5 hp 80 gal 208/230 volt air compressor, amps 18.6-17.5, LR amps -95, KW- 2.98 Located 80-100 feet from panel--looking for wire size and breaker size thanks John

on 230V circuit hp listed on tank is 4.7 no FLA

  • Are you on 230/240V (common) or 208V (rarer, unless you're in NYC)? Also, are you putting a cord on the air compressor, or hardwiring it to the wall? Jan 26, 2021 at 22:58
  • Is the 2.98 KW part of the compressor or a separate dryer unit? Any installation instructions?
    – JACK
    Jan 26, 2021 at 23:08
  • @jack 2.98kw will be the motor wattage true. Or closer to 4hp this is typical with vacuum cleaners and air compressors to lie about horsepower.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 26, 2021 at 23:23
  • @EdBeal OK. I thought it was a dryer for the air compressor. Some of the factories I worked in had them,
    – JACK
    Jan 26, 2021 at 23:26
  • 230/240 V, in Arizona, HP advertised on tank is 4.7(ha,ha) Jan 27, 2021 at 18:37

1 Answer 1


Do they provide the FLA? Air compressor vendors lie about horse power!!! Going by code we would use the fla book value 5hp or 28 amps plus 125% because it is a motor load or 35 amps requiring a 35 but probably a 40 amp breaker and #8 wire.

In reality your fla is probably going to be closer to 13 amps ( 2.98kw /240v) and that will be fine on a 12 awg circuit with a 20 amp circuit breaker.

Why do I say air compressor (and vacuum cleaner) companies lie? With locked rotor no work is being done and the definition of 1 horse power is the work of 746w. They put the LR value and at locked rotor no work is done.

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