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The Reason Your Air Compressor Keeps Shutting Off & How to Fix It

In today’s technologically advanced world, air compressors have become a necessity in many industries. They are used in numerous applications, including pneumatic conveying, inflating tires, and even car washes. However, like any other machine, air compressors can encounter many issues. Among the problems you might face while using an air compressor, one of the most common is the unit shutting off unexpectedly. This is not only inconvenient but can also be a sign of a more severe underlying problem.

Understanding why your air compressor keeps shutting off is the first step to finding the solution. This post will lead you through different possible causes of this issue, how to troubleshoot them, and when to involve professionals for repair.

Understanding the Reasons Why Your Air Compressor Keeps Shutting Off 

Air compressors are sophisticated pieces of equipment made up of several critical components that function together to provide much-needed compressed air. When one of these components malfunctions, it impacts the entire system, which can sometimes result in your air compressor shutting off. Short cycling, a term that describes an air compressor frequently starting and stopping over a short period, is a common issue many users face. It’s like how a bike cannot work properly when the cycle of its pedals is interrupted. This phenomenon can severely impact an air compressor’s efficiency, capacity, and lifespan. Possible triggers of short cycling include a high ambient temperature, a low oil level, the use of the wrong type of oil, clogged or dirty oil filters, and even a dirty cooler — all factors that overwork and stress the compressor motor. Let’s look at some specific causes of short cycling.

The Pressure Switch

The pressure switch controls the cut-in and cut-out points for your compressor to maintain the correct pressure within your air tank. Any faults in this switch can cause your air compressor to shut down abruptly. For instance, a faulty component or improper calibration could cause the switch to signal the motor to turn off prematurely.

Dirty or Clogged Air Intake Filters

Dirty or clogged air intake filters can also force the air compressor to work harder to intake air. This added pressure can lead to overheating and a subsequent shutdown. Therefore, a dirty air filter is another possible cause of your compressor’s persistent shutdowns.

Poor Ventilation

Finally, proper ventilation is important for any air compressor. The compressor electric motor generates heat as it operates and, without adequate ventilation, the room where your compressor is located can become too warm for your machine to operate efficiently, causing the thermal switch to initiate a shutdown.

Understanding these causes is half the battle in solving your short cycling issues. In the following section, we will discuss how to troubleshoot and fix the issues we’ve identified above.

Basic Troubleshooting and Fixing Common Issues

Now that we have identified the potential reasons behind your air compressor shutting off, let’s move forward to discuss how to troubleshoot these issues. Tackling these problems effectively can involve checking certain components, simple cleaning and maintenance, and sometimes, replacing parts.

Compressor Motor Issues

Overheating can be the primary reason for your unit’s shutdown. This could be due to a faulty motor or perhaps an electrical problem, like a short circuit. To avoid possible harm, you should disconnect your compressor from the power source before checking the temperature of the motor by touch. If it feels hot, leave it to cool before you run it again. If the motor keeps overheating, you might need to replace it.

Pressure Switch Issues

To deal with problems related to high pressure switch activation, first, make sure that the pressure switch is set at the appropriate level. Then, check for any obstructions or damages in the air lines that might cause an increase in pressure. If you spot any, consider seeking professional repair services. 

Air Intake Filter Issues

Your compressor might also be struggling if the intake air intake filters are dirty or clogged. To rectify this, simply clean the air intake filter regularly or replace it if it’s worn out. This approach reduces the workload on your compressor and prevents unwanted system shutdowns.

When to Seek Professional Assistance

Though understanding and troubleshooting your air compressor’s issues is great, there are instances when calling a professional is necessary. Some problems simply require the expertise of a trained technician.

Major Issues Calling for Repairs

Major issues such as malfunctioning components or a faulty compressor clutch can lead to abrupt shutdown of your air compressor. When you spot issues like these, it’s time to call in the pros. At Advanced Air & Vacuum, our team of professionals armed with years of experience and in-depth knowledge are more than capable of handling these kinds of repairs. 

Moreover, the expansion valve, which plays a crucial role in the cooling of your compressor, could also cause your compressor to unexpectedly shut off when it malfunctions or becomes damaged. This kind of repair requires skilled expertise due to the intricacies involved. 

Regular Maintenance

Your air compressor performs optimally when its components are in good health. The thermal switch and safety valve are critical parts of the air compressor that must be examined for any useless wear or damage that might disrupt your compressor’s performance. Relying on professionals for preventative maintenance is a great way to make sure the essential components of your system are always operating at their best. 

How Advanced Air & Vacuum Can Help

At Advanced Air & Vacuum, we provide both maintenance and repair services where our skilled technicians can diagnose and solve problems with your compressor quickly and efficiently. Remember, persistent, unaddressed issues can lead to more substantial damages and consequently higher repair costs. However, regular maintenance checks and early professional intervention can help keep these costs down. 

Maintenance Tips for Your Air Compressor and the Value of Proper Maintenance 

Maintenance can feel like an additional task on your to-do list. However, when it comes to air compressors, giving them the right attention not only enhances their lifespan but also ensures optimal performance. Let’s discuss ways you can do this effectively.

Check the Belt Guard & Clutch

First, a regular performance investigation is necessary to help prevent short cycling. If you notice your compressor starting and stopping quickly, check the belt guard and the clutch, these pieces can wear out over time. Replacing worn out parts can increase the life and performance of your compressor significantly. 

Maintaining the Air Tank

Next, maintaining the right pressure within the air tank is critical. Ensure to check the high and low pressure frequently. If you notice irregularities such as an unusually high or low pressure, it often indicates a problem that needs prompt attention.

Other Important Components to Check Regularly

The start capacitor, check valve, and unloader valve all play key roles in the successful operation of your air compressor. For instance, the check valve stops air pressure from flowing back to the compressor once it has stopped. A malfunctioning check valve can cause extended wear and tear on your compressor. Check these parts regularly and replace them when necessary.

In conclusion, the significance of regular air compressor maintenance cannot be overstated. Through routine checks, you can avoid many common issues that cause air compressors to shut down unexpectedly. But remember, if the issues persist, it’s important to seek professional help.

Handling All of Your Compressed Air Needs

At Advanced Air & Vacuum, our priority is to ensure you have access to the best air compressors, the right information for successful use, and superior repair services when you need them. We hope this guide helps you understand your air compressor better and equips you to keep it running smoothly. For detailed queries or professional assistance, feel free to contact us for all of your compressed air needs.