38898 Central Pneumatic Compressor leaking gasket?

by Larry
(Allendale MI)

My compressor was leaking air.

Took off the cover that says DO NOT REMOVE. NO OWNER SERVICABLE PARTS. It is the switch compartment. Found a gasket had a hole in it. It was easy to get at and the gasket should be replaceable.

Where could I find a replacement gasket ?? I would hate to throw the compressor out just because of a leaky gasket. That is all it needs to get it back working again. HELP !!!!
larbonpast@gmail.com Larry

Larry, just had a couple of questions similar, so I wrote a blog entry that addresses that issue.

Have a look at the latest entry here: http://wrw51.wordpress.com/

The full posting is in the December 2011 directory, and portions of it are copied here:\"Recognize first of all that a compressor pump head gets very, very hot in operation. Yes, you can burn skin with the heat generated, so any gasket material has to be heat resistant.

What some visitors to my about-air-compressors.com info website have done is as follows.

They acquired gasketing material. They disassembled the pump and located all the gaskets that were present. They then either removed them to use as a template to make new ones, or used the surface where the original gaskets were installed as a template, if the gasket was beyond removal in one piece. With the old gasket template as a guide, they marked the new gasket material appropriately, and cut the material to suit.

If your air compressor won’t build pressure past a certain point, the most frequent causes seem to be either the intake or high pressure reed / flapper valve is failing, or a gasket is letting go. You may, nor may not, be able to see the failure point if it is the gasket. Yet, once you have the pump apart, you might as well eliminate that as the potential problem, by installing new gaskets.

If you can’t buy them, you can make your own.

I have not dealt with the company myself, but a source that has popped up for gasket material is:


I don’t think you can buy from them, but you can find the material and a source through them, evidently."



Comments for 38898 Central Pneumatic Compressor leaking gasket?

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Jun 21, 2013
Just Me,
by: Bobby

I am needing a head gasket for my Control Pneumatic 2 Hp Pancake Compressor #38898. This compressor is leaking there because of the leakage and cannot build up pressure. I hope you have one available.
I don't sell compressors or compressor parts, but my advertisers do.

See the sitemap page under troubleshooting for pages about why air compressors don't build pressure, to help check if it is a head leak, or perhaps, something else.


Apr 16, 2012
Service Manual for #38898
by: The Webhunter

I have the same compressor.
Did you ever get your gasket info??

This link has a downloadable manual that lists a sku# for some gaskets in a kit and has an exploded view of the compressor.


Not sure if it is the gasket you need.
Here is the Harbor Freight Customer Service #
1-800-444-3353 if the kit has what you need.
The Webhunter

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Central Pneumatic air compressor check valve blew?

by Bob Schlimgen
(Ft. Myers, Fl)

Were you able to help Nathan in Houston?

I also have a Central Pneumatic 2HP 8 Gal compressor (40400) about 2 or 3 years old. I use it only about once a month for a few minutes at most.

I think I blew the "check valve". Part of it that actually looks like the head of a bolt broke and "blew" off. I called the 1-800 and they said that the part was not available. The valve screws into the tank and connects the release with the air control mechanism as well as the air pressure. I bought the air compressor at Harbor Freight. Can you help me?

My guess is it is a pressure release safety valve that blows if the pressure is too high. I don't think pressure was the cause of the "blow". I think it was more that the part was a bit weak.

Anybody have an idea on getting a replacement?
Bob, you say "Were you able to help Nathan in Houston?" Hmmm. What's Nathan's compressor issue. There are thousands of posts on this site, and despite my prodigious memory /:-) I don't remember.

I have never heard of a check valve blowing apart, so this stymies me.

Find out where HF sends air compressors for repair under warranty, and talk to those folks about a replacement.

The check valve isn't rocket science, and as long as you can thread a new one into the tank, and connect the line from the pump and the line over to the switch, any check valve that functions will work.

"My guess is it is a pressure release safety valve that blows if the pressure is too high." Yup, and certainly not the check valve. See the PRV valve page for info on it and the CHECK VALVE page for info on them.



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Jun 30, 2012
check valve failure
by: dick

This happened to me yesterday. The head of the check valve cap failed and blew off. I doubt if I can find a cap to fit so will probably just buy a replacement check valve.

Dec 19, 2011
by: Bob S from Florida

Good luck finding the replacement end with proper NPT fitting. I had to order a 95386 Unloader valve from Harbor Freight. Cost $7.23 plus .$43 tax plus $5.99 shipping.

Dec 18, 2011
Check valve blew off explosively
by: Anonymous

I bought a used 40400 compressor yesterday from an old friend that had very few hours on it. He told me it had fallen over and some oil leaked out, but it was OK as far as he knew. When I fired it up to about 100psi, the end of the check valve blew off explosively. I never found the end of it. Attempting to remove the rest of the assembly from the tank, the metal just crumbled. I used a small screwdriver to chop a slot through the threads and worked out what was left in the tank hole, then cleaned the remaining metal with a small pick. I found the hole appears to be tapped in a NPT size. Figure I will go to the hardware tomorrow and make a brass substitute. The original appears to be cast, then machined pot metal, not aluminum, and far too thin to work well. Hope this helps someone. Other wise it seems to be a good machine. Time will tell. BTW I bought it because someone broke in and stole my best tools. I could not afford to replace them with top on the line equipment.


Typically, a compressor check valve is part of the fitting that goes into the tank.

When you are writing about the check valve, do you, perhaps, mean the PRV valve?

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Central Pneumatic compressor breather leaks air

my breather assembly is leaking air when my comprerssor shuts off
Assuming that the leak is a burst rather than an ongoing one, then the leak is likely caused by a failing intake valve.

If air continues to blow out the intake vent when the compressor is off, then not only is the intake valve suspect, but your tank check valve needs work too.



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