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Air compressor flips breaker before it will start?

I have a craftsman semi lage roll around air compressor . It started to flip the breaker so I had a 20 amp installed just for it now it flips the breaker before it will even start. It will run a second sometimes then shut off or flip breaker.

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Air compressors tend to draw more power as they age, however, will not trip breaker unless some malfunction. Here are some simple tests. Unplug compressor and turn the pump by hand, you may have to remove a cover to do this. It should turn freely; any resistance could be failing bearing (would make noise) unloader/check valve leaking allowing back pressure to pump, or failed start capacitor/start winding. Easy test for checkvalve. With pressure in tank loosen discharge hose at tank and check for air leak. Check valve should hold pressure in tank. Replace as needed. Failed capacitor/s will cause high amp draw. Remove from circuit and test. UF reading should be within 95% of printed rating. Finally, most air compressor motors have two windings, start and run. Power to windings is controlled by flyball switch inside rear of motor. This switch has contacts that can stick in start position and cause high amp draw. Examine windings for signs of overheating. Copper windings generally have color of new penny. Very dark brown windings bad news. Gook luck

Posted on Jan 06, 2009


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To be honest with you your compressor is what is commonly referred to as a throw away. You can't even imagine how many times I have posted that in the past month for your compressor and similar ones, such as the 3 gallon 1.5 hp craftsman.

The Porter Cable Is more reliable or rather it used to be. I believe that there are so many manufactures around the world pumping these things out that in order to get a reliable compressor you have to do it through the warranty. I know Senco makes a pretty good portable compressor. I believe Home Depot carries it and the cost is around $125.00.

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Almost all compressor,(even the throw a ways), come with a reset switch. The problem is finding it.
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I hope something here helps.

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