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A common problem for Bostitch air compressors is them not being able to stay running. Therefore, this article will provide you with all the possible reasons as to why your Bostitch air compressor won’t stay running, along with existing reader questions and responses related to the issue.

Table of Contents

Reasons Bostitch Air Compressor Won’t Stay Running

It’s possible you might have to face an issue with your Bostitch air compressor not staying running, where the power light is on, and it may seem like the air compressor is on, but, the Bostitch air compressor will not be working and there will be no pressure in the air compressor.

This is a simple error that might be caused due to some sort of electrical problem. Therefore, you should:

  • Check all the wiring
  • Remove the compressor from the extension cord
  • Check for leaks
  • Inspect capacitors
  • Check for signs of overheating

Check All the Wiring

Once you have figured out all the wiring issues, if there are any, and have ensured that the plug is in properly, you will need to press the reset button on your air compressor and hopefully, that will solve the problem for you.

Remove the Compressor From the Extension Cord

If it is using one, as they tend to have insufficient power, therefore, your Bostitch air compressor won’t stay running. If you must use an extension cord, make sure it is made just for this kind of application.

Check for Leaks

Check for an air leak, an oil leak, or a broken part. In some cases, you might have insufficient pressurization or airflow because of these.

Inspect Capacitors

Check the run capacitor, if it is failing during running after the start capacitor gets the compressor going. If this keeps tripping, causing the motor to shut off, you will likely need to replace the run capacitor.

Check for Signs of Overheating

Check for signs of the compressor overheating, meaning that the thermal overload is tripping and the compressor is shut down to protect the motor, allowing it time to cool down. Visit our Air Compressor Reset Button Always Trips – Air Compressor Keeps Tripping Overload guide for more information!

Reader Questions & Responses

Bostitch Air Compressor Won’t Keep Running – Bostitch Air Compressor Troubleshooting


I have a Bostitch 6 gal pancake compressor. After plugging it in, I pull the knob out to start building pressure.

It starts but then shuts off in less than 10 seconds. It sometimes restarts, but then runs for only a couple of seconds, then shuts off again.

Bostitch pancake style air compressor
Bostitch pancake-style air compressor

Good 20amp power supply. Tank pressure starts at 0 psi. Any ideas? Thanks.


If this were my Bostitch compressor Paul I’d use a multi-meter to check the power on the compressor motor side of the switch after the compressor shuts off, assuming that the tank pressure is below the normal compressor cut out.

If the tank pressure is zero, and the pressure switch is not allowing power to flow through it to the motor circuit, then the pressure switch has tripped off, and, that makes me suspect that the pressure switch itself is the problem.

If not, then check all the wiring connections carefully as a loose wire could be causing this.

Last, if the motor has a capacitor, see the page on this site about how to test them. Yes, you’ll need a multi-meter to do so.

Could you check it out, and let us know via a comment if that was the problem?

Bostitch Air Compressor Won’t Stay Running – Troubleshooting Bostitch Air Compressor


CWC200ST 3hp 4gal. twin tank. The compressor is plugged into a power pole on a 20 amp breaker, no extension cord is in use.

With the tank empty turn the compressor on, it will reach about 30 psi and then will throw the reset. Wait a couple of minutes to push reset and it will them pressure up to around 60 psi and throw the reset again. Does this again at around 90 psi and then finally reaches 125 or 130 psi at normal shutoff.

I have checked and adjusted the pressure switch, checked the pressure relief valve, and checked the valve that allows air into the tank.

I don’t know what to do. It should not be the capacitors or pressure switch as it starts fine, and the pressure switch also shuts it off around 130 psi.

I started to bypass the reset but did not want to ruin something else. This has been in the shop twice and they say they can’t find what’s wrong. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks, Tommy


Tommy, if the start/run capacitor on your is weak, that could account for the compressor issues you are facing.

The start/run cap builds a bit of a charge which is used to get the motor going, but the motor lacks the power supply needed to keep going against a building pressure, the motor overheats as it’s struggling, and as a result, it kicks off the compressor motor thermal reset.

See the page about checking your caps on this site, and see if that is the problem, won’t you? Then add a comment if you still need some help.

If you have any questions regarding Bostitch air compressors not staying running, please leave a comment below, with a photo if applicable, so that someone can help you!