– No, we aren’t kidding you might need a 2 gauge wire.
It is not uncommon for our customer service associates to get a phone call or email when an installer or designer reads the recommended wire size listed for our air compressors in the installation manual. The question usually sounds like this:
“I’m installing one of your air compressors on a dry pipe system and the AMP draw is listed at 19.5 but you are calling for a #6 gauge wire! Is this a typo or are you guys crazy?!?!”
Our answer is that this is not a typo, you are not reading it wrong, and while our collective sanity is debatable that has nothing to do with the wire sizes we have recommended.
Allow me to explain what goes into our recommended wire sizes:
The recommended wire size for our air compressors was developed to protect the installation from excessive voltage drop on restart. This itemized calculation is often overlooked in the design phase.
The recommended wire size is based on a 100 foot run from the incoming power supply in the building to the industrial disconnect location (that, by code must be within sight of the air compressor).
The wiring from the localized disconnect to the starter or pressure switch and through to the motor can drop to 10 gauge, this run is usually 4 to 10 feet. The wiring for the pressure switch to the motor starter can be 12 gauge as it is control only.
So, crazy… maybe but I am sure that this is the best advice to guarantee the long and reliable life of your General Air Products air compressor!