How to Fix an Air Compressor

Air compressors can explode if you don’t practice proper air compressor repair and maintenance.

There are three primary functions required for an air compressor to work properly. They need power, must maintain pressure, and control the flow of compressed air. Below are some insights into how to repair and fix an air compressor.

DIY Air Compressor Repair

There are three main DIY fixes you can do yourself. Most malfunctions will fall into one of these three categories.

Remember that high-pressure air compressors can possibly rupture if the tank is damaged. Leave complex repairs to the professionals.

1. Adjusting Air Flow

Take the plastic cover off of the top of the compressor by removing the screws. Lift the cover off so you can get to the two screws underneath on the pressure maintaining valve.

The top screw turns the compressor off, while the bottom screw turns it on.

Turn the compressor on, then off, and then check the compressor setting. You’ll need to adjust the pressure with the upper screw.

Tighten the screw to raise the pressure, or loosen the screw to reduce the pressure. Engage the pressure release valve and take note of the pressure when the compressor kicks on.

Use the lower screw to adjust the setting. Once you’ve found the correct pressure, finish the air compressor repair by replacing the cover and screws.

2. Restoring Power

Start with the most obvious fix. Check to make sure the compressor is fully plugged in and the switch is turned on.

If the compressor still won’t turn on, try hitting the reset button. It’s usually located on the side of the motor, typically near the power cord.

Look for a round red or black button. Hit this button to reset the circuit breaker.

If this doesn’t restore power, check that the cord is in good condition and any other plugs are fully plugged in.

Try plugging the compressor into another socket. Check that the circuit breaker is tripped for the plug that you’re currently using. Flip the breaker off then back on again.

If this doesn’t work, test the outlet by plugging in another device. If the plug works for that item, try removing any extension cords that you’re using between the compressor and the plug.

If the compressor is still not turning on, you need to take the compressor to a professional technician.

3. Repairing Leaks

Begin by unplugging all of the tools and hoses. Start the compressor so it begins to charge.

Mix up a solution of soapy water and spray or pour it around the fittings. Look for the formation of bubbles. If you see bubbles forming, that means you have a leak.

Turn the compressor off and release the pressure from the tank.

Remove the fittings where bubbles were forming. Use some Teflon plumber’s tape on the threads of the fittings.

Put the fittings back on and tighten them down. Turn the compressor on and allow it to charge again.

Do the soapy water test again, looking for any bubbles. If you still see bubbles, discharge the compressor and use more Teflon tape.

Find the Right Parts for the Job

The above are quick easy fixes to address the most common problems people face with air compressors.

Some fixes require you to replace a part such as a valve, gauge, tubing, or solenoid.

Check out this great resource for affordable quality compressor parts to fix your air compressor.