Question about Porter Cable Air Tools & Compressors

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Intermittent pressure building

Compressor works fine one time, then the next time it's used, it will run for a long period of time without building pressure. Runs till I shut it off. The next time I go to use it, pressure comes right up and it works fine again. Might work 3 or 4 times, then fail the next, or might fail to build pressure few times before it works properly the next time.
Bought it used last spring. Started acting up in late fall.
Maybe bad check valve?

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The check valve is easy to test. All that you have to do is run the compressor till you have some pressure in the tank, 50 ~ 60 lbs will do, then remove the air discharge tube at the check valve installed in the tank (the brass valve). Spray soapy water into the valve. Tiny leak is ok, rapid leak replace valve with generic valve from www.grainger.com . Most likely problem is worn cylinder or reed valves in the head. To check cylinder, unplug unit and (oilfree compressor) remove cover to expose the crank. Push the piston all the way up and check for scratches on the upper part of cylinder. If scratched, replace with kit# K-0650 available at www.toolpartsdirect.com. If cylinder is smooth all the way up then problem should be the reedvalve plate in the head. The reeds could be held open with debris or broken. Clean or replace as needed. Good Luck and email if you have questions about the repair. (Oil in crankcase type compressor will not have cylinder problems)

Posted on Feb 26, 2009

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