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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well thought the problem was solved with the new breaker but unfortunately it's happening again. Compressor kicks on fill ok I use it kicks on again and about half way through the refill it trips the breaker. Where do I go from here? This is very frustrating. If I had the money I'd just by a 220 unit run 12/3 and be done with it. Since that's not an option HELP!!!!!

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67 std camaro conv 327/210, 1978 annv vette, 1985 Z28 Camaro, 1971 Chevelle, 00 grand prix, 76 KZ900
 

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I'm not sure I remember all the details of your original post. I know you changed the breaker.
House electricity is easy.
1. What else is on the circuit with the compressor? If your breaker is a 15 amp and the compressor is a 15 amp then any thing else on the circuit (lights, radio, anything..) can cause the amperage to be exceeded and the breaker will trip. Add up the total amperage of everything on that circuit. If nothing else is on the circuit the compressor motor may be the problem. A motor will draw higher current when starting up - especially if it is an older motor with worn bearings. Additionally, use a large cord for your compressor motor. Don't use and extension cord. If you must use an extension use one rated at 230 volts at a minimum and NEVER use an extension with it coiled.
2. The problem could be with your wiring between the outlet and the breaker. How old is the wiring. One of my homes has old cloth covered wires that are a fire hazard and won't handle more than 10 amps. Mice and other critters have been known to chew cable and cause shorts. More likely though is a bad outlet. Strange as it seems I have seen perfecly good looking outlets cause a breaker to open. Changing the outlet cured the problem.

There is probably more, but my boss just arrived and I have to pretend to work now...



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1967 Malibu
1967 Impala SS396 Conv.

"Excuse - no matter how valid - never alters or changes performance" - N Eldon Tanner
 

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GaryB on the money. See what else is running on the same cicuit and shut it off and do not run on an extension cord.

My compressor suddenly was tripping the breaker all the time, then a friend told me that I need to get rid of the long extension cord and plug directly into the wall. Fixed the problem for a little but it would trip the breaker when it stalled on start up. I got so frustrated with it, I kicked the crap out of it for about 10 minutes (did not do much, but felt good). Took it apart and put it back togehter, not changing anything, and now it works fine. Go figure.

Well nothing is more frustating than working under a car and having the lights go out when it's night outside.

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64 Malibu SS 327
Parting out 1965 El Camino
Instructions?...all I need is the exploded view
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here goes:
Would this figure into the equation, I got the compressor from my mother in law after my father in law passed away. He removed the ground plug. Just noticed this last night.

I did replace the 10 year old 20A breaker with a new 20A one. The outlet that the compressor is on has approx 150 feet of 12/2 wire also ten years old from main panel to it with junctions/connections at four outlets on the way.

The compressor is plugged directly into the wall outlet, but like I stated above is missing the ground prong.

The only thing on the line with it are 4 outlets for the lights in garage, two outlets for the garage door openers, and five wall outlets.

The compressor trips the breaker even when nothing else is turned on or using the above garage outlets mentioned outlets.

Last night I even plugged the compressor into an outdoor GFI outlet that is on the dining room circuit and it tripped that breaker. The only outlet on that circuit being used at the time was for a plug in air freshner.

I think I've covered everything here if not ask and I shall answer.

I appreciate all you help and ideas. Pete
 

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Is this a belt driven compressor? Some possibilites could be the belt is very tight when cold, as the compressor runs, it heats up and tightens too much, putting more strain on the motor? Are the pulleys aligned and motor bolted down tight? Is this the correct belt, by that I mean is the belt to wide for the pulleys? Do you need to add oil to the compressor unit? Just some thoughts.

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64 Malibu SS 327
Parting out 1965 El Camino
Instructions?...all I need is the exploded view
 

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The 150 foot run is going to cause a problem on start up, especially with an old compressor. The motor draws more than 15 or 20 amps for the second or two that it takes to start, and with a long run like you have, the voltage drop at that current draw is enough to compound the problem. I see no real solution if you're going to use that run except to replace it with something heavier, or buy a compressor motor that you could wire for 220. I still have fuses in my house, and I have to use a "time delay" type fuse on my garage outlet for the compressor. A regular fuse will blow everytime the compressor starts. No cheap, easy answers here. Sorry.

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MalibuJerry350
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My Chevelle: http://hometown.aol.com/erie614/myhomepage/index.html
 

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Sounds like your compressor motor is getting hot and starting to go away. I bet the brushes and or armature are worn check at your local electric supply place and see what they get for a new motor same specs as the one you've got or if you want to go heavy with it ask if they have a 220 motor you could upgrade to.
Most places can do a rebuild for you too

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Philip Mullaly
72 TPI El Camino
"Hey Ya'll watch this...."
 

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I agree with Phil. Electric motors don't last forever. It would really be helpful if you could throw an amprobe meter across that circuit and see exactly what she's drawing.

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70 Chevelle SS396/TH400/3.73 "What does not kill me, makes me stronger."
 

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Hello;

How long from the first shut off till the next start?

Take a good look at the motor. Often, they can be wired for 120 or 240. If it can be, in the junction box there would be 8 wires with a number of them marretted together. To change to 240 would just be a different wiring combination.

The wire required for 240 would only be a 12/2. You could use the origional wire but would loose your other receptacles.

That motor does not have brushes or an armature in it. The only wear items it has are a start winding switch and the bearings.

Usually, motors fail phase to phase or phase to ground, either of which would produce a direct short so the motor would not run at all.

How's the oil in the compressor pump? Maybe changing to a ligher/better oil would help lower the load.

Peter
 

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Don't forget that most compressors have air cleaners. If it is clogged you are making the compressor work harder.
I vote for not quite enough electrical supply for the compressor. DO NOT put in a larger breaker (same voltage) with that wire size.

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Tell ya what Doc

I'll come down to Lexington and fix it if you fix my back

Heck I'd buy you a new one if you could fix my back


Tell me what it says on the motor data plate
Volts, Amps, HP.

You may be getting too much voltage drop in that distance # 12 wire is good for 20 amps up to about 100 feet

The ground prong is just a case ground, and serves no function as far as operation goes it's there for safety in case any of the other wires bacome shorted to the case

If it was there (which it really should be) it would trip the breaker to prevent the frame or case of the machine from being hot

You don't need 12-3 wire, all you need is 12-2 with ground wire
But you may need 10-2 with ground for that distance

Is the pressure switch activating the cylinder unloader ?

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Dean Call
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[This message has been edited by Dean (edited 05-04-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dean,
I'll be more that happy to "fix" your back or at least do what I can to help you. Now you are getting past my area of knowledge of cpmpressors and electrical stuff. Cylinder unloaders, what the heck is that? Read my posts does it sound like 'i know electric? Just joking here, but the truth is I know enough to fill a small thimble. If it'll help I'll run a dedicated 10-2 wire to the compressor. I've got a second breaker box in my shop in my basement that would make the run about 80'. Would it be better to run a line from there? Just trying to explore all options. Dean your always welcome to come down. Hey I'll even feed you and your significant other and have your favorite beverages for you. Now how can you refuse a deal like that. Can anyone say ROAD TRIP! LOL
Anyway keep the thoughts and suggestions coming as you can tell I need all the help I can get. Pete

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67 std camaro conv 327/210, 1978 annv vette, 1985 Z28 Camaro, 1971 Chevelle, 00 grand prix, 76 KZ900
 

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The compressor must be drawing right at 20A to blow the breaker after operating a while.

Measure the voltage at the compressor terminals when it is running. Then, measure the voltage while it is stopped. Let us know what these 2 reading are. Using a digital meter is really the best way to do this.

If the above voltage drop is more than probably 10 volts you may be able to lower the current draw enough to fix the problem by doing something to help the voltage drop. You could use the shorter wire run or use 10 guage wire.

Peter
 

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1. Check air filter
2. Drain oil and replace with Mobile 1 Syn.
3. Replace Breaker with new (they go bad)
4. Replace cord with new wire
5. check amp draw with a amp clamp
6. If you need to rewire it is easy
 
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