Question about Porter Cable 4 5 Gallons 150PSI Job Boss Oil Lube Mobile Air Compressor ? C3551

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Air Compressor question

Does Horsepower rating really matter?

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No, When an air compressor is built, it requires a motor or engine to power the process of producing air. The horsepower is not the only component of the equation. It has to be combined with the compressor pump that it runs to produce the air needed. The bigger the horsepower does not necessarily mean more air. Remember to keep your required cfm in mind. Horsepower does not make you work more efficiently, but horsepower working in unison with a quality pump that produces enough cfm for your needs. Make sure when shopping that you look for the running horsepower and not the peak horsepower you get at startup. Some manufacturers have falsely advertised or implied the peak horsepower to be the normal run horsepower. At start-up, there is a surge of power needed to start the motor and can be 1.5-3 times the amount of running power needed. This means the horsepower need for the motor peaks as well, but then drops back down to normal. Many of these manufacturers are involved in a class-action lawsuit for misrepresentation. They have used man’s machismo of “the more horsepower, the better” to their advantage to make sales. These aren’t cars we’re talking about!

Posted on Aug 27, 2008

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If your mechanical enough to figure out how to lower the air pressure switch on the compressor it would help with start up loads. For instances if your pressure switch is set for 75 psi. Lower this to 60 psi. or as low as you can and still operate equipment. Otherwise depending what horsepower and voltage {guessing 110 vac) the motor is, I would try an Hard start capacitor for refrigerators or air conditioners. They are rated by horsepower and have a built in relay that kicks it off automatically after starting . You can find these at any appliance or a/c & heating supply house.

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I don't believe there is a standard value for a specific horsepower rating. I have serviced and replaced plenty of these capacitors and the manufacturers say it is important to use only the value that the motor is originally supplied with. I have not seen it correspond to horsepower directly. Some motors use both a start and a run capacitor and I've never seen them identical. Horsepower listed ratings can vary wildly if it is not directly listed on the motor spec label. I believe .5hp corresponds to about 6 to 8 amps at 120 volts.

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If you have the # off the compressor, you can contact the manufacturer,(Bristol, copeland , etc)
they can tell you by figureing out the horsepower.or your local supply house can do it for you.

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One of the factors used to designate compressor power is motor horsepower. However, this isn't the best indicator. You really need to know the amount of air the compressor can deliver at a specific pressure. The rate at which a compressor can deliver a volume of air is noted in cubic feet per minute (cfm). Because atmospheric pressure plays a role in how fast air moves into the cylinder, cfm will vary with atmospheric pressure. It also varies with the temperature and humidity of the air. To set an even playing field, makers calculate standard cubic feet per minute (scfm) as cfm at sea level with 68 degrees F air at 36% relative humidity. Scfm ratings are given at a specific pressure–3.0 scfm at 90 psi, for example. If you reduce pressure, scfm goes up, and vice versa. You also may run across a rating called displacement cfm. This figure is the product of cylinder displacement and motor rpm. In comparison with scfm, it provides an index of compressor pump efficiency. The cfm and psi ratings are important because they indicate the tools that a particular compressor can drive. When choosing a compressor, make sure it can supply the amount of air and the pressure that your tools need.

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One of the factors used to designate compressor power is motor horsepower. However, this isn't the best indicator. You really need to know the amount of air the compressor can deliver at a specific pressure. The rate at which a compressor can deliver a volume of air is noted in cubic feet per minute (cfm). Because atmospheric pressure plays a role in how fast air moves into the cylinder, cfm will vary with atmospheric pressure. It also varies with the temperature and humidity of the air. To set an even playing field, makers calculate standard cubic feet per minute (scfm) as cfm at sea level with 68 degrees F air at 36% relative humidity. Scfm ratings are given at a specific pressure–3.0 scfm at 90 psi, for example. If you reduce pressure, scfm goes up, and vice versa. You also may run across a rating called displacement cfm. This figure is the product of cylinder displacement and motor rpm. In comparison with scfm, it provides an index of compressor pump efficiency. The cfm and psi ratings are important because they indicate the tools that a particular compressor can drive. When choosing a compressor, make sure it can supply the amount of air and the pressure that your tools need.

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