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Old 07-05-2018, 08:50 PM   #1
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14 gages wire for viair compressor Not Enough.

I recently ran my compressor for about an hour on the way home from Baja and the switch burnt out I was afraid 14 gage wire was not enough, and it def wasnt. Luckily no fire started and I ordered 10 gauge and a wire fuse. Do you guys think 10 gauge is enough for a 20 foot run from my batteries to my switch back to my compressor? Thanks
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:15 PM   #2
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Hi,
I would say no, that isn't quite big enough. Especially if you are going to run the compressor for 60 minutes.

I made the assumption that you are running the ViAir 450. Their website says that the max amp draw is 23A. A 20 foot run at 12 volts/25 amps should be 8 gauge. If you want to be "extra nice" to the motor in your pump...you might want to run 6 gauge. I ran the info through several online calculators.

But, in real life....10 gauge would probably get you by. What exact model of compressor do you have?
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:32 PM   #3
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I have Compressor that mounts onto the tank. Viair 150 psi 280c. Sure takes a long time after airing down all 4 tires to 25 psi. Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:58 PM   #4
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No problem. Do you mean this compressor?

150 PSI High-Flow Air Source Kit | VIAIR Corporation

If so, the site says that max amp draw is 19A. For a 20 foot run @ 20A, I would buy 8 gauge wire and install a 20A fuse right at the battery (where you "take-off" power). Don't forget that your ground wire needs to be 8 gauge as well and should run all the way to the battery too.

That compressor has a duty cycle rating of 30%. When you said that you ran it for an hour.... do you mean that the compressor was running constantly for one hour? Or, do you mean that you were airing up for an hour and the compressor turned on and off during that time?
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:41 AM   #5
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Why dont you put in a relay? If you do that you can run 18 gauge to the switch and use a large gauge wire from battery to relay and relay to air compressor. This will cut down on large wiring and power loss.
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:14 AM   #6
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FWIW,
#14 is rated at 15A
#12 is rated at 20A
#10 is rated at 30A

Resistance of #14 is 2.5 Ohms per 1000' and #10 is 1 Ohm per 1000'.
Voltage loss for 50' of #14 at 20A is 2.5 volts, so your motor is running at reduced voltage also. #10 would cut that drop by over 50%. Of course #8 would be even better. Still, the switch should have burned out.
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzliife View Post
the switch burnt out
You would never want to run a load this heavy directly through the switch. Add a relay to your circuit that is rated for the load. Then your switch will be protected and you can run the wire the shortest length from the compressor to the battery.

Of course, as has already been commented, your wiring needs to be adequate as well.

Battery-Relay-Compressor. Switch is used to trigger relay.
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Old 07-06-2018, 10:38 AM   #8
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Here's a handy calculator used to determine what size wire to use. Remember to calculate the round trip length of the wire, that is, measure the distance and then double it to account for both wires.
Circuit Wizard - Blue Sea Systems
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Old 07-07-2018, 08:01 AM   #9
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Here is a good picture of electrical hook from the Vlair 280C manual (part #28021)


The specification in the manual list recommended fuse as 30 Amp.

SPECIFICATIONS
280C AIR COMPRESSOR PART NUMBERS:
Part No. 28021 / 280C Air Compressor (CE Spec.)
Motor Voltage: 12 volts
Max. Current Consumption: 19 amps
Recommended Fuse: 30 Amps
Motor Type: Perm. Magnetic
Horse Power: 1/4
Max. Working Pressure: 150 PSI
Max. Duty Cycle (@72F & 100 PSI): 30%
Minutes On/Off (@72F & 100 PSI): 18 On / 42 Off
Max. Restart Pressure: 200 PSI
Max. Ambient Temperature: 158F
Min. Ambient Temperature: -40F
Auto. Reset Thermal Protection: Yes
Dimensions: 7.8L x 3.95W x 6.35H
Net Weight: 6.95 Lbs.


The specifications in for the 280c in the 150 PSI HIGH-FLOW
AIR SOURCE KIT (part # 20005):
SPECIFICATIONS:
280C AIR COMPRESSOR
Motor Voltage: 12 Volts
Max. Current Consumption: 19 Amps
Recommended Fuse: 25 Amps
Motor Type: Perm. Magnetic
Horse Power: 1/4
Max. Working Pressure: 150 PSI
Max. Duty Cycle (@72F & 100 PSI): 30%
Minutes On/Off (@72F & 100 PSI): 18 On / 42 Off
Continuous Use (@72F & 40 PSI): 40 Minutes
Max. Ambient Temperature: 158F
Min. Ambient Temperature: -40F
Auto. Reset Thermal Protection: Yes


You might want to contact Vlair on the discrepancy. Both still list the max current @12 volts being 19 Amps. I would think a 30 amp fuse would be the better choice. Of course since, we fuse for the wire the ampacity of the wire should be above that.

I am not a fan of the included wire chart in the manual, as they do not list the temperature rating on the wire that they are specifying. It looks to be inline with 90 C. The Blue Sea circuit wizard is great, just put then appropriate data in. 3% voltage loss is standard for most calculations. Good marine wire is rated at 105 C. I don't expect you were using a pressure swicth in the diagram. In any case the relay should be at least a 40 amp relay, this will minimize the length of you higher current run. The current for the relay should be relatively small in comparison, in most cases the minimal we would use would be 18 awg, just for strength reason. Hope this helps.

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Old 07-07-2018, 10:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzliife View Post
I recently ran my compressor for about an hour on the way home from Baja
I've been wondering why you needed to run the compressor for so long?
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