This website has received hundreds of questions about troubleshooting air compressors.

In an effort to make some sense of the many questions received and answered, I have tried to categorize troubleshooting air compressors into similar postings on each page.There is a link at the bottom of the page if you would like to offer a response to the compressor issues posted here.

Starting up a compressor that hasn’t been used in years

by Dominic.

My air compressor hasn’t been used in over 15 years. It was only used a few times when it was brand new. Is there anything I need to do to it before trying to use it after so long?


Get rid of all the dust bunnies? 🙂

Seriously, make sure the motor is dust free.

Replace the lubricating oil.

Open the tank drain all the way and monitor what comes out. Rust? You may be developing a tank problem.

Start the compressor and monitor the operation, for a few minutes, looking for leaks or anything that looks or sounds unusual. If something appears off, shut the compressor down until whatever it is is fixed.

Make sure you close the tank drain.

I’d be surprised if there are any real issues, unless, of course, it has been poorly stored. Good luck. And if you have a problem, ask about it (link at bottom of page) and we’ll see if we can help fix it.

Compressor won’t shut off on automatic?

by Mike
(Fredericksburg, Va.)

With Switch set on automatic no matter what pressure I have the regulator set on the Campbell Hausfeld air compressor never cuts off until I manually turn it to the off position…..The compressor is a 20 gallon tank, 5.0 HP, 135 max. p.s.i.


Mike, I am having a bit of trouble understanding your terminology.

The switch that’s on “automatic” is the pressure switch setting, yes?

The regulator you refer to, is it the one with which you adjust the downstream pressure to the air line and air tools? If so, that regulator has nothing to do with whether or not the air compressor cuts in or out.

That function, compressor ON and OFF is the job of the pressure switch, and if that switch is set to automatic, and the compressor runs until the tank pressure bypasses the normal shut off pressure setting, then it’s a good bet that the pressure switch has an issue. You may need to replace it.