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Old 07-02-2018, 08:51 PM   #1
_Ogre
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remote air compressor timer

i'm real bad about turning off the compressor, my compressor has spent the better part of 15 years on, even thou i have a note taped on the door: lights, heat, compressor. my compressor room is under the stairs, sort of out of sight, out of mind, when i am leaving thew shop

i have an x-10 remote off for the lights and stereo, i have a programmable thermostat to turn the heat down to 45*f every 4 hours and now i have a timer control on the compressor

i bought a 12 hr timer for $4 and a 30 amp definite purpose contactor for $14, both from ebay, both new. i threw the contactor into a 3 gang plastic box (still needs a cover) and have the timer on the other side of the wall. definite purpose contactors are cheap throw away magnetic starters designed for hvac applications. you can buy new contactor from home depot for $10 (found out after i bought mine), just make sure you get 120volt coil

my hose reel leaks as do all quick connects by nature of the beast, so i added a 1/2'' solenoid valve to the timer circuit and have zero leak down. as soon as the timer is turned i have air, timer off no air. adding the $25 solenoid valve doubled my cost of the install, but 2 days of no use and the pressure is still at 150 psi


enjoy
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:53 PM   #2
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Re: remote air compressor timer

Sweet setup....my dad has a timer on his water heater....2hrs in morn...2hrs at night....he claims he sees a small diff on his power bill
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:30 AM   #3
Steven R
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Re: remote air compressor timer

I like the Idea of the solenoid to turn off the air at the tank. nice thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:09 PM   #4
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Re: remote air compressor timer

for the record... just got back from a 3 week 6300 mile cruise
compressor still has 120 psi in it

solenoid valve seems to be working
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Old 04-02-2020, 01:41 PM   #5
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Re: remote air compressor timer

bump

just returned from a 3 month 11000 mile trip all over
compressor still has 50 psi in the tank
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:44 PM   #6
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Re: remote air compressor timer

Looks like it is doing good for you.
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Old 04-03-2020, 10:16 AM   #7
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Re: remote air compressor timer

I did this on a project about 6 years ago with a old contacter I striped from a A/C condenser and still works perfectly 24/7, The one thing you did not mention is the cost for even a cheep 220 volt timer is at least 10 x the cost , I commend you for thinking outside the box .
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Old 04-03-2020, 07:37 PM   #8
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Re: remote air compressor timer

I have a 120V switch that disconnects the pressure switch (that controls the contactor) that would be easy to replace with a timer switch that I even have lying around. I just hate the ticking sound.
Either is a good idea since the motor can run forever in the event of a big air leak.
I'm also still using a ball valve at the tank outlet so I'm in the dark ages...
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Old 04-03-2020, 09:23 PM   #9
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Re: remote air compressor timer

Quote:
Originally Posted by mongocanfly View Post
Sweet setup....my dad has a timer on his water heater....2hrs in morn...2hrs at night....he claims he sees a small diff on his power bill
When I was in SC the power company gave you a discount for having a water heater cut off wired into the phone line. They would remotely turn it off during peak load. We moved in and found out about it the next day as I got a phone call at work about the lack of hot water. That night a few wire nuts got rearranged and no more problems for the next 3 years that we lived there.
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:52 PM   #10
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Re: remote air compressor timer

another idea for the compressor. since it is usually tucked away or forgotten as far as water draining, I bought an 110V electric drain that has a timer you can set for different intervals. it is plumbed into the bottom of the air tank and wired into the shop lights. when I am in the shop the lights are on, and so is the compressor usually, so the auto drain dumps the compressor tank for a few seconds at timed intervals. I also have plumbed the compressor outlet into a 1" copper loop before it dumps again into a upright pipe that serves as another cooler/air dryer of sorts. now I have a lot less moisture in my air lines even if the compressor runs constantly for a few hours. I have 5 air hose reels placed in the 2 bays and across the front workbench area and each one has a drop pipe next to it to collect moisture. these drops have nylon tubing run to an easily accessible area where there is a drain valve on the end of each tube. this makes it easy to keep moisture ut of the lines and tools, spray guns etc.

drain looks like this

https://www.amazon.ca/AC110V-Electro...67043675&psc=1
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Old 01-08-2021, 04:04 PM   #11
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Re: remote air compressor timer

bump for the new guys
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Old 01-08-2021, 11:57 PM   #12
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Re: remote air compressor timer

Another thing to think about for shop air lines is the size of the quick connects. A lot of quick connects have a 1/4" not thread. If you look at the size of hole in the fishing they are necked down considerably. When spraying paint there can be a considerable drop in actual pressure at the gun simply because the fittings in the system dont allow flow. Without the ability to flow the pressure at the gun fluctuates. We set the pressure with a reg at the gun while flowing air but when we release the trigger the air pressure will spike. When we hit the trigger again the pressure is more so the gun pattern will be different until the flow available drops and the pressure comes back down to what we want. The same goes for other tools. If you have air hose reels check the inlet fitting sizes as they are another source of restriction. A 3/8 not fitting there would be good since a lot of the swivel adapter fittings to supply air to the real have small internal passages as well.
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Old 01-09-2021, 05:03 PM   #13
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Re: remote air compressor timer

Connecting it to the light switch is a great idea.
I'm thinking that the drain solenoid idea might work in reverse too though? Like it comes on when the compressor is turned off? Drain it at the end of the day, which is far more often than most guys do anyway.
In a commercial/industrial situation the "timer" thing is great. Both they bodyshop where I used to work and the cabinet shop where I work now, employ this method. But, these are very large volume users that are drawing air all day long. The cabinet shop even has two separate screw-type compressors that are tied together with software that alternates which one runs at any given time. At lower levels, it alternates which is the "master" one and the other one sits idle unless the volume exceeds a certain point, then it can kick in and help. Then the next week it will switch to the other as the primary. This also allows for maintenance of the slave unit while it's off-line during working hours. This is an insanely expensive industrial grade set up though.
As a regular guy in a home shop, the timer while running seems like overkill, but I like the idea of the cut-off and "one-time" drain at shut off.
As it is now, I use a manual ball valve on the air lines and drain, but don't really drain it often enough. My usage at home has dropped over the years though.
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Old 07-15-2022, 10:51 PM   #14
Dan in Pasadena
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Re: remote air compressor timer

Ogre, I have no doubt your setup works great but for us non-sparkies, you didn't illustrate or explain how the wiring works? I'm pretty sure I couldn't figure it out on my own.
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Old 07-16-2022, 11:02 PM   #15
franken
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Re: remote air compressor timer

My compressor has a 240V magnetic starter (big relay) and a 120V activation coil (small solenoid). I have a light switch that enables the pressure switch that turns on the coil when pressure is low. I could add a timer in place of the switch or add a timer as well as the switch.

The mag-starter or contactor contacts just switch on the pump motor--they're straight through.

The coil, pressure switch, switch and possible timer are all wired in series (one after the other) with the hot at one end and the neutral at the other. The hot obviously feeds from the switch side, and the end of the coil is tied to neutral.

Think of it in steps. Start with the contactor coil wired directly to 120V--it runs all the time. Add a pressure switch from the hot side. Next add the timer (just another switch). If desired add the master shutoff switch.

Hot---master switch---timer---pressure switch---contactor coil---neutral

The above is pretty much the same as the OP described.

BTW, you can get a little neon test light in the electrical section at the HW store for a few bucks that will show the hot by touching one end to your skin and the other to a wire. It will glow dimly. Across a hot and neutral (120V) it glows brightly, and across 240V glows very brightly. Example: https://www.tequipment.net/Triplett/...RoCctkQAvD_BwE

Last edited by franken; 07-16-2022 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 09-14-2022, 09:45 AM   #16
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Re: remote air compressor timer

another idea for air compressors, if you have an attic space, is to run the air inlet from the compressor into the attic with large pvc pipe, then use a scavenged automotive air filter housing on the end of that (I used an S10 filter housing) for quick easy and cheap filter changes. firstly, the noise of the compressor inlet is not inside the shop area where you are working, secondly, the compressor is getting cleaner air so less filter changes, thirdly, for my scenario in Canada anyway, it is likely getting cooler air for most of the year so less condensation build up in the system. just having the inlet outside the shop cuts down on a lot of noise-save that hearing.
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Old 09-14-2022, 02:12 PM   #17
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Re: remote air compressor timer

In the mid 70's I worked in the shop at Frank Weaver Pontiac in Waco, Tx as the front end man. One of the duties of one of the service writers was to turn off the air compressor at right around 4:55 every day. that was our signal to put tools away and get ready to leave and we all clocked out at exactly 5 pm. I never had an issue with any air tool all the time I worked in that shop.

25 years ago I was working on a dairy farm as the farm mechanic and argue and fuss as I might I couldn't get the owner to drain the compressor tanks on a daily basis. at times when they were cleaning the barn between shifts I would go up and drain as much as 20 gallons of water out of the tanks. He spent several hundred dollars a month on air cylinders because of that. He milks around 7000 cows day now in the new dairy he built when he soldd the two that I worked at and hopefully his mecanic has convinced him that it has to be done to protect equipment.
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