Industrial Gold

Reciprocating Compressor Trouble Shooting Guides

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You should always contact an authorized service center before attempting to fix or repair your air compressor



Problem Possible Causes Solutions
Breaker Trips
  1. Low Voltage supply
    Motor overloads tripped
    Restricted air passages
    Loose wires at contact points
    Seized Pump
  1. Check that incoming power wire size is adequate for compressor
    Check that compressor is on dedicated circuit
    Adjust belt tension
    Check wire connections to make sure they are tight
    Inspect transfer tubes and, check valve
Compressor Stalls
  1. Low voltage supply to compressor
  2. Loose compressor belts
  3. Bad check valve
  4. Seized compressor pump
  1. Check compressor power supply for adequate breaker and wire size
  2. Inspect check valve for proper operation
  3. Tighten belts
  4. Check compressor for proper oil level
Low Discharge Pressure
  1. Air leaks in shop
  2. Leaking valves
  3. Restricted air intake
  4. Blown gaskets/seals
  5. Worn piston rings or cylinder
  1. Tighten or replace leaking fittings, or joints
  2. Clean or replace air filter
Compressor Pump Knocking
  1. Loose motor pulley or compressor flywheel
  2. Low oil level in compressor pump
  3. Carbon build up on valve and piston
  1. Tighten pulley or flywheel
  2. Keep oil level at recommended level for proper operation
  3. Only use factory recommended oil
Excessive oil discharge in air (All Compressors have a small amount of oil carry over in compression
  1. Worn piston rings or cylinder
  2. Restricted air intake
  3. Oil level to high
  4. Compressor has exceeded it duty cycle
  1. Clean or replace air filters
  2. Reduce oil level to recommended amount
  3. Reduce compressor duty cycle (repair leaks or add another unit to handle the excess demand)
Compressor Overheating
  1. Poor ventilation
  2. Dirty cooling surfaces
  3. Compressor is out of its operating duty cycle
  1. Relocate compressor to any area with better ventilation (at least 18 inches from the nearest wall)
  2. Clean all cooling surfaces
  3. Reduce compressor duty cycle (repair leaks or add another unit to handle the excess demand)
Excessive Belt Wear
  1. Pulley out of alignment
  2. Improper belt tension
  3. Pulley damaged of loose
  1. Realign pulley with flywheel
  2. Re adjust belt tension
Compressor wont start in cold weather
  1. Bad check valve
  2. Compressor has wrong grade oil
  3. Control lines frozen
  1. Use IS 100 (30W) compressor oil for cold weather conditions
  2. Move compressor to a warmer location
  3. Put a heat lamp on compressor to maintain above freezing temperatures
Compressor Motor Hums wont start
  1. Fuse or Breaker blown in main panel (or fuse in fused disconnect if applicable)
  2. Low voltage to compressor
  3. Compressor starting with head pressure
  4. Power leads in motor or magnetic starter loose
  5. Starter or Pressure switch contacts corroded or broken
  1. Re-set breaker or replace blown fuse
  2. Inspect check valve for proper operation
  3. Check all power wire lead to solid connection
  4. Replace starter and Pressure switch
Unit has power but wont run
  1. Starter tripped
  2. Starter coil out
  3. Pressure switch closed
  4. Low Oil monitor tripped (Platinum units)
  5. Motor or Pump locked up
  1. Re-set starter
  2. Replace starter and Pressure switch
  3. Check unit for proper oil level
  4. Replace motor or pump
NOTE: Troubleshooting problems may have similar causes and solutions