What power inverter would run my air compressor?

I have a 1.5HP, 3 gallon, 150 psi air compressor. Im going camping and i need it to inflate my tires. But i don't know which power converter (DC/AC) would power it. I heard about 1200 watts should do it.


I have a 12vDC compressor but it would take forever just to inflate one tire. I have 35" tires and i drop the PSI's to about 12 psi's when im on soft sand.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    First, the HP rating of a motor is the output power, not the input electrical demands. Does this plug into a normal 120V socket? 1.5HP is 20amps full load current (10amps for 240V) according to the national electrical code. I have my doubts the motor is REALLY 1.5HP, since a lot of marketing of motor products list some kind of "maximum" HP, which you would never sustain in real life because the motor would stall. If you can find a current (amps) rating for the compressor, that would be the thing to use.

    Next, it will draw more current during startup, and the inverter needs to handle that. If it lists a stalled rotor current or similar on the nameplate you could use that. The national electrical code would allow an instantaneous trip circuit breaker of 8 times the full load current for a motor. My point is the inverter size will be significantly larger than the running amps of the motor would indicate. The 1200W inverter you mention can supply 10amps at 120V. That won't cut it for a 1.5HP motor, but like I said, you may not really have a motor that big.

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  • 1 decade ago

    1hp=745.7 watts therefore 745.7*1.5=1118.5 watts,to run.However what is the starting amp.needed(Figure 4*that). so it would probably run but not start.Besides you can buy a 12vDC air compressor cheaper than an inverter (or a foot pump),and you could ruin the invertor..

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    it should say on the info tag of the compressor the wattage it will need...or ...you could test it before you go...

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