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Old 10-02-2022, 09:22 PM   #1
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hooking compressor directly to house batteries

I'm going to be buying a Viair 400p auto air compressor to use for airing up tires (of course) but also to blow out my water lines in the winter as needed. The Viair manual says to connect the compressor to the (chassis) battery and have the motor running when using it to prevent draining the battery. My question is would there be any problem with connecting the compressor directly to the battery terminals on on my 200amp lithium house battery setup instead? This would eliminate the need to have the engine running as well as be a bit more convenient in general.


The compressor is rated at 30 amps max so a fully charged house battery should easily provide enough power without draining too much. What I'm concerned about is whether or not connecting directly to the battery terminals on the house batteries would mess with anything else in the house electric system. I guess I could just use the disconnect switch to separate the house batteries from the house electronics while using the compressor.



Does this seem o.k. to do?


Thanks!

Larry
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Old 10-02-2022, 09:41 PM   #2
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I have a Viair setup that Iím planning to install to the house batteries as you described. Just be sure to properly fuse it. I have 315ah total in house batteries, but Iíll probably still run the engine while airing up if for more than just a few minutes.

I have a similar portable unit (Smittybilt) and just clamp it temporarily onto the house batteries when using, with no issues.
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Old 10-02-2022, 09:47 PM   #3
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Thanks Brian, per your experience, it sounds like it should work fine. The Viair comes with a 40amp fuse inline so that should take care of that issue. (I'll be just hooking the compressor up temporarily like you do with your portable unit.)
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Old 10-03-2022, 03:23 AM   #4
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I use that same compressor running from my 280ah house lithium battery, just as you described. No need to run the engine, the 15 or so ah you use filling tires will be recharged in no time on the highway. I installed an Anderson style plug between the battery and compressor. Piece of cake to use now.
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Old 10-03-2022, 11:56 AM   #5
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Thanks Mikerson. I will most likely be using the compressor to winterize more than to fill tires but the same logic applies. I need to look into the Anderson style plug you mentioned--it sounds convenient.
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Old 10-05-2022, 08:24 AM   #6
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As nothing more than my opinion I'd run the engine while using the compressor only as a preventative measure in case an electrical glitch would deplete the starting battery(s) so they'd no longer start the vehicle.

If I'm off base my apologies!
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Old 10-05-2022, 09:53 AM   #7
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@LarryB, I have installed several of these. No problem at all with what you are describing. I am not sure if you are considering a stand alone Viair or a mounted system, commonly called OBA (on board air). I have done the latter on several vans. Viair's compressors/kits have detailed wiring diagrams that are simple to follow if you're doing a hard wired kit. If doing a portable it's as simple as hooking up some jumper cables, but I would recommend the above set up using Anderson power poles or some sort of dedicated plug for the compressor power. You just need 10 gauge wire running from battery to plug to compressor, with an inline fuse.

As for the question of idling the van or not it really just depends on your battery bank. If it's a noise concern though keep in mind that these small compressors are noisy, as all air compressors generally are. It will be noisier than your van unless you have an open pipe diesel or something. In other words, you won't be airing tires in a quiet campground without everyone knowing it.
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Old 10-07-2022, 07:27 PM   #8
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Thanks JWA and 86 Scotty for your input. Just to be clear, I'm talking about a Viar 400P auto portable compressor. Also, I don't believe I need to run the engine in the scenario I'm talking about--connecting to the house batteries directly. While running the engine would obviously help keep the house batteries charged in that scenario, I'm not worried about the drain on a 200 amp system for the short time it would take to blow out the van's water lines. My main concern has been whether connecting directly to the batteries creates any risks for the electronics connected to the house system. It seems that's not really an issue (at least assuming the connections to the battery terminals are done correctly). But still, I may disconnect the batteries from the house system while using the compressor just to be safe.


As far as the Anderson power connectors, I really like that idea, although for the couple times of year I'd likely be winterizing, I don't know if it's worth that extra work or not. Maybe one of these days when I'm in need of a project just to keep me busy (as if that ever happens).


Yes, compressors are noisy. I may have to hand out ear plugs to neighbors if I have to do it in an campground or rv park.
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Old 10-07-2022, 08:57 PM   #9
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Looks like the Viair 400p puts out 150 psi. Be careful putting that much into your system, especially through the pressure-restricted city water fill port. Not sure if you can dial back the compressor pressure or not.
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Old 10-07-2022, 09:54 PM   #10
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I always run my vehicle when jumping another vehicle. The compressor probably pulls a fraction of a hard jump start. But one time I used my winch w/o running the engine. It tripped a sensor and I got an CEL.



I'd use a good rated Anderson type plug and just run the engine while using the compressor. JMO
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