220 240 Volt Air Compressor Wiring
How to Wire a 220 Volt Air Compressor: With a standard 240 volt motor for equipment such as an air compressor there are only two insulated wires for the 220/240 volts and one separate wire for the ground.
Understanding Ground Wires for 220/240 Volt Circuits
Electrical Question: Where should I connect the white neutral wire in the sub panel for my 220 volt air compressor?
- I added a sub panel to my main fuse box.
- I have 4 wires going to the sub panel.
- I’m pretty confident according to your wiring diagram that part is fine.
- I’m rewiring the dryer from the 3 wire to 4 wire, that’s easy.
My specific question is:
- I have a 220 volt air compressor that only has three wires.
- Do I connect the white neutral to the neutral bar, or to the ground bar in the sub panel?
I thought if something bad happened the neutral would be the safer bet, but I’m getting mixed answers from other sources.
Thanks for your help, Brad.
This electrical wiring question came from: Brad, a Handyman from Endicott, New York.
Additional Comments: Awesome.
Dave’s Reply: Thanks for your electrical wiring question Brad.
How to Wire a 220 Volt Air Compressor
Application: Electric Circuit for a 220 Volt Air Compressor.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best installed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the available access to the air compressor circuit and electrical connection box.
Precaution: Identify the air compressor circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the 220 volt air compressor wiring.
Circuit Wiring for a 240 Volt Air Compressor
- Circuit Size for an Air Compressor
The circuit size will depend on the size of the air compressor and the horsepower rating of the motor. The air compressor users manual will specify the required power source. A dedicated circuit will be required for most larger air compressors. A dedicated circuit will ensure ample power for the unit and prevent tripping a circuit that is shared with other equipment or tools.
- 220 Volt Air Compressor Ground Wire
Brad, I understand your thinking, and a lot of people get confused by this. The fact is that with a standard 240 volt motor for equipment such as an air compressor there are only two insulated wires for the 220/240 volts and one separate wire for the ground.
The Neutral Wire and 220/240 volt Equipment Circuit
- There is no need for a neutral wire with this type of 220 Volt equipment.
- Newer 240 volt circuits for kitchen equipment such as ranges and laundry room dryers do require a separate insulated neutral wire and a separate ground wire because these new units have 120 volt control circuits.
- Such is not true for 220/240 volt air compressors yet.
- With new control circuits coming out for just about everything, this could change.
- The ground wire for the air compressor will attach to the separate ground terminal strip that is bonded to the electrical system ground.
- As with any electrical circuit, when installed properly, the ground wire is the most important wire of the circuit because it will help protect the equipment and the user in the event of a short circuit or electrical fault.
Part Reference: Air Compressor Switch: 220Volt 20Amp 2-Pole
I have found for example, that a 20 Amp 220Volt Double-Pole Switch works very well as an On / Off switch for Air Compressors as described in this electrical project.
More about Wiring a 220 Volt Air Compressor
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Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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