My Central Pneumatic air compressor has only a short burst of air at air hose?

by Al Toth
(Wellton, AZ)

Compressed air regulator -

Compressed air regulator -

central pneumatic - short burst of air 2 seconds at air hose

I have a central pneumatic 4 horsepower, 26 gallon air compressor used it for 3 years no problems.

Yesterday I started it up it shut off at 155 like normal, on the air hose regulator 90 psi like normal.

When using air I get a short burst of about 2 seconds pressure drops from 90 psi to zero, when I release the tool the pressure then returns to 90 psi then it returns to 90 psi.

I have tried using different air tools, the tire tool fill tire, a tool for blowing air all with the same results.

Checked for leaks with soap and water no leaks, but still no air except that short burst.
Al, it's pretty clear that something is interfering with the orderly flow of compressed air from the compressor air tank to the air tool.

I'm thinking that your regulator to your air line is pooched. Can you dump the air from the tank, and put the discharge coupling upstream of the regulator, or just take the regulator out of the circuit briefly to check?

Can you let me know if this did anything as a comment here, please?



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Oct 14, 2014
Air won't come out - FIX
by: Donald A. Anderden

Had same trouble with 3 gallon Harbor Freight pancake air compressor. Solution is to remove air regulator plunger. It has a small protrusion on it which does not push the spring in far enough to let air out of the tank. Put just a little piece of something like gasket material in there and screw in the air regulator valve again and that should fix it. The cheap plastic plunger is the problem. I wish I had taken photos while I have it apart.

Dec 12, 2012
Air compressor has only a short burst of air at hose.
by: EP

I am having the same problem on a Harbor Freight 3 gal. pancake compressor. I completely disassembled the regulator. It is about as simple a mechanism as one could expect. The metal supply tube with a Tee in the middle - high pressure relief valve on 1 end and hose coupline on the other end with the regulator attached in the middle to the Tee. At first I thought I must have some type of blockage, so disassembled everything... Regulator is made up of hand knob that moves a plastic plunger with 2 rubber o-rings in and out of it's cavity that pushes against a metal disk sitting on top of a compression spring. The more the springs is compressed the more air pressure available. I took everything apart and relubed with some teflon lubricate but didn't solve my problem. Plan to go into it again since I have a better idea of what to look for now.
Before you tear down your regulator again, and if you want to start a new thread with photos of your regulator in pieces so other folks can see it, that would be great, make sure that your connector is the right one for the discharge coupler. If your hose has a charge of air, and the connector isn't opening the coupler fully, then that could account for a burst of air and then very low flow.


Oct 31, 2012
I had the same problem
by: Neil

Had partly painted a car and was not getting a very good finish with my old spray gun, so I went out and bought a new gravity feed gun. Hooked it up and pulled the trigger....Phhht nothing. Checked the tank pressure, no problem, checked the water trap , all good. Plugged the gun in again...Phhht. Thinking by now my new gun was either a dud or my delivery hose had suddenly become completely clogged, I checked the stop valve on the hose and once again Phhht. I then went to pull the hose out to replace it, only to find the left front wheel of the car parked firmly on top of it.
Oh my, Neil. Good tip. Sometimes it isn't the air compressor that's the problem. :-)


Sep 07, 2011
by: Al

Thank you for your help, the regulator is shot thats the good news, the bad news is harbor freight has discontinued that model and parts are no longer availble. I guess I can always use a new air compressor.

Thanks again for your help.



Dump the air, take the regulator off, take it to a local air supply shop, and get a regulator that is close in size and the plumbing to install it, the air won't mind, and it will cost you a lot less than a new air compressor.


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Central Pneumatic compressor model 94734 not building pressure?

by Dave
(Dallas, TX)

Bought unit couple of years ago. Vibrated so much it broke the motor unit welds loose from the base. Replaced with some brackets, worked fine until this week.

Unit is rated 80 - 115psi, but only goes to 80, then stops building pressure.

Noticed air leak at elbow joint from compressor to tank.

Removed and added teflon tape. No help. Now feels like air is escaping from the top of the compressor housing. Help!!

Two things... find out where the free air intake is on the compressor, and feel to see if air is huffing out of that port. If so, you have a valve problem.

Second, please go to the Troubleshooting section on the site map, and read the pages about "will not build pressure" for other tips and things to check.

What did you find about the intake valve on your central pneumatic model 94734 compressor? Please add a comment here.



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where can i find a reed kit for central pneumatic 93271

by lennie

I have a broken reed on my compressor. Cant find parts anywhere. Can someone point me in the right direction?
Number 93271
Lennie, according to the manual you are able to get parts here: SKU 93271 please call 1-800-444-3353

You are looking to get parts 3B, 4B and 5B as far as I can tell from viewing the parts schematic.


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Compressor Model 90234 Won't Start after its Oil Change

by Ibrar
(Beaver Crossing, NE (USA))

I have Central Pneumatic compressor model 90234 bought over 2 years ago from Harbor Freight.

Ran just fine till I noted in oil window, oil was dirty. Drained old oil and put new oil from Harbor Freight. Not having its manual before checking this great valuable site, I filled one whole bottle in.

Plugged in the compressor in the same outlet where its was always worked, when pulled the red button to start, it didn't started, just like it tried to start but didn't.

After printing its manual and reading it completely,located its black circuit breaker, pushed the breaker in, nothing happened.

Sometimes I can hear motor humming sound but motor not starting at all. removed some oil assuming I may have overfilled it, & this time kept oil about half (horizontal in the window). Tried to start, still not starting and after sometimes humming sound that small circuit breaker pop out.

I read here Mr. Bill suggestion to check starting capacitor. I am not sure where I can get these capacitor here in Lincoln, NE as its not a big town and state but hope somewhere if that's bad.

now i will check how to check these capacitor(s). we use to charge it applying AC directly on its terminals for a little while and then shorting the terminals with some screw driver or any thick insulated wire (not touching charge terminals with barred hands at all as it will give you big short and can harm you seriously/ can be fatal too). by shorting charged capacitor terminal, if the capacitor is good, it will give you good noisy sound(sparking sound) and if its weak it will give less/ very less sound and if its total bad, it won't give any sound.

actual proper method is to check any capacitor with a capacitor tester but usually capacitor are expensive. It can be checked by a good multimeter(s).

Any other suggestion(s) from Mr. Bill or anyone who have had similar problem(s), I will appreciate your response(s). thanks Ibrar

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