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Old 23-05-2013, 04:25   #1
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Running a dive compressor

Hi, Everyone

Does anyone have experience with portable dive compressors?

The compressor is 280 Watts and draws 20 amps. It came with thick heavy duty copper power cables with crocodile clips to be attached to a battery. We were hoping to fit a power plug and run the compressor through the boats electrical system. A boatyard technician suggested that this was a really bad idea that would cause an explosion and kill people.

The compressor we have is Italian and the agents seem unable to produce English instructions. Internet searches for instructions have been fruitless.

Any advice would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 23-05-2013, 05:28   #2
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Re: Running a dive compressor

Well there is a slight chance that when you connect the alligator clips a spark will be generated that will ignite any accumulated hydrogen and cause a small explosion!

There are connectors that you can use to avoid this. Sea-Dog makes one that is designed to plug in a trolling motor that would work. Mount the receptical remote from the battery compartment so that a spark won't be a problem. Use 10 gauge wire and put a fuse near the battery.

Don't try to use a cigarette lighter outlet and plug. It won't carry the current.

And is this a hookah system that produces low pressure air for diving with a hose? It sounds way to small if it is a high pressure compressor to fill scuba tanks.

David
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Old 23-05-2013, 06:41   #3
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Re: Running a dive compressor

Hi, David, thank you.

This is a hookah system with a hose to take one person down to ten metres.

Will discuss all your suggestions with the boss.

Life and boat saving advice much appreciated.

Regards
Other David
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Old 24-05-2013, 07:33   #4
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Re: Running a dive compressor

What is the hookah and/or compressor brand?
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Old 24-05-2013, 08:17   #5
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Re: Running a dive compressor

The Brand is "Jack." The manufacturers or the agents (not clear which) are watergamesinternational.com of Verona, Italy.
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Old 24-05-2013, 09:02   #6
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Re: Running a dive compressor

We were planning on just plugging it into the 220 volt/ 230 volt supply.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Now feeling a bit doubtful.

Part of the problem is that the boss's boat is clean and new (and tidy) and no one wants to mess it up.
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Old 24-05-2013, 14:04   #7
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Re: Running a dive compressor

I am confused as to why there should be any problem plugging a 230v compressor into a 230v outlet. Worst case I would have expected would be to overload a breaker if you are drawing too much current. It sounds like this a decent sized vessel if it has 230V outlets, so presumably it also has appropriate sized generator. We plug our Hookah dive compressor (120v) into a 120v outlet and runs it either off our inverter or from the generator. No problemo!!
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Old 24-05-2013, 15:01   #8
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Re: Running a dive compressor

Quote:
Originally Posted by coldwetandsalty View Post
Hi, Everyone

Does anyone have experience with portable dive compressors?

The compressor is 280 Watts and draws 20 amps. It came with thick heavy duty copper power cables with crocodile clips to be attached to a battery. We were hoping to fit a power plug and run the compressor through the boats electrical system. A boatyard technician suggested that this was a really bad idea that would cause an explosion and kill people.

The compressor we have is Italian and the agents seem unable to produce English instructions. Internet searches for instructions have been fruitless.

Any advice would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks.
Sorry, but something is wrong here: if the unit is 230 volts and draws 280 watts, the amperage consumption would be somewhere around .8 amps (watts divided by volts equals amps). Obviously, if the unit is 12 volts, the same formula applies and the amperage consumption would be 23 amps per hour. It is critical that you determine what voltage the unit was built for. My guess is that if the compressor has heavy cables on it, it was built for 12 volts.

As an anecdote, we have a 12-volt compressor permanently mounted on our boat and the supply air comes out of an ordinary hose bib on the side of the cockpit coaming. When we need to do work on the hull, attaching the hooka hose just takes a second.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 24-05-2013, 15:08   #9
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Re: Running a dive compressor

You must be right. This is a 12v not a 230v system. Otherwise hooking it to a battery would not accomplish much!! So, a decent (not cig. lighter) plug and a breaker rated for 30 amps should do the trick.
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Old 24-05-2013, 19:46   #10
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Re: Running a dive compressor

If it has "Crocodile" clips, does someone think you are really going to open up a power panel and clip on to 230v? It does not make any sense and sounds dangerous.. Maybe you need to learn Italian.
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Old 24-05-2013, 19:54   #11
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Re: Running a dive compressor

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Originally Posted by nhschneider View Post
As an anecdote, we have a 12-volt compressor permanently mounted on our boat and the supply air comes out of an ordinary hose bib on the side of the cockpit coaming. When we need to do work on the hull, attaching the hooka hose just takes a second.

Fair winds and calm seas.
Awesome idea. I've gotta write that down on the "futures" list.
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Old 24-05-2013, 23:08   #12
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I have an airline system with clips to connect to the battery and haven't blown up the boat yet . But I love the idea of permanently mounting it somewhere tho as it is a pita to get out each time I want to use it. Just need to find a good spot.
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Old 25-05-2013, 01:53   #13
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Re: Running a dive compressor

I share your confusion, Chris, except mine stems from ignorance.

It's a new 50 ft boat. There is no generator, but instead a larger than normal alternator running off the 75hp engine. The boat also has a sophisticated Master Master battery charger and inverter system, that I would hate to fry.

Apparently the compressor draws up to 36 amps.

Thanks for the response. Some of this is now starting to make sense.
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Old 25-05-2013, 02:02   #14
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Re: Running a dive compressor

Thank you.

The unit runs off 12 Volts.

The Italian instructions mention "-36amp/h.

Any ideas as to a safe, neat and elegant solution to powering it up, without opening the battery compartment every time?

Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 25-05-2013, 02:04   #15
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Re: Running a dive compressor

Thanks, Grant

Always great to get good news. Will let you know, if we find a solution.

Dave
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