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Old 07-20-2012, 11:54 AM
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Compressor Breaker Size

Hey guys,

I just bought the following Quincy 60 gallon compressor and it's being delivered next week. My question is what breaker size do I need? I know to go with #10 wire. The Northern Tool site in the Q&A portion says a 30 amp breaker. I called Quincy and they said that NEC says it should be a 50 amp breaker. Just trying to have it all ready before it arrives, what do I need? Thanks for your help. I had a 40 amp breaker on my old compressor in MD, It was a 7.5, 80 gallon unit.


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Last edited by daveh; 07-20-2012 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:46 PM
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I wouldn't go bigger than 30 amp w/ 10 ga. wire. Description says 21 amps so you should be good . JMO

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Old 07-20-2012, 01:00 PM
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That's what I thought thanks It's weird then why would the manufacturer say 50amp? I know he was quoting the NEC codes. Still weird
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:15 PM
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It's pulling 21 amps.. It will pull more at start up, but shouldn't flip the breaker. I'm running 10 gauge, 30 amp breaker, and my compressor pulls 23 amps.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:11 PM
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Elect code

Code calculations are based on amps for continous draw, starting load, AND distance, Most of the time your compressor will not be running continously. I worked at one place that made welded metal products. when production increaced we ran low on air. they put fans in the compressor room and had garden sprinklers spraying water on the ground mounted electrical transformers, The breaker is to protect the wiring from overheating and causing a fire. and is the wiring in a couduit? And the code has regs for conduit size vs number of conductors and their sizes. and insulation types. When feasable I usually upsize the wiring and breaker. Then have the electrician put in cartridge fuses at the equipment to protect the Motor. And when you decide to go to a bigger compressor It's easier. if you get a big blast cabinet , you will always need more air. In my old shop the lights would dim when someone was welding and the compressor kicked in. It was wired to meet the codes and I used the minimum sizes allowed to save money.

Last edited by timothale; 07-20-2012 at 02:20 PM.
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