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I have a 1 3/4 HP pancake compressor and it won't build up pressure past 15-20 lbs.

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You either have worn broken valves or bad piston sleeve (oil less)

Posted on Aug 13, 2010

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1 Answer

Why will my bostitch pancake compressor 240 psi tank 180 regulator that the guages will not show building pressure


Hi, There are different posibilities. I would need more information. Was it always like that? Does the guage on the main tank and the guage on the regulator both not show more than 20psi? When the auto shut-off is triggered do you feel there is more than 20 psi in the tank?

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My four-year old PC pancake compressor starts fine but only builds up 60 psi no matter how I adjust the pressure regulator. The compressor motor runs continuously. I checked for air leaks and can't find...


First take off the head on the air pump and check the reed valves on the valve plate. If they got hot and warped or cracked they'll work to a point then no more pressure can be built up. Next check the pistion ring and cylinder wall. If either is damaged you'll only get so much pressure build-up then it will leak past the piston.

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I have a bostitch 6 gal pancake compressor that won't build pressure past about 20 lbs. when I turn it off I don't hear air leaking out anywhere and when it's running it runs at a higher pitch ( similar to...


I'd pull the cover off to expose top of cylinder head and have a look at any intake air filter. In parts diagram, It appears there is a small one that would likely clog during the texturing process.

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My compressor won't build pressure over 90lbs


Small leak will prevent the unit from building proper pressure. Check all connections with soapy water and repair as needed (including under cover). If no leaks are found check cylinder for scratches. Push piston to top of stroke and check walls for fine scratches. If scratched, pressure is leaking past vinyl piston ring. If no scratches or leaks, most likely reed valves, head gasket or combination of both. Easy test, with compressor running and attained 90 lbs, place finger over air intake and check for good suction (carefull could be hot) . If good suction, then air is leaking somewhere, of no suction suspect reed valves/worn cylinder, if air seems to be blowing out of intake, suspect reeds /gaskets. Good holidays

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Trouble building pressure


I would check the reed valves in the pump. One of them may be broken.

Jul 09, 2010 | Porter Cable C2002 150 Psi 6 Gal...

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WILL NOT BUILD UP AIR PRESSURE PAST 20 LBS.


Check to see if air is leaking past 'pressure relief' valve. It's probably leaking and that's where all the air is going.

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Tank will not build pressure beyond 25 lbs. Just runs


IS YOUR AIR FILTER CLOGGED. SOUNDS LIKE THE VALVES IN YOUR HEAD ARE NOT CLOSING ALL THE WAY. THEY ARE MOST LIKELY REED VALVES, THIN STRIPS OF METAL THAT OPEN AND CLOSE WHEN THE PISTON MOVES. MAKE SURE THEY ARE CLOSING ALL THE WAY (NOT CARBONED UP). DID YOU REMOVE THE HEAD AND DID YOU PUT BACK LIKE YOU FOUND IT - NOT TURNED OR FLIPPED OVER. SEE IF YOUR FINGER WILL GET SUCKED UP TO THE INTAKE HOLE.

Apr 12, 2009 | Craftsman 3 gal. Air Compressor, 1.5 hp,...

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Cycling compressor


The pressure switch will shut off when the set pressure is obtained. Usually about 100 to 120 lbs. If the compressor stops at lower pressure than mentioned you may try to adjust the pressure by looking under the switch cover for adjustment screw/nut.(no more than a few turns) Increase pressure by increasing spring tension. Quick cycling is usually caused by air leaking from tubing, drain valve or check valve. After compressor shuts off unplug it from the outlet and spray soapy water on all fittings and drain valve. Repair leaks and test for quick cycling, however the compressor should reach 100-120 before shutting off. Some small compressors have a thermal reset but that usually takes a few minutes to reset. Pressure switch is defective if it shuts off before setting mentioned. Enjoy

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