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Electrical Wire and Cable

How to Wire a 3 Phase Air Compressor

How is an air compressor wired and where do the wires go? Wiring a 3 Phase Motor for an Air Compressor, The Basic Requirements for Wiring Electric Motors, 3 Phase Motor Circuits.

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Air Compressor Electric Motor
Electrical Question: How is a 3 phase air compressor wired and where do the wires go?

This electrical wiring question came from Cody in Enid, Oklahoma.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Cody.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

4 Responses to “How to Wire a 3 Phase Air Compressor”
  1. Michelle says:

    We are using a 3 phase 240 volt system and hooking up to an air compressor.
    We used a pressure switch by Square D part number 9013 FHG12MIX.
    The black and blue wires from the 3 phase are connected to the pressure switch and then connected to the motor. The red wire from the 3 phase is only connected to the motor.

    After 3 months the motor burnt out. I was wondering if the Red wire should be connected to the pressure switch and then connected to the motor, like the the black and blue wires?

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Michelle,
    When controlling a 3 phase motor it is important to identify the HP size of the motor, which will help to select the type of motor controls. Most motors draw a great deal of amperage when they first start, therefor the motor will need some type of overload protection which is typically provided by a Motor Starter. Typical motor starter applications include a control circuit which then activates the motor starter. A control circuit can be wired to a pressure switch which would activate the motor starter. In this case, the motor starter would have all of the 3 phase wires running through the starter.
    To help you understand this with more detail I have placed additional information to this article which includes links to the motor control section where you will find more information and examples of typical wiring diagrams.
    Thank you for sharing your question about wiring a 3 phase motor,

  3. J. Noland says:

    I have an air compressor I am currently trying to hook up and my old wiring is in conflict to the way the compressor I am installing was wired. I have changed the motor lead wires from 220 lv to 480 high voltage. The motor is 7 1/2 HP. I have a fused disconnect and motor starter. Please send link, thank you.

  4. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi JN,
    Please follow the link in the article which says: More about Wiring Electrical Control Relays. There you will see the wiring diagrams for motor control relays.
    When changing the voltage of the motor be sure to see the wiring diagram on the motor label, and make sure of the circuit voltage which is supplied to the motor matches one of the optional voltage configurations of the motor.