Air Compressor Motor

Air Compressor Motor

In our daily life, we make use of various appliances and machinery. Every such equipment has some source of power, which makes it run. Such a source is either a direct power supply or a motor. Lately, air compressors have assumed an increasingly efficient role in our workshop. From painting to woodwork, we can easily do such tasks ourselves by using an air compressor. Like all other machines, an air compressor has a motor also.

need know about: air compressor pump

Let us see what an air compressor motor is.

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A motor is an electric machine that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy that does the useful work.

We can find motors in our homes, industries, and every field of life. Motors vary in size, horsepower, voltage, etc. Kitchen appliances, such as blender, juicer, etc., have small motors fitted in them while industries employ very large motors. Most of them are of induction type.

As I have already mentioned, a motor converts one form of energy into mechanical energy for doing useful work. An air compressor motor, however, is either gas-powered or electric type. With continuous research and advancement in technology, more fuel-based machines are becoming available.

However, one noticeable thing is that electric-powered air compressor motors are suitable for home use or standard duty, whereas, gas-powered motors can handle heavy duty


A motor works based on a few scientific principles. I will not cram your head with some Einstein’s theory; however, knowing simple rules will help you understand the working principle of air compressor motor.

A motor works on Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction; it states that when a current carrying conductor comes under influence of magnetic field, it experiences force. Now, this is the force that turns a motor and converts the applied electric/gas power into mechanical work.

The direction of rotation is given by Fleming’s left hand rule; it states that if the right and middle fingers point towards field and current respectively, the thumb will give the direction of rotation of the motor.

A motor has two parts: stator and rotor. Rotor is a rotating part while stator is stationary. When winding on stator receives electric energy, it generates magnetic field around it. This field induces a voltage in the adjacent rotor windings, which has its own field. Now these two fields interact with each other and exert a force on the rotor, which starts to rotate. Now, the force increases when the rotor field is lagging behind the stator field, and it tends to decrease as two fields catch up. Hence, a motor rotates with rotor field ‘chasing’ the stator field.


Gas-powered air compressor motor has an edge over the electric type as the former offers portability and higher efficiency.

However, in case of gas-type, one has to ensure that the gas is free from impurity.


An air compressor motor is a sensitive part that needs your attention and proper handling. Therefore, you need to keep a few points in your mind to avoid any unwanted situation

  • Avoid wetting the motor; do not place your air compressor in a wet place or in rainfall if the cover is not in place.
  • Make sure the motor is not making any noise else get it checked.
  • Get the motor checked if you smell any foul odor, it maybe the insulation burning.
  • Read the manual for correct features of the air compressor motor
  • Don’t run the motor on under or over voltage.
  • Try not to replace a faulty motor on your own; seek professional help.
  • When purchasing motor replacement, consult the air compressor manual to know the compatible motor type for it.
  • Keep the motor well lubricated.
  • Do not run small air compressors for prolonged time, as it will heat up the motor and damage it.
  • Keep the compressor covered to avoid any impurity from getting into the motor.
  • If the motor is gas type, ensure that the gas source is away from any explosive and flammable material.
  • Do not forget to turn off the gas source when the air compressor is not in use.
  • In case of pungent odor or leakage, quit your task immediately and do the necessary repairs.


The nameplate of air compressor motor represents a variety of its features. They are common ones and you have to make sure that the environment where you are setting up the compressor is compatible with the air compressor motor. Some of the features are:


This refers to the voltage required to run the motor. Some motors are of

  • 230V
  • 208-230V
  • 115/230V

SPEED ‘rpm’

The rated speed is the max speed a motor can reach. The SI unit for motor speed is rpm i.e. revolutions per minute. Some permissible rpms for air compressor motor are:

  • 3450 rpm
  • 3480 rpm
  • 1750 rpm


Horsepower or hp shows the capacity or power of the motor. Some hps are:

  • 1-1/2
  • 2
  • 3
  • 5

Our of these, the 5hp air compressor motor is the most suitable one as it offers the best features and is a good replacement for many motors. Its suitability lies intermediate to light and heavy duty work.


This shows the direction of shaft rotation of the air compressor motor. It is counter clockwise and reversible.


ODP is the main type used for air compressor motor. ODP stands for Open, Drip Proof. This type uses air for cooling and generally, prevents water from getting inside.


I tried to simplify a variety of concepts relevant to air compressor motor in this article. I am hopeful that by now, you know what a motor is.  If you find my blog informational, please share the knowledge ahead and post your relevant queries or comments in the box below. Happy reading.



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