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Electrical Wiring for a 220 Volt Compressor

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How Electrical Circuit Wiring is Installed for a 220 Volt Air Compressor: I am trying to run 10-3 with ground out to my garage to run a 220 volt air compressor.

Installing a 220 Volt Compressor

Electrical Question: I am trying to run 10-3 with ground out to my garage to run a 220 volt air compressor. I only need a 20 amp breaker to run the compressor. Is 10-3 wire big enough to do this? The wire will be in conduit and buried underground.

This electrical question came from: Paul, a Homeowner from Paducah, Kentucky.

Dave the Electrician’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Paul.

Electrical Circuit Wiring is Installed for a 220 Volt Compressor.

How to Wire a 220 Volt Compressor

Application: Electric Circuit for a 220 Volt Air Compressor.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best installed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the available access to the air compressor circuit and electrical connection box.
Precaution: Identify the air compressor circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the 220 volt air compressor wiring.

Installing Compressor Circuit Wiring

  • Paul, there should not be a problem installing 10 gauge wire for the compressor that you have described.
  • If the compressor requires a 20 amp 220 volt circuit you only need 10/2 with ground because a neutral is not required.
  • NOTE: Keep in mind that if you will be installing a PVC conduit that it should be sized so that the cable does not take up more than 60% fill of the PVC conduit.


  • Consult the owners manual for all electrical equipment for the specific electrical circuit requirements.

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