Central Pneumatic Air Compressor Won’t Start – Fixes & Causes

Published Categorized as Air Compressor Won't Start, Central Pneumatic 2 Comments on Central Pneumatic Air Compressor Won’t Start – Fixes & Causes

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

Table of Contents

Reasons Why Your Central Pneumatic Air Compressor Won’t Start

The main reasons as to why your Central Pneumatic air compressor hums but won’t start are likely to be due to any of the following reasons that are summarized in the table below:

Power issueAvoid using power bars and power strips.
Faulty pressure switchUnplug the Central Pneumatic compressor from the electrical outlet before opening the drain valve releasing the air from the tank down to zero and then closing the drain.
Fuse or breaker blowsCircuit breakers will trip off when a power surge blows their fuses. If the fuses are faulty, you will need fuse replacements.
Faulty unloader valveCheck unloader valve, if faulty pressure switch may not work.
Faulty thermal overload switchCheck the thermal overload switch to ensure it is working correctly.
Insufficient oilCheck the oil level, and inspect the pump area for any potential leaks.
Reasons Why Your Central Pneumatic Air Compressor Won’t Start

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

Additional Troubleshooting Pages

Air Compressor Types Troubleshooting

Air Compressor Brand Specific Troubleshooting

Air Compressor Brand/Problem Specific Troubleshooting

Air Compressor Part Specific Troubleshooting

Reader Questions and Responses

Central Pneumatic Air Compressor 21 Gallon Won’t Start


I have a Central Pneumatic 29 gal oil lubricated compressor and when it tries to start when the pressure in the tank is about 120 lbs it will not start and trips the breaker in the motor. I have tried to move it to different circuit of 20 amps and the same thins happens. If I drain the tank it starts ok and comes up to the 140 lbs when it shuts off. I don’t know if I can rewire the motor to run on 220. Any advice you can give me will be appreciated.Thanks,


New Central Pneumatic 29 gallon air compressor
New Central Pneumatic 29 gallon air compressor


You’ll find that this question is frequent on this site, and is already covered in detail in the troubleshooting section, Jack.

I doubt there will be a need to rewire your compressor motor to 220 VAC.

Please see the pages about why air compressors pop breakers, and also, check out the page on unloader valves as well for some more tips about this common compressor issue which, I surmise, may be the compressor issue you are facing. Not much point in typing all the info from those pages here, so please have a look, and add a comment if we can help further.

Central Pneumatic Air Compressor Will Not Start

Central Pneumatic 3 Gal Oil less Compressor.

Started fine yesterday (brand new) will not start today and when I push the restart button it keeps blowing the breaker.


About your CP compressor will not start, Please empty the tank completely and try again. Same scenario?

Using an extension cord?

Did you follow the break in steps?

A bit more info would be useful, however, if it’s brand new, and it won’t start with no air in the tank, it were mine, it would be on its way back to the store to be replaced with a new one.

Central Pneumatic Compressor Won’t Start


Purchased new, with no issues.

The compressor was being used to paint my son’s room. Its a 3 gallon compressor and has a max rating of 110 psi.

In the beginning it wouldn’t fill correctly to its max potential. I took the cover off and looked around to find the fill line was cracked. I replaced it with 4500 psi fittings and hose rated for heat.

It filled for 3 months and then cut out when I was doing work outside.

I live In Texas, but heat wasn’t a factor that day. Everything looked fine when i looked under the cover, and my fuse is good.

I uncapped the rear of my motor and have found black dust everywhere. (Like a screw was being stripped).

I am reaching out before I go further because I am X military and know that the ramifications of my actions could kill whats possibly salvageable in this motor. Suggestions?

Bryan Sawyer


Most likely the dust is what’s left of the motor brushes.

It’s doubtful you’ll be able to get replacement brushes, especially if you got it at HFT.

However, you may be able to find something suitable if you can figure out who made the motor, and the armature commutator isn’t FUBAR.

First thing is to get the brushes out. They may be press-fit in holders.

If you can see what I’m talking about, pix might help.

If you have any questions regarding the Central Pneumatic air compressor won’t turn on, please leave a comment below, with a photo if applicable, so that someone can help you!

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my 6 gal 1/2 hp 150psi compressor will not start has been in basement for 6 months no power how can i start compressor have only owned 9 months small round red compressor

For starters, please use the link below to go to the site map, go the general troubleshooting, and then scroll down to a section relating to won’t run, and let us know what you checked and what you found.
For example, is there a fuse? Have you checked it?
Also, if you need to come back for more help, please try to find a model number or least a make, so we can better assist.