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Old 01-23-2023, 05:09 PM   #1
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Air compressor keeps cutting off?

So Iím trying to pop the rivets on my skoolie with an air hammer to raise the roof. Problem is the air compressor keeps cutting off, I think itís tripping the generator. Itís a 3000 watt generator, the air compressor is a 10 gallon, 120 volt, 13 amp, runs 4.3 scfm @ 90 PSI. The air hammer needs 4cfm @90 PSI. The first day I went an hour or so before the air compressor cut off. The compressor is brand new out the box generator is a rental. The next day it would only run for maybe 15 minutes before cutting off.

There is no power at the lot my bus is on so I really need an air compressor/generator set up to work.. Generator has oil and gas and is not turning off when the air compressor does. Compressor doesnít use oil so itís not that.

I think Iím going to return the compressor and try renting a bigger compressor and generator but idk if that will solve my problemÖ any ideas?

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Old 01-24-2023, 12:20 PM   #2
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Air compressor running 120 volts at 13 amps is only pulling 1560 watts. Your post is a bit confusing. What is actually stopping?? The compressor or generator?
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Old 01-24-2023, 12:22 PM   #3
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Air compressor motors can draw a lot of amps while starting. the Generator may not be up to supplying the initial starting current required by the air compressor. A 6000 watt generator might solve your problem.
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Old 01-24-2023, 12:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentucky Dreaming View Post
Air compressor running 120 volts at 13 amps is only pulling 1560 watts. Your post is a bit confusing. What is actually stopping?? The compressor or generator?
The air compressor is cutting off.. I believe itís tripping the generator.
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Old 01-24-2023, 02:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PorchDog View Post
Air compressor motors can draw a lot of amps while starting. the Generator may not be up to supplying the initial starting current required by the air compressor. A 6000 watt generator might solve your problem.

I agree, mine pulls near 30amps for 1 second on startup. Motor startups are hard. If mine is on an extension cord (even 10g) it trips the breaker. Bigger generator is needed.
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Old 01-24-2023, 04:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Etrious View Post
The first day I went an hour or so before the air compressor cut off.

My guess from the available information is that you are exceeding the compressors duty cycle and it is overheating. Running a consumer grade small compressor that barely puts out the air flow needed for the tools being operated is likely over working the unit.


If the generator continues to run and no breakers on the generator are "popped" it is your compressor. It likely has an over temperature circuit that shuts it off until it cools down. I have a much larger tank and compressor. If it's running a lot I will work 15 minutes and then stop using the air for 15 minutes so that the duty cycle is slightly less than 50% (the compressor doesn't run continuously but it does run a lot.
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Old 01-24-2023, 05:06 PM   #7
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Rent a gas powered air compressor. They'll typically be a lot more cfm then what a 120v compressor will be, and you're already renting equipment anyways.

Plug your current compressor into a wall outlet to see if it's ruined or not. Googling your specs came up with an identical harbor freight unit. Not knocking harbor freight, but the guarantee they give you isn't that the product will work, only that they'll continue to replace it when it stops. So that unit might be ruined.....

FYI a lot of your cheap compressors aren't constant duty, so keep that in mind when spec'ing units.
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Old 01-24-2023, 05:41 PM   #8
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See I’m not exactly sure how to tell if the generators breaker popped but it does start flashing a little red light and if I completely turn the generator off and back on the air compressor will turn on again (if I try to turn the compressor back on without restarting the generator it won’t turn on).

It seems general consensus is bigger generator/air compressor is needed. Hoping that fixes the problem cause if so it’s a pretty easy fix. �� first time having to work with either so it’s been “fun” troubleshooting.
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