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Bambi Air compressor Won’t Build Pressure – Solutions & Possible Causes

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20 Year Old Bambi Air Compressor Won’t Build Pressure

This Bambi has been working for over 20 years, but has stopped building pressure

Any suggestions appreciated.

New Bambi 75-250 model air compressor
New Bambi 75-250 model air compressor


It’s still working… but won’t build pressure? Has the sound changed? For sure the tank drain valve is shut after the reservoir was last drained?

Please provide a bit more information as a comment and also visit the compressor troubleshooting page on this site. Follow the links to the pages that talk about why air compressors run but don’t build pressure and do some of the rudimentary checks noted there please.

What did you find, or not find? Please provide details and we’ll help to try and narrow the problem down.


Anonymous wrote in in response to this post and said, it’s obvious, but do you have an air leak somewhere? Air leaks will stop build up.

These hermetic pumps are very low output so air leaks are a NO! NO!

Place your finger on the inlets of the pump and see if any suction is there? No suction then rings/valves are shot so bin it!!

WHENEVER buying an air compressor check the air usage on the tool u r going to operate, rule of thumb is add one third to that figure and that’s the size compressor u need.

EXAMPLE:-AIR TOOL using 40lpm YOU NEED A 60lpm AIR COMPRESSOR…any lower and compressor will never cut out, it will wear, it will pass oil into air receiver, it will seize up.

Bambi Air Compressor Won’t Build Pressure After Lying down?

I have a Bambi 75/250 compressor that’s worked perfectly for many years I lent it to a friend when he returned it and the compressor was laying on its side in the back of his truck he said it was working fine.

Now I have just gone to use it and its not making any pressure. I have checked the air adjustment valves still nothing could laying on it side be the problem as it is oil filled?

Help would be much appreciated,. My thanks, MickP.


Mick, oh my, that’s not good. I do believe that oil lubed compressors in particular are meant to operate vertically, that is, with the sump at the bottom.

The oil sump of any compressor will, in time, have crud drop out of suspension and drop to the bottom of the sump. The amount and thickness may vary depending on how long the compressor has been in use. By turning your Bambi 75/250 compressor on it’s side, your friend may have caused some of that oil and crud to percolate into areas on the compressor where it shouldn’t be. Kind of like turning a car upside down. Oil and debris gets where it shouldn’t go.

That it’s running is good. But it’s not making any air at all? How long have you run it without success in building air?


Doug from s.d.ca asks, how long has the compressor been upright after you took it out of the truck and before you started it. The issue may clear itself in time, perhaps. Also, are you sure the tank drain valve is closed? And, does it sound normal when it’s running?


Mick, I think that after a day or so of sitting upright, if it runs and there is not air built, first pull the pump-to-tank tube off the top of the piston head. Run the compressor. Any air out at all?

If there is some air, it could be that the tank check valve is fouled shut and stopping air from entering the tank, not likely, but possibly.

I think you’ll find that there is no air coming out of the pump head, and if that’s the case, I’m afraid it’s time to pop the top off and have a look. Valves may fouled, etc.

What did you find if you opened up the pump?

By Bill Wade

About Air Compressors has been helping folks with their Air Compressor Problems since 2002 online. We're a community of DIY and Compressed Air professionals who are keen to support everyone across the globe with their air compressor issues and troubleshooting. Whether you're trying to identify an old air compressor, or troubleshoot an error code on a sophisticated new industrial air compressor - the community at About-Air-Compressors.com is here to help you

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