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There have been many folks that wish to inquire about why their Makita air compressor not turning on and other questions along those same lines. This article will present some of the reasons this may be happening and provide Makita air compressor troubleshooting suggestions to help to resolve the issues, along with existing reader questions & responses.

Table of Contents

6 Main Reasons Why Your Makita Air Compressor Won’t Turn On

The main reasons why your Makita portable air compressor is not turning on is likely to be due to any of the following very common 6 reasons:

  1. Power issue
  2. Fuse or breaker blows
  3. Faulty pressure switch
  4. Faulty thermal overload switch
  5. Faulty unloader valve
  6. Insufficient oil

You should, therefore, first, start by avoiding using power bars and power strips. If you suspect the fuses are faulty, you will need fuse replacements as circuit breakers will trip off when a power surge blows their fuses.

If you suspect a faulty pressure switch unplug the Makita portable air compressor from the electrical outlet before opening the drain valve releasing the air from the tank down to zero and then closing the drain. 

While checking the pressure switch, also inspect the unloader valve. Finally, check to see if the compressor has insufficient oil. Check the oil level, and inspect the underneath of the pump area for any potential oil leaks.

Please visit our Air Compressor Won’t Start – Ways to Fix Air Compressor Won’t Turn On Problems guide for more detailed Makita portable air compressor won’t start troubleshooting & fixes!

Reader Questions & Responses

Makita Air Compressor Won’t Start – Makita Mac700 Air Compressor

Question

The short version: The black reset/test button inside the pressure switch stays in the “off” position.

Makita MAC700 Air Compressor/Sunny pressure switch
Makita MAC700/Sunny pressure switch
Makita MAC700 Air Compressor/Sunny pressure switch

Long version: The compressor won’t turn on; circuit breaker is fine, verified no power to the motor with a multimeter. The pressure switch is a Sunny SP-204/E211960/EE252248, which looks suspiciously like a Lefoo LF10-4H.

The “motor” terminals are not connecting to the “line” terminals; they stay open. This seems to be a purely mechanical problem in the pressure switch; it happens with no air in the tank or lines, and no power.

When I remove the cover of the pressure switch, there’s a black plastic button between the motor terminals – the Lefoo manual says it’s a test button. When I turn the main power switch to “on”, and press the black button, it pushes the switch contacts down to make contact. But when I turn the power switch “off”, the black button pops back up, and the contacts spring open again and stay there.

I know pressure switches fail eventually, and the unit’s 7 years old, but this is a little baffling – the only time I’ve touched the compressor was to borrow the air-side regulator adapter nipple (and replace it, of course). I can’t imagine how that’d cause the pressure switch to start mechanically failing, and before I replace the switch, I’m wondering if there’s something obvious I’m missing. I’ve played with the cut-in/out and the cut-out screws, I’ve removed and reattached the unload cable, I’ve tried wiggling various parts of the contact springs… any ideas?

Response

If there is no pressure in the tank, and you plug the compressor in, power should flow through the switch to the motor circuit. If that does not happen, the pressure switch is pooched.

To my knowledge there are no user-serviceable parts or repairs reasonably possible for a low cost pressure switch.

It were my compressor, I’d find a pressure switch that fits the footprint, including operating the unloader, and replace the old one.

Questioner #2

I wish there was a response because I have the same problem. I’m thinking I’ll rewire to bypass the pressure switch to see what will happen.

Response

If there is no pressure in the tank, and you plug the compressor in, power should flow through the switch to the motor circuit. If that does not happen, the pressure switch is pooched.

To my knowledge there are no user-serviceable parts or repairs reasonably possible for a low cost pressure switch.

It were my compressor, I’d find a pressure switch that fits the footprint, including operating the unloader, and replace the old one.

Response

Just a friendly word of advice… don’t bother taking apart the switch like I did because its virtually impossible to reassemble it. I had a leak that I thought was in the diaphragm and when I pulled the four screws holding the switch to the mount it flew apart and even after i figured out how to reassemble it it couldn’t be done. Even by all the kings men.

Response

Yes, evidently you can. There are pages on this site explaining how, by folks that have done it.

For me, nope, not worth the aggro. I just get a new one.

Response

This happened to me as well. I replaced the regulator because the knob had broken and I got tired of using a screwdriver to adjust it. So I bought new regulator, attached it, and it won’t power back on after that. I hit the little plastic button you did, and it would turn on. How could changing a regulator just break the darn thing? Did you find a solution? Part of me thinks I should just buy a new compressor, but I’d also be out $30 on the new regulator.

If you wish to learn how to adjust air compressor pressure switch control valve, visit our detailed page for more information!


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