Tips to Fix Portable Air Compressor

If you have want utmost portability with plasma cutter chances are, you have a portable air compressor too. Do you find yourself struggling to fix your air compressor? Clean and dry air is essential for the functioning of any machine. Here is some resourceful information that will help you bring your air compressor back to flawless functioning.

1. When the compressor simply doesn’t work


So you were using your air compressor on just another day and the compressor wouldn’t work. In this case, there are a couple things you must check.

Check Power

First thing to do is check the power supply. If there is no power, switch the electricity on and use the reset function on the compressor.

Check Oil

Another thing to check is the amount of oil in the compressor. If there isn’t sufficient oil or the oil is damaged, fill in new oil to the appropriate amount.

Check Pressure

Also, the pressure in the compressor tank should be more than the minimum pressure required to function. See if the pressure switch is not working or loose.

2. When the compressor makes too much noise


Loose components

If the sound on the compressor becomes too irritating, it can be really hard to concentrate. Check if the internal components like the pulley and the clamps are tight or not. Ensure that they are tightly positioned in the compressor. Ensure that the floor mount is tight.

Check oil and Piston

Another possibility is that the oil amount in the crankcase is below the required amount. Fill in to the required level in this case. Also less oil means the bearings could not be intact. Check if the crankcase is damaged. Also, check if the piston is touching the valve plate. If it is touching, take off any dirt off of the piston and put it back into the compressor cylinder. Consider installing a fresh gasket.

3. When the Compressor Uses Too Much Oil


Obstructed Airflow

First, check for any leakage. You might have to install a new gasket. Make sure all nuts and bolts are not loose. Another reason might be that the airflow is obstructed. If the airflow is obstructed, you should change the air filters or clean them.

Check Piston

Also check if the piston rings are damaged from much use and change them if needed.

Extra Oil

One more thing to check is if there is more oil in the compressor than the optimum level. You should remove the extra oil to full mark in this case.

Piston Rings

Another common mistake people make is that they put the piston rings in reverse position. Make sure they are installed correctly.

4. The Compressor Keeps on Vibrating


If the compressor keeps on vibrating, it cannot be used.

Check Bolts

To fix this problem, first check whether the compressor is rightly positioned. Check for any loose nuts and bolts.

Align Components

Make sure the pulley and the flywheel are in line. The belts on the compressor might not be tight, so make sure they are. The crankshaft might not be straight, so make sure it is and do install a new one if it isn’t.

5. There is not enough air pressure

There are many things that could have gone wrong in this case.


First, it might be due to air leakage or obstruction inside the air compressor. To check if that’s the case, check your pipe for any leakage and replace it if needed.


The air filter might have worn out in which case you have to replace it. Damaged air filter means that the air will not come with full volume.

Small Pipe

Another possible reason is that your pipe might be small which is causing less air to come through. Get a bigger pipe in this case.

Wrong or Faulty Equipment

Another possibility is that the air pressure from the compressor is right, but your equipment, for example a plasma cutter, might require higher pressure which is not possible. In this case, use equipment which doesn’t require unrealistically high air pressure.

6. There is oil in the compressed air

The possible causes behind this situation are

  • Dusty oil filter – Change the separator to have clean oil in the compressor.
  • Compressor temperature is too high – High temperature restricts flow of clean air.
  • The oil used is not adequate. – Choose suitable oil always.

7. The compressor cycles on and off

Understand the problem first

There are three ways this can happen

Compressor fills the tank after the compressed air is used.

This situation is nothing to be afraid of. Generally, compressors work this way only. When the air is used, the pressure level decreases to the regular cut. The compressor is powered on, air gets inside the tank, tank pressure rises to normal and pump begins working. So if you’re facing this situation, you don’t need to do anything.

When not in use, compressor restarts after pressure gets low

Second situation means that there is a leakage on somewhere around the compressor. The hose should be fitted right into its position so that there is no air leakage. To examine the leakage on the compressor, you can use soapy water. The bubbles will indicate the area where leakage exists.

Pump turns on and off while it loads up the tank

If the pump turns on and off when loading the tank, it indicates that the problem is not simple. There might be a problem with the power supply. The power switch on the compressor might be faulty. The pressure switch might not be working properly which is causing the premature cycling.

Another possible problem is that the run capacitor which is located on the motor might be faulty. Also, you should check the centrifugal switch on the motor shaft if it’s working properly. There might also be a problem with the motor windings.

  • April 3, 2017
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