Why Won’t Your Air Compressor Start?

Air Compressor That Won’t Start
Air Compressor That Won’t Start

Troubleshooting an Air Compressor That Won’t Start.

When you go to turn on your air compressor to start on your work for the day, there’s nothing worse than flipping the switch and nothing happens. This can occur for several different reasons and it can be difficult to determine what is the cause of the malfunction. Now, not only are you behind schedule for your project, but you have to solve this annoying issue before you can even get started. Below is a quick guide to help you pinpoint the problem and hopefully solve it in no time.

Are you getting enough power?

First, check the outlet you’re plugged into. It may seem silly, but when diagnosing the issue, you have to have all your bases covered. Check with your owner manual to make sure a standard outlet plug provides enough power for your compressor.

You also need to consider whether or not you are using an extension cord for your compressor. If you can, you should be connecting the compressor directly to the outlet and run a linger air hose, this will insure you’re not losing any power from the extension cord.

Check to see if your breakers are tripped or if you’ve blown a fuse. Reset the breaker if you need to and change the fuse it’s blown. You can also test the outlet your using by plugging something else in and seeing if it has power.

Next, you should do a quick check on your compressor to see if there is a connection loose or disconnected that could be causing the problem. Make sure your pressure switch is properly connected to the wires and that all wires on the compressor are on tight at every end.

Have you checked the pressure?

If it’s not the power, it might be the pressure. Check the pressure gauge to see if it’s showing the accurate pressure. If that gauge is higher than the cut-out of that machine, then it won’t start for safety reasons.

If your gauge is accurately reading at zero when your tank is empty, it might be the pressure switch. When you turn on the compressor, listen for a click from the pressure switch or any movement from the pressure gauge. This is a quick way to tell if the switch is receiving any power.

Alternatively, you can use a multimeter to check that power is flowing through the pressure switch and to the motor. If the motor is still not starting and you’ve checked the power and pressure, there are still a few more common issues it could be.

Are you hearing humming?

If the motor is making noise but not rotating the pistons, there are a few things that could be the problem. First check that your flywheel can move and that nothing mechanical is preventing it from turning.

If the flywheel is moving freely, it may be the start capacitor. You can also check this part with a multimeter if you have one. If not, it’s difficult to diagnose the capacitor another way, but the part is a common issue and only cost about $20 or $30 to replace.

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