Craftsman 919.165310 - Fills fine from empty, chugs and blows fuse when restarting on low pressure.

by Chris
(Dallas, TX)


I just acquired a Craftsman 919.165310 for a decent price. When demo'ed the unit worked just fine.

I get it home with air in the tank and it won't start. The compressor tries (think car with low battery) then popped my 15A breaker. My garage was low on amperage anyways with all my stuff, so I ran out to Lowes for materials.

Now I have a shiney new 20A GFCI circuit I just put in. It runs fine from empty, but when you drain air and it tries to start again it fails as mentioned above and blows the circuit.

I've read that GFCI can cause it, so much to the dislike of my pregnant wife I drag it in the house to test with a non-GFCI circuit w/the same problem.

I'm new to compressor DIY fixing. However, I noticed many threads on this matter and no one has said "I fixed it with this..." that I could find. I'll be researching your site but am out of ideas. I've cleaned everything, lubed anything that seemed safe to lube (wd-40) with zero results.

Any help will be appreciated.

Bill answers...

Hi Chris. Thanks for visiting this site and taking the time to write in.

Tell me, when your compressor runs from empty and reaches the cut-out pressure level, does the unloader valve work? This question is a link to the page explaining all about unloader valves, if you're not sure what they are.

If there's pressure in your tank, then there is pressure in the line from the compressor head to the check valve going into your tank.

If the unloader valve doesn't work, then the pressure in the line between the head and tank is also still in the cylinder, pushing down on the compression piston.

If this is the scenario, then what you are doing when trying to start your compressor with pressure in the line is having your electric motor try to start against the load of the compressor itself, and the extra load caused by the air pushing down on the piston - the air that isn't supposed to be there if the unloader valve works.

The electric compressor motor draws amps on inrush to start. If the inrush amp draw is too high, which often happens if the compressor motor is trying to start against additional load, the breaker pops.

Check this out, and let us know how it turns out, OK?



You should hear a ch

Comments for Craftsman 919.165310 - Fills fine from empty, chugs and blows fuse when restarting on low pressure.

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 14, 2014
Blowing breaker
by: Anonymous

Mine was doing the same thing. Was going to trash it but decided to screw around with it and see what I find.
I have heard of the capacitors getting weak and not giving the boost needed to get the motor spinning when under load. After taking apart the valve body where the hose and gauges attach I found where the capacitor attach to the drive motor. All the contacts looked good but when I pulled it off I noticed the wires were going into a small block with a spring loaded plate on the front. As it turns out this plate is what makes the contact to kick in the capacitors and has a set of point inside it. On the motor side there is a small disk that retracts as the motor speeds up. Just a split second. While out, it presses against this plate and pop goes the capacitors. I took it off and used an old points file to clean the contacts. Put it back together and all is well.
Bad thing is the part isn't show on the parts diagram. No idea how to get one or replace it but so far so good.
A little time consuming to get to it but very easy to do.
Good luck!!!!
Thanks for this. I thing what you are describing is the centrifugal switch, but not being a motor person, I'm not sure.

Excellent advice. Thanks.


Jun 01, 2010
Me too
by: Tim

I too have a Craftsman Upright compressor 150 psi. It does the same thing. Flip the switch and it struggles for 10 seconds that pop the breaker trips. 20Amp dedicated breaker. If I hold the pop off valve sometimes I can get it to run, and sometimes not. I just want a compressor that works when I want it to!!

Oct 12, 2009
Same problem with my Sears Compressor
by: Tim

Me too! Also a sears 25 gal/5 HP compressor. Unloader valve is working fine. Runs slowly for a few seconds then trips the breaker, even with no air in the tank. I'm guessing it's either a capacitor or motor issue - hopefully capacitor since the replacement motor costs as much as a new compressor!

Oct 09, 2009
Blows, circuit breakers
by: John

I have the same problem as Chris does. My craftsman 5.5 hp 25 gal upright blows circuit breakers.
the under loader valve works as it should. according to the description regarding under loader valves. I even have it on a dedicated circuit.
Nothing but the compressor runs on that outlet.
I would appreciate any suggestions you may have.

Click here to add your own comments

Add your own question or comment. It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Craftsman Compressor Issues.

craftsman 919.724590 compressure labours to about 40 psi the trips the circut breaker

by Corey
(Nova Scotia)

I have a craftsman 919.724590 that struggles to reach 40psi before tripping the circut breaker.

Bill says...

Corey, make sure the power supply is clean (nothing else pulling power from the same circuit) and that you are not using an extension cord.

If oil lubed, make sure oil is at right level.

Dump air and unplug and pull check valve to be sure it's operating normally.

Then take motor and capacitor to a motor rebuild shop for a load test.



Click here to post comments

Add your own question or comment. It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Craftsman Compressor Issues.

Craftsman model# 919.167700 stops building pressure

by Daniel
(New York)

Compressor info Craftsman 26gal veritcal model# 919.167700 about 4 yrs old, light DIY mechanic work.

it all started about a year ago when i lent the compressor to my brother and it would occasionaly burn the belt. It was so random that i figured he was working it too hard and after a cool down it would be fine.

fast forward to today. I turned the compressor on to fill its empty tank. I noticed that it seemed to take longer then normal to fill so I go into the garage and smell the burning belt. I look at the gauges and see it has reached the max 125psi but isnt shutting off. I manually shut the compressor off and drain the air out of the tank.

I restart the compressor and now it runs normally and build pressure until it gets to about 55-60psi, then the compressor bogs down. the electric motor is running full speed but the pump slows and eventually stops. The pump will randonly slowly turn again but never recover fully.

the compressor runs fine if the drain cock is open.

there are no air leaks from the unloader both running or off.

i took the check valve out and it is working fine with no leaks.

I removed the air filter and the intake is sucking in air like it should.
I removed the the discharge air supply line and it pumps air like it should.

any ideas???

thanks in advance

Comments for Craftsman model# 919.167700 stops building pressure

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 16, 2014
by: Doug in

Hard to tell for sure, but my guess is the belt is too loose, especially with the burnt one.

New belt, proper tension may take care of it.
Or, maybe, increasing load due to air pressure build up in tank - check intake filter, check tank check valve, then my next step would be the valves.


Click here to add your own comments

Add your own question or comment. It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Craftsman Compressor Issues.

Craftsman 33 Gallon 1.6HP Compressor

Hi there, I bought this compressor from someone and it has very little use on it. Well since I have had it there has been one issue with it that I am trying to get resolved before I take on a bigger project.

When I turn it on its gets up to 150psi which is it's trip point. When I use it and it drops below the trip point the compressor tries to start up again but eventually trips the breaker.

I have tried cleaning the one way valve and it seems to be working correctly. I can also hear the pressure relief when it hits the pressure point.

I do have it hooked up on a heavy duty extension cord but it seems to work fine when there is no load in the tank. I thought it could be an undervoltage but I would think that would affect it when airing up irregardless of tanker pressure.

In conclusion, if I drain the tank completely and then turn it back on it runs like a champ back to 150psi. I appreciate any feedback that you may have.
You've done everything right.... except, did you check to see if the unloader valve was working?

You'll find a link to that page from the sitemap.

From your description, I think ensuring that the unloader valve works when it's supposed to will solve your problem.



Comments for Craftsman 33 Gallon 1.6HP Compressor

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 17, 2013
compressor fixed, cheap.
by: Anonymous

Just fixed my compressor. It would start ok when the tank was empty but trip the breaker if it tried to start with pressure. Searched and read about weak caps, or problem with check valve or pressure switch leaving pressure in the pump head, etc. Turned out that the black plastic box which holds the 2 start up caps and is attached to the end of the motor with 2 screws had cracked on the bottom. The black box had tilted out enough that the start up caps switch was not engaging. Pushed on the lower part of the box and it started perfectly. Fixed it for the cost of some 2 part epoxy. Maybe not your fail, but definitely worth checking out first.
Thanks for the tip.


Jan 13, 2013
by: Chuck

Well, If you look under the end of the motor that has the caps installed, you will find a centrifigal switch that cuts the start capacitors out of the loop after the motor comes up to speed. If the switch does not reset to the start position, then the start capacitors are not in the loop. The motor can't get up to speed compressing air and trying to accelerate to get to the operating RPM and draws too much current. Pop goes the ckt bkr. I had the same issue, but one of my capacitors burned up. Replaced it and saw that the weights and springs for the switch actuator on the end of the motor shaft were dirty and did not move freely. I cleaned and lubricated the mechanism and the compressor cycles as it should. I think that the capacitor burned up because the switch did not cut it out after start and it just overheated.

Oct 18, 2011
Overspeed and over pressure
by: Trevor

My 1.6hp vertical craftsman compressor started acting up today while I was rotating my tires. The compressor kicked on and after a few seconds the motor seemed to speed up significantly till it sounded like it was pumping way too fast. I unplugged it and plugged it back in but the same thing happened. I let it run for a minute or two and the pressure hit almost 160 psi when the shut off it 150. What could be the issue?


If the pressure hits 160 PSI in the tank and the norm is 150 PSI for cut out, better check your pressure switch. Running faster? Power surge? Check the line for voltage.

Sep 30, 2010
by: Jermey

Guys, I want to keep this thread going to resolution as to help someone else in the future if need be.
I got the new caps in today (finally) and put them on. They were the same specification but just a little bigger in dimension but I made them work just fine.
Well not the compressor fires up and goes to 150psi with no pressure in the tank. It also fires up with under 40psi in the tank.
Here is the scenario for the issue I am seeing. I fire the compressor up.
It goes to 150psi and automatically shuts off.
I opened up the drain valve to relieve the pressure slowly.
It hits the trip point and tries to get going and eventually trips the breaker.

Conclusion, I think I am at the point like mentioned that I am too far away for the compressor to work under load. I am going to try and borrow a meter to check the current under load and see where I am at. My best guess now is that the motor starts up just fine with no load because its not running at 15amps. Only when there is load on the compressor there is demand for the 15amps which I am not initally giving it in the first place. I will check this out and post my results.

Sep 26, 2010
Overloaded circuit.
by: Anonymous

I have a 30 gal. 1.6 amp 155 max presure. The book on mine says your problem is an over loaded circuit.It must be on a dedicated 15 amp circuit, no ext. cords recommended(if a must, use only 12 gauge wire ext. cord). try pluging into a dedicated 20 amp circuit as close to the breaker switch as possible. Continued use on an overloaded circuit will burn up the motor. Good luck.

Sep 22, 2010
More thoughts
by: Jermey

Bill I completed disconnected the motor from the tank so the compressor is just pushing air out in the open. I thought by doing this I would remove the unloader valve and checkvalve out of the equation.

I don't understand how the start cap would be causing the issue exactly. It starts up when I let it sit for a day, but if I stop it and then try turning it on again it just bogs down and turns over really slowly until it trips the breaker.

I am thinking its time to pull the motor off the compressor and take it apart?

Bill says...

Electric compressor motors almost always pull more amps when they start than the typical 120 VAC supply line can provide. The capacitor gives a quick boost to the motor on inrush (startup) to get the motor going. When it's up and running, a 120 VAC motor will pull amps within the circuit capacity.


If the motor is in good shape, and it's started and running, then it can handle increasing load within it's parameters.

If, on the other hand, the motor is suspect, then, even though it starts OK when there is no load, the capacitor can't provide enough "ooomph" to restart the motor when there is a load, and the breaker pops.

That's my thinkin'. Maybe somebody who really knows can chime in?



Sep 21, 2010
Response to Bill (please read) and comment
by: Jermey

Bill, not sure if you review comments but I do want to get to the root of the issue with my compressor.

First the model number is Sears 919.168700
Now I replaced the check valve and tried to determine if it is the unloader valve but I am pretty confident that it is not the unloader valve.

I disconnected the main line from the compressor to the tank and turn the compressor on. Here is what I found.

When I initially started the compressor it ran fine. I decided to turn it off before it reach the trip point so I can cycle it on and off. After I initially turned it off it had difficulty turning back on.

Each time I turned it on it would start up very slowly and eventually trip the breaker. I am still trying to isolate what the issue might be. I believe I can say that the input voltage and current is sufficent because upon a cold start it starts up just fine. The valve and unloader are out because they are completely disconneted.

This leaves me to believe that its either the motor that is failing or its the start capacitor. Do you have any ideas of how I can go about isolating the motor or something replaceble in it?

Could be the start capacitor, but I doubt it. How did you check the unloader? Did you hear it unload when it reached cut out pressure?

By draining the tank to zero, you effectively unload the compressor, and then you said that it starts fine with no load.

When it tries to start under load, the motor can't get going, and then pops the breaker.

Like I say, it might be your start capacitor, and if you are certain the unloader is working, that's a logical next step.


Click here to add your own comments

Add your own question or comment. It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Craftsman Compressor Issues.