Causes and Troubleshooting an Air Compressor That Won’t Turn On
An air compressor is a valuable tool for any DIY or professional project that requires compressed air. However, if your air compressor won’t turn on, it can be frustrating and disrupt your work. In this article, we will explain the common causes of an air compressor that won’t turn on and provide a step-by-step troubleshooting guide to help you fix the problem.
Causes of an air compressor not turning on
The first and most obvious thing to check is the power source. Make sure the compressor is properly plugged in and that there is power going to the outlet. If the outlet is controlled by a switch or circuit breaker, ensure that it is turned on and not tripped. Here are the common causes of an air compressor that won’t turn on:
- Lack of power or tripped circuit breaker: The air compressor may not turn on if there is no power reaching it or if the circuit breaker has been tripped. This can be caused by a blown fuse, a disconnected power cord, or a circuit overload.
- Faulty pressure switch: The pressure switch is responsible for turning the air compressor on and off based on the air pressure in the tank. A faulty pressure switch can prevent the air compressor from turning on.
- Clogged air filter: An air filter that is clogged with dust and debris can restrict airflow and prevent the air compressor from turning on.
- Overheating motor: An overheating motor can cause the air compressor to shut off as a safety measure. This can happen if the air compressor is being used for too long or if it is in a poorly ventilated area.
- Broken or worn-out starter capacitor: The starter capacitor is responsible for providing the initial power boost needed to start the motor. A broken or worn-out starter capacitor can prevent the air compressor from turning on.
Step-by-Step Troubleshooting Guide
- Check for the power supply and reset the circuit breaker if necessary: Check that the air compressor is plugged in and that the outlet is functioning properly. If the circuit breaker has been tripped, reset it and try turning on the air compressor again.
- Inspect the pressure switch for any damage or malfunction: Check the pressure switch for any signs of damage or malfunction, such as a broken or loose wire. If the pressure switch is faulty, it will need to be replaced.
- Clean or replace the air filter: Inspect the air filter for any build-up of dust or debris, and if necessary clean it or replace it with a new one.
- Check for any signs of overheating on the motor: Check the motor for any signs of overheating such as a burning smell or discoloration. If the motor is overheating, it may need to be repaired or replaced.
- Test the starter capacitor and replace it if needed: Test the starter capacitor with a multimeter, if the reading is out of the specified range or if the capacitor is bulged or leaking, it needs to be replaced.
- Testing the pressure switch: Use a multimeter to test the pressure switch for continuity. If there is no continuity, the pressure switch will need to be replaced.
Prevention and Maintenance
- Regularly check and clean the air filter: To prevent clogging of the air filter, it’s important to check and clean it regularly, at least once a month, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Keep the air compressor in a cool and well-ventilated area: Overheating can be prevented by keeping the air compressor in a cool and well-ventilated area. This will ensure that the motor does not overheat and cause the air compressor to shut off.
- Drain the air tank after each use: To prevent rust and corrosion inside the tank, it’s important to drain the air tank after each use. This will also help to remove any moisture that may have built up inside the tank.
- Schedule regular maintenance checks with a professional: Scheduling regular maintenance checks with a professional can help to identify and fix any potential issues before they become major problems. This will also prolong the life of your air compressor.
Troubleshooting an air compressor that won’t turn on can be a simple process if you know what to look for. By checking the power supply, resetting the circuit breaker, testing the pressure switch, and clearing the air filter, you should be able to fix the problem and get your air compressor working again. If you’re still having trouble, consult the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for additional assistance.