Air Tool Will Not Run

It’s not common, but every now and then an air tool will not run and when that happens work stops! There are a host of things that could cause this. So here we go exploring some of them.

Is The Air Tool Connected Properly

Forgive us for asking what may be perceived as a stupid question about why an air tool will not run. We’ve learned that a basic, step-by-step process of trying to figure out why is best. If you’re sure it’s all good, move to the next section, will you?

Please just double check that the air hose is connected to the air tool securely, and that the other end of the host it attached to the coupler on the compressor. In particular, double check if you’ve added a new hose, coupler or connector anywhere in the supply line to the air tool.

Reciprocating air saw Photo:

Is There Compressed Air Available?

Another perceptually dumb question, but please make sure that the tank gauge is showing tank pressure, and that the pressure level is above what the air tool normally uses as minimum operating pressure.

If you are not sure what the MOP for that air tool is, do you recall the satisfactory air pressure the last time you used that air tool?

If in doubt, and if it’s not already on, turn the compressor on and let the tank pressure fill to the point where the compressor shuts down. That should typically provide enough air pressure.

If the tank air pressure is 50 PSI or below that, odds are pretty good that you are starving the air tool of air. Either the compressor isn’t big enough to run that air tool in terms of pressure available, or it may not be big enough in terms of putting out enough CFM to drive that particular air tool.

Is Air Flowing Through The Air Tool?

Is air actually flowing through the air tool?

The trigger on the air tool is a manual operator for what’s known as a 2/2 air valve. When you depress the trigger you are opening the valve inside the air tool and allowing air to flow from the air line through the air tool and out the exhaust.

Inside the air tool there is what is essentially an air motor. Air has to flow through or around the VANES on this air motor in order for the air tool to work.

If the air valve inside the air tool is stuck shut air cannot flow through the valve, through the air tool, and out the exhaust and the air tool will not work, or will not work up to maximum.

Make sure you have a good flow of air out the exhaust port of the air tool, this indicating that air is actually flowing through the tool.

If not, look on line for an air tool trigger valve kit.


Bostitch Air Tool Trigger Valve Kit -
Bostitch Air Tool Trigger Valve Kit

Is The Air Tool Normally Lubricated?

If the air tool is normally lubricated, and the last time the air tool was used a few drops of fresh lubricant where not worked into the motor, it is possible that the old vane lubricant has dried up, and perhaps seized the vanes.

This symptom of this can mirror a broken trigger valve as if the vanes in the motor have seized then air cannot flow through the air tool.
If you think that old dried lubricant might be an issue put a few drops in the air tool intake port, let the tool sit for some minutes, and then try depressing the air tool trigger in the hope that it might break the veins are loose.

If this does not work, and if you believe the air tool trigger is working, it may require disassembly of the air tool to clean the vanes.

Air Blowing Right Through The Air Tool?

If you depress the trigger on the air tool and air exhausts out of the exhaust port of the tool but the tool is not working the question of “how old is the air tool?” needs to be asked.

An air tool works on airflow. If the vanes are not sealing properly, then air will pass through the air tool without adequately driving it.

Be honest with yourself. If the air tool is old and particularly if it is well used then it may be time for a air tool rebuild.

Good luck with your air tool and if you have a question about it please feel free to leave it in the comment box below and perhaps we can help.

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