Craftsman Air Compressor Troubleshooting

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It’s common and normal for a Craftsman air compressor not to start. The motor won’t run if the tank pressure exceeds the preset pressure switch limit. The motor starts automatically when the tank pressure drops below the kick-in pressure of the pressure tank. This is to prevent the tank from exploding. There is no need for the air compressor to create pressure until you have released some pressure.

  • Close the tank drain valve. Turn it clockwise. Plug in the air compressor and turn it on.

  • Look for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers at the home’s main power panel. Reset any breakers and replace fuses. Check for the proper fuse. A simple, portable two-gallon air compressor needs a 5 amp, 250 volt fuse.

  • Remove the extension cord if you are using one and test the air compressor directly on household power. Extension cords can be the wrong wire gauge or be too long, which will result in a loss of power. If the air compressor starts without the extension cord, check the manual for proper extension cord gauge and length.

  • Check that the relief valve ring isn’t stuck open. You reduce pressure in the tank by pulling on the relief valve ring. The motor won’t run if it’s open. Clean the valve or wiggle it a bit until it closes. Pull on it and look for obstructions.

  • Drain the Craftsman air compressor tank daily and operate the pressure relief valve daily. Moisture is a byproduct of pressure and will damage the tank. The pressure relief valve can stick through debris collection and is an important safety feature.

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