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69-er 09-28-2007 05:58 PM

Air Compressor Timer
I forgot to turn off the circuit breaker to my air compressor last night. Well, during the night it turned on, and at some point both connecting rods broke. Since it couldn't build pressure, it ran for who knows how long until I heard it running this morning.

Is there a method or system available to prevent an air compressor running uncontrolled for long periods? I thought of using a timer that could be set to run for, say, 30 minutes every time the compressor starts and resets when the compressor turns off. I think that would be long enough since I don't believe I would ever need to operate the compressor any longer, but if it were unattended, short enough to prevent an uncontrolled run time.

I've searched online, but haven't found anything that has a delay longer than 17 minutes.

Any thoughts?



Phatboy 09-29-2007 06:40 AM

How old is your compressor?

All new compressors come with a pressure activated switch. You plug it in, it goes up to the max operating pressure and shuts off. Use up some air, get it down to the min operating pressure and it kicks back on.

Does yours not have a pressure switch, and if not, you should get one. Asap. Now that yours has bit the dust, it may be time for an upgrade. Just be glad that it broke the rods, instead of blow the tank while your standing there.

Daryl in Nanoose 09-30-2007 09:27 AM

You could put a switch to controll the outlet that the compressor is pluged into.

glennjanie 09-30-2007 08:05 PM

I vote for Logan's pressure control switch on this one. However, the electrical code frowns on using the circut breakers as a switch, so Daryl is correct also.

8307c4 11-05-2007 11:30 PM

Is this an air compressor such as which might be used for pneumatic tools and the like? That's the only thing I've ever heard called an air compressor, now I am sorry but if you got one that doesn't shut itself down when the tank reaches a certain psi then I suggest you go to Northern Hydraulics and get a real one.

That's the first time I've ever heard of such a compressor running forever, unless you've got an air leak in the lines that stay hooked up, just doesn't sound safe to me.

Hack 11-08-2007 02:03 PM

I have my dust collector connected to a timed outlet. I used a simple rotary timer (60 minute). I turn it to the desired time I want the collector to run and then turn on the collector. If I forget to turn it off, it goes off automatically. I have a similar setup for a fan at the top of my garage. It's got a thermostat attached that turns it on if the temperature at the top of the garage exceeds 90 degrees, a bypass so I can turn it on no matter what the temperature is, and a timer on the bypass switch so when I forget to turn it off, it goes off automatically.

jack3140 01-25-2008 03:24 PM

assuming you just want to control the power get a small electronic timer and a 30a 2pole contactor feed the power thru the contactor and control the contactor with the timer hope this helps

guyod 01-25-2008 05:18 PM

Everyone kinda said it but let me spell it out.. Just wire in for a standard wall switch. but instead of a switch just get a switch/timer you can find at any big box store. they are normally used for bathroom fans/ heaters.

ToolGuy 01-25-2008 08:39 PM

It appears everyone is misreading this one. Not that I have a solution or anything, but just to clarify... The compressor is not building up pressure because the connection rod broke. So a switch when it reaches a certain amount of pressure is not what he's asking about. What he's asking about is a timer that resets whenever the motor kicks in (I know, he said when it shuts off, but that was bass ackward), and will shut the motor off if it runs for, say, 30 minutes.

inspectorD 01-26-2008 07:37 AM

Wow ... comunication department line one....
I think we all have answered something...or nothing,....:confused:
Let's break it down.
1. The compressor rods broke and the thing ran forever.
2. He wants it to shut off after he turns it on...without thinking about in 30 minutes.

a pressure control switch will do nothing...there is no pressure being built up with broken rods...thus it will not shut off.

You need a timer. Any department store will carry one which plugs into the outlet, and the compressor plugs into that. You can set it to come on at say 9 am and shut off at 9;30 am every day. Or you can buy a timer like the heat fans in bathrooms and jacuzzis to run for a little and run out. Kind of like ...set it and forget it.:D

Good catch Tool Guy,, and to those with all those wonderful ideas.:D And to anyone who took the time to answer.;)

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