Why Does My Air Compressor Keep Running?

If you find yourself wondering why your air compressor seems to never stop running, it could be due to several reasons. Understanding these factors can help you identify and resolve the issue. Let’s dive into the possible causes of why your air compressor keeps running and how to address them.

Air Leaks

Air leaks can be a common cause for your air compressor to continually run. When there are leaks in the system, the compressor needs to work harder to maintain the desired pressure. Here are some potential areas where air leaks can occur:

  • Cracked or damaged air hoses
  • Loose fittings or connections
  • Worn-out seals and gaskets
  • Leaking pressure relief valve

To identify air leaks, you can perform a thorough inspection of your air compressor system. Look for any visible signs of wear or damage in the hoses, fittings, and valves. Additionally, you can use a soapy water solution and apply it to suspected areas. If you notice bubbles forming, it indicates air is escaping from those spots. Once you’ve identified the leaks, make the necessary repairs or replacements to prevent the compressor from continuously running.

Inadequate Tank Size

An undersized air compressor tank could also be the reason behind the constant running. If the tank capacity is too small for the demand you’re placing on it, the compressor will struggle to keep up. This commonly occurs in situations where the compressor is supplying air to multiple tools or applications simultaneously.

One way to determine if the tank size is causing the running issue is by monitoring the pressure gauge. If the pressure drops quickly after the compressor shuts off, it indicates that the tank is insufficient for the workload. In such cases, upgrading to a larger tank that can accommodate your air usage needs would be a suitable solution.

Pressure Switch Problems

The pressure switch in your air compressor is responsible for monitoring and controlling the pressure levels. Issues with the pressure switch can cause the compressor to run continuously or fail to shut off when the desired pressure is reached.

There are a few potential problems that can arise with the pressure switch:

  1. A defective pressure switch that needs replacement
  2. Improperly adjusted cut-in or cut-out pressure levels
  3. Buildup of dirt or debris affecting the switch’s functionality

If you suspect a problem with your pressure switch, you can try adjusting the pressure settings according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Cleaning the switch and its surrounding area can also help remove any dirt or debris that might be affecting its operation. However, if these measures don’t resolve the issue, it’s advisable to consult a professional technician for further assistance.

Inadequate Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping your air compressor running smoothly. Neglecting maintenance tasks can lead to various issues, including a compressor that runs continuously. Here are a few maintenance-related factors that could cause the problem:

  • Clogged air filters impairing airflow
  • Dirty or worn-out compressor valves
  • Lack of lubrication causing increased friction
  • Overheating due to improper ventilation

Ensuring proper maintenance can help alleviate these problems. Regularly clean or replace air filters, inspect and clean the compressor valves, lubricate moving parts as recommended by the manufacturer, and provide adequate ventilation to prevent overheating.

High Air Demand

If your air compressor continuously runs during periods of high air demand, it might simply be reaching its capacity limits. Heavy-duty tools or applications that require a significant volume of compressed air can push a smaller compressor to its limits, leading to continuous operation.

One way to address this issue is by upgrading to a compressor with a higher cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating or investing in additional compressors to distribute the workload. However, it’s essential to ensure that the total combined CFM of the compressors meets the requirements of your air tools or applications.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, there are various reasons why your air compressor may keep running. Air leaks, inadequate tank size, pressure switch problems, inadequate maintenance, and high air demand can all contribute to this issue. By identifying the specific cause and implementing the appropriate solutions, you can rectify the problem and ensure your air compressor operates efficiently.