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Old 09-06-2009, 08:13 PM   #31
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Craftsman air compressor blowing breaker


Thanks all for the help so far. Just got back from Lowes with a 30A and 40A breaker (just going to test for my own knowledge) and other misc parts to hard wire the compress to the breaker box. Hoping this resolves the issue, but either way - thank you.

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Old 09-06-2009, 08:22 PM   #32
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I suppose that those breakers are double-pole? Be sure to use only one pole, since you are dealing with a 120 Volt load. White wire to the neutral bar!

Quickest way to burn out that motor is to hook it up to 240....
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:25 PM   #33
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I suppose that those breakers are double-pole? Be sure to use only one pole, since you are dealing with a 120 Volt load. White wire to the neutral bar!

Quickest way to burn out that motor is to hook it up to 240....

30 Amp is single pole, but the 40A was double. Was googling to figure that out. May need to shop HD instead for single pole 40A if needed.
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:13 PM   #34
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Craftsman air compressor blowing breaker


I hooked up a 30A breaker and it MAY have helped, but I'm not sure. Problem was the connectors I bought were for 12ga wire, but they would not crimp onto the solid core wire in any manner considered good.

Also, the connectors that slid onto the compressor were loose. Any recommendations for good connectors for this little job or is there better wire to use?

Anyway, long story short I THINK it helped - but with my shoddy connections coming loose it would fail. I felt the wire get hotter then I think is normal and eventually the thermal protection on the motor kicked in. However, that was while I was testing. Until I get good all around connections I can't be sure.

Do they make a cable that is a standard 110 cable on one end and a pigtail for the breaker box on the other? Then I could just leave the plug in place that is there now. Lowes did not have it, Unless I were to cut an extension cord. Is cable that is stranded okay for a breaker box?

Take care,
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:30 PM   #35
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Craftsman air compressor blowing breaker


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Do they make a cable that is a standard 110 cable on one end and a pigtail for the breaker box on the other? Then I could just leave the plug in place that is there now. Lowes did not have it, Unless I were to cut an extension cord. Is cable that is stranded okay for a breaker box?
No, don't do that. Just run a little piece of romex out of the breaker box to a metal surface mount junction box. If you absolutely must, you can splice a stranded whip to the romex in the junction box... make sure you clamp it good in there.

The code sticklers might have some other solution, but what I just told you would be good enough. An extension cord directly into your breaker box is a bad idea for a lot of reasons.
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:13 PM   #36
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No, don't do that. Just run a little piece of romex out of the breaker box to a metal surface mount junction box. If you absolutely must, you can splice a stranded whip to the romex in the junction box... make sure you clamp it good in there.

The code sticklers might have some other solution, but what I just told you would be good enough. An extension cord directly into your breaker box is a bad idea for a lot of reasons.
Thanks for the heads up, I should've thought about a junction box. I know what they are, sort of - even if I never used one.

Extension cord straight to the box did seem like a bad idea, but ...easy.
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:15 PM   #37
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Craftsman air compressor blowing breaker


As a person who has worked on air compressors in size from 1 1/2 HP-360 HP, and from 2.2 CFM-1600 CFM, I may know something about them. "micromind's" post #25 was very good regarding the unloader. Yes, all air compressors have to "unload" when they reach their max operating pressure, whether they shut down or stay running (as big one's do). IF you're compressor does not unload properly, then it will be hard for the motor to start it back up and therefore draw a large electrical load (current) and probably trip a breaker. As has been stated here before: Once a breaker trips, it's life has been shortened greatly. Most manufacturers do recommend changing a breaker that has only tripped once. You should be able to hear your compressor "unload" about one second after the electric motor shuts off. This should be a distinct, quick, "high pressure air escaping and decreasing" sound, lasting about a second. If you're not hearing this, then you have an unloader problem, which is creating an electrical problem. So many things to check, Good Luck, David
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Old 09-07-2009, 08:03 PM   #38
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Craftsman air compressor blowing breaker


KB Sparky and Micromind just about said it ALL! About taking into consideration the FLA, LRA and the probability of the Staring Capacitor gone bad. But in my humble opinion the kicker here is the Amperage. BTW. this proves that the nameplate rating of 5.5 Amps is more than an exaggeration. Because that would bring the Wattage of this motor to 4.103 KW. The current draw @ 120v. would work out to 34.19 Amps. First off, no 120v. Receptacle is rated @ this Amperage. More proof is in the fact that there are no FLA and LRA ratings given. The TRUE output is (probably) closer to 2-2.5 HP! (eliminate confusion) through Education!! Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:02 PM   #39
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Craftsman air compressor blowing breaker


For what it's worth, a local to DFW friend helped me out. I took my compressor over to him and it turns out a plastic part was busted, that stopped the mechanisms on the start capacitor to be tight against the motor. Once secured, it starts no problem. I completely did not notice this unti it was pointed out to me.

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