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Air compressor pressure regulators are prone to troubleshooting issues, whether they need repairing or replacing. This page will provide you with the common problems and fixes with air compressor regulators and first of all how to troubleshoot them.

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How to Troubleshoot Air Pressure Regulators

Air pressure regulators function by reducing downstream air pressure by using a valve or pin, along with a spring or sealed seat. Regulators commonly have attached to them an air gauge which can be adjusted manually by using its knob, they sometimes may have a fixed nut to monitor the set-point downstream flow. For more information on regulators visit our Air Compressor Regulators – Principles, Types & Video Guide.

Air pressure regulators have quick-release couplers and pressure lines attached to them which feed air tools and other pneumatic tools. When troubleshooting an air regulator, you only requires a few steps and some basic tools.

You may need to troubleshoot your air pressure regulator for a number of reasons which are:

  • Adjustment knob won’t turn
  • Adjustment knob doesn’t work
  • Adjustment knob broke off
  • Air leaks from knob
  • Air leaks from pressure regulator
  • Pressure doesn’t build
  • Pressure doesn’t change
  • Pressure hose kinks

Now let’s take a look at troubleshooting your pressure regulator in greater detail.

Pressure Gauges

Check the air source, usually the air compressor tank to see if it has adequate pressurized air in it. Then read the air regulator gauge to see if the needle is represented in psi (pounds per square inch).

Check the compressor tank gauge for a reading to see if they both match. If both the gauges read zero, and you’re sure there is air in the tank then press the release Schrader valve on the tank and listen closely for any escaping air. If no air air escapes, then you should turn the compressor back on and refill the tank.

Tip: Make sure you hear no hissing sounds coming from the coupler at the air regulator, or the regulator screw-in flange.

Adjustment Knob

Take a look at the adjustment knob on the pressure regulator and ensure it is set according to your manufacturers specifications. Locate your compressors manual and look up the setting mark and turn the knob to the appropriate limit line on the regulator flange.

If it has an adjustable nut, which it may, then use an end wrench to open the nut so that air can enter the regulator from the tank. Some air pressure regulators may not have an indicator mark and so will only need to be turned counterclockwise to open.

Pressure Hose Kinks

Look for any bends or kinks in your pressure hose that leads to your pneumatic tools from the air regulator. Carefully inspect the area behind the quick release coupler joint for any folds in the high-pressure hose.

If the hose has a bloated appearance or any deep grooves near the coupler joints then you should look to replace the hose.

General Troubleshooting for A Blocked Pressure Regulator

After completing the previous checks. Release the tank air pressure at the tank Schrader valve by pushing the valve pin in with a paper clip then disconnect the quick-release coupler at the air pressure regulator fitting.

Spray the interior of the air regulator coupler fitting with penetrating oil and push a paper clip end inside and depress the ball check valve several times. Respray the interior and push it back on to the valve.

Now spray the penetrating oil in the coupler at the opposite end of the hose, if the pressure regulator is equipped with a ball check valve then depress this several times with a paper clip.

Make sure the tank has been depressurized at the Schrader valve. Then use an end wrench to remove the air regulator base nut and spray penetrating oil inside the valve fitting and again work with a paper clip.

Depress the spring valve several times and then wrap plumber’s tape around the air pressure regulator screw fitting and screw it back into the tank flange with the wrench.

Turn the compressor back on and fill up the tank to the specified desirable psi. Now check the readings on both the air pressure regulator gauge and tank gauge to see if they match.

If they match then hook up an air tool to the quick-release coupler at the end of the air supply hose and pull the trigger to turn on the tool. If the tool works then you have set the adjustment correctly and unblocked your air pressure regulator.

If the tank gauge reads full but the regulator gauge does not register anything and no air is passing through the regulator then you must buy a replacement air pressure regulator.

If you’re wondering How To Fix an Air Regulator On An Air Compressor please visit our photo guide!

Replacement Air Pressure Regulators Available on Amazon

I have picked out a number of suitable air pressure regulator replacements readily available on Amazon that could be ideal for you.

NANPU offer a 1/4″ NPT replacement air regulator that boasts great reviews and is also available in other sizes. It comes with a pair of air couplers, plug kit and thread seal tape.

Another option is the Apex Tool Supply replacement pressure regulator suitable for Bostitch, Husky, Hitachi and Craftsman compressors.

The final one is the PneumaticPlus combined filter and regulator which includes a manual drain feature. This allow you to control your pressure whilst also filtering out any particulates with the 10 micron particulate element.

Reader Pressure Regulator Problems & Responses

I have picked out a number of existing reader problems and responses to them already on our site:

Bostitch air compressor CAP60P-OF will not build pressure past 50 PSI

Airbrush Depot TC-20 regulator knob came off

Regulator knob won’t turn

Some Bostitich compressor regulator issues

Husky air compressor regulator issues

Husky H1503TP will not hold pressure?

Central Pneumatic Model 388897 Regulator Diaphragm

Central Pneumatic compressor has air leak around regulator

Kobalt 0200382 3 gallon 1.5 HP regulator problem

DeWalt air compressor regulator issue

Air compressor won’t build pressure

Husky 33 gal air starts to leak from regulator knob

Air regulator adjusting knob issues

Regulator issues on Central Pneumatic air compressors

Regulator leaking on my Craftsman air compressor

Additional Troubleshooting Pages

Air Compressor Types Troubleshooting

Air Compressor Part Specific Troubleshooting


If you have any questions regarding air pressure regulator troubleshooting then please leave a comment below with a photo if applicable so that someone can help you!