New check valve, new bleeder valve, still not working

by Reggie
(Tampa, FL)

I built a silent air compressor using a refrigerator compressor mounted on a craftsman 3 gal tank that was complete with the pressure gauges, regulator and on/off switch. I do airbrushing and found this "silent" compressor build on the internet. It looked

simple enough and people really rave about them. My problem is seems no one else has mentioned this problem but me....The bleeder valve under the on/off switch is losing air and won't let the compressor build pressure. I know, I read every post on the internet that it is the check valve causing the problem. Well, I replaced the original metric valve with a new one. That didn't work. I brought a new in-tank valve from Grainger....that didn't work. So that's a total of 3 check valves I've tried. It looks like the original one wasn't bad after all.

Now in the process of searching out the problem, my first response was that the problem was to do with the on/off switch (I didn't realize the bleeder valve was only mounted to the switch). I proceeded to dismantle the on/off switch. What a mistake! it is spring loaded and came apart in six different pieces! Now I had to order a new one, which came with a new bleeder valve. O.k., now I had a new bleeder valve too. Well........with a NEW bleeder valve and a NEW pressure valve it still doesn't work. The air continues to leak out the bottom of the bleeder valve, the same problem I started out with.

By the way, I saw this set up with the refrigerator compressor work once already so I know it can work. It started acting up shortly after I completed it. It isn't any leaks in the lines so what is the problem? Anyone out there had the same problem?
If the air is bleeding out the unloader (I think this is what you are calling the bleeder valve) while the compressor is running, then it is possible that the unloader valve is leaking.

If air is coming out of the unloader valve when the compressor is off, then, the only place that air can be coming from is the tank, and, the only way air would be getting out of the tank and out the unloader valve - which is open all the time the compressor is off - is if it is leaking by the seal in the tank check valve.

So, it's a leaking unloader or a leaking tank check valve.


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Feb 05, 2016
Sorry for double post
by: Klas

Sorry for double posting, but just rememberd I also need to ask if you have any qualified guess as to what broke the unloader valve? Mine was brand new. Granted of a cheap chinese sort, yentel i believe.

I started my compressor once before I connected it to the on off switch, but while it was still connected to the tank.
I also tightened some of the connections leading in to the on off switch, mainly feom the regulator.
Could any of this cause it? Or is. Itmore likely that it was due to dirt in the recently sawed of pipes leading to the tank?

I'm out to buy a new one now and I don't want to break it again:)

Feb 05, 2016
Is it working?
by: Klas

Hi! I have the exact same problem as you had.
In your original post it seems that you already bought the new pressure switch with a new unloader valve inside it and it still didn't work. In your second post however it seems that the new pressure and on off switch fixed the problem. Have I understood it correctly if I assume that my problems will also disappear with a new switch?

Jun 21, 2014
Finally, it's working!
by: Reggie

Thanks Bill,
Your suggestion on how to tell which valve was not working did the trick! I didn't know it could be so easy to check. It helps when you know how and what to check and how the parts work together.

I guess the fact that I replaced a faulty part with another faulty part didn't help, even though the replacement part was new. I just assumed that a new part would fix the problem. Of course now I had to go out and purchase another unloader valve. I actually brought the whole on/off switch as just the valve wasn't any cheaper than to purchase the complete switch with the valve attached. Anyway, now I have 2 extra tank check valves and an extra on/off switch.
Thanks alot!
Thanks for the update, Reggie. You are not the first that's bought a brand new part only to find that it, too, doesn't work. Glad you got the compressor going. Thanks for the kind words.


Jun 19, 2014
I'll let you know
by: Reggie

Thanks for responding Bill. I had to walk away from this project compressor for awhile in order to save my sanity (and pocket book). Now that I have some direction on how to check for the culprit I feel better about it. It's late here so I'll check it out first thing tomorrow morning. I'll let you know my findings.

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