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Its switched automatic on when the air-pressure in the tank comes to a lower level .
Other is by hand but there can be build on a circuit breaker on your type if the powercord was manual used by hand without pressure relief by switch.
check for any air leaks and fix as needed. then look for oil coming from cylinder heads , if oil is coming from heads you have blown head gaskets ,it wont build pressure like this. you might also check the pop off valve to be blown open. push the pin in and see if air starts to build up then. If so get a new valve.also check the drain valve under the tank and make sure its closed.
Here are a few things to check, you may have already checked some of these.
*Electricity...Compressors will run best with full 115Vot 15AMP/Or 220V electrical supply from a circuit, over the shortest electrical cord as possible.
*Air Leaks..Place your ear close to the compressor and listen for air leaking, if you hear air that is not normal and means you have to locate and repair whatever it is that is leaking.
*Check the air unloader valve... The air unloader valve will blown out air when you turned off the compressor, that is normal. But it should not have air leaking out of it all of the time. If so then it is faulty and in need of repair/replacement.
*Valves...If either the intake or exaust valves fail, breaks, or fails to seat, then your compressor will run 24 hours a day and never build up to the correct pressure for shut-off.
*Gaskets...Check to see if your gaskets have failed. You could have a gasket failure between the pistons and you will never know it because it shows no external air leak. If this situation happens then the air will only cycle between cylinders and never build up the correct air pressure. One way to check the gasket is remove the air filter, then put your hand over the intake.
If correct then it will **** you hand against the intake. If the valve or valves have failed then you will feel the air sucking in and blowing out.
*Piston Rings and Cylinder...The piston rings could be stuck,broken, or worn and not allowing the correct pressure to build up in your tank. A worn cylinder will also contribute to the problem of pressure build-up.
*Pressure Switch...Check for air leaks at the pressure switch, it has a rubber diaphram that can fail and leak air out of the system.
Please take time to rate me Bud
No there is not a filter. Since the pump is enclosed in the plastic covers there would not be a way to service it. Now if it is not building any pressure then it could be a few things. First would be the drive belt. (item 125) If it breaks then it won't pump at all. Also if the air hose that exits the pump (item 122) gets a hole in it then it won't fill the tank. A worn head valve plate (item 106), blown gasket (item 105), or a worn piston and sleeve (items 109 and 112-2) can also cause this. If the check valve into the tank (item 16) gets stuck open it too will limit how much the compressor will pump BUT usually it will build up some pressure then just keep running without building any higher pressure into the tank.
Here is a parts diagram so you can see where the belt and other parts are located plus it contains all of the part numbers.
It sounds like it is fighting against the head pressure. If so equipped, check the one way valve often used where the air enters the tank. If they get stuck open it causes back pressure. It could also be in the head of the pump. A blown gasket, broken reed valve or other type of valving could also cause this but usually they won't build to full pressure either. Electric compressors often use a small unloader valve mounted to the main pressure switch (on/off box-it would be attached to a small plastic or copper tube) and if bad it too would not allow the head pressure to release in order for it to restart when needed.
Most compressors that get at least that much pressure usually have a problem with the piston-rings-cylinder or the valve plate has bent or broken reed valves. Not knowing what make or model compressor you have, you'll have to remove the head and valve plate if so equiped and check them and the cylinder to see which is damaged and repair that.
Whats happening is the compressor is trying to start with pressure on the head/ compressor. The motor is not strong enough to over come the pressure so the motor tries to run ,may be hum a little and pops the breaker. When you bleed the pressure in the tank down the motor does not have to over come the pressure and starts up as it normally would. Now, your problem is the check valve between the tank and compressor. It needs to be replaced. It is allowing pressure in the tank back to the compressor. Thus the compressor tries to start and can't. Trace the line from the compressor to the tank. You should find the check valve screwed into the tank and the compressor discharge line screwed into the check valve. Remove the compressor discharge line,then remove the check valve. Assemble in reverse . also you can loosen the fitting at the compressor. if it blows air all the time it's the check valve for sure.