About Us    Contact Us

Compressor struggling to restart?

Published Categorized as Air Compressor Displaying Error Fault Codes, Air Compressor Won't Restart 15 Comments on Compressor struggling to restart?

Cannot start up my compressor when there is air in the tank.

by Fred Holmes
(UK – Hartlepool)

Hi There,

I have a cheap 45-liter tank compressor.
When I use the compressor at the start of the day, it will not pump and buzz for a few seconds and blows the thermal reset button, I then reset it, and same again, it will always do this when there is air in the reservoir.

If I bleed the air out all is well, and the pump fires up, charges up the reservoir, and then cuts off at 110psi. when the pressure drops off, it kicks in again, and all is well, I only have a problem at the beginning of the day?

Do you think it is the pressure switch leaching back into the pump, but very slowly…?

Hi Fred. When compressors have a hard time starting when there is pressure in the tank, I’d look to the unloader valve first.

Here’s info on how Unloader Valves work. Please check it out and let us know if this was the problem. K?

Compressor struggling to restart?
Not all unloader valves are the same. This one is off a Condor MD-11 compressor switch.

Compressor motor starts or runs slowly

by johnnyh
(loudun, france)


I have a single-phase motor, a direct drive compressor that often, though not always, starts slowly or runs slowly for several seconds. Eventually, it picks up and runs fine but I have gone so far as to take the heads off the cylinders to check it is not a stuck valve or something causing the slow start. it used to run fine but was left unused for several years and now does this. I have wired the motor (plus its start capacitor) directly without the pressure switch and it behaves the same so it’s not the switch or, I think (due to head removal) any part of the pneumatics. could it be the motor itself or its capacitor?

Hello Johnny, it could be the motor, but I’m actually inclined to think that you might have an extra load on startup, and that extra load may be caused by the compressor not unloading when it reaches cut-out pressure and shuts off.

If you aren’t sure what Unloading is, please read the page on this site, and make sure that you are getting unload each time the compressor shuts off.

Compressor motor stalls when re-loading


Our compressor fills to cut-off pressure, the motor goes to idle then when ready for re-load motor immediately stalls.
Any ideas. Thanks!

Sounds like your unloader valve isn’t working properly

The link is information about the unloader. Could you have a look at the page, and then tell us, Is yours working properly? If not, that’s the problem, and if it is, we need to know that too.

Air Compressor Stalls on startup

by KL
(Bay Area,CA)

My air compressor Central Pneumatic 2hp 8 gallons is having a problem when it tries to start automatically.

The motor runs fine when it first started, and it builds pressure to its max cut-off of 115psi. The problem occurred when it tried to start automatically when the pressure goes low. When it attempts to start, the motor is having a hard time, it creates this noisy popping sound like it’s going to die, and it will eventually die. It won’t turn on if I turn on the switch. I found out that it will turn on again if I press the reset button on the side.

I was wondering if it has to do with my garage’s electrical supply if I have enough electricity to power the compressor.


KL, it might be the power supply, but I suspect from the symptoms it’s more than likely it’s your unloader valve that’s not working. The link is information about the unloader valve. Please check to make sure yours is working properly, then add a comment if you still need help.

Do you have a question about a Compressor struggling to restart? Please add it below. Upload photos of the compressor and problem areas on it too, please!

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

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments