Why Air Compressor Not Running? Common Reasons With Speedy Solutions

Owning an air compressor is like a roller coaster ride, it can often turn into a troublesome machine in terms of maintenance. Not that it happens to all the machines but it’s pretty common to discover your machine to be unfit. If you’re not an expert, it would be tough for you to figure out why air compressor not running. In this post, we’re going to point out some common stumbles while using an air compressor.

Having a complicated mechanism, it’s not uncommon for your air compressor to turn bad. But still, a good quality air compressor can provide you a long time service. If you want to buy some really good quality air compressors, you can check out the best air compressor reviews to get the best deals. Even though, you’re air compressor might turn bad if you’re unlucky.

So, let’s cut to the chase and get into the problems—

Why Air Compressor Not Running

Any mess in the mechanism of your air compressor might give rise to the problems you’re facing. Before you learn about the problems, we would suggest you to have an idea on how air compressor works. Now that you already know the mechanism, let’s check out the common issues of your machine—


Air Compressor Leaks

One of the most common problems people face with an air compressor is leaks in various parts of the air compressor. This problem seriously affects the efficiency of the machine and needs to be solved urgently. There are a set of different problems relating to air leaks. They are—

Constant Leaking On The Hoses & Valves

As your air compressor constantly remains on high pressure, constant leaking is quite frequent. Mostly, different pipes and valves are common areas of leaking. Sometimes your oil fill tank or even air tank might be a victim of leaking. But how can you diagnose your air compressor problems?

The answer is simple. Fill up your tank, turn it off and set it aside. If you see the air pressure level is still going down, you know it’s definitely a leak. Your air compressor can lose air even if it doesn’t have any leak. But this process will happen more quickly if the problem is really present.

To solve leak problems, first, try to find the leak inside your machine. Most of the time, it’s the hose that is the source of this problem. If your air compressor leaks air while the hose is attached, disconnect it and check again. You’ll definitely know it’s the hose if your machine doesn’t leak any air after disconnecting it.

Even though the air hose is not the victim, you can easily detect the leak yourself. Just smother some liquid soap on all the connections, including air inlets and outlets. Turn on the machine, check if any bubble appears, wherever the bubble will appear you’ll know that is the exact area where the leak is present. Don’t forget to do the same on the couplers & pressure switch too.

If you can locate the leak, try to seal the leak with any anti-leak tape or anti-leak spray. You can find these products online, they work really well. Follow the instructions as per the user manual, and apply the product to the specific area.

Leaks On The Oil Fill Tube

The oil fill tube could also be a source of pressure loss by having a leak. If you can detect any leak on the oil fill tube, first check the piston seal. Most of the time, the piston seal becomes weak and needs to be replaced. This should be solved immediately. Otherwise, the pistons will encounter more friction resulting in internal corrosion.

Leaks From The Compressor Hood

In case of small air compressors, air leaks can be found under the hood. You can easily detect this by running the air compressor with the hood removed, turn it off and check for any air leaking with your own hand. To solve this, remove the valve and clean it, or replace the part.

Your air compressor may have power supply problems too. So here are some probable power supply problems your compressor may have—

Motor & Power Supply Problem

Your air compressor might stop due to some certain motor and power supply problems. If you see that you’re machine isn’t even turning on, you can check for the problems below—

Why Air Compressor Not Running

Check For Fuse

You should check if your power connection has fused. This might happen due to power fluctuations or electricity overload. Check your electricity to detect any fuse or take your compressor to any expert professional to detect any internal motor problems.

This might happen due to a few more reasons. The first reason may be an old motor. If your machine is really old, you can think of getting rid of it. Other than the machine, the fuse may occur due to inadequate energy supply, which causes the machine to overheat and have a subsequent result. Rely on your nearby mechanic to solve this problem.

Compressor Shows Dimmed Lights At Startup

This is also another common reason for an air compressor not starting up. As you know, an air compressor goes through a jerk start consuming a huge power volume. This incident might affect the internals of the machine, like breaking the fuse or even worse consequences.

In a normal air compressor, a starter capacitor takes care of this problem. So if the capacitor is worn, there’s a chance this might happen. That is why we always ask you to check the startup light. If the light is dimmer, you can definitely tell there’s something fishy going on.

We always recommend to rely on the professionals to solve this kind of delicate problems. If you’re already an expert mechanic, you can try to change the capacitor yourself.

Trapped Air In The Piston

If your air compressor stops right after being turned on, it may be because of trapped air in the piston. You can easily solve this problem by draining the air tank. To learn how to drain an air compressor tank, check out our post on how often to drain the air compressor tank to get an easy tutorial. 

If the piston is really the problem, the machine should start right away. If your compressor still doesn’t turn on, this might not be the problem. So check for other problems.

Compressor Doesn’t Turn On/ Off

This is also a common issue we all face every once in a while. Your compressor may not turn on if there is inadequate or no power supply at all. Check the points above to solve power supply problems.

Another reason for your compressor not starting could be inadequate air pressure. If the tank pressure and the cut-in pressure is not proportional, then your compressor may not start. Adjust the pressure level in the cut in setting and turn on the machine again.

Your air compressor may not stop on the turn-off switch. This may occur due to a faulty pressure release valve or pressure switch. Check if they’re okay, if no, disconnect the power supply from the main source. Change the parts to avoid this problem from happening again.

Compressor Doesn’t Generate Air Pressure

This is one of the most important issues that we are all concerned about. Because generating air pressure is an important sign of the machine being functional. If your motor fails to generate air pressure, you know the machine has turned to be useless.

This problem might happen due to faulty pumps. If your machine is running and making a lot of sounds yet generates no air pressure, there’s a chance that the air inlet pump might be defective. Change the pump immediately to avoid this problem.

If your machine runs but only generates a small amount of pressure, your pressure gasket might be the culprit. Change the gasket to solve this problem.

These are the usual power scenarios for a faulty air compressor. However, your air compressor may be defective due to other reasons like airflow obstruction too. So let’s check out those issues—

Air Pressure & Air Flow Problems

Maintaining the right air pressure and air flow is important to ensure a flawless service every time. You may face the problems below while operating an air compressor:

Air Pressure & Air Flow Problems

Air Flow Obstruction

If your intake filter or any part of your machine becomes obstructed, you will not get any work done. The air flow may interrupt due to anything that blocks the hose or even by a damaged air filter. You can diagnose this problem by noticing how much time your machine takes to fill up the tank vs how much time it’s taking now. Also, overheating the machine might be a sign of air flow obstruction. 

If you face this problem, first take off the inlet filter and run the air compressor. You know the problem lies in the filter itself if the machine runs just normally. Change the filter of the inlet valve to solve this issue.

If the airflow is obstructed somewhere else, check the hose and airway passage to find out any possible obstruction in it. You can seek expert advice to get rid of it or unclog the passage if you can find it yourself.

No Air Pressure Or Insufficient Air Pressure

We have already discussed this problem in the compressor section above. Other than the compressor, there could be multiple reasons behind that. First, a faulty pressure gauge can be a vital reason for insufficient air pressure. Fix the pressure gauge and set it on the right level to ensure proper pressure level on the machine.

Your lack of focus may also be a problem for this. For example, you can mistakenly set the regulator pressure to zero. This means your machine will produce no pressure at all. Try to set the air compressor regulator to such a level that the cutout pressure of the machine doesn’t exceed 20 PSI.

You can also face this problem due to not having enough ideas about the machine. It’s not impossible to connect the wrong hose to the machine or you didn’t join the air tool with the right end. Follow proper instruction from the manufacturer’s user manual to avoid this problem.

Other Repair Requirements

Other than these problems above, your machine may need some repair depending on the problems you’re facing. If you’re not an expert on machines, the best practice would be to take it to your nearby mechanic to fix the machine. They will detect the problem and replace or repair the parts if needed.

Your machine may not work as expected if you do not maintain it properly. Do not forget to change the compressor oil every once in a while. Also, drain the air compressor tank more often to avoid any possible damage. Another important point to keep in mind is learning to use it properly, which most people don’t even bother to do. This is not positive, run the machine the way it deserves.

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Fix A Leak In An Air Compressor Tank?

To fix a leak in an air compressor tank, you can use anti leak tapes or anti leak spray to seal the leak. Apply the leak tape or anti leak spray on the place as per the manufacturer’s instruction.

Why Is My Air Compressor So Loud?

Air compressors are naturally a bit louder than any usual machine. You can reduce the noise by taking up some different sets of actions like using rubber pads or keeping the air inlet distant from your working area.

Why Is My Air Compressor Leaking Oil?

Your air compressor may leak oil due to probable broken parts like plate valve or reed valve. This will cause your compressor to pump oil, which results in leaking oil.

Why Is My Air Compressor Not Turning On?

Your air compressor may not turn on due to any internal or external reasons. Check your power connection or take your machine to an expert technician to solve this problem.

Why Is My Air Compressor Overheating?

Your machine might overheat due to any internal problems or inappropriate settings. Try to follow the instruction manual or find the problems by thoroughly checking the machine.

So there you go, the answer to why air compressor not working. We hope this post will effectively solve the problem your facing. If you’re still struggling with your machine, you can put the description of your problem down the comment section, we will try to solve the issue if possible. Until then, happy working!

Leave a Comment