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Old 12-22-2015, 12:08 PM   #1
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Air compressor for home garage

I always wanted to buy an air compressor and found one locally that it is in NS (new surplus) condition for Ĺ price: 3hp, 60 gal, with 10.3 CFM and 135 max psi

But I need to ask if this powerful enough for most air tools, also I donít believe that my house has 220VAC. How difficult would be to install 220VAC? (..expensive?)

Thank you in advance

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Old 12-22-2015, 12:18 PM   #2
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Your house most likely does have 220 VAC
Look in your laundry room for a dryer plug, that is 220 VAC 30 amp
Also for the range, 220VAC 50 amp
AC compressor also is 220VAC

As far as adding another 220VAC circuit cost, it really depends on where the breaker panel is and where you want the outlet

10.3 CFM is plenty for air tools other than maybe painting
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:22 PM   #3
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135 psi should probably be just fine for most air tools, including a pneumatic impact wrench.

It would be hard for me to live without an air compressor now that I've owned one for a few years. I use it for a bunch of things. Tools, airing up tires, blowing all the crap off my garage floors instead of sweeping, drying stuff out in a hurry... the list is endless.
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:53 PM   #4
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Is the compressor you are looking at oilless or oil type ? Is it a name brand or Chinese junk ? What do you plan on using it for ? My 2 cents if you are REALLY going to use a compressor buy a good one like Ingersol Rand or similar. I'd rather buy a good used compressor off CL than new crap. Good luck with the purchase.
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:56 PM   #5
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The easy way to see if your house has 220v is to look at your circuit breaker panel. If you find 2 circuits with the switches tied together you have 220v. Hopefully it will be labelled so you will know where to look.
For home use I bought a 110v contractors air compressor, the wheeled kind with the 2 tanks building contractors use. It supplies all the air I need to air tires, ratchets etc. While it would not paint a car.....well I won't be painting a car in my garage anyway. I like that I can wheel it into my truck and take it where it is needed, no special voltage required.
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Old 12-22-2015, 01:07 PM   #6
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I picked up a harbor freight in a pinch and later on got smart and found an old single cylinder unit that had been around for years. It's way less annoying to listen to than a Harbor Freight or one of the newer small units and I promptly went gave away the HF unit. Old school is on Craiglist for under $100 most days and will get you set up.

Mine runs at 100 psi and it's plenty for most of the jobs I use it for.
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Old 12-22-2015, 01:13 PM   #7
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I've got a 33 gallon/ 2hp Craftsman that's been great.... until I got a cordless impact wrench. Now all I use the compressor for is putting air in tires. The compressor was never big enough to spray paint, but it runs impact tools great and has plenty of pressure to dry off the car (that job has gone to the leaf blower).
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Old 12-22-2015, 01:32 PM   #8
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I would suggest that you make a list of the air tools you anticipate using and verify their CFM requirements. Each tool will have a minimum requirement. Use JayG's chart and verify the compressor can supply the necessary CFM. In my experience, air sanders and grinders use tons of CFM. The bigger the motor HP and holding tank the better, with the exception that a bigger tank takes longer to come up to pressure. Are you going to use it daily, weekly, etc.?

Make sure the holding tanks are larger (volume wise) than the tires you want to inflate from flat. Otherwise they take bloody forever to fill with a pancake style unit.

I would also recommend that you use an oiled pump instead of an oil less. Small oil less units are great for bike tires, nail guns, short duty cycles.

Hard to imagine a house built in the last 40 years that doesn't have 220V.

You'll be amazed at how many neighbors you meet, when the word gets out you have a compressor.
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:24 PM   #9
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It will depend on what type of air tools you're going to use. Your average impact gun or ratchet will be fine. Once you start using air grinders, sanders you will need a lot of volume. It will be fine for the first few seconds of use. After that you have to wait for the compressor to build up again.
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:39 PM   #10
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Another thing to consider is mobility.

I had a beefier compressor that died and for a substitute I got a 6gal pancake compressor for $90.

Surprisingly it runs all the car tools, framing nailers etc very well and the fact that I can carry it to my project and use 120v is more handy than I ever imagined.

Many time I just charge it up with air 150 psi, unplug and carry it to the cars to inflate the tires.

For HVLP painting (Regular pressure spraying is fine) and high volume sanders, grit blasters etc a higher volume tank is better so you don't have to wait on the pressure to rebuild.

Mobility and convenience is something to consider.

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Old 12-22-2015, 04:33 PM   #11
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Air tools are an exercise in testosterone excess.

Mostly you'll use a home air compressor for filling tires, blowing things dry, and maybe for a nail gun.

You don't need a 220V compressor for his. You're going to finish off any tightening with a torque wrench anyway and you could easily tighten from the start with that same wrench. You're not "on the clock" for any home work.

Most folks that care about their cars don't deface the fasteners with impact wrenches.
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Old 12-22-2015, 06:27 PM   #12
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Think about what you may need for cooling system work.....it's a pretty stout compressor
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Old 12-22-2015, 06:35 PM   #13
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A big un

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Old 12-23-2015, 04:26 AM   #14
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Agreed you should have 220. I have a small portable 5hp . Fine for tires , air drill , impact etc. Grinder is out of the question. Plus it runs all of the time when in use.
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Old 12-23-2015, 06:34 AM   #15
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One thing you'll learn is to turn the compressor off when you aren't using it. Having it kick on to refill the tank in the middle of the night isn't a fun experience, especially if the compressor is an oiless type (very annoying and loud).

I got my compressor from Costco, it's a large Coleman that has worked fine, but man, it's noisy! If I had to do over again, I'd get a used oil type, like rfuerst911sc said.

Like j.fro, once I got my cordless impact wrench, I basically never use the compressor for anything but pumping up tires. Not having to deal with the air hose is priceless.
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Old 12-23-2015, 07:11 AM   #16
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I have wrestled with 220 a little accross the years. The idea of using a dryer outlet is ok, but chances are that it will be incovenient to share. Once I had a house with a natural fired gas clothes dryer. After studying the breaker box I realized that I could disconnect the unused electric wiring to the laundry room at the box and simply connect a new 3 wire 220 circuit to my desired compressor location which was just above the breaker box in the garage.

To install the 220 line from the breaker box there must be space in the box to put in a properly sized breaker switch (current). I have also run into problems buying a breaker switch appproved for an older metal box. A good electric supply house may help here as there are listings of substitute breaker switches (brands).

The idea of any kind of 220V extension cord is strongly disapproved by all.

Once the proper breaker is in the wiring must be run through conduit to the desired plug point. The materials are not so expensive, but add up. You can study
how to bend (solid conduit) or use flex, and route yourself. It will save on electrician labor.

As always ,if you are unsure about working around electrical lines, don't. I think you'll spend a couple hundred for the installation, plus parts. One more thing . Stay with local code. Do not install the wall connection below the allowed height. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-23-2015, 07:40 AM   #17
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Nothing wrong with a properly sized 220v extension cord
I did theatrical electric for many many years and we often would have 50-100 foot runs of 220v extension cords.

for 30 amps, you need at least 10 gauge wire

If you are DIY a new 220v outlet from your breaker panel, you can also use plastic conduit. Its a whole lot easier to use than metal rigid conduit or even flex

for 220V , 3 wire is fine
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Last edited by JayG; 12-23-2015 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:58 AM   #18
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I bought this one four years ago.....

....and it works great for airing up tires and blowing the shop clean.

I have never used it for impact wrenches or other big power tools. i did use it to run a very small hand held grinder and it was fine.


Good luck.
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:59 AM   #19
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First question: What exactly do you want to do with it? Painting, air tools, media blast, just tires? Figure that out first and size accordingly.

After 20 years of always having the drone of a compressor in my garage I replaced my air tools with cordless and never looked back. Air tools work fine but you always have to drag that hose around, they can't go to the track, and are just so "last century". I don't paint or media blast so my only need for air was tires. A very simple $50 compressor can handle that. The silence is golden.

For air tools you need higher PSI, and for paint/media blast you need high CFM. A REAL compressor to handle all of this is about $5k plus another $500 or so to run hardwired elect. from your meter to the location.
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Old 12-23-2015, 03:25 PM   #20
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Forgot to mention

Get one of these and put it above head level but within reach

Worth every penny

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