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Old 05-17-2009, 12:57 PM   #16
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Air compressor woes, household electrical newbie here


The starting current of the motor is a bit more than 15 amps. More like 90. But at 75 volts, it'll be around 60.

It doesn't take very much #14 to prevent a 15 amp motor from starting at 120 volts. At 240, it can be MUCH longer.

Rob

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Old 05-17-2009, 02:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by micromind View Post
How far away from the electric meter is the compressor? It sounds like there is a main panel at the house, and a sub-panel at the garage. If so, how far is the garage panel from the house panel? And what size is the breaker that feeds the garage panel? How far from the garage panel is the outlet for the compressor?

If long wires are involved here, this compressor might not work at all in the garage. Dropping down to 75 volts is quite a bit, it might be because of a problem somewhere in the system, or it might be a design problem.

Rob
I would say it is about 50-60 feet from the house to the barn where the sub panel is. We tried the compressor 10 feet from the panel at the outlet right off the panel, with the same result. The garage is another 10 feet over from the barn, which gets its power from the barn.

I still have to try the compressor on the house itself to see if that has an issue or not.
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Old 05-17-2009, 02:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by gasteffens View Post
I would say it is about 50-60 feet from the house to the barn where the sub panel is.
With working circuitry you'd need to pull 150A for this distance to get this drop,
but the breaker didn't trip,
so it's high-resistance/non-working circuitry.
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Old 05-17-2009, 02:44 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
With working circuitry you'd need to pull 150A for this distance to get this drop,
but the breaker didn't trip,
so it's high-resistance/non-working circuitry.
All right well my buddy has a bunch of testing equipment (and a lot more knowledge) he is going to bring Monday afternoon. I will report our findings which will hopefully be something we can fix. I need to use that compressor!

Thanks everyone for the help!!!!
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:04 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Magnettica View Post
It's a wild guess but it could likely be because voltage lags current when starting an inductive load, and your compressor certainly is an inductive load. But that's just a guess. If I get slammed for the next pages it'll be because I am wrong.

Voltage does not lag current in an inductive circuit. It's exactly the opposite.

Voltage leads current in an inductive circuit.

Voltage lags current in a capacitive circuit. This still has nothing to do with the voltage drop to 75 volts. Motors all run at less than unity power factor, because of the need to set up a magnetic field in the windings. The effect of this will be increased costs to the POCO for the current that is just circulating at a phase shift and is not capable of doing any work, but that still doesn't affect the consumer (residential that is) because he is charged by watts not VA.
In other words, the PF of the motor is a known and calculated variable in the design of the motor, the FLA of the motor with less than unity PF has been calculated. Voltage drop has nothing to do with the results of induction in a motor (except by the increase in amperage due to the poor PF).

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