How to run a 60 gallon air compressor?

I’m looking to buy an air compressor but where I will be using it there isn’t any power. I already have a 4000 watt predator generator from harbor freight, would that same generator be able to run a 60 gallon central Pneumatic harbor freight air compressor? What kind of plugs would I need to use? I need to compressor to work on trucks but I don’t know a lot on electrical stuff.

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  • 4 days ago

    It is important to note that 60 gallons refers to the TANK. The actual compressor can mount to various size tanks. That said, as long as the compressor requires less than 4000 watts, it should be fine.

    The first Harbor Freight 60 gallon compressor I found it rated 22 amps at 240 volt, which is 5280 watts. I didn't look for other models.

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  • elhigh
    Lv 7
    5 days ago

    My first recommendation is that you put the compressor where there IS power, and then run an air line to where you will be using the tools.  That would be easiest, and a lot less hassle than having to fire up a generator every time you need to use the compressor.

    Consider choosing a smaller compressor with a lower-power motor, so you won't need anything more than just a 120v circuit, and plumb it to a larger tank so you have a greater reservoir to draw from.

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  • Andy
    Lv 6
    6 days ago

    A quick check on Harbor Freight's website shows that the current model of Central Pneumatic 60 gallon compressor draws 22 amps at 240 VAC. That equates to 5,280W at 240V without taking into account any headroom in capacity. I would suggest a generator with at least 6,500W of capacity at 240V.

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  • 7 days ago

    the guys at harbor freight will tell you and the likely answer is your generator is far too small. a 60 gallon air compressor is a huge thing ... draws lots of power. why you need that much compressor needs to be looked at ... it delivers lots of cfm at high pressure for fairly continuous duty cycle. Filling truck tires? something else? air powered tools?

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  • 7 days ago

    I believe you can also get an engine driven air compressor. You might look into one.

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  • 7 days ago

    Most 60 gallon compressors run on 240V at 15-16 amps. Your generator will go 13 amps at 240V. Something will wear out fast.

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  • 7 days ago

    The compressor will have a label on it showing how many amps it takes, or watts.  The generator has a similar label showing you how many amps or watts it puts out.  (If they're both the same voltage, 110v or 12v, you can use either amps or watts to compare.)

    The compressor will go on until it pumps up the tank to a particular pressure, then it'll go off until the pressure drops below a certain level.  So it's not on all the time.  The generator IS on all the time.  But while it's on it has to supply the current/wattage the compressor uses when it's on.

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