air compressor stopped working

Air Compressor Stopped Working: Causes, Troubleshooting Tips, and Fixes

An air compressor is a vital piece of equipment that helps you power various tools and machinery by converting power into potential energy stored in compressed air. When it stops working, it can be due to several reasons that may range from a simple fix to a complex repair. In this article, we’ll guide you through the most common causes of an air compressor failure, how to troubleshoot the issue, and the fixes to get it back up and running.

Understanding the Basics of an Air Compressor

It’s crucial to comprehend the fundamental parts of the equipment before delving into the causes and solutions of an air compressor failure. A motor, a tank, a pressure switch, a pressure relief valve, an air filter, and other connectors and hoses make up an air compressor. The tank retains the compressed air until it is released through the connections and hoses. The motor drives the compressor pump to suck in and compress air into the tank.

Common Causes of an Air Compressor Failure

Here are the most common causes of air compressor failure:

Lack of power

An air compressor needs a steady supply of electricity to function. The power source should be checked first if the machine doesn’t turn on when you click the switch or button. Make sure the power cord is plugged into a functional outlet and that the wiring is in good condition.

Tripped circuit breaker

An air compressor consumes a lot of electricity and can trip a circuit breaker, especially if it shares a circuit with other large machinery. The air compressor’s power source is cut off if the circuit breaker trips, and the machine won’t operate again until you reset the breaker.

Low pressure or airflow

For it to work properly, an air compressor has to maintain a specific airflow and pressure. A blocked air filter, a leaking hose, or a broken pressure switch could all be to blame if the machine isn’t producing the necessary pressure or airflow.


If the airflow is blocked or the air compressor is operating continuously, it may overheat. A total failure of the machine can result from overheating, which can also cause the compressor pump to seize or the motor to burn out.

9 Troubleshooting an Air Compressor

Here are some troubleshooting tips to identify the cause of your air compressor failure:

1) Check the power source.

Make sure your air compressor is linked to a trustworthy power source before you continue troubleshooting it. Plug the power cord into a functional outlet after inspecting it for damage or lose connections.

2) Examine the circuit breakers.

Check the circuit breaker if the machine won’t power on or stops functioning unexpectedly. Reset it if it has been tripped, then try turning on the air compressor once more. If the breaker trips once again, it can be a sign of an underlying electrical problem, so you should get aid from an expert.

3) Look over the pressure switch.

When the necessary pressure level is reached, the pressure switch is in charge of turning on and off the air compressor. The machine might not start up or might not shut off properly if the switch is broken, which could lead to pressure buildup and overheating. For any damage or lost connections, inspect the switch and replace it if necessary.

4) Check the air filter.

An air filter that is blocked can reduce airflow, lower pressure, and even cause the air compressor to turn off. Examine the air filter and replace it if it is damaged, or clean it if it is unclean.

5) Look over the pressure release valve.

To avoid overpressurization, the pressure relief valve lets out extra pressure from the air compressor. The machine may shut off or not start at all if the valve is broken or blocked. If the valve is damaged or clogged, look for such things and replace them.

6) Check for Sufficient Oil

For optimum operation, oil-lubricated air compressors need a steady supply of oil. Periodically check the oil level as prescribed by the manufacturer and look for any potential leaks. Choose the suitable oil viscosity to avoid the compressor breaking down due to improper oil viscosity. Place a pancake air compressor on an even surface in order to prevent oil from flowing to the machine’s side.

7) Examine the unloading valve.

The air compressor’s unloader valve may become clogged with debris and cease to function. To solve the problem, clean or replace the valve.

8) Examine the air compressor motor.

Due to overheating, low voltage, or worn-out brushes, the motor may be defective. Look for wear indicators and replace the motor or brushes as necessary.

9) Look over the regulator valve.

The air compressor could stop working because the regulator valve is blocked. To resolve the issue, clean or replace the valve.

Doing Repairs on an Air Compressor

You can take action to fix your air compressor failure once you’ve determined what caused it. These are a few typical air compressor fixes:

Change or fix the power cord: You might need to replace or fix the power cord if it is damaged or has loose connections. If you’re not confident with electrical repairs, get aid from an expert.

Reset the circuit breaker: If the circuit breaker trips, reset it, and then try to switch on the air compressor once more. If the breaker trips once more, there might be an electrical problem, and you should get aid from an expert.

Adjust the Pressure Switch: You might need to make adjustments to the pressure switch or replace it if it’s broken. To adjust the switch or get a new one, adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Change or clean the air filter: You might need to clean or replace the air filter if it’s blocked or damaged. For information on how to clean or change the filter, consult the manufacturer’s instructions.

Replace the Pressure Relief Valve: You might need to replace the pressure relief valve if it is malfunctioning or jammed. To replace the valve, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.


Can an air compressor be repaired?

Air compressors are repairable. But, repair ease depends on the problem and the repairer’s skills. Broken hoses and air filters are straightforward to fix. A broken motor or leaking tank may require more extensive repairs.

If you’re unsure how to fix an air compressor, call a mechanic. They can diagnose and fix the issue safely. Replacing the compressor may be cheaper than repairing it.

When is it time to get a new air compressor?

If you notice any of the following issues with your air compressor, it may be time for a replacement.

  • A malfunctioning air compressor with broken and unrepairable components
  • It uses a lot of power without resolving the problems it causes.
  • Lowering the limit

When does an air compressor start to show indicators of malfunction?

There are a few telltale signs of a faulty air compressor. The most frequently observed symptoms include

  • The air compressor makes an intolerable amount of noise.
  • Rapid decompression air leaks
  • Whether it entirely stops working or keeps going

How frequently should the air filter in my air compressor be cleaned or replaced?

Depending on how frequently you use the machine and the working conditions, it is advised to clean or replace the air filter every three to six months.

Can I use my air compressor with an extension cord?

Using an extension cable with your air compressor is not advised since it might result in voltage dips and harm to the unit.

What pressure setting is best for an air compressor?

Depending on the application and the equipment or tools you’re employing, the optimal pressure level will vary. For the required pressure level, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or speak with a specialist.

How do I keep my air compressor from getting too hot?

Make sure the machine is not operating continuously and that the airflow is not restricted. obey the guidelines provided by the manufacturer.

Final Words

Understanding typical reasons and troubleshooting strategies might help you fix an air compressor quickly. Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance and repair instructions, and if you’re not familiar with electrical or mechanical repairs, get help.