Dewalt upright electric compressor will not turn on.

by JC
(Lakewood, CO)

I have a 1.5 year old stand up Dewalt compressor that will not turn on. It worked two weeks ago, and now nothing happens. You move the switch from Off to Auto and get nothing. No noise, no nothing. The tank is empty, not full so that is not the problem. It is plugged in to a good outlet, that is not the problem. It is oil less, that is not the problem. Any ideas? I spent $250 on a compressor for home use, I would expect it to last me many, many years.

Thank you,
JC, you need to get a multi-meter to check and see if power is flowing through the on/off switch when you turn it on.

If power is getting through switch to the motor circuit, next thing I would check would be the start capacitor. See that page for how, if you are not sure.



Comments for Dewalt upright electric compressor will not turn on.

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 24, 2016
DeWalt Kill Switch
by: Bill

Walt, thanks for that.

I think you may find that the switch you refer to is a thermal cut out, and it shuts the motor down to protect it if it starts to get too hot.

There are typical reasons why a compressor motor gets too hot, relating to power supply, load etc.

That the switch keeps tripping off is a signal to me that all is not right on the compressor.

However, if it works for you, and after the motor cools, pushing that button allows the compressor to start, for many DIY'ers, that will suffice, I expect.

Apr 23, 2016
I can't believe this thread has gone this long without the obvious answer.
by: walt

While it is hidden there is a reset button on the motor that should solve most of these problems.

Facing the red oil dipstick look about five inches up and about four inches to the right and you will see a small white button [mine has the number 16 in the middle] about 1/4 inch in diameter. Just push that button in and it will reset the electrical system.

These small 4.0 gallon DeWalt air compressors have difficulty starting in cold temperatures and when the air compressor has over 60 to 80 psi. Mine has triggered the kill switch a couple of times and all I have had to do is just push the reset button.

Unless, there is something else going on other than the kill switch has been triggered then this is the answer to most of these no start issues.

Mar 28, 2016
Same problem, exactly
by: Bill

Worked the first few times, then just won't come on. Getting plenty of power. Is this endemic of this model from DeWalt?

Nov 24, 2015
D55153 Dewalt air compressor
by: Bill

Clearly a power problem and I would guess that the run from the panel to the shop is quite a bit longer than the run to where the compressor started OK.

You may have 120 VAC at both outlets, but what amps are you getting?

It were my compressor I'd be working on getting a better power supply to the shop.

Nov 24, 2015
Dewalt Air Compressor won't start
by: Scott

I have a model D55153 Dewalt air compressor. When I brought home it worked OK then moved it to my shop and would not run.

I exchanged it at Home Depot and the new one one does the same thing, it works in one garage and not the other. I check the outlet voltage and it is 121 where it works and 120.4 in the shop where it does no. Ive called DeWalt and they have no clue.

Any ideas what up?

Nov 07, 2015
DewaltD55168 standup won't run
by: Bill McDonald

Same problem. Stand up 200 psi won't start. Has power. Will start for a second then nothing. Evidently this is a problem with this model?

Jun 01, 2015
Dewalt D55146 air compressor
by: Andrew

Turns on sometimes. If I pick up the handle from a lay down position and drop it,it will turn on. I am thinking that a bushing or something is getting stuck. Who can fix it. Thanks

Feb 25, 2015
2 weeks old dewalt dxcmv5048055.1 wont run
by: Anonymous

I have power to the wire nuts in the end of motor.but will not run. Tank is empty.

Click here to add your own comments

Add your own question or comment. It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to DeWalt Air Compressor Issues.

DeWalt air compressor doesn't want to start

by Justin
(El Paso)

DeWalt air compressor

DeWalt air compressor

Doent want to turn on
Justin, since you don't provide me a whole lot of info, it's hard to figure out why.

Visit the troubleshooting section on the site map page for the page about why air compressors won't start. There is a bunch of info there about things you can check.

Post back here as a comment when you've checked some of reasons out, if you are still having problems with your DeWalt air compressor.



Comments for DeWalt air compressor doesn't want to start

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 11, 2016
Unplugged Emglo
by: Bill

Don, you may have sidestepped the unloader by so doing.

Empty the tank, with luck it will start, and when the tank pressure reaches cut out and the motor stops, make sure the unloader works.

Oct 10, 2016
DeWalt emglo
by: Don

Mine came unplugged while is was running, and I plugged it back in before it completely shut off, then it bogged itself down and shut off and will not start back up. What a pain these are.

Jun 05, 2016
Thanks Walt
by: Ezra

My Dewalt compressor also stopped running after I starved it for power while running a power tool on the same extension cord. Walt was right on about resetting the switch by pushing in the white button above and back from the dipstick.

Click here to add your own comments

Add your own question or comment. It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to DeWalt Air Compressor Issues.

Dewalt oil-less d55140 won't start

by Gabriel

power supply is good, tank is empty, no humming, no reset button visible, nothing happens. Just stopped working one day.
Can you use a multi-meter to check where power is flowing to, Gabriel?

With the compressor tank empty, power should flow from the socket, to and through and ON/OFF switch, to and through the pressure switch, to the motor circuit.

If power is getting that far, test your capacitor to see if it's shorted out. See that page on this site.



Comments for Dewalt oil-less d55140 won't start

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 05, 2016
D55141 runs non-stop
by: Bill

Sure. Check the pressure switch. See how to do that in the troubleshooting pages on this site.

Oct 03, 2016
D55141 runs non-stop
by: Anonymous

I have a D55141 it runs non stop, it builds pressure and then the release valve goes off reducing pressure and then just keeps running. the noise makes me nuts trying to use this thing. I have tried adjusting the pressure gauges but nothing seems to work. Any ideas?

Jul 17, 2016
by: Anonymous

Okay, first off, thanks everybody for the comprehensive tips.

To clarify my model, I went back and double checked the model number. D55141 - this model came with two nail guns and nail gun bag.

I only ever used this compressor once a year for the first few years, aside from using it to fill tires.

That said, the 20 amp circuit in my house is strained, which might be the culprit.

I didn't use extension cords ever, and once I replaced the time fuse (No reset switches), everything has been okay (just filling tires a couple times a year now). In fact, I'm kind of surprised I'm back on the forum several years later for a problem that once identified, has not been a problem anymore.

Anyways, I think it shouldn't be so convoluted that most people just have to take the compressor in to get a fuse replaced.

I also have a DeWalt double bevel miter saw, and only used it a few times a year. Well, the electric brake on that finally went out, and I'm pretty sure it's just a bearing that needs replaced.

Sorry DeWalt, but I think I'll just stick with your circular saws.

I think to save money, some of the replaceable parts may have been cheap to begin with. A lot of this type of practice happened right around the economic recession.

Jul 17, 2016
DeWalt no fuse...
by: Bill

Gabriel, thanks for taking the time to provide this tip about how you resolved this thermal cut out situation on this DeWalt compressor.

Jul 15, 2016
Modify fuse..
by: Gabriel

I fixed this a long time ago.

Take black plastic casing off, find fuse connected directly to copper wire that winds around the motor.

Replace with new (time delay) fuse, but install in-line fuse holder to extend the fuse outside the case for further maintenance.


there will now be a small amount of exposed copper wire (outside) the case. Take care to cover this wire.

Shame on DeWalt for trying to make me take in for service because of a darn fuse..

Jul 11, 2016

by: Bill

From the details found in the manual, the thermal cut out is part of the motor circuitry, and there may not be a reset button. As you can see below, the thermal cut out should reset itself as the motor cools down.

The motor has a thermal overload protector. If the motor overheats for any reason, the
overload protector will shut off the motor. The motor must be allowed to cool down before
restarting. To restart:
Set the Auto/Off lever (L) to
and unplug unit.
Allow the motor to cool.
Plug the power cord into the correct branch circuit receptacle.
Set the Auto/Off lever to

What I expect has happened is that you are using an extension cord? If so, if that cord is under sized, you may have completely fried the motor. Here's what the manual says about the extension cord use:

Extension Cords
If an extension cord must be used, be sure it is:
• a 3­wire
cord that has a 3­blade
plug, and a 3­slot
will accept the plug on the product
• in
good condition
• plug
is not worn
• no
than 50 feet (15.2 m)
• 12
or larger.
(Wire size increases
as gauge
10 AWG and
8 AWG may also be used. DO NOT USE 14 OR 16 AWG.)
Risk of property damage. The use of an undersized extension cord will cause
voltage to drop resulting in power loss to the motor and overheating.

The manual can be found at:,D55146.pdf

Is it possible that the extension cord, if used, was undersized, Charlie?

Jul 11, 2016
Dewalt D55146 4.5 Gallon 200 PSI 1.6 HP not starting
by: Charlie

While I was using this Dewalt D55146 4.5 Gallon 200 PSI 1.6 HP compressor to paint my fence, it stopped. I suspect it got too hot and stopped running. No burnt smell or smoke.

I do not see a reset button anywhere so I open the front and rear shrouds and motor and pump assembly exposed.

I manually turn the fan blade attached on one end of a rotor and it turns smoothly. Voltage is present between 2 main wires enter the motor when switch is set from OFF to AUTO, this means the pressure switch is good. Label on motor reads:

120V 1 PHASE 60 HZ.

My assumption is motor needs reset but no reset button found. The motor has 2 brushes and its stator has 2 coils. What is the issue? How does Thermal Protection work for this type of motor? Thanks for your opinions.

Click here to add your own comments

Add your own question or comment. It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to DeWalt Air Compressor Issues.