When the lights dim…

If your compressor goes to start, and suddenly the lights in the room dim or flicker, that’s a signal that  your compressor has a problem.

It may be that there is a pump mechanical issue loading down the crank, and the motor cannot start easily.

It may also be that the unloader valve is failing, and the compressor motor is trying to start against a load of air trapped over the piston.

The most likely scenario though is that the start capacitor is failing. If you browse on line for videos about how to test your compressor motor start capacitor, you will find many.

If your room lights are dimming when the compressor tries to start, check your compressor motor start capacitor.

Found this recall notice about Craftsman air compressors

I found this recall notice about Craftsman air compressor on the website www.pirate4x4.com.  It’s a few years old, but may still apply to some folks with these model numbers.

Thanks for the share folks. If you are a 4×4 type person, check out their site.

“Originally Posted by Sears

Our records indicate that you purchased a Craftsman Air Compressor that may have a potential safety hazard. Sears has been advised by the manufacturer of the air compressor, DeVilbiss Air Power Company, that the motor on certain air compressors can overheat, posing a fire hazard. Sears and DeVilbiss, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, are working to correct the potential safety hazard. The CPSC will monitor the effectiveness of this recall program.

The recall involves certain air compressors sold from Sept. 2000 through Oct. 2010. In addition to the model number, the manufacturing date is important due to the fact that not all air compressors with a particular model number are included in this recall. The following Craftsman model numbers of air compressors with the indentified manufacturing dates are affected by this recall:

Model Number/Description/Date of Manufacture

919.166440 15 Gal. Vertical 5/’04-3/’05
919-167240 15 Gal. Horizontal 9/’00-3/’03
919-167241 15 Gal. Horizontal 9/’02-12/’03
919-167242 15 Gal. Horizontal 7/’03-5/’05
919-167243 15 Gal. Horizontal 5/’04-1/’05
919-167250 15 Gal. Horizontal 12/’02-12/’03
919-167251 15 Gal. Horizontal 7/’03-8/’04

Note that air compressors with the following model numbers are NOT affected by the recall: 919.166441, 919.166442, 919.166443, and 919.166444.

If you have one of the air compressors listed in the chart, stop using it immediately, unplug it, and inform everyone else who may use the air compressor of the potential safety hazard. Your air compressor will be repaired at no charge to you.

After you have located the model number and manufacturing date of your air compressor, please record this information, and have this information available when you call Sears toll-free at: 1-888-279-8013″


Air Compressor Recalls

Periodically air compressors get recalled by the actual manufacturer due to issues developing once they get out into the field. Here are some air compressor recalls, provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (http://www.cpsc.gov).

Air Compressors Recalled by MAT Industries Due to Shock Hazard Feb 12, 2014

Brands: HTX and Powermate 2 gallon stacked tank style

HDX & Powermate air compressors recalledEvidently the terminals in the pressure switch can sometimes come into contact with the housing, basically electrifying the air compressor, and making it a shock hazard for anyone that touches either compressor.

Don’t use them until you get them fixed!

Who to contact about these air compressor recalls

Industries toll-free at (855) 922-2300 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or online at www.powermate.com  and click on Air Compressors, then VSP0000201 and online at www.homedepot.com and click on Product Recalls for more information.

Why two air gauges on an air compressor?

If you have used air compressors before, then you know why two air gauges on an air compressor is the norm. But what if you haven’t?

A visitor that is new to air compressors sent in the question. Here is the answer.

Tank Air Gauge

The typical air compressor has a tank into which the compressor pump pumps air to pressurize it. It is the tank pressure that the compressor pressure switch monitors so it knows when to start or stop the air compressor motor, based on the pressure in the tank. As the compressed air user, you need to know the pressure in the tank as well, both to be sure that the air compressor is shutting off at the correct cut out pressure, and to know how much air you have available to you.

So, one of the two gauges on the air compressor is to display the tank air pressure.

Compressed air pressure gauge

Typical air pressure gauge. Photo: Northern Tool

The tank pressure gauge will  display a lowering of pressure as the compressed air is being consumed, and the PSI displayed will increase fairly rapidly when the compressor motor cuts in to generate more compressed air for the compressor tank.

Regulator Air Gauge

The other gauge on a typical air compressor is the regulator gauge, on which is displayed the pressure setting of that air regulator. This pressure setting is the air pressure which the user wants to send down the air line to the air tool. Rule of thumb? Set the regulator pressure at the lowest PSI setting at which the air tool will run properly. This helps reduce air compressor cycling frequency (energy saver).

The regulator air gauge pressure display does not move a great deal (it bounces about 10 PSI as the air to the tool is turned on and off) unless the air consumed is greater than the compressed air the compressor can generate, in which case, the regulator gauge will display a steadily decreasing pressure.

Here is the website page with more information on air regulators in case you are not sure about all they do.

Back in the air compressor saddle

I had stopped posting to this blog for a while. I perceived that I’d written all that I could about the subject of air compressors, but now, I find, that I’m back in the air compressor saddle.

There are a few years worth of posts here, going back to 2007, with lots of information about using air compressors. Either use the search box to find specific information, or click on the select month tab in the earlier posts box on the right side to get to the information.

Portable Speedaiare air compressor

New additions will be added to this site on an ongoing basis, so, thanks for visiting this first time, and I hope you will come back.

Those that are looking for a comprehensive ebook on air compressors would be well advised to grab this one!

Feel free to leave a comment about any of the air compressor issues discussed, particularly if you can add information to help others.