How long can I run my compressor safely?

Hey guys. I bought the HB shocker 240 set at 200 psi. Its nighttime or I would check what model my compressor is, but I know that it takes a few minutes -around four- to fully fill it from empty. And I have a 2 gallon air tank.

O.K, heres my question; How long can I keep it running before I damage it?

It’s in my trunk and their is plenty of room. Its sitting sideways cause I haven’t mounted it yet. I just don’t want to overheat it or melt something inside.

Can anyone give me a estimate time of constant running before I should turn it off?


Hell bro dont worry about that. You can run it constant for good 4-5 fills and it would still be fine.

anybody know how hard you can run a viair 480 before its not safe??

I have 2 Viair 480Cs on a 12 gallon tank and have no problems what so ever. It seems like I read somewhere that one 480c is rated to fill a 6 gallon tank to 200 PSI. Like I said no problems yet!

Thanks Aaron!
yeah, it feels very heavy duty. I’ll be sure to not run it more than 4 constant fills.

the compressor can get hot enough to melt plastic from normal use please be careful with it

I think i read somewhere that the compressor has a overheat kill switch on it which usaully kicks in around 20 min. I guess that will depend on what duty compressor you have tho to…

i know on my 480c manual it says its got the auto shutoff if it starts to overheat,then itll kick back on in like 1/2 hr i think

yes they do its called thermal overload switch and mine have NEVER shut off due to thermal overload. on a 2 gallon tank 4 min. seems long from empty to full… but i dont know what comp. ur using

waiting for lance lol /…

Yeah. From completly empty thats about it. I might time it soon, because I’m bad at estimating things.

I’m sorry but 4 minutes to fill a 2 gallon tank sounds like a long time to me unless your using one of those cigarette plug in type compressors.

Nope, I timed it today. I went from COMPLETLY empty to full in 4 minutes and 28 seconds. The wires connected right to my battery. No ghetto rigging at all. Maybe I’ll post a video so you can hear how fast it’s running. Ya know what I mean? Like the RPM?

dang. thats slow. it takes my 275c only 2:42 to fill my 3 gallon

I made it!

Here ya’ go…

Q: What is Duty Cycle?
A: A compressor’s duty cycle determines the percentage of run time in a full cycle. A full cycle is determined by adding the compressor run time to its rest time.

VIAIR’s Duty Cycle percentage are based on one hour.

VIAIR tests all compressors at an ambient temperature of 72 degrees, typically at 100 PSI to determine duty cycle.

Duty cycle can be expressed in percentage format as:
Compressor on time divided by (on time + off time) = Duty Cycle Percentage.

Duty Cycle Percentages:
10% Duty Cycle = 3 min. on / 27 min. off
15% Duty Cycle = 6 min. on / 34 min. off
20% Duty Cycle = 8 min. on / 32 min. off
25% Duty Cycle = 10 min. on / 30 min. off
30% Duty Cycle = 13 min. on / 30 min. off
33% Duty Cycle = 15 min. on / 30 min. off
40 % Duty Cycle = 20 min. on / 30 min. off
50% Duty Cycle = 30 min. on / 30 min. off
55% Duty Cycle = 33 min. on / 27 min. off
75% Duty Cycle = 45 min. on / 15 min. off
100% Duty Cycle = Continuous Duty @ 100 PSI & 72 degress Fahrenheit.

If your VIAIR compressor fill time seems slow, compare it to the VIAIR website for tank fill times. If its indeed slow, you may need to freshen up the compressor. Piston seals wear out over time, flapper valves weaken, and check valves sometimes go caput. All VAIIR compressor wear items can be replaced with genuine VIAIR parts.

Wow, did I kill this thread with too much information or what??

Well remeber something in my unit stopped working? You wouldnt think their was a correlation between my slow fill time and it no longer working?

it prolly takes 4mins or so for me to fill a empty five gal tank from 0-150.but once im at 150 and i hit em a couple times and drop to 110 or so it jumps back up to 150 pretty quick

Check your grounds, then check them again. Check your relay(s), check the main power wire for heat build up (increase the gauge is it gets warm), check all fittings for leaks with soapy water.

Up around 110-150, the compressor is pulling max amps and starting to drop in amp draw, at lower pressures, it pulls fewer amps and is slower because of it. As compressors reach their maximum operating pressure, they should start to drop in amp draw.

If you keep having issues, and its less than a year old, send it in for an inspection. (An RGA number must be issued first). I have been helping with warranty inspections lately and I’m seeing a lot of compressors that complete initial testing and show no problems. This tells me that there are a whole lot of compressors out there with installation issues.