Using a light switch on an air compressor

I have an air compressor and it's portable but I pretty much keep it in the same place in the garage. The outlet is on top of my bench but the cord always falls down behind the bench and is a royal pain to fish it out. I have considered clamping it with a romex staple to the wall or something like that, but then I cant move it without removing the staple or some sort of screw clamp. Rather than doing that, I thought about installing a double box with an outlet and a switch to turn off that outlet. That way it will remain plugged in unless I move it, and all I need to do is flip the switch on or off. My question is whether a standard light switch will handle the motor load. It's a 1/2 HP motor on a 20A circuit. I did also consider adding another breaker and just turning on and off the breaker but that box is not the easiest to get to since there are shelves in the way.
Thanks
Marv
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Get a 20 amp switch and you'll be fine

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On Sep 5, 10:30 pm, marvflanders@yahoo....com wrote:

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wrote:

How about a staple farther from the outlet, so there is enough slack to unplug it?
Not that there is anything wrong with a 20 amp switch.
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enough. Or you can use anything, and replace it when it fails.
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marvflanders@yahoo....com wrote:

That's pretty much the setup I use except I installed a 20A combination outlet and switch with a pilot light that lets me know when the circuit's on. That nice to have on a compressor being it shuts off after reaching a certain pressure and is easy to forget and leave on. I find the same setup (15A) also works well for my stationary shop vac. Both are very easy to switch on and off.
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portable I have ever used has had one. For what you are describing, I would go to a real electrical supply, and get a commercial-rated machine switch, the kind with the green and red buttons, and put that upstream from a 20A outlet. Yeah, a typical light switch would probably work under light-duty use, but the real thing is a lot safer, and usable for other stuff like table saws if you or the next owner want to run one of those. And it Looks Cool.
aem sends...
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wrote:

No switch on the compressor except the pressure switch. It's an old compressor, not one of these oilless things that die in a few years. I replaced the tank once, but the rest of it lasts forever. I also keep the compressor under a bench so it's not the easiest to get to. Thats why I rarely move it. I have 300 feet of hose so I can get to almost any tire anywhere in my yard. Air tools dont work as well when I use that much hose though.
I like the idea of a pilot light, and will use a 20A switch. If I leave it plugged in, it refills several times a day. I guess they all leak a little. That just wastes power, so i want it shut off when I am not using it.
Thanks to all
Marv
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marvflanders@yahoo....com wrote:

The tank heats up with compression. Then pressure drops as the tank cools down over a period of time. That, combined with leaking valves, probably accounts for your restarts.
One other good reason not to leave a compressor on all the time: if any pressure component fails, the compressor will turn on and pump its brains out trying to restore the pressure. If you're away for the weekend at the time, it'll run until it runs out of oil or overheats. Not good.
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On Thu, 6 Sep 2007 08:06:14 -0400, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote:

And in winter when it's really cold, it may not start from super thick oil, and it will trip the breaker.
The hose couplers all seem to leak a tad bit too.
Marv
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marvflanders@yahoo....com wrote:

This either is or is very similiar to the model I use for my compressor except mine is rated at 20A.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item 0164899082
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marvflanders@yahoo....com wrote:

Use a cheap 15A light switch for 39 and just don't switch it off under a load (when then motor is running) Wait for the pressure switch to shut off first. Switching off an inductive load is what's hard on switches. Switching on, not so much.
My compressor is on a dedicated circuit so I just use the breaker as a switch.
Bob
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marvflanders@yahoo....com wrote:

You can use a double pole 20 amp light switch and parallel the contacts and that will make for a more robust circuit. I do it all the time with smaller switches.
[8~{} Uncle Monster
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My question is whether a standard light switch will handle the motor

years, as well as my drill press, bench grinder, bench sander, and other outlets that I use for such things as table saws.
I do it for safety reasons so if someone trys to turn on a tool, it won't come on because the switch if off and is hidden under the bench.
Bob-tx
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on 9/5/2007 10:30 PM marvflanders@yahoo....com said the following:

I have a switch on my compressor to turn it on and off. Why is the wire falling behind the bench? Is the plug loose in the outlet? How about a power strip to expand the number of outlets? It has a on-off switch.
http://www1.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/707752/2/istockphoto_707752_power_strip.jpg
http://tinyurl.com/2337vx
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On Sep 6, 12:30 am, marvflanders@yahoo....com wrote:

A twenty amp switch; probably one with something of snap action? Don't think those mercury switches are around much now? But for simpler solution to avoid rewiring. Some people loosen the middle screw of the 'switch plate' (well maybe one should say 'duplex plate'?) and loop a tie wrap around behind the plate to hold the cord/plug loosely near the outlet but not fall down. There are varieties and different length and sizes of tie wraps; cheap ones can be quickly cut and replaced if ever needed. Others are designed to be disengaged and reused. Alternative? Stick a switch on the compressor itself and leave it plugged in? Could be more convenient if using compressor some distance away on an extension cord?
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Switches may be rated for different loads. Look at the amp rating on the switch. Most compressors have a shut off switch built into the pressure switch.
here is an example from Leviton: <http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/xxlcfbuibeCSrdSrchResults.jsp?cg=&kw=switch&ds=0&dr &st=kw&cpg=0> scroll towards the bottom of the page. Some are rated for 15, some for 20.
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