AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if anyone can really help, but I figure I would still throw it out there. last Christmas I got a compressor for the purpose that I figure it would be useful for the simple things like filling car tires and maybe one day use it for a nailer or or something. Well, I was ultra lazy and never bothered to get a hose ofr it and it just sat in the garage until today. I am ready to hand doors and got a finish nailer, so I needed a hose and the oil for the thing. I got home and had to laugh because I realized I needed another piece for the hose to connect to the compressor and the tools. not a big deal, so I proceeded to fill the thing with oil and figured I would at least test it to make sure it fills. Well, I plug it in and turn it one and instead of making the loud hammering noise that you hear as it fills it made more of a loud hum type sound, nothing harsh and then the breaker on the compressor tripped. I turned it off reset it and tried again with the same results. Since I have no idea about these things, I unplugged it and left it for now and plan to call the manufacturer tomorrow to see what the deal is, but before then because I am inpatient I figured I would throw this out there to the community to see if anyone else has ever experienced such a thing and see if anyone had any idea about what might be wrong and how I might be able to go about fixing it. I figured many folks on here have used such tools enough in their own work so they might know something more than me. Thanks guys, hopefully we can get this resolved...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
Just going through that manual you posted, are you sure that the compressor is getting enough power? Seems like the manual was saying that it could trip under low voltage conditions. Try plugging it into a dedicated service where nothing else is connected.


FWIW, Harbor Freight can be hit or miss with their tools. Sometimes the are the best things, sometimes they are complete garbage. Does it seem like the motor is spinning?


It might also be possible, that since you let it sit so long without oil I'm assuming or any kind of "winterization" that the engine could be cold seized.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,011 Posts
My compressor does the same thing if it is cold in the garage. I also have the same problem if I try to run it off of an extension cord. The compressor has a high starting current so it's important to have it plugged into a suitable outlet.


Also, I find it best to set the switch to off, plug it in and then flip it to on. Whenever it's cold the oil is harder to move and it causes enough resistance to stall the motor. In those cases, I've had some success by quickly flipping in on and off a few times just enough to bump the pump a few times and get the oil moving. Eventually it will keep running.


Best of luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,220 Posts
If possible never run your compressor off an extension cord , get more length of air hose, air hose is very cheap.

While building my home, I have 50 foot thick exterior 15amp extension cord and used that with my compressor, the motor got burned out. I was bummed out. Bought new compressor and 100' air hose for long distances.
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Small-Hou...tank-start.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,223 Posts
I agree with the above. I've had the same problem when I ran from a thin extension cord.


If you are getting this problem when plugged into a socket, try switching to a socket closer to your breaker box. You may be plugged into a 15A socket with a long run of 14g wire. A 20A outlet closer to your breaker box might help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,838 Posts
Dont run your compressor on An extention lead if you can avoid it, (they will course voltage drop and can make the induction motor hum and eventualy burn it out), if not run A longer air hose if needed or A large 20amp extention lead....

Make sure you did'nt over fill the oil in your compressor "pump", there should be A sight glass on the pump to check for right level....


Cheers....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the insight guys. Just to give a little more info, I am directly plugged into a 20amp outlet with not extension cord, so in that regard I do not believe that is contributing to my trouble. I will say that I can try moving the unit closer to the main panel, but the real issue could be related to the oil.


I called harbor freight this morning and explained my issue. The guy said if I put cold oil into the unit, this could be the problem. Well, the oil was not outside, but the compressor was in the garage. Being in cleveland it is about 40 degrees in the garage right now, so this makes all the components of the compressor 40 degrees and when I pour the oil into the unit I realized that it too is getting cold and still. As a result, the guy on the phone told me that the compressor is really sensitive to thick oil and it is not turning over.


Therefore, I will have to try it again tonight. The unit is sitting in the basement now, so it will be much warmer and the oil should be good and soft, so I am hoping when I get home my problem will be fixed...and if so, cudos to those that referenced cold weather and cold stiff oil as a possible cause. I never would have suspected that. I will report back on my findings tonight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK, well here is the scoop. I dont know if it is just this compressor or all of them but apparently they are really finicky about their power source. I was directly plugged into one of my outlets, no extension cord when I got home this evening and the issue was still present. I was like great, this really sucks, but I had one last thing to test, plug it into the outlet that comes directly out of my electrical panel. I hit the power and the thing fired up.


So what is the deal with these things? I have 20 amp circuits everywhere and the circuit I plugged into has a few outlets on it and that is it. Are these things that picky about the power you feed them? other stuff works when plugged into the outlet. I just want to make sure it isnt a bigger issue. If they need ultra clean close to the panel power that is fine, I learned something, or maybe it is just my compressor that is like this. I have no clue I am just happy it works while I hope there is nothing wrong with my electrical....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,838 Posts
Its not about clean power per say its about amps/current... When A compressor first starts it has A start capacitor that boosts the voltage so it can start but if it does'nt have the amps/current behined it it may not start and will buzz.... This could indicate A wiring issue with your house, like to many things running off the AC line thats feeding the power points....


Also there is A thing called A pressure release valve that unloads the air pressure in the cylinder(s) so that the compressor will start more easily next time, you can hear it working when the compressor turns off once the set tank pressure has been reached with A chhh sound..... So it is important that this valve work correctly or the compressor will not start....


Cheers....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
cool. thank you. the chhhhh sound is there. I was thinking about the power thing and feel it is because I have it on a circuit on my sub panel. While the wiring is good and circuit/amps are good for normal electronics, things like the compressor just arent happy. However, if I were to go to a power source off the main panel like it is now, the thing is happy. I plugged other things into the outlet and they work fine, like shop vacs, dehumidifier so I feel the outlet is fine otherwise, it just isnt suitable for a compressor for whatever reason, and that is fine because I have it working off another outlet, and once the basement is complete I wont need it down there any way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,011 Posts
I have the same issue as you.... the compressor pulls a lot of current on startup and even more if it is cold. There is no way I could run my compressor in my garage if the temp drops below 50. Even with the compressor in a cooler part of my basement, I can hear it strain as it starts but that is when it's plugged into a heavily used circuit.


So, get it in a warm spot and the closer you are to the electrical panel the better as you will have less voltage drop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
I have an IR compressor in the garage that is on the opposite side of the house from where the circuit box is (55'+ feet away). Granted it runs off of 220, but I never have issues starting this up in cold winters. Our winters are usually in the 30s and sometimes dips to the 20s...like today



I do use synthetic oil for it...maybe that will help? http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...4649_200334649


My other two compressors run on 110 and I never had an issue with them at startup. But those are the oil free design, which runs super loud!


Old.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
672 Posts
My wife bought me one of those cheap compressors a number of years ago. The problem that I had with it was that it would initially charge the tank but then it couldn't pump after the pressure dropped to the recharge set point.


The problem is that they have made the wrong choice of the type of electric motor for a compressor application. What is needed is an electric motor that has a high starting torque and those types of motors are very expensive compared to motors with low starting torque.


There are two solutions to your problem (if you can't return it):


(1) get it as close to the power panel as possible, use a 20A breaker (reduce the chances of breaker tripping), and hard wire the motor to the breaker (use a heavy duty switch rated for 20A if you need it).


(2) replace the motor with a good capacitor start motor. This will be expensive but it will solve the problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,838 Posts
Hi Frank1940, Just wondering who gave you the info in regards to the wrong motor being used on the compressor your wife bought you? or is this just your take on it ..Because it sound to me that your compressor may of had A faulty pressure relief valve....


Cheers....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,822 Posts
Another possibility is that having sat for so long the piston was kinda frozen in the bore. (I'm assuming it's that type of compressor.) It took a lot of current to start it. Hopefully now that it's loosened up it won't take so much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
672 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinema mad /forum/post/15561504


Hi Frank1940, Just wondering who gave you the info in regards to the wrong motor being used on the compressor your wife bought you? or is this just your take on it ..Because it sound to me that your compressor may of had A faulty pressure relief valve....


Cheers....

Well, I am Electrical engineer and I worked for a large manufacturing plant for telephone Equipment manufacturer prior to my retirement and I do have some book and practical knowledge about AC motors. But if you want to read a bit more about the AC motors look up the subject onGoogle and read some articles on Single Phase AC motors.


Whether there was a pressure relief valve on the compressor of if it was working correctly, I don't know as this point.


The point that I was trying to make that inexpensive equipment often has compromises incorporated into the design that effect the end functioning of the equipment. In these cases, one must realize these limitations and either (1) adapt the usage to these limitations or (2) return(/replace) the equipment. In the case of this compressor, I chose to the second option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,838 Posts
Hi frank 1940, I wasnt tring to be smart so please dont take it the wrong way
, I try to help were I can...


Not that I need to justify myself but FWIW one of my family's company's sells and repairs all industrial machinery including Huge 3 phase compressors power tools and pheumatic with which I used to repair all inc Electrical rewinding in house for over 10 years.. I think its safe to say that I have A little knowledge in this area no



I totaly agrea that you get what you pay for with machinery like most things in life no.....


Cheers....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
672 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinema mad /forum/post/15567397


Hi frank 1940, I wasnt tring to be smart so please dont take it the wrong way
, I try to help were I can...


Not that I need to justify myself but FWIW one of my family's company's sells and repairs all industrial machinery including Huge 3 phase compressors power tools and pheumatic with which I used to repair all inc Electrical rewinding in house for over 10 years.. I think its safe to say that I have A little knowledge in this area no



I totaly agrea that you get what you pay for with machinery like most things in life no.....


Cheers....

Sorry, I did sound a bit sarcastic. You are well qualified!


Only thing you may not be aware of is that the USA uses 120V rather than the 240V that you folks in Australia have. That means the same motor draws twice the amperage and its feed wire has twice the voltage drop from a source which already at half of what yours is. A motor that might work very well down there can have real issues here....
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top