Troubleshooting for an Air Compressor That Will Not Shut Off
One of the most alarming things that can happen in your workshop is if your air compressor will not shut off. You not only run the risk of damaging your compressor, but you also risk your life and the life of anyone around you.
An Air compressor that will not shut off is a dangerous problem and one that needs to be solved quickly. Below are a few things that could be causing it and how you can solve them in order for your air compressor to shut off.
The pump is not operating.
This is relatively easy to spot. If you hear the motor running but notice the pressure gauge is not moving, place your hand on the pump to fell for the regular vibrations of a functioning pump.
If there are signs that the pump isn’t working, you’ll want to inspect the belt and flywheel for any additional play and tighten if needed. If your compressor is a direct drive, then make sure the connections to the pump are tight as well.
The tank is not getting enough pressure to shut off.
If your pump is continuously running but the pressure gauge seems to not move past a certain point, it could mean that you have a leak somewhere in your pump.
You will need to check that your air intake and pressure valve are functioning properly. A quick check for your intake would involve removing the air filter and making sure you’re feeling the suction. You do not want to feel any air exiting from that area.
For your pressure valve, you’ll need to disconnect the line going from the pump to the tank while the machine is off. Be sure to inspect the pressure port for any visible damage. Turn on the compressor and try to completely block the air coming out from the port. If you can, then it might be the pressure valve that is causing the issue.
If your compressor has an oil fill tube you will want to inspect that as well. If air is escaping from that area then it is a good indication that your piston seals have gone bad and will need replacing.
The pressure switch is malfunctioning.
The pressure switch is the mechanism that shuts off your air compressor when it reaches a designated cut out for PSI levels. Because of this, the switch is a vital part of every air compressor.
If your pressure switch is not working you will want to replace it immediately before using your air compressor again. Failing to replace it can be a danger to you and anyone else that uses it.
Be sure to pay attention to the PSI specifications on your air compressor so that you are aware of it ever exceeds that limit. Be sure to shut off your compressor immediately if you notice it going past that limit.