Electric Air Compressors and How They Work

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Author: Michelle Thompson

Michelle Thompson is an internet marketing apprentice and a passionate freelance and personal (own sites and coming books) writer. She's written on topics ranging from toaster ovens to psychology to brain nutrition and nootropics, and enjoys a vast variety of topics. Michelle is interested in making money online from home and spends a lot of her time learning, working (for other internet marketers) to learn the trade from experience.

An Electric Air Compressor is a popular choice both in homes and businesses. The most common type of compressor you will encounter is the reciprocating piston air compressor. This is powered by an electric motor which is activated when the unit is turned on.

When the motor is engaged, the air compressor pump turns and compresses air which is then stored in a tank. The motor on an electric air compressor is specifically designed for this use as it has a high torque capacity. This is required to allow the unit to pump at start up.  The box that is located on top of the motor houses capacitors which assist the motor during the start up process.

The capacitors continue to work the entire time the machine is running. If these capacitors fail, the motor will stop working properly and eventually will fail. An electric air compressor also features a non return valve which allows air to flow in only one direction, into the tank. This stops the air from pressurizing back into the tank.

This is of importance when the cycle begins again and whenever the electric motor cuts on. Thanks to this addition to the design of compressors, the motor's initial start up is not hindered by back pressure. Many motors fail as a result of a faulty non return unit in a compressor as this places additional stress on the motor and capacitors when the unit is started up.

Other important parts of this style of compressor include an electric pressure switch commonly found on portable compressors. This switch is operated by tank pressure and connects the main current to the motor. preset level is built into the machine and, when the unit reaches this level, the switch is activated mechanically.

Upon activation, the compressor connect the current to the motor. Compressed air is then pumped until the desired pressure is reached. Once this target has been reached, the switch activates again and the current is disconnected from the motor. The compressor then shuts off.

The pressure release tube is a long thin pipe or tube which connects the non return valve and the pressure switch. Often you will hear this part release a small amount of air when the motor cuts off and the pump stops running. This is a normal feature of operation as it help to depressurize the pump.

This results in less drag on the motor during start up so it is an integral part of the machine. When choosing a compressor it is important to know how it works to ensure you purchase the right tool for the job.

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