We know how frustrating it can be when you go to turn on your air compressor and it isn’t working. So we’ve taken some of the stress away from you by compiling a list of the most common reasons why an air compressor won’t start.

Check the obvious

Is there power to the compressor?check electrical panel for tripped breakers

We know it seems like a silly question, but it’s a simple place to start. Be sure to check the breaker or fuses in a fused disconnect.

Is the compressor low on oil?

Certain industrial compressors have a low oil shutdown switch, so make sure there is oil in the compressor pump and reset the low oil switch.

Don’t cave under (air) pressure.pressure valve for from APEC

Is there pressure in the tank?

Next check…look at the gauge on the tank. Is it showing pressure? Is it full? Most compressors have a built-in pressure cut-out level and will automatically stop running if the tank gets too full. Try emptying the air pressure tank.

Is the pressure switch working?pressure switch for air compressors from APEC

If you have a multi-meter, you can check to be sure that power is actually flowing across the pressure switch to the motor circuit.

If you don’t have a multi-meter, you can still check, with just a bit more effort. With an empty tank, pull the cover off your compressor and get down close to the pressure switch. When you turn the compressor on, do you see or hear anything happen? If you hear a click from the pressure switch and you see the points move, then the pressure switch is working and sending power to the motor.

APEC air compressor motorIs the air compressor motor working?

Is the compressor motor humming?

If you can’t hear any noise coming from the compressor motor, check for a thermal overload button or a reset button on or around the motor. With the compressor plugged in, push that button.
If the motor starts, the unit went out on thermal overload and may have an overheating problem.
If your air compressor consistently experiences overload or overheating problems, consider resizing the compression unit to better serve your purpose.

If the compressor motor hesitates before starting again, it may be the start capacitor or the motor itself that is causing the problem. Or…

Take a load offAPEC air compressor unloader valve

Is the unloader valve working?

Monitor the unloader valve when the compressor cuts out to make sure it’s working. If the unloader valve does not operate as it should by releasing the head pressure, your unit will try to start with pressure on the head causing the overload to trip.

Air Power Equipment can help answer many diagnostic issues over the phone and provide pointers that might provide you with a solution. We also stock a full inventory of parts ready to get your equipment back up and running. So give us a call to schedule an in-shop service call with one of our expert technicians.

Air Power Equipment Company in Oklahoma City (OKC), is the leading source for new air compressor sales and used compressor sales throughout the country. We specialize in rotary screw air compressor sales and reciprocal air compressor sales. Air Power Equipment Company is also the best source for service and parts in Oklahoma.

If you are looking for used or new air compressors, air compressor parts, or air compressor service call Air Power Equipment Company OKC. We are experts with all brands of compressor equipment and we are a stocking distributor of air compressor brands like FS Curtis Air Compressors, Champion Air Compressors, Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressors, Kellogg Air Compressors, American Air Compressors and many more. Call us at (405) 445-1216 – we have what you need, and at the best price you will find.