First Project, Need Guidance

I believe that what I've read on the arduino, that it will be able to do what I need it to. I have not ever used one though and will need some guidance on this project. We have an air compressor that kicks on every 8-9mins and runs for about 2mins and does this 24/7. The air compressor will need to run for several months at a time. The problem is that over weekends we are not here to check it constantly and most of the time on Monday we will get in and the thermal switch has popped and it will not be running. What I would like to do is use the arduino to send me some type of digital message (text, email, etc) when the thermal switch pops.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I've been reading over this article that I believe is much like what we need but some things will need to be changed. http://blog.makezine.com/projects/make-34/the-dryer-messenger/

Thanks!

What is the nature of the 'thermal switch'?

That project seems to be pretty much what you need - the current sensor tells you if the compressor is running and the wifi shield sends texts to tell you when it isn't. If you don't have wifi connectivity, you could use the GSM shield, but then you'll be paying for your texts.

The coding should be quite simple - most important will be to ensure that you only send one text message per incident.

PeterH asked

What is the nature of the ‘thermal switch’?

That is a good question. You are having to constantly check something that has to run every 8-9mins for several months!
The switch sounds like some kind of protection device to stop overheating. Rather than sending messages can you not get to the bottom of the problem? If the system is regularly overheating them mechanical failure may be the end result.