Can i use a power inverter in my truck to run a 4 hp air compressor??

I got a 20 gallon 150 psi air compressor, and woundering if i can run it in my van without having to use a gas generator for power. It's supposively 5 hp motor, but it's a cheapy, (harbour freight, mr. seconds), so it's probobly a true 3.5 hp or around there. Will one of those 1200 watt inverters off my van battery work, (or tell me watt needed) and if so, about how much run time will i get before it auto shuts off to save my battery????? Thanks guys.

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Watts is only part of the problem. you also have to make sure it;s going to take the amps that the compressor will draw. I would also recomend that the tank be full prior to you kicking the compressor on. Other wise you may burn the unit up if you have to charge the 22 gallons of air in to that compressor. Also the more full the tank get the harder it needs to work. Take a car battery out of something and rig up a test plat form. If it works then your good. Other wise your not going to be able to do it.

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  • 4 years ago

    a power inverter would cost more than it would to go to a local discount store and buy a 12 volt air compresser that plugs in the car lighter already. I have seen some decent air pumps for under 20 dollars that do not waste power like an inverter would converting the battery energy into 120 v (and heat) to power a small compressor.

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  • glen t
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    it will not work.

    5hp at 220 volts is about 2500 watts. very few inverters produce 220 volts. 2500 watts at 12 volts is just over 200 amps. even with the engine running you're dead within a few minutes assuming something doesn't melt first

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  • 1 decade ago

    No. A 4hp motor will need at least 3000W of power. Either your power inverter will overheat, blow a fuse or just shutdown.

    Computation: 1 hp = 760w

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