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post #1 of 31 Unread 10-18-2019, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Question Any Electrical Guru's around Here??????

My Question I have is why does the circuit blow when I start the ROL-AIR. The Garage is wired for 20AMP Service at 120 volts. Some times when I start it the circuit does not blow. but then there are times when the compressor starts up again Then it blows. I know this is poorly written and I am half past Dead while writing this. The compressor is running 120 volts also. So once again I am at The MERCY of the masses at hand here 4 help.
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post #2 of 31 Unread 10-18-2019, 05:58 PM
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Is that a dedicated circuit? There may be something else on that circuit that is drawing power. I'm thinking about a refrigerator with a compressor that is cycling on and off. Try plugging the compressor into a dedicated 20 amp circuit if you have one. (And that's about as far as my knowledge goes.)

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post #3 of 31 Unread 10-18-2019, 06:01 PM
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If the compressor has a compression release on startup, then It's likely not working, and causing it to start against a full pressure load, drawing excessive current. Barring that (or another possibility) is that if the motor has a capacitor (looks like it does- that's the hump atop the motor) it's getting weak. Lastly could be a failing breaker that is now tripping too easily . . . or other stuff is on that circuit that you don't know about.

Oh, and is this on an extension core, or right into the outlet? Too small a cord can cause this as well, since the voltage drop prevents the motor from coming up to speed quickly.

What's the rating for current draw marked on the motor? And has this ever worked?
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post #4 of 31 Unread 10-18-2019, 06:05 PM
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I'm in on maybe a bad breaker switch, they do go bad. Only a few bucks to swap in a new one and see.


Agreed be a good time to see where that's getting its juice and swap that line over to a dedicated breaker if possible.


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post #5 of 31 Unread 10-18-2019, 06:25 PM
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Usually there are 2 capacitors, one for startup and one for run, they work on a set of points internally in the motor, and operate under centrifugal force, etc., etc...



One of my compressors was tripping the circuit, ... I pulled it apart, cleaned the contact points, reassembled and everything went back to normal.


If you don't feel comfortable doing it, just bring the motor to a small electric motor shop, most cities/towns have them. They will probably want to replace the points, but should be not to expensive.




UPDATE: Just looking at that unit, it was either extremely well maintained , or it is very new, in which case those points I mentioned should be fine, unless run on improper voltage. Best an electrician explain the electrical operational requirements for the smooth operation of a compressor.

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post #6 of 31 Unread 10-18-2019, 06:42 PM
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Lots of great ideas here. I would start by looking if your load breaker matches or exceeds the load of the breaker. Your load has to be than 80% of the breaker assigned to this outlet. Is that just a battery charger on the other outlet or a heater? What current or wattage is the motor rated at?


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post #7 of 31 Unread 10-18-2019, 09:23 PM
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I wonder if you have an alternate unused and dedicated 20 amp circuit (maybe laundry) you can plug the compressor into as test comparison?


Not sure if the tripping is over-current protection or ground-fault protection...
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post #8 of 31 Unread 10-18-2019, 10:29 PM
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You should be able to get a multimeter that will record the actual start up current draw of your compressor. About 10yrs ago I got one at Walmart for $25. It's digital and works every bit as well as a $125 brand name unit that it was replacing.

Everything operated fairly well until I started working on it
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post #9 of 31 Unread 10-18-2019, 10:43 PM
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Here's a meter that I have to look at appliance draw:



But you will need something a bit better. This one only does 15 Amps x 120 Volts = 1800 Watts

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post #10 of 31 Unread 10-18-2019, 11:18 PM
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As it only frequently happens, I agree with Miles. As you have only one circuit supplying the entire garage, it could be lights or a refer, or some other load that's already loading the circuit. When a motor starts, it draws several times it's free running load. If you were using a fuse, it would need to be motor rated. Usually a circuit breaker can absorb the starting load due to its inherent inverse time loading characteristics. This inverse time tripping can be affected by the GFCI function of the breaker however. (As this is on a garage circuit, it's required to be on a GFCI protected circuit, NEC. 210.8 B (8)).
Just guessing as you did not state the FLA on the compressor, but I would assume this compressor requires it's own circuit. (FWIW, mine is, and my garage is on a single 20 amp, GFCI supplied circuit, and never blows. That's with lights & refer running. Take inventory and determine everything connected to your garage. Lighs, refer, overhead door opener, tool chargers, etc.

From a technical point, you size the branch circuit conductord (the NM cable from the panelboard to the receptacle) at 125% of the motor load (430.22A). You size the circuit breaker (the overcurrent protection) by whatever is stated on the compressor's motor listing.
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