Where to install air compressor?

Hi, I am getting an stationary, 240 volt, 60 gallon air compressor, and need to know where to put it. Unfortunately, I don't have a garage, and the area where I work on or park my cars is about 60-70 feet from the house, and the service panel is even further away. A gas-powered compressor is out of the question due to price. I don't want to store my compressor outside, or in the basement. The basement is too humid (though not wet), unlocked, and I would worry it would rust. Plus getting it down there and out would be a pain, as there is no bulk head. I will put it on the first floor of the house.
Here are my options:
Option 1:
Compressor in first-floor storage room, which is about 12-15 feet away from service panel, which is directly below this room in the basement. Compressor would then be about 90-100 feet from car/work area and I would run the air hose out the window.
Option 2:
Compressor in first-floor side entry way, about 35-40 feet from service panel in basement. Might have to drill holes to run the wire, or run it along the walls, which could add another 20 feet to the length, unless I ran the wire through the middle of the floor and not along the wall. Compressor would then be about 60-70 feet from car/work area.
The Haynes tool book which I read said in situations like this where the work area is far from the service panel, it is always preferable to put the compressor as close to the panel as possible, since otherwise there will be voltage drops and you could trip a breaker or cause a temporary brown out. Also, I have used 50 ' air hoses in the past at school, with no noticeable air power loss, so I can't imagine 100' of air hose would make much difference, right?
Also, what type wire should I use to connect to the service panel? 8 gauge? And what size breaker? 50 amp? Do I have to ground the compressor, since the house outlets are not grounded right now, since it is over 100 years old! I assume the service panel is not grounded as well, so grounding wouldn't give any benefit, would it? I know the house can run 240 volt appliances, since there are 240 volt outlets for a dryer, and the range and furnace are also hard-wired. And both of those are about 35-40 feet from the service panel.
Thanks!
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Julie P. wrote:

Why are you getting such a big compressor? Bigger is better, and all that, but not if there's no place for it.
The compressor probably has a 6 hp rated motor (using some kind of bogus rating) which means it's really an honest 3 hp. I would be surprised if it needs more than 20A at 240V, so you would use a 20A breaker and 12 gauge wire if the compressor is located near the service panel, and 10 gauge wire if it's a long ways from the panel (still use a 20A breaker, or 20A slow blow fuses).
I would be *very* surprised if your service panel was not grounded.
Can you run 1/2" copper or 3/4" iron pipe through the wall and outside and along the house to get close to where you'll be working? That's more convenient than running an air hose out the window.
If you're married, your wife will hate the noise from an air compressor in the house.
Best regards, Bob
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Be sure it has good ventilation--air compressors often put out quite a bit of heat.
--
SVL




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John Harlow wrote:

Oops. There was no name in the message body, and I assumed an air compressor was a guy thing. I didn't read the name at the top.
(Watch it turn out that Julie actually *is* a lesbian and I blew my one chance at appearing perceptive ;;-)
Sorry about that, Julie.
Best regards, Bob
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How did you get Julie was a lesbian?
All kidding aside, a compressor can be quite noisy. Consider making a small outbuilding to house it.
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Julie P. wrote:

I meant local the compressor near the electric panel and use the copper or iron pipe to plumb the compressed air out of the house. Since you are renting, that might not be such a good idea.
BTW, the air compressor should have the electrical requirements listed on the motor or on a sticker on the tank. You said 15 CFM, and if your compressor can really deliver that it might have a *real* 5 HP motor (28 to 30 amps, and might need a magnetic starter.) You need to find out before you start buying wire.
Are you planning to add a circuit to the electric panel where you are renting? Consider plugging it in at the electric dryer outlet -- you might have to make a 10 gauge extention cord to do this.
Best regards, Bob
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Well, I can fit it in the house, and I need at least 15 scfm at 90 psi to run certain tools.

Thanks for the advice!

True. But I would still need to run the wire from the service panel to the jobsite, right? Which would then make for about a 120 for wire!

Thanks Bob! I actually am female, but not married.
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A good idea. However, I rent, and there really is not a lot of room for the shed, since there are others sheds all over the place which are already in use by the landlord or other tenant. Plus, I would worry about theft.
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no problem Bob! You guys are funny. :)
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ok. I see now. I don;t mind actually stringing it out of the window. Plus I might want to be able to move the hose to parts of the house in case I have an indoor project.

Ok. Wouldn't the starter come with the compressor though? Anyway, I think I am going with the IR compressor anyway, which is listed at 5 hp

I was going to ad it to the service panel, but the dryer outlet is a good idea. Except that I would have to rewire it then from the main house panel, which the landlord pays for, to my service panel.
J.
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Julie P. wrote:

Sorry if I'm being nosey, but what is it you intend to do with this large compressor? It seems overkill for typical work done at a house....
For example, I've been using an electric impact wrench for years (harborfreight; works GREAT); and I have a small portable 110v air compressor I use for the air ratchet, air chisel, blower and tire inflation etc.
I really find little need for a large compressor for home repairs - even pretty big stuff.
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Hi, I am using it to run the following air tools:
6" DA Sander High-speed sander/grinder Gravity feed paint gun 1/2" air drill Cut-off tool Air shears Air reciprocating saw 3/4" impact wrench, ratchet, etc.
Some of them require 14-15 scfm at 90 psi
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wrote:

Thanks Ed. That is a nice accessory to have, although it is expensive. I suppose I will just manually drain my compressor after each use. Hopefully there will be a drain valve already installed. I did buy this a few years ago:
http://www.homier.com/detail.asp?dpt=&cat=&sku 617
I guess that just removes water from the compressed air though and adds oil.
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One really really nice option to add to that IR compressor (or any other large fixed compressor) is an automatic drain like this one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&categoryB875&itemu09517101
The way this one works is that every "time interval" (half hour in my case) the electric drain valve opens for "duration" seconds ( I use minimum, 5 seconds). I have the drain valve connected through a hose barb to 3/8 inch pvc tubing that ends up outside. Now I never have to worry about water accumulating in my tank and ending up in the paint or rusting the tank.
I bought mine at Grainger's for about two or three times that price.
--
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wrote:

Ed,
This is a great idea. Thanks for the tip. I will install one when I purchase my larger compressor. The aggrivation of doing this manually alone is worth the money, plus the fact that you don't have to remember to do it.
David
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Another pointer is to wire your air compressor through a relay controlled by your shop light switch, then you never have to remember to turn the compressor off when you finish in the shop.
RJ
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Wow - do you have a mack truck body shop in your driveway? lol
Yes, if you need to use something like a 3/4" impact wrench, it will definitely need a large compressor. I've never seen the need for anything larger than 1/2" for standard automotive work though.
Good luck with your endeavor!
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