Troubleshooting Compressors One


This wesite has received hundres of questions about troubleshooting air compressors. In an effort to make some sense of the many questions received and answered, I have tried to categorize troubleshooting air compressors into similar postings on each page.

There is a link at the bottom of the page to take you back to the forum page if you would like to offer a response or to pose a question of your own.

Here is the first question - Starting up a compressor that hasn't been used in years by Dominic. My air compressor hasn't been used in over 15 years. It was only used a few times when it was brand new. Is there anything I need to do to it before trying to use it after so long?

My response: Get rid of all the dust bunnies? :-) Seriously, make sure the motor is dust free. Replace the lubricating oil. Start it and monitor the operation, looking for leaks or anything that looks or sounds unusual. If something appears off, shut the compressor down until whatever it is is fixed.

I'd be surprised if there are any real issues, unless, of course, it has been poorly stored. Good luck. And if you have a problem, ask it on the forum (link at bottom of page) and we'll see if we can help fix it.

Next question about Binform gas driven compressor. It's a Binford compressor with a 5.5hp Honda Motor, the Motor will start easy, builds up pressure nicely, then when it reaches 120psi the pressure valve opens (this valve is on the side of motor and has a 1/4 hose than runs to the pop off valve on the air tank ) and the Honda goes to idle. All good, you can use the compressed air then the pressure drops and the Honda revs up and builds pressure again.. it will cycle like this a number of times with no problem.

Tthen for some reason the idle seems to slow and then when the pressure drops and when the Honda is required to rev up... it stalls. It wont start again unless you apply a little pressure to the Pressure valve. I dont know the proper name of this valve it has the 1/4 hose from the pop valve on the air tank and the rod that comes out pushes onto the Governor lever ?? Does this make scense ..lol.. :) Oh, is this valve is adjustable ?? Its brass and has 2 x 13/16 nuts.

I attempt a response: Tony, your post is a bit challenging. :-) I don't have a copy of the Binford manual, but I pulled this from a gas powered Rolair manual...

"Every ROLAIR gas-powered air compressor is built with an engine idle control kit that automatically decreases the engine speed when the top end pressure setting of the pilot unloader valve is reached. The top RPM setting of the engine is factory set for maximum performance and service life. Do not alter the factory top RPM setting. The engine idle speed is factory set and controlled by a black plastic Philips head screw on the carburetor. A slight increase to the idle speed setting may be required when operating in colder temperatures. Turn screw clockwise in 1/4 turn increments to increase the idle speed. If the idle speed setting is too low, premature fouling of spark plug will occur." courtesy.. www.rolair.net

This might apply to your issue. I think it is an idle adjustment, and the problem is occurring when the compressor heats up. I welcome the contributions of any other Binford air compressor owners on the compresosr troubleshooting forum linked below.

belaire / kohler - engines shuts down?

New question about compressor engine shuts down: It shuts down instead of going to low idle once compressor reaches 150psi.

Response: Shawn, when it unloads, the throttle should be reduced to idle. If it moves too far, it strangles the fuel completely, and shuts down the engine, at least I suspect this is what is happening. That's no surprise to you, I guess!

You need to check out the unloader and throttle control mechanism as the issue is there, caused by dirt, poorly adjusted... etc.

New question - Is it ok to leave a compressor on for days at a time when not in use? I am new to air compressors and have just bought a small oil free compressor. should i empty the tank daily or is it ok to leave it with pressure in the tank when not in use? if so for how long?

Response: If you are not using the compressor for a long time, I'd empty the tank to help prevent corrosion buildup due to the water residue. If you need more info about why compressors generate water, click the link from the Nav bar.

Compressors that are used for industrial application are often left on for weeks at a time. They are churning huge volumes of air too, and most (many?) will have an auto drain in their system to continuously drain the tank water. Just curious as to why you would want to leave the compressor on?

Comment from Nick in response: Bill, many thanks for your answer. I suppose i would wanted to leave it on as it so that i had the air available quickly without having to wait for the tank to charge (which is quite noisy).

Here is the compressor troubleshooting forum.