61454 keeps tripping overload protector

by Chris H
(New York)

Central Pneumatic 21gal compressor (61454) keeps tripping overload protector

I have a 5 year old central pneumatic 21gal compressor model 61454 that keeps tripping the overload protector.

When I turn the unit on it runs for ~15 seconds then trips the overload.

If you hit the reset button the unit will run for ~5 seconds then trip the overload again, which you can keep repeating.

If you let it sit for 1 minute you can reset the unit will run for ~15 seconds again.

The unit is in great shape and hasn't been used that much.

The unit is on its own circuit which it has been on for the last 5 years.

After reading some different complaints about the unit I replaced the oil with fresh synthetic compressor oil which did nothing.

Seeing that people complain about the capacitors going bad on them I checked mine. The unit has 1 capacitor, it has a few minor dents on it, but it appears to be functional (builds resistance when hooked to a multi-meter).

Any thoughts what the problem could be?

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Jun 13, 2017
Central pneumatic bogging down
by: Anonymous

Two things here , I have worked on industrial air compressors for 12 years. If it bogs down and trips the breaker it's more than likely the check valve on the tank not the start valve. Or your capacitor is going out and bogging the motor down. The pressure switch relieves the head pressure on shut down not the start valve.

Dec 01, 2015
About not an overload issue by: Anonymous
by: Doug in s.d.ca

I beg to differ.

It appears you refer to part 3 in the parts list.
It is called out as "start valve".

That's actually an engineered leak to relieve pressure on the pump head when it stops. It is an inefficient substitute for an unloader.

In case you are not referring to item 3, say which it is.

Nov 30, 2015
61454 Trips overload
by: Bill

Charlie, this issue is covered in the various troubleshooting pages already on this site.

Please review them, and if you still don't find your answer, start a new thread, will you?

Nov 29, 2015
Same issues
by: Charlie

I have a central pneumatic 61454 that is having somewhat the same issues. it will cut on and but sounds like its in a bind. then trips the breaker. i drained the tank and it will fire up an run correctly but after it fills that one time it flips the breaker till drained again. i have no clue about the electric ha. wouldn't know where to begin there but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Oct 27, 2015
not an overload issue
by: Anonymous

if your compressor starts up then shortly trips the built in breaker, it has cothing to do with the electrical system. simply look on the head of the motor, you will see a screw in valve with a nipple on it. seems to be a compression release to prevent hydrolocking. unscrew it and turn on compressor. it will leak out from here. however, if it keeps running without shut down, there is your problem. I have the same model and as of this day cannot seem to find a replacement part for it. just adding my 2 cents in. thanks.

Oct 02, 2015
Not the capacitor
by: Chris H

Sorry it took a while to respond.
I ordered a new 108-130uF starting capacitor and swapped out the old one. Unfortunately my compressor is still having the same issue of running for 15 seconds then tripping the overload. The unit is still reading in the high 16 amps and I am still getting an amperage read on the ground with the new capacitor. I assume that probably means the motor is shot and I should consider replacing it or the whole unit.

Sep 14, 2015
GFCI and Capacitor
by: Doug in s.d.ca

I mentioned the GFCI because if there were one, it's failed. Not having one is OK, but a while back the NEC started requiring them on all 120V circuits, even lights. They used to require them only on circuits subject to dampness, like laundry, kitchen and bath rooms.

Anyway, capacitor:
Given the value, (130mfd or 130μ), and voltage, it would be a start cap. That being the case, it's not critical, so I'd go with the cheaper one, as long as 130μ is in its range.
I suspect that the cap that's failed was available cheap, and the +/-5% is overkill. If it were a run cap, then it's more critical because it's in the circuit all the time.

You might consider getting one of each, as it's possible that the reason this one failed is that the centrifugal switch in the motor is also failed (not opening), which will cause the new cap to fail, sooner or later.

HTH, and good luck.

Sep 14, 2015
More info
by: Chris H

Thanks again Doug and Bill,
You are correct about the unit not being on a GFCI breaker...should it be?...Turns out that the clamp meter I picked up can do capacitance. I tried testing the capacitor, but it overloads the meter....i checked manual for the meter and it can't measure past 100uF or the capacitor is bad. After seeing that i can't measure the capacitor with my meter i tried testing it again with resistance....this time i get no resistance at all...Could the capacitor have fully failed when i played with the unit trying to measure the amps?

The capacitor specks are as follows
Huizhong CBB65A
130uF +/- 5% SH
250VAC 50/60Hz
40/85/21 CP
Internally Protected
10000AFC PB1300

on Amazon I see capacitors with
108-103uF 250V
130-156uF 250V
would either of these work...or do i need to be more exact with the 130?
Thanks again for your help

Sep 13, 2015
by: Doug in s.d.ca


ALL of your current from the hot side should be going thru the neutral, and ground should be zero.
\An electrically leaky cap might cause that.

If you have a GFCI breaker on it, it should trip, but I'm guessing you don't.

Some multi-meters have a capacitance range, but they may not be able to accurately read large caps, so if you decide to buy, check that it goes high enough. Google "capacitance meter" and you'll find a few, along with a good explanation of how it works from Fluke.t

The manual doesn't seem to have the value(s) the cap. What is it? Maybe I can help with that.

And yes, unfortunately HFT is not very good about spares, like most sellers. Sadly, it's just not economical to do so.

Sep 13, 2015
Where to get capacitor
by: Bill

Any capacitor that has the same microfarad rating ( µF ), and the same voltage, should work, as long as you can get it to fit the footprint.

Sep 12, 2015
More info
by: Chris H

Thanks for the suggestions Doug.

I checked the filter and it looks clean.

I then picked up a clamp meter and tested the unit. The number fluctuates a lot...but it seems to be running about ~16.6 amps on the hot lead, ~15 on the neutral and ~1.6 on the ground...then pops the overload...

So it seems, like you said, its a motor problem.

Is there other way to test the capacitor other then measuring the resistance like i did? If it is just the capacitor any suggestions where i could purchase one for the unit...some people online say its a hard one to find and that harbor freight is no help...i even saw people talking about combining 2 smaller capacitors to get the correct capacitance of the one on the unit.

Sep 10, 2015
by: Doug in s.d.ca

A couple of thoughts -

Is the filter reasonably clean?

Otherwise, sounds like a motor failure, or the overload protector is broken/weak.

Ideally, check the current with a clamp-on meter or something like a "kill-a-watt" meter. Should be 13-14 Amps. If that's the case, and it blows, then the protector is bad.

If it's much over 15A, then you may have a motor problem, and hope it's the cap. When they lose capacitance, that can cause this, even though it's not "clearly bad" as in open or shorted.

Let us know how you make out, please.

Good luck.

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Oil fill line on a model 61454 Central Pneumatic Compressor

by John
(Richmond, IN, USA)

model 61454 Central Pneumatic 21 gallon air Compressor

I have a very difficult time seeing the oil full line on my compressor. I seem to over-fill it and then have to drain it. Do they have an Oil Dipstick for my air compressor?

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Jun 14, 2015
oil dipstick
by: Doug in s.d.ca


There is no line on the sight glass, either - just get it above the bottom and below the top of the circle.

Add small amounts of oil at a time and give it a chance to flow into the case - usually just a few drops, as the footprint of the case is small.

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Replacement pressure regulator for 61454?

by dan pope
(bayfield, co)

I have only had this air compressor Central Pneumatic model 61454 for a year and have used for only about 5 hours. Pressure regulator does not work. None of the replacement parts site on line list model 61454. Is there another model number used by these parts suppliers?


Dan Pope

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Jun 13, 2017
61454 regulator
by: Bill

Unfortunately, I cannot find an image of the 61454 on line so far.

If you would start a new thread, cross reference to this one, and upload a couple of pictures of the existing regulator and discharge manifold, we may be able to help.

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Model # 61454 Won't start!

by Rod
(Provo, UT)

Model # 61454

Won't start! Still looks brand new. I followed all the instructions on the unit to a t but it just hums at me and won't start.

(Covered in detail already on the troubleshooting pages, Rod. Please have a look, and add a comment telling us what you found when you did the checks. - Moderator)

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Dec 28, 2016
Start valve sticking 61454
by: Bill

Please start a new thread with your question, and in that, please identify the part you refer to as a start valve. Thanks.

Dec 27, 2016
Start valve sticking on start 61454 start up
by: Anonymous

The start valve keep sticking on start up I put some oil in there it started working OK then the next day it Was sticking again this happened on another unit they're both brand-new used one time only

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Found reed valve for #61454 - but not at HF!

by Bob
(Sallinas, ca)

Compressor maxes out at 40 psi.

Removed head and found one reed valve broken.

Harbor freight does not have spare parts. Scumbags!

Replacement reed valves can be bought at Sears, part number E100229, for $4.59

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Jun 17, 2017
How Ironic reed valve broke last week also
by: James Vining

Now this is Ironic reading how someone else has had reed valve issues and almost exactly at the same time.
Curious as to how long you have had your units?
I bought mine 10/16/15 I use it mostly for stuff like 1/2 Impact, refilling tires, though have used it on some days to run Die grinders and painted a Jet ski last summer.
I try to change my oil 3 times a year just to be sure it is clean. I try to take excellent care of unit, I even upgraded Air cleaner to a paper one over that cheap stock screen type that is included so I was shocked when reed valve broke.
I am so glad someone found replacements as I do not want to have to replace entire compressor due to a valve.

Jun 14, 2017
Thanks Bob
by: Dan Pope

Thanks Bob. I did not explain my situation very well, which as it turns out was exactly as you describe. I tried to get parts at HF, but as you note they do not provide them in spite of being sole source of CN equipment!

Dan Pope

Jun 09, 2017
Thank you!
by: Anonymous

I've been looking for these. One of my reed valves broke last week. I will be calling

Nov 15, 2016
Thank You
by: Anonymous

Thank You so Much! Life Saver!

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