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Craftsman Air Compressor Troubleshooting Problems & Issues

Published Categorized as Craftsman 13 Comments on Craftsman Air Compressor Troubleshooting Problems & Issues

Need help troubleshooting issues with your Craftsman Air Compressor? You’re in the right place.

Table of Contents

Below you’ll find links to pages dealing with issues relating to specific models of Craftsman Air Compressor.

If you’re struggling with something new, or finding it hard to find what you’re looking for – feel free to drop a comment at the bottom of this page providing as much information as possible about the issue you’re facing. Images are also great! If you have some photos of the compressor or the specific compressor component you’re having problems with it will help you get quick, accurate and more full advice on fixing your Craftsman Air Compressor!

Common Craftsman Air Compressor Problems and FIXES

My Craftsman air compressor will not turn on or power up?

by Scott
(Mt. Vernon, OH USA)

My Craftsman air compressor was working perfectly fine Friday and Saturday while in use.

I plugged it in Sunday to finish up a break job I was doing and moved the lever to power it up and nothing happened.

Checked the plug, breaker all were unfazed. Don’t know if it’s the power switch or something in the motor. Need help and suggestions. Found out from Sears that the power switch is no longer available and there were no suggestions on replacement power switch.


Scott, assuming there is actually power flowing to the compressor pressure switch, the question is, is the power flowing through the switch to the motor?

Turn off the compressor. Drain the tank pressure to zero. Turn the compressor back on. If it doesn’t start, put a meter on the line from the pressure switch to the motor and make sure power is flowing.

If not, change the pressure switch.

Take that one with you to the compressor store when you go to buy a new compressor pressure switch. I expect you’ll find it’s a pretty standard switch and finding another that suits will be possible.

How do you change the Craftsman pressure switch cut in level?

by gary
(grantsville md usa)

how do you change the cut in level on a craftsman 60 gallon upright oil less compresses? it just seams to take so long before it cuts in when i’m sand blasting.


I’m a bit confused by your statement, Gary. Sandblasting is usually a very high air demand application. This means that usually the air tank is depleted quickly, and the compressor motor cuts back in often to try and keep up with the demand.

That it takes a long time before your compressor cuts in is a good thing, in that, it suggests that your compressor can keep up with the demand.

So, my question is, what is the pressure setting on your regulator?

If the issue isn’t air flow, but air pressure, turn up the pressure on the regulator to get higher pressure and flow to the sandblaster.

If you must tinker with the pressure switch, read the page on Pressure Switches on this site for details. I advise against adjusting the switch, however.

Craftsman Upright Air Compressor Slow Starting and Blowing Circuit Breaker

by Gary
(Bossier City, La.)

I have a 30 gallon Craftsman upright. 919.167311 built in 2002.

If there is no pressure in the tank it will run to about 100 psi, then it shuts off. It sounds like it is loading harder than normal as the pressure increases.

If I cut it off at around 20 psi and then turn it back on the motor binds and trips the breaker.

I don’t know all the part names but I removed the small tube from the tank to the pressure switch and it ran like a champ. Dumping air obviously. I have been reading the blogs and assume it is the pressure switch.

Craftsman 919.167311 air compressor
Craftsman 919.167311 air compressor

But am wondering, is the pressure release valve is in the switch box. Are we talking about the valve that has the ring on it that I can pull to release pressure. I call it a pop-it valve. Is the unloader in or on the side of my switch box/pressure switch?

Any idea what the problem may be and can I clean or replace anything inside the ‘pressure switch’ if that is the problem. That thing is close to a hundred bucks and I’m cheap!! Do you recommend one from somewhere besides Sears.



Gary, a bunch of questions, for sure.

The pressure switch turns the compressor on and off at preset pressure readings. If, when the compressor tries to start, there is power running from the pressure switch to the motor, then the start side of the pressure switch is working. If the power flow to the motor stops when the pressure in the tank reaches the normal cut out pressure level, then the stop side of the pressure switch is working.

Pressure switches, typically, have either a small lever that juts out one side of them to operate the unloader valve, or have an internal unloader valve operating mechanism. It sounds like yours is the former. That unloader valve should be triggered by the pressure switch when the tank pressure reaches the cut out pressure level and shuts the compressor off. The dumps the air over the piston, allowing an easier restart.

You say “it will run to about 100 psi, then it shuts off”. Is this the normal cut out pressure, or is the compressor stopping sooner that it should? Look to the pressure switch being the possible cause, if it is stopping sooner.

When empty, your compressor starts OK, but won’t start under load. The first check I would make is to ensure that the unloader valve is actually working.

Check these out and post a comment here if we want to discuss your compressor further.


More info.
by: Gary

Well I may have wasted your time. I was using the compressor on a far side exterior outlet from the fuse box and then on a 100 foot extension. It is military with a plug box on the end of it. (It was for running power from a generator to GP type tents.) It is 16 gauge wire. Have used it for years without a problem. Anyway I moved the compressor to the garage where the fuse box is and it runs fine. Guess I need to check the wiring in the extension cord plug box.

Is there anything I should still be aware of or look for? Guess I needed to eliminate the potential problems outside of the compressor before pointing fingers at the compressor.

To answer your question my compressor is 150 psi and cuts off normally at 140. I saw on one blog that a guy was instructed to change the pressure switch to no avail, then the check valve, to no avail again, then the capacitor in the motor, with the potential of the motor slowly going out. This problem seems like a real headache.

Let me know if there is anything I should check or watch for. Thanks again.


Many folks think that an extension cord will run any electrical device over any distance. If folks considered the extension cord as a fuel line, with a fixed capacity of fuel flow, and the device they were using consumed more fuel than could get through the size of line, they would better understand why a small extension cord under-“fuels” an electric motor. Not only does the motor not run right, but it will fail much sooner than if properly “fueled”.

by: Anonymous

Moral of the story: Shorter cord, longer air hose!


Craftsman upright compressor is slow starting?
by: Anonymous

I also have one in my shop that FOR the longest time every so often the compressor would occasionally hum or if I let it go long enough it would throw a breaker.

Turns out that the circuit it was on was also the same circuit as my upright freeze.

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

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