Question about Craftsman 3 gal. Air Compressor, 1.5 hp, Horizontal k

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Compressor will not build pressure

Compressor stopped building pressure, it is an oil based unit. i replaced the piston assy, now it builds pressure to 25 psi, unit keeps running but will not build past 25psi, cannot find any leaks, unit is only 14 months old & has hardly ever been used, it is a craftsman upright, small garage unit, supposed to build to 140 psi

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  • tim5782 Feb 27, 2009

    found my problem, the head gasket had a very small crack. my bad, i missed it!!!

  • jmosyjowski Mar 08, 2009

    My compressor, less than 2 years old, won't build pressure

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Compressor will not build pressure

Posted on Feb 28, 2009

  • goofyzcapric Feb 28, 2009

    this compressor is a upright 60 gallon tank .

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I have read both your questions and after taking both into consideration it sounds like it needs new piston rings. On a gas engine it is called blow by but both have a piston with rings on them, as they wear the end gap gets bigger and bigger allowing compressed air to bypass the rings into the crankcase where the oil is, the breather is there to allow air from the room to enter and exit as the piston goes up and down to avoid pressure or vacuum in the crankcase, the air on the top side of the piston is supposed to go into the tank but in your case some of it is going around the piston rings and into the crankcase building pressure and blowing oil out. There is not much inside a compressor like a gas engine, taking the head off and the oil pan should let you take off the connecting rod bolts and push the pistons out the top. This answer is based on the two comments of cant build all the air pressor and it is blowing oil out the crankcase breather. If you hit the 80 psi and unplug the compressor can you hear air coming from the limit switch box that the power cord goes into ? I will wait for your answer to continue.

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1 Answer

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I have a 5 gal, i hp craftsmen compressor, 3 years old, used once a year to blow down sprinkler system. Compressor ran up to 120 lbs upon turn on, would not cycle off. manually shut off unit and turned...


Oil free pumps do tend to blow the piston ring (not too expensive) available at searsparts.com. Remove covers to pump and manually turn crank until piston is at top and look at the condition of the cylinder neer top, If it looks scratched, order cylinder kit with piston ring. If it looks good and shiney, could be the valve plate in the head. There are reed valves that tend to break. Run pump however with covers removed and check with soapy water for air leaks and repair as needed (air leaks under the cover will prevent unit from filling). Good luck

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If the unit will not build up pressure you need to remove the compressor head from the compressor and inspect both the intake and the exhaust reeds as well as the piston ting on the compressor.
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If this compressor is dry type with no oil needed, then it may have a worn cylinder and/or piston ring. With flashlight in hand, look under cylinder with piston in upper most position. If you see scratches most likely it needs cylinder / piston kit. Not to worry, not too expensive. If you compressor has a crankcase with oil, then you may have problems with valves in the head. Cracked or dirt under headvalves will prevent pressure from building. Finally there may be one or several leaks in the tubing, check leaks with soapy water. enjoy

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