Digital Compressor Regulator
              Does Not Work

Some compressor manufacturers have offered digital regulators or digital controls. When these digital controls break, and they do with some frequency if the number of questions about them is any indication, what is the compressor owner to do when their digital compressor regulator does not work?

When I started writing this page in 2017, I went looking for air compressors that had digital controls or digital regulators, to try and assess how widespread the problem was. Aside from a host of tire inflators, it would appear as though the trend to digital controls and regulators on larger (fractional up to 5 HP compressors) is over. I can find no new ones.

This is immaterial if you are one of the many folks that have one, and wonder what to do when their digital compressor regulator does not work?

Digital compressor regulator does not work

Digitally controlled Tire Inflators

There are a host of tire inflator type mini-compressors with digital regulators.

Digital compressor regulator does not work

If you are interested in repairing one of these, I fear you may be out of luck. These are rarely fixable and when the digital part, or the compressor itself fails, I suggest you toss it and get a new one.

Digital Compressor Regulator Does Not Work!

This page is directed at the larger, DIY type compressors, like the Kobalt Digitech models, many of which are still in use, and which can stop working if the digital regulator or control board fails. If you are an owner of one of these, here's what you can do to get your compressor working again.

Unplug the compressor and open the tank drain to void the compressor system of all air.

Remove the cover and examine how and where the ditigal regulator is connected. Typically, there will be an air supply from the tank, into a regulator (in your compressor it will be part of the digital control) and from the regulator to the discharge coupler into which you plug your air line connector. Some may plumb to two connectors, that's immaterial for purposes of getting the compressor working.

Find the pressure switch on your compressor. If you are not sure what this part is, see the page on this site providing details about what they are and how they work. You want to make sure that as you make changes, the pressure switch is not prevented from getting an air source from the tank.

I mention this in case yours is a compressor with both a digital regulator and digital pressure switch combined. Not many of them, I know, but if yours is one, part of ridding the compressor of the digital presence is that you will have to add a pressure switch that controls the compressor ON/Off.

You need also to follow the wiring paths if your compressor is one of those with the ON/OFF being part of the digital package. That being the case, invest a couple of dollars in an ON/OFF switch (Google toggle switches for many sources) and connect the wire from the power cord to that, and from that new switch to the motor circuit, removing the digital switch entirely.

Determine the pipe size coming from the compressor tank, and acquire a standard air regulator, which should set you back maybe $15 - $20 in 2017 dollars. Google mini-air regulator for a host of sources. Get one that's the same size as the pipe from the compressor tank, or one that's larger that you can nipple down to the pipe from the tank. Do not get a regulator that has a smaller port size than the line from the tank.

The regulator you obtain should have a pressure range from zero up to the cut out pressure of your compressor, or to 175-200 PSI or so. Don't be concerned if the regulator capacity is higher than your normal compressor cut out level. Many general purpose regulators work from zero up to 200 PSI.

Remove the entire digital regulator.

Install the manual regulator in it's place, add the regulator gauge in either regulator gauge port that suits for best viewing, and then install the pipe from the regulator to the discharge coupler.

You may not be able to reinstall the cover without modifying it a bit... that means cutting it up! When you're done, just make sure any moving parts or electrical connections are not easily accessible, as if they are, sure as heck, someone will touch them.

Getting rid of the whole digital assembly on the compressor means that yours will now be less complex to use. You'll now turn the regulator knob to set the downstream air pressure, and you'll see the pressure setting on the regulator gauge.

Modifying your air compressor controls to the manual type will probably save a good chunk of cash over trying to source a replacement digital control package, and ensure that, in future, you'll have a compressor far less susceptible to failure due to the simplicity of it's operation.

Got any questions about the process? post them on this forum and include up to four photos of your compressor with the cover off so I can see your existing setup and help with the changeout.