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This fault indicates that there is too much back pressure on the pump causing the motor to strain. There is a check valve located at the tank that prevents pressurized air from returning to the compressor. Here is how to test for leaking check valve. With no air in the tank, run the compressor till you reach about 40psi and shut off the unit. Listen or air leaking out of the air filter or the pressure switch. Leaking air indicates bad check valve. If no leak, allow the compressor to reach fail condition, then unplug the compressor and immediately let out all the air and see if the compressor restarts easily. If the compressor will not restart with no air in the tank then may have failing capacitor (s). Easy to replace. ;Good luck with your repair.
When it gets to 40 psi turn it off and see if you hear air leaking down from somewhere....if so listen and feel around the edges of the compressor head. If you hear or feel air leaking there you may need to replace a head gasket.
I am assuming you have check for line leaks, both on the compressor and your line out of the tank and the valve on the bottom of the tank is closed. This is usually a sign your valve plate is damaged, most likely a broken reed valve. If it's an oilless compressor it could be the wiper on the piston. Without knowing the model number all I can suggest is take the head plate off and check the valve plate. If all of the reeds are in place and not broken or cracked you'll have to check the piston.
i have the same piece of junk, iv rebuilt it 3 times in the past 5 years always a piston rod snapped and then it was running on only one. they are built like ****. anyhow I finely got smart and bought a cast iron pump thats not only quieter but puts out twice the volume of air in half the time. it took some work but it was well worth it costing under 200.00. the rebuild kit from sears will cost over 100 and it wont last. the one from sears is a direct drive pump and you will be told no one makes a direct bolt on but all it takes is cutting the aluminum housing away from the motor and welding a pin or bolt to the end of the shaft and putting a pully on it, you will also have to turn the motor to the side but let me tell you this was the best move i ever made. you can pick I bought my new pump from a place called heavy dudy air in ga. 877-447-2485
these small compressors do not have a long life especialy if they are run for more than 15 min /hour , bet no body told you that when you bought it the ones with an iron barrel are better so to problem
1 piston rings worn or broken / replace
2 daft i know but air leaks/ when it is running you carn't hear a leak cos of the running noise,run it up as high as it will go switch off and listen /repair leak
3 sticking or passing valves , these are located in the cyl head /take filter unit off,run it when it comes up to 40 psi put your hand close to the inlet port if the inlet valve is passing you will feel a sort of chuff chuff on your hand ,switch it off ,if you can hear ,and feel air coming out of the inlet port the Exaust valve is leaking ,sadly these small comps are difficult and bloody expensive to get spares for"they want you to buy another one " so depending on the amount of use it has had it might not be woth while repairing hope this has been of some help
start your compressor and let it buid up pressure to turn off. then unplug from power.lossen the fill tube that goes from the pump to the tank. when you loosen it. if it leaks air then your check valve is bad and will have to be replaced.