9
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Sorry, missed your reply... What would that plug/outlet look like. Would the kind you use for a dryer work?
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:22 PM   #10
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One more quick question. Should a 230v always have four wires? Two hot, one neural, and one ground? If so, I seem to be missing a wire on both my compressor and on the diagram for wiring the new plug... Hmm
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:03 PM   #11
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looks like a NEMA 6 receptacle. you will need a NEMA 6 plug, rated at least 20A (i.e. 6-20P plug). a 30A plug will work as well. what size are the conductors on the compressor? if they are smaller than #10, they may not have the greatest protection, since i suspect the breaker serving the receptacle is a 30A breaker.

edit: never mind, saw you already have the plug. assuming you have black, white and ground from the breaker to your receptacle, wire the plug so compressor red goes to receptacle black, white to white and ground to ground. 240 doesn't need four wire.

Last edited by itsnotrequired; 04-24-2012 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:31 PM   #12
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great info, thanks. I just pulled the cover off the switch to see how it was wired.

inside the switch it is red to black, white to white and green to ground.

Cross your fingers for me, I'm going to give it a shot. Let's hope I don't fry anything
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HillBillyBuddha View Post
One more quick question. Should a 230v always have four wires? Two hot, one neural, and one ground? If so, I seem to be missing a wire on both my compressor and on the diagram for wiring the new plug... Hmm
You do need a neutral with that set up.
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:35 PM   #14
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soooo, it does need a neutral? does it have one? I'm guessing the white??? ehhh, more confused... Do I need two hot wires????
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:43 PM   #15
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You do need a neutral with that set up.
why would a 230V device with only two wires require a separate neutral? if three wires are brough to the device, how the heck does it get wired up?

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