Question about Air Tools & Compressors

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My compressor tries to start when i turn it on but the breaker flips. I just cant get going.

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The start capacitor is gone bad. (under the cover on motor) Change it. Take it out and go to a motor repair shop for a new one . OR order it from grainger.com

Posted on Sep 07, 2009

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Have a Porter Cable 175 PSI, 25 gallon upright compressor. When you flip the switch, the motor buzzes, but does not start the compressor. The cylinders are free when hand turning. After a couple of...


On these larger compressors, the motor that turns the compressor,

will have one or two capacitors, the capacitor in conjunction with the

motor gives the compressor that extra push or torque that is required

to get it going. if the capacitor goes out, the compressor will not work,

the motor may work but will not have the strength to turn over the compressor..

depending on the size motor, it may be mounted on top, on the side or

even in a juntion box attached to the compressor, if you have to replace one

i recommend powering down or unplugging compressor and handle the

capacitor carefully, use insulated tools or gloves, a capacitor is like a battery

it will hold a charge, but like a battery it can be discharged, the only difference

with a battery and a capacitor, on a capacitor you can have thousands of volts.

it can be replaced just handle it safely, good luck!

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Why is it my air compressor won't start after power fail until i shut the pressure switch off and turn back on


Hi my name is John. Welcome to FixYa. It will happen when you have a power surge, just flip the breaker in the breaker panel and it should be OK. Thanks for choosing FixYa....John

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6hp, 25 gallon compressor, never cycled back on, blew the breaker. reset the breaker and soon as i flip the compressor it trys to start then blows the breaker right away.


sounds like its the motor drawing too much current,has it got plenty or oil cause they run low and seize up,not the most reliable can be fine but equally can be dramas especially if its from China

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IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE A BAD COMPRESSOR OR A DEAD SHORT SOME WHERE IN THE UNIT

Aug 31, 2009 | Dometic Rooftop RV Air Conditioner

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Outside unit tripped the breaker. flip the breaker


Check the fan relay or contacts first. If the compressor comes on then your fan may be locked and will need replacing.

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Sub zero 700tc/fan runs but no compressor


A check of your breaker is in order. From your description the breaker could be week. If so the breaker my not cut off all the way and still allow enough power through to opperate the fan but not the added load of the compressor.

I have seen this a few times and it always confuses me too. Check the circuit by maybe moving the circuit on the breaker to a different one then retry it and see if the problem is gone. If it is then replace the breaker if not then its time to use a volt meter or call a repair person. And this is because there are a lot of what ifs that have to be covered to get to the root of the problem if this is not the trouble..

Please lket me know whow this works out. Rate me as high as you can and thank you for using fixya.

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1 Answer

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Go outside and check power at the disconnect switch.

Apr 26, 2009 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

Air compressor flips breaker before it will start?


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

Jan 06, 2009 | Air Tools & Compressors

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