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Porter Cable Air Compressor Keeps Tripping Breaker – Help & Support

Published Categorized as Air Compressor Tripping Circuit Breaker, Porter Cable No Comments on Porter Cable Air Compressor Keeps Tripping Breaker – Help & Support

When a circuit breaker trips, it will shut down the air compressor system, and work comes to a halt. When a Porter Cable air compressor trips breaker, it’s a worrying issue, as you’ll no longer be able to use your air tools.

Therefore, it is important to understand the reasons why your Porter Cable air compressor keeps tripping breaker, and so, this article will provide you with all the relevant information, along with existing reader questions and responses.

Table of Contents

7 Reasons Porter Cable Air Compressor Keeps Tripping Breaker

Here is a table indicating the 7 most common reasons why a Porter Cable air compressor keeps tripping breaker:

Air filterIf they are dirty, you will need to replace it
Broken extension cordsThese are notorious for throttling power, and therefore you may be underpowering your compressor motor by using one
Clogged cylindersCan hinder performance and trip breaker. You should inspect the cylinders (if your compressor has any).
Faulty circuit breakerIt could be the circuit breaker that is faulty. Replace if necessary.

Faulty motor
The motor windings or any other electrical connections inside the motor may be shorting and this sudden flow of electricity pulls too many amps, tripping the breaker.
Failed capacitorA failing capacitor can cause the breaker to trip, you should seek professional help to test this.

Failed unloader valve
When an unloader valve fails, compressed air will become trapped over the cylinder piston and this adds to the load the compressor motor experiences on startup, tripping the breaker.
Reasons Porter Cable Air Compressor Keeps Tripping Breaker Table

For more detailed information on why an air compressor circuit breaker trips, visit our guide!

Reader Questions & Responses

Porter Cable Air Compressor Trips Breaker


I have a 6 hp Porter Cable, model # CPF6025VP that I have been using connected to the same outlet for 12 years with no problems.

Porter Cable Air Compressor Keeps Tripping Breaker
Porter Cable Cpf6025vp Air Compressor

Now, it recently started growling and then blowing the breaker.

I plugged it directly into the wall socket and it appeared that it would work there, but now it is blowing the breaker again. Any suggestions?


Joe, first off, I am astonished that any manufacturer says that you can run a 6 HP electric motor on 120 Volts, as the specs (I checked them) seem to indicate for this model of Porter Cable air compressor.

That it starts at all, even with no air in the tank in a nice and dry, warm (not hot) environment is amazing.

If you have a moment, wander over to the Sitemap page and have a read of the page compressor power supply to see what I’m talking about.

Having ranted thusly 🙂 I suspect that it won’t take very much of a backload or change in operating conditions for your compressor to exhibit the symptoms your Porter Cable air compressor is.

Troubleshooting this compressor may be as simple as, before you start it again, emptying the tank completely. Then try again. If it starts with an empty tank and runs to cut out, it suggests that the problem might be your unloader valve. Please check that out (see the unloader valve page for details).

If this is not the problem, please post a comment here.

If you have any questions regarding your Porter Cable air compressor tripping breaker, please leave a comment below, with a photo if applicable, so that someone can help you!

By Bill Wade

About Air Compressors has been helping folks with their Air Compressor Problems since 2002 online. We're a community of DIY and Compressed Air professionals who are keen to support everyone across the globe with their air compressor issues and troubleshooting. Whether you're trying to identify an old air compressor, or troubleshoot an error code on a sophisticated new industrial air compressor - the community at About-Air-Compressors.com is here to help you

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