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Help needed electric kill switch for air compressor

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  • #16
    Here is the link to the contactor I recently purchased:

    https://www.zoro.com/eaton-cutler-ha.../?q=c25bnb240a

    Rated for a 7 1/2 HP single phase motor at 240V.

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    • #17
      I have a few leaks that cause my compressor to cycle if I forget to switch it off as well. I also have a ball valve at the tank outlet which I also forget to close. A solenoid valve at the tank outlet wired into the light switch may be a good solution.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Arcane View Post
        A relay actuated by your lights would work well.
        This was my solution. Used a 4 pole contactor and put a couple of outlet circuits on it as well as the 220 compressor.
        Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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        • #19
          In the professional world this is often called an "Off Switch", for added safety a "Lockout" is often provided.

          Off Switches are often utilized to prevent the unintended starting of automatic machinery.

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          • #20
            Since my shop is also my garage where turning the lights on does not always mean that the shop is or will be in use. I suspect others here may be in that same situation.

            I have not done it yet, but I think that a contactor (solid state?) could be wired to the lights, but I would add a second, momentary, push button switch that would be required being pressed after the lights come on. That way we could switch the lights on without starting the compressor. I will post a circuit diagram later.
            Paul A.
            SE Texas

            And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
            You will find that it has discrete steps.

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            • #21
              I like the idea of the push button for times that air is desired. And then a full shutdown when the lights are switched off. That's a lovely option. Nice one Paul.

              And even if it isn't a garage where the cars go it would save starting up the compressor each time we slip in for a screw driver or something else to be used elsewhere.

              Sounds nigh on perfect to me.
              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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              • #22
                Originally posted by BCRider View Post
                I like the idea of the push button for times that air is desired. And then a full shutdown when the lights are switched off. That's a lovely option. Nice one Paul.

                And even if it isn't a garage where the cars go it would save starting up the compressor each time we slip in for a screw driver or something else to be used elsewhere.

                Sounds nigh on perfect to me.
                I don't leave my compressor on all the time even though I have the relay, it's there for when I forget so it's not cycling in the middle of the night. Having outlets on the lights also adds to peace of mind that you didn't leave something thermal on like a soldering iron or glue gun.

                Funny story: Decades ago when getting diagnosed for adult ADD was all the rage, I saw a shrink about it. During the interview I described how I was often spacey and worried I left on something dangerous when I left the shop. He concluded I was OCD for worrying! Talk about missing the mark...
                Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Randy View Post
                  I have a few leaks that cause my compressor to cycle if I forget to switch it off as well. ... A solenoid valve at the tank outlet wired into the light switch may be a good solution.
                  I have the leaks too. And I did put a solenoid valve wired to the lights. The compressor hardly runs at all now.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                    Since my shop is also my garage where turning the lights on does not always mean that the shop is or will be in use. I suspect others here may be in that same situation.

                    I have not done it yet, but I think that a contactor (solid state?) could be wired to the lights, but I would add a second, momentary, push button switch that would be required being pressed after the lights come on. That way we could switch the lights on without starting the compressor. I will post a circuit diagram later.
                    As an (expensive) option, could this be mounted on the compressor, and have it fed by the contactor I linked to in post 16 that's controlled by a light switch?

                    https://www.amazon.com/1-PHASE-DEFIN...7DFQ8KV4&psc=1

                    The magnet would release when power to it is disconnected when the lights are shut off. Turn the lights back on and this magnetic starter would have to be turned on before the compressor would start.

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                    • #25
                      I am quite capable of wiring in a contactor in the light switch circuit, but that is not what I want. The compressor is going to be in another building and some days I don’t even turn on the lights.
                      I want an adjustable timer that resets every time the motor comes on. I have a true 5 HP Quincy 80 gal 2 stage compressor.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by true temper View Post
                        I am quite capable of wiring in a contactor in the light switch circuit, but that is not what I want. The compressor is going to be in another building and some days I don’t even turn on the lights.
                        I want an adjustable timer that resets every time the motor comes on. I have a true 5 HP Quincy 80 gal 2 stage compressor.
                        OK ... we're just trying to help. It's the nature of online forums to answer the question that wasn't asked.

                        But since you insist:
                        https://www.supplyhouse.com/ICM-Cont...b-Adjust-Delay
                        Click image for larger version

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                        Don't use "switch" & the "load" would have to be a contactor since the timer couldn't handle the compressor current.


                        BTW - it took me about a minute to find this - Google is your friend. ("timer relay" or some such)

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                        • #27
                          This my solution. The relay is powered by the shop lights and the contacts in the relay control the link that goes to the contactor power coil on the compressor. The switch on the cover is a bypass so that the compressor will run if the shop lights are not on. I have an air line to goes to another shop where I do my welding and sand blasting and sometimes I want the compressor on when I am not in the shop. This will prevent the compressor from running when I am not in the shop.


                          Click image for larger version

Name:	mPaFW3P_PJ1bxO_C50pV_OQxYUYu_NKKEFnHXhb1_fJEw2egN1qfAeJRy13srejWEJKprdO52iVqdGzBu6WlyFK3mNHzUBCMbWm_UZvsAxX6wpaYRK2dryOAluaO7tSimyfd2potLOMzDyY__xpS4EUq4YK23S_3T8JzYWVFSQI6cyxU7lRrGMWeiF6khkXDJNZeigIHVo6NtpsoYvhUSMWf95MQKynywES0_Ic8HoRTFuazzulQtvs41jj5tOP
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                          Grantham, New Hampshire

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by true temper View Post
                            I am quite capable of wiring in a contactor in the light switch circuit, but that is not what I want. The compressor is going to be in another building and some days I don’t even turn on the lights.
                            I want an adjustable timer that resets every time the motor comes on. I have a true 5 HP Quincy 80 gal 2 stage compressor.
                            You're after a solution that lets the compressor run regardless of if it is needed or not. As such the system will remain up to pressure 24/7 outside of being cut off due to the timed lockout.

                            Most, if not all, of the replies we've offered are focused on options where the compressor would only start and run when shop activity would require it to run.

                            So two rather different ways to run the compressor. Unless you have something that needs the compressed air all the time?

                            There is also the situation where a leak that is less than a full on line rupture might cause the compressor to run often with barely any down time. But not quite long enough to hit the lockout time. If so it'll cycle repeatedly without being cut off by the timer. If you're around to hear this happening then no harm. Otherwise if you're away for a few days it might mean a long time of running like this if the system isn't switched off before leaving.

                            All in all I still prefer the idea of only running when needed which is how most of us have suggested.
                            Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                            • #29
                              So the simplest thing to do, since my circuit breaker panel is right by the door is just flip the breaker off on my way out for the night. I am assuming its a dedicated 120 or 240 circuit.
                              Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician

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                              • #30
                                Not something I’ve done, but u could hook up a motion light sensor to a contactor.

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