Great Lakes Tool Mfg. Inc 2Hp 4.6 gallon twin stack air compressor - Thermal Rest Keeps Tripping

by Rich
(Old Bridge, NJ )

I have a Great Lakes Tool Mfg. Inc 2Hp 4.6 gallon twin stack air compressor.

Direct drive, oiled, 120 volts 13.5 Amps.

The air flow is great on this thing compared to other models of its size, so I want to get it back running.

So here is the problem.

I plug it in directly to the wall, no extension cord (never use extension cords). I throw the switch on (tank empty, bleed value open) it stammers (like a rough idle of a gas engine) the thermal switch trips within seconds. It never gets to its no load speed.

Called customer service hotline. They told me this usually caused by the centrifugal switch becoming loose. I checked that and it seems fine.

I thought it might be the run capacitor so I checked it with a microfarad meter and it was out of range. Replaced it, still does it. I have not tested the start capacitor yet because they have crimped fittings so I'd have to cut the wires to test it. I also bypassed the thermal switch and I still get the stammering. What could it be? I can post a video of it on youtube if it would help. Thanks.

Rich, I don't build motors so I would have to accept the word of the support group that points to the centrifugal switch. It may look alright, but it may also need a run test to be sure.

However, that it is going off on thermal reset very quickly intrigues me. Thermal means the motor is hot, and if it doesn't start and run, how is it building heat?

That heat could be a result of low power on startup, and that points to the start cap. I think you need to test it too.


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Nov 03, 2015
where to get parts
by: Rich

I called the # for great lake tools. Unfortunately they don't have many replacement parts left for those compressors. Mine still looks like new but is sitting in a scrap metal pile waiting for me to have time to go to the scrap yard. Sorry I threw out the manual when I put it into the scrap pile.

Oct 31, 2015
by: Bill

Bob, is it a Great Lakes compressor?

Please start a new thread, identify the make and the model number, and upload a couple of pics so we can see it.

Oct 31, 2015
by: bob

where can i get parts 4 50621 air compressor purchased at pep boys

Oct 30, 2015
by: bob

purchased one in o5 mfg had problems with soldered terminals per manufacture they sent new caps all ok after that

May 20, 2013
by: Rich

I sprayed the switch with lubricating spray and changed the oil. It's been working good so far. If it starts to act up again, I'll replace the start capacitor and let you know. Thanks for your input.

May 16, 2013
Start cap
by: Russ

I have the same compressor doing the same thing. Paid $13 for a new start cap and it is like new. Good luck.

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