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by Paul

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 seconds, then shuts off again.

Bostitch pancake style air compressor
Bostitch pancake style air compressor

Good 20amp power supply. Tank pressure starting 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 to 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?