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My pancake compressor ran fine for about four months. Then while using it the motor starting kicking on/off, on /off while filling the tank. Then again while filling the tank on/off, on/off, on/off then off and starting smelling as if the motor over heated. Now, it will not come on at all. Can anyone assist with this? Thanks

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Check the motor capacitor...if it goes bad it will not get the motr running fast enough and will start that on/off thing...
probably burnt the cap right up now...


Posted on Aug 19, 2010

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My pancake will try to kick on when the pressure drops, however it will not catch and start. It is like a car that will just not turn over when trying to start. Any thoughts?

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How long does it take for the compressor to fill up during the first use? The motor has been running for 15 min and the pressure needles have not moved....

Make sure the tank drain on the bottom of the tank is shut off if there is one.
It should not take more than three or four minutes to fill a small pancake tank.
You hear any hissing noises while the pump is running? If so, there's an air leak, see if you can stop them somehow.
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My dad bought a used 2HP 4 gallon clarke pancake type air compressor at an auction. It keeps blowing capacitors. Does it have a centrifical switch to take the cap out of the cct once started?

hi there!
some motor compressor are equipted of centrifugal switch connected at the shatfting of the motor compressor after turning at rated speed this will be open and disconnecting your starting circuit as well as the starting capacitor.
have anice day fix my rate, thank you

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I am a little confused here ... I have a Craftsman pancake, a Craftsman 6 hp (same compressor design) and several other name brand pancake compressors at the job. The compressor doesn't care which way the motor runs though mine all run in the same direction. As long as the piston goes up and down, the reed valves know when to open and when to closed based on the pressure. It sucks in from the 'room' on the down stroke and blows into the tank on the upstroke.

Yours isn't doing this? If it is creating a vacuum in the tank, I would have to say someone put the valves in upside down.

This is very curious.

You could reverse the black and white wire but as I understand the physics of it, it will not matter where the hot wire is since it is AC. The motor may be reversable but I'm thinking it is probably not in this case. That costs extra to make into the motor.

Please inspect the valves to make sure they are capable of 'inhaling' (the site will delete the other word I used) on the down stroke and 'exhaling' into the tank on the upstroke.

Please let me know what you find out.

Thanks for your curious question at

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My first thought was that the check valve is allowing pressure back into the compressor and preventing the motor from turning. That's still my best guess right now.

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