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Old 09-06-2009, 09:25 AM   #1
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Compressor not building pressure


I own an older craftsman air compressor. It is a 20 gallon with a 2hp motor. Single phase 230 volt. It has a 110 volt looking plug except one prong is turned sideways. What is happening is that once it builds 20 pounds of pressure the motor will slow down until it hums. I cant seem to figure this thing out. I have it plugged into a 240 volt outlet that I bought from the hardware store and installed. The breaker is a 20 amp. Any idea or suggestion??

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Old 09-06-2009, 09:50 AM   #2
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Compressor not building pressure


May be a clogged or stuck check valve.

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Old 09-06-2009, 10:18 AM   #3
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Compressor not building pressure


First thing did you have voltmeter to verify the receptale that you are using with air compressor that have 240 volts ?

BTW the 240 volts will require two pole breaker not single pole breaker that will make the diffrence there { If you have GE load centre pay attetion where you land it }

If so then we will go on next step.,

Do this compressor do have both start and run capaitor ?

IMO sound like the run capaitor is pretty much done for it if that compessor motor have it.

Can you get the model number off that unit ?

One of the members in here will able get the details and post it up here what it need to be done.

Merci,Marc
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Old 09-06-2009, 11:03 AM   #4
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Compressor not building pressure


Check the filter.
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:05 PM   #5
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Compressor not building pressure


Here is the motor details...Leeson MC58...model#M6034DB8B...3450 RPM...60Hz...Max Amb 40...FLA 12...volt 230.

It has a separate coil if you will attached to the motor. Is this the run stop capacitor? I have changed out the on/off square D switch. I do have just a single pole 20 amp breaker installed. So I will get a double when I go out next. What kind of test should I perform to check.
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:06 PM   #6
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Compressor not building pressure


And I have checked the check valve in the bottom of the fill tube. It seems to be fine.
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:22 PM   #7
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Compressor not building pressure


What voltage do you have at the receptacle? It sounds like you just have 120? You say you just replaced it, did it just have a standard receptacle in before?

Is that the only receptacle on the circuit? If it isn't you cannot just replace the breaker with a two pole, you'll have 240 on the other receptacles on that circuit where they're should only be 120.
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Old 09-06-2009, 05:36 PM   #8
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Compressor not building pressure


Well I had wondered about a two pole breaker, but I am confused about the wiring. The plug end wire or cord that leads to the on/off switch has just three wires. And three wires leading to the motor. If I need a two pole breaker wouldn't I need a 4 wire set up?? Two power leads and neutral and ground? Yes I know nothing about wiring or electricity as you can read. But thank you none the less.
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Old 09-06-2009, 05:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swoop View Post
Well I had wondered about a two pole breaker, but I am confused about the wiring. The plug end wire or cord that leads to the on/off switch has just three wires. And three wires leading to the motor. If I need a two pole breaker wouldn't I need a 4 wire set up?? Two power leads and neutral and ground? Yes I know nothing about wiring or electricity as you can read. But thank you none the less.
This is the root of your problem. Your compressor only has three wires going to the motor, two hot legs and a ground. Your compressor does not require a neutral, it is strait 240v. If all you did was take out an existing 120v receptacle and replace it w/ a 240v receptacle that will not work, you'll still only have 120v. You need a two pole breaker (both hot legs of your service) to get 240v. The reason the circuit trips is that you are only supplying 120v to your motor, causing the motor to work harder, thus causing it to draw a higher amperage and trip the breaker.

As someone has already stated, if this is the only outlet on the circuit you should be able to change the single pole breaker out for a two pole breaker and solve your problem, however if there are other outlets on this circuit you will need to run a dedicated circuit for your compressor. If you can clarify a little for us we'll be able to give more help.
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Old 09-06-2009, 06:19 PM   #10
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Compressor not building pressure


Well sh**. I have the outlet for the air compressor on its own circuit. But it is a single pole 20 amp. I have the room for a double. So a single pole carries only 120 volts and a double will carry twice that??
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:24 PM   #11
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Compressor not building pressure


A two pole breaker carries two 120 volt circuits. If it's properly installed, the 120 volt circuits add to produce 240 volts.

Just make absolutely sure that nothing else is on this circuit. If so, 120 volt devices will receive 240 volts, and be instantly destroyed.

Rob
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Old 09-06-2009, 09:37 PM   #12
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Compressor not building pressure


Quote:
Originally Posted by swoop View Post
Well sh**. I have the outlet for the air compressor on its own circuit. But it is a single pole 20 amp. I have the room for a double. So a single pole carries only 120 volts and a double will carry twice that??
Well that the whole issue there you have single pole breaker that only dish out 120 volts instead of two pole breaker that will run full true 240 volts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by micromind View Post
A two pole breaker carries two 120 volt circuits. If it's properly installed, the 120 volt circuits add to produce 240 volts.

Just make absolutely sure that nothing else is on this circuit. If so, 120 volt devices will receive 240 volts, and be instantly destroyed.

Rob
Micromind { Rob } is correct on that point so that is very important to double check this receptale is it OWN circuit and a single receptle to used to the run the air compressor if that is wired on 240 volts otherwise if anything else that run 120 volts get hit with 240 volts you will release alot of magic smoke in big time

{ I actally did see how 240 volts devices get destoryed with 415 volts !! that is equally bad as well ( How do I know ? very simple I do live in France from time to time so I know it can get pretty messy )}

If you have issue why not buy a wiring simplifed book they have them in big box store and it worth the money to help you with the issue there.

Merci,Marc
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:15 AM   #13
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Compressor not building pressure


If it runs until he reaches 20 PSI, why are we discussing the voltage? Check the inlet filter.
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:35 AM   #14
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Compressor not building pressure


Quote:
Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
If it runs until he reaches 20 PSI, why are we discussing the voltage? Check the inlet filter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by swoop View Post
Here is the motor details...Leeson MC58...model#M6034DB8B...3450 RPM...60Hz...Max Amb 40...FLA 12...volt 230.

It has a separate coil if you will attached to the motor. Is this the run stop capacitor? I have changed out the on/off square D switch. I do have just a single pole 20 amp breaker installed. So I will get a double when I go out next. What kind of test should I perform to check.
Quote:
Originally Posted by swoop View Post
Well sh**. I have the outlet for the air compressor on its own circuit. But it is a single pole 20 amp. I have the room for a double. So a single pole carries only 120 volts and a double will carry twice that??
Because the OP has a 230volt compressor that he's feeding with only 120volts.

Try to keep up
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:59 AM   #15
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Compressor not building pressure


Okay, sorry.

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