hooking up 220V air compressor


Old 08-07-05, 04:10 PM
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hooking up 220V air compressor

I just inherited my dad's old Sears air compressor, which has a 220V motor. I bought the receptacle that matches the plug, the wiring is confusing me a little. i've never dealt with 220V before.

first, the receptacle only has two (brass?) terminals that are unlabelled, and then a green ground terminal. are these both hot terminals? is there no neutral?

second, the motor is labelled as a 12A motor. will I be okay if I use 12 AWG romex? the breaker in the box is a 40A breaker, and the receptacle is about 3 feet from the box.

third question - there's no switch on the compressor motor, so I was going to wire in one between the receptacle and the box. is a 220V switch wired the same way as a 110V? (black is switched, red/white is not) the switch I got is rated for 240V...

thanks for the help.
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Old 08-07-05, 04:34 PM
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both terminals are hot terminals, and the green is ground. there is no neutral.

#12 wire is fine, but the breaker should be no larger than 20amps. the breaker's job is to protect the conductor, in this case #12, which should not be fused any larger than 20 amps.

if the receptacle is only 3 feet from the panel, why not just use the breaker as your switch? no need for an additional switch then. if you use a switch, you need to use one rated for the motor hp.
Old 08-07-05, 07:17 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
I do not recommend using the breaker as the switch if you expect to use this compressor on a regular basis. Not all breakers are designed to be used as switches.

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