Air compressor cut out and won't start


Old 02-23-19, 12:38 PM
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Air compressor cut out and won't start

I've got a cheap 24l air compressor. It's usually used for kids inflatables, paddling pools etc, air nail gun work, and car tyres. I've used it occasionally for spraying furniture, I am aware a small compressor like this isn't high enough capacity to really do a good job like this and that I'm running it hard expecting it to keep the pressure up, but with plenty of pausing it can get the job done.

It started mis behaving, never getting to the required pressure just running constantly. So I stopped using it to figure out the problem. Then one day I thought I'd test it again and it seized the moment I started it.

I've checked it's got oil.
​​​​​I removed the shroud and found that the fan turns easy enough, and you can feel a little bit of compression coming and going as it goes round.
I removed the head and found a break in the gasket, letting air pass through. So that explains why it began failing to reach pressure. But not why it wouldn't start, it's not seized.

I thought the next thing to check would be the starter capacitor, so I bought a replacement (cb60 35uF). Still wouldn't start. Also trying to jump start it by turning the fan quickly didn't get it running.
I can hear the motor doing something but seizing, never turning.

​​​​​​​Any ideas what else it could be? Any advice appreciated. It wasn't an expensive one but I'd rather make do and mend than replace it!
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Old 02-24-19, 04:56 AM
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Thumbs up Welcome to our forums!

When you say you " can hear the motor doing something " is telling us that power is getting up to the motor and that you can turn the pump it is not likely seized.

It won't run because either the compressor windings are bad or a starting component is defective.
I would suggest that because you have seen a bad head gasket and you need to replace an electrical component that you consider just replacing the whole thing.
A capacitor can usually be found and you could try to replace it but the relay and overload are specific and not normally stocked.

A unit like this may not be as good as a mainstream branded unit but should serve you well with limited use and would be able to power smaller air tools if you wanted to go that way.
Old 03-01-19, 02:43 AM
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Yeah, well I replaced the capacitor and it didn't help, so as far as I can see that's the only user-serviceable part! Looks like I'll look for a replacement!
Thanks for your reply
Old 04-12-19, 01:04 PM
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Hi man,

I might be a bit late to the party, but have you tried to completely drain all the oil? I don't know about your situation, but many owners tend to forget to change oil over the years and that could easily plug it with rust and crap.

I wish you luck
Old 04-15-19, 01:10 AM
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Thanks Christian, but the compressor really wasn't very old... Actually I took it to the dump! So I'll never know what the issue was - it was only a cheap one (I guess that's the issue right there!)
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