Air Compressor Upgrade

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Forum topic by jgt1942 posted 07-11-2016 04:04 AM 967 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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203 posts in 2037 days

07-11-2016 04:04 AM

As we all know an Air Compressor can make a lot of noise. Originally mine was setting in an open corner and because the noise was a bit loud I enclosed a corner and placed the unit behind a closed door.

This really reduced the noise but recently I was using various air tools a lot and checked on the compressor, WOW was it warm behind the door.

Today I finished a mod that should keep the temp at a reasonable level. I pulled the compressor out of the enclosed area and installed a 6” duct pipe 60” long in the back corner.

In the ceiling on the other end of the pipe I installed an 8” to 6” reducer. On top of the reducer I placed a small fan that I had picked up from Goodwill for $5 (Walmart has them for about $15). The fan fits the 8” duct and I sealed it with alum tape.

I then connected the fan to one leg of the normally open side of the 220v. To make the connection I used a male/female connection (not in the image).

-- JohnT

9 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


5090 posts in 3393 days

#1 posted 07-12-2016 08:05 PM

Air compressors will get hot whether in an enclosed space or out in the open. If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about it.

View jgt1942's profile


203 posts in 2037 days

#2 posted 07-13-2016 06:28 AM

The project was completed and if nothing else I feel better about it. The big plus is the amount of noise reduction when I close the door. Tks for your input.

-- JohnT

View Jon Hobbs's profile

Jon Hobbs

147 posts in 854 days

#3 posted 07-13-2016 08:13 PM

Air compressors will get hot whether in an enclosed space or out in the open. If I were you, I wouldn t worry about it.

True, however, they’ll get much hotter if they’re in tight, confined, unventilated spaces vs. out in the open. The hotter they run, the shorter their lifespan. Looks like a prudent mod to me.

Nicely done!

-- Jon -- Just a Minnesota kid hanging out in Kansas

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


5559 posts in 2558 days

#4 posted 07-14-2016 02:53 AM

I have mine in a 3×9 enclosure I made when I built the shop extension. Like you I worried about excessive heat so I installed a 21” attic fan with a thermostat just in case. Wondering if it ever runs I also added a hour meter, in 13 years less than 2.5 hours. Overkill, maybe but then the compressor still works well.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View jgt1942's profile


203 posts in 2037 days

#5 posted 07-14-2016 07:29 AM

Thanks guys! My 8” fan automatically runs when the compressor kick on. I wired it to one leg of the normally open side of the air compressor switch.
I’m happy with the results. Often I do an overkill on my projects. :)

-- JohnT

View RandyinFlorida's profile


257 posts in 2217 days

#6 posted 07-14-2016 12:45 PM

I like it. I have mine in a Rubbermaid enclosure outside. Only hear it when it’s really otherwise quiet. Now if I could figure a way to enclose my vacuum system…

-- Randy in Crestview Florida, Wood Rocks!

View jgt1942's profile


203 posts in 2037 days

#7 posted 07-15-2016 07:00 AM

RandyinFlorida – Hopefully this fall I will redesign my portable DC into a stationary DC using the same concept I did to enclose my air compressor. I thought of placing the AC outside but for me this introduced a whole set of new issues. I live in a community where the HOA would raise hell if I put it outside. Currently my shop is so full and disorganized I have my truck parked outside and the HOA is giving me grief about that as well.

-- JohnT

View CharleyL's profile


223 posts in 3514 days

#8 posted 07-16-2016 03:36 PM

Your fan installation is likely going to start a fire the way you have it installed. It should not be anywhere near combustible materials. It appears to be a brush type motor and they are known for frequently throwing sparks out of the vent holes. If you want to use this fan, mount it several feet below the ceiling with the metal pipe running out through the wall, not into your attic space. Connecting it to only one of the 240 volt wires is OK if the other wire is connected to a Neutral and NOT to the metal case of the electrical box, compressor shell, or ground. This is a code violation that could electrocute you or somebody else who touches your fan or compressor. You are also not providing the correct type of wire for running from the compressor to the fan through the ceiling. Light gauge wire like I see in your pictures is suitable for short power cords that plug into receptacles that are connected to a minimum of 14 ga wire of the correct type for wiring home or businesse construction. It is not suitable for going through the ceiling.

Want a new house, shop, and family? You may get your wish if you do this.


View jgt1942's profile


203 posts in 2037 days

#9 posted 07-17-2016 07:43 AM

CharelyL Much thanks for the feedback. I think I’m OK however please feel free to suggest otherwise. Following are more details.

The zip wire is 14 gauge zip line (formerly speaker wire) and is tie to the hot and neutral of the 240v normally open side of the compressor relay for the feed to the fan.

The motor in the fan is brushless, I had to take it apart to remove the original wire (16 gauge) to replace the original short zip line and did note that there were no bushes. When connecting in the fan the wire was tinted, twisted to the other wire and helt together with a wire cap. I took care to connect the neutral side to the fan neutral (the zip line has one side with a white stripe), the other end neutral connected to the compressor neutral. The fan did not have a ground connection this is why I just used the zip line. When I made the connections on the to the compressor relay I use wire spades which were then crimped to the wire from the fan. I used the spade because it made it easier to connect to the relay plus it is a neater connection. I install a male/female plug in the line just to make it easy to disconnect if needed. I used the 14 gauge zip line because it was MUCH easier to work with than normal house wiring. The fan is almost all plastic (housing and fan blade). The foam you see will not support a flame and the fan is a couple of inches away from the foam.

The compressor is powered via 10 gauge 4-conductor wire, e.g. two hot legs, one neutral and one ground which is connected to a 240v outlet. The wire running from the compressor to the outlet has stranded wires for all four lines. This was leftover wire from making some 50’ extension cords several years ago.

Tonight I was heavily using an air tool and the compressor kicked on several times. I was surprised as to how warm the air was in the area of the compressor. I did not measure the actual temp. I’ll run a test in a couple of days, too many things on the list to do the test tomorrow. The temp in the garage was 90+ degrees and the temp in the ceiling is about (+/- 1-2 degrees) the same since my insulation is up against the roof. I have an infrared temp gun and have confirmed this in the past. I did not think of getting the gun and measuring the temp when I was using the air tool.

-- JohnT

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