I want to install a dedicated outlet for my garage air compressor. I
want to put a switch near it, because half the time I unplug it and
the cord falls behind the workbench. I dont leave it turned on
because all compressors tend to leak a little and just waste
My question is can I use a standard light switch or do I need
something heavier duty? The motor is a 1HP. It now gets plugged into
an outlet on a 20A breaker. It dims the lights a little when it
starts but has only blown the breaker when I run a power saw at the
same time the compressor starts.
I dont want to use a breaker in the box to turn it on and off, because
that box tends to be hard to get to when I have a car in the garage.
However the thought of a separate small box with a breaker above the
compressor comes to mind, but only if I cant use a light switch or
similar device. I also have several of those old single fuse boxes
laying around that have a lever on the side. I'd likely bypass the
fuse (since it's already on a breaker), and just use that lever.
Fix your leaks and leave it on. That's what I did. You can also
disconnect leaky things like hose reels with quick disconnect hoses. If
your water drain is leaking, remove the valve and clean the o-ring, they
get rust particles on them causing leaks. Spray Windex on all tank
fittings, you may find one or two bubbling. Remove them and put teflon
tape on the threads and replace them. Same with the hose ends and any
other air plumbing you have. No excuse for leaks. When I really really
have to turn off the compressor (like to fix leaks) I use either the red
button on the compressor or unplug it.
I have exactly the set up you describe. I used a standard
receptacle and standard switch, and it has worked fine for seven
years. I have the compressor under a bench, and mounted the switch
out of sight under the bench. The switch is out of the way, and no
one will turn it on by accident.
BTW, I also have my bench mounted electrical tools/equipment
(grinder, bench sander, etc) switched the same way with the
hidden under the bench. I feel this is a safety factor if someone
is visiting who has kids who might try to turn on a tool. I
generally leave the tool switch in the on position and just use the
under the bench switch.
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