antique air compressor identification

Common Causes of Air Compressor Humming and Troubleshooting Tips

An air compressor is a vital tool for many industries and DIY projects. It’s used to power a wide range of tools and equipment, from nail guns to spray painters. However, when an air compressor starts humming but doesn’t start, it can be a frustrating and confusing problem. In this article, we’ll take a look at the common causes of this issue and provide some troubleshooting steps to help get your air compressor back up and running.

Causes of the Problem

  1. Lack of power or blown fuse
  2. Clogged air filter
  3. Faulty pressure switch
  4. Broken or worn belt
  5. Leaky or damaged unloader valve

Lack of power or blown fuse

The first thing to consider when an air compressor is humming but not starting is a lack of power or a blown fuse. It’s essential to check that the compressor is properly plugged in and that there’s power going to the outlet. If the outlet has power but the compressor still doesn’t start, it’s likely that the fuse has blown. In this case, you’ll need to replace the fuse before your compressor will start.

Clogged air filter

Another common cause of an air compressor humming but not starting is a clogged air filter. The air filter is responsible for keeping dirt and debris out of the compressor’s internal components. If the filter becomes clogged, it can restrict airflow, causing the compressor to struggle to start. To fix this problem, you’ll need to clean or replace the air filter.

Faulty pressure switch5 Common Causes of Air Compressor Humming But Not Starting 1

The pressure switch is another component that can cause an air compressor to hum but not start. The pressure switch is responsible for turning the compressor on and off based on the air pressure in the tank. If the pressure switch is faulty, it can prevent the compressor from starting. To check the pressure switch, you’ll need to remove the cover and inspect it for any signs of wear or damage. If the switch is faulty, it will need to be replaced.

Broken or worn belt

Another component that can cause an air compressor to hum but not start is a broken or worn belt. The belt is responsible for transferring power from the motor to the compressor’s pump. If the belt is worn or broken, it can prevent the compressor from starting. To check the belt, you’ll need to remove the cover and inspect it for any signs of wear or damage. If the belt is worn or broken, it will need to be replaced.

Leaky or damaged unloader valve

Lastly, a leaking or damaged unloader valve can cause an air compressor to hum but not start. The unloader valve is responsible for releasing pressure from the compressor’s pump when it’s not in use. If the unloader valve is leaking or damaged, it can prevent the compressor from starting. To check the unloader valve, you’ll need to remove the cover and inspect it for any signs of wear or damage. If the unloader valve is leaking or damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Troubleshooting Steps

  1. Check for power and replace the fuse if necessary
  2. Clean or replace the air filter
  3. Inspect the pressure switch and replace it if necessary
  4. Check belt for wear and replace if necessary
  5. Inspect the unloader valve and replace it if necessary

Preventative Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial to keep your air compressor running smoothly and prevent problems like humming but not starting. To keep your compressor in good working order, you should regularly check and replace filters and belts. Additionally, you should keep the compressor’s internal components clean and free of debris.

  • Importance of regular maintenance to prevent problems
  • Tips for maintaining air compressors, such as regularly checking and replacing filters and belts
  • Keeping the compressor’s internal components clean and free of debris
  • Regularly check all the components of the compressor for any wear and tear.
  • Scheduling an annual checkup with a professional technician.

Conclusion

An air compressor humming but not starting can be caused by a lack of power or a blown fuse, a clogged air filter, a faulty pressure switch, a broken or worn belt, or a leaking or damaged unloader valve. By troubleshooting these components, you can quickly identify and fix the problem. Regular maintenance is also key to keeping your air compressor running smoothly and preventing future issues.