Why does my air compressor keep tripping the breaker?

muncybobmuncybob Posts: 2,413
I have a Craftsman compressor and while it is maybe 10 yrs old it has not seen much work. It will run fine at initial start and fully charge but if it needs to "restart" during use it will trip the breaker. Any idea what to look for besides a new compressor?
Yep, my name really is Bob.
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Comments

  • msgmsg Posts: 6,107
    Do you have it on an extension cord?
    Is the breaker 15A or 20A?
    I disabled signatures.
  • muncybobmuncybob Posts: 2,413
    Yes on the cord and it's 15amp.
    Yep, my name really is Bob.
    Parasound HCA1500(indoor sound) and HCA1000(outdoor sound), Dynaco PAS4, Denon DP1200 w/Shure V15 Type V and Jico SAS stylus, Oppo BDP93, Marantz UD7007, modded Polk SDA 2B.
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 7,318
    It's possible the motor start capacitor is placing too high a current spike on the AC line. It might just need a new capacitor.
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  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 17,484
    I agree with Ken that it could very well be the capacitor I've had to replace those. The extension cord could also be placing too high of resistance on the line as well. Plug it directly into a outlet and give it a try if you haven't.

  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 2,820
    Should never run them on extension cords. At least the old Craftsman one I had said that in the owners manual. Puts too much stress on the motor.
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  • muncybobmuncybob Posts: 2,413
    It never occurred to me that the cord could be the problem...but it was. I just didn't give the cord a 2nd thought since it is fairly heavy duty but it is long. What about a short run with a heavy gauge cord?
    Yep, my name really is Bob.
    Parasound HCA1500(indoor sound) and HCA1000(outdoor sound), Dynaco PAS4, Denon DP1200 w/Shure V15 Type V and Jico SAS stylus, Oppo BDP93, Marantz UD7007, modded Polk SDA 2B.
  • Nesmith98Nesmith98 Posts: 134
    Check to see it the discharge/unloader valve is working correctly. This valve usually lets the pressure in the line out so that the pump can start without line pressure.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 17,484
    muncybob wrote: »
    It never occurred to me that the cord could be the problem...but it was. I just didn't give the cord a 2nd thought since it is fairly heavy duty but it is long. What about a short run with a heavy gauge cord?

    Better to get more air hose and place the unit in the outlet. My 35 gal kobalt from Loews explicitly states in the instructions to NEVER use an extension cord.
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 6,776
    Huh...I have a little dewalt pancake compressor and I use it with an extension cord all the time. Is your compressor full size?
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  • muncybobmuncybob Posts: 2,413
    Yea, it's fairly big. My pancake one I use with a finish nailer has no problem with ext cord.
    Yep, my name really is Bob.
    Parasound HCA1500(indoor sound) and HCA1000(outdoor sound), Dynaco PAS4, Denon DP1200 w/Shure V15 Type V and Jico SAS stylus, Oppo BDP93, Marantz UD7007, modded Polk SDA 2B.
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 11,532
    If I need and extension cord for compressors and table saws etc...I use a 12awg DIY heavy duty cord, no longer than 25ft
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  • msgmsg Posts: 6,107
    Nesmith98 wrote: »
    Check to see it the discharge/unloader valve is working correctly. This valve usually lets the pressure in the line out so that the pump can start without line pressure.
    Does this sound like one of those turbo blow-off valves once it reaches regulated pressure?
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  • xschopxschop Posts: 1,833
    edited July 12
    I vented a large compressor last week that probably had 25-30 gallons of moisture/oil. The auto blow off valve stopped working and the extra volumn loss was lugging the motor down.
  • gudnoyezgudnoyez Posts: 7,527
    edited July 12
    txcoastal1 wrote: »
    If I need and extension cord for compressors and table saws etc...I use a 12awg DIY heavy duty cord, no longer than 25ft

    This always use a short heavy gauge ext cord.
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  • delkaldelkal Posts: 728
    Compressors need a lot more juice as the pressure increases and to restart under pressure. I have a small portable air compressor I keep in my car to fill tires. The manual said to use a 20 amp auto plug and when I did it worked fine. I recently bought a new car and it only had a 15 amp plug but I got lazy and just plugged it in. It filled up just fine. But when I turned it off I noticed I needed a few more pounds in the tire and I turned it on a second time. It instantly blew the fuse.

    How long was the extension cord were you using? Its not uncommon to just use that cheap small gauge orange 100 ft cord and plug it in (at least I used to do that on occasion). Get a 10-25 ft larger gauge (yellow) cord and you will probably be OK.
  • sucks2bemesucks2beme Posts: 5,131
    Time to dedicate 12ga wiring to a dedicated
    20a breaker. Issue solved.
    My compressor at my last house did this until
    I ran a 20a. At my current house I'm running a
    smaller unit. Not big enough for my air tools.
    I may have to upgrade the unit and power.
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  • Mikey081057Mikey081057 Posts: 7,430
    Anything else on that circuit?
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  • Nesmith98Nesmith98 Posts: 134
    msg wrote: »
    Does this sound like one of those turbo blow-off valves once it reaches regulated pressure?

    The pressure switch is what turns off the motor at a specific pressure. The check valve that screws into the tank is just a one way valve that keeps the air in the tank so that it don't back flow into the compressor pump. My 60 gallon compressor has a blow-off valve on it similar to the one you mentioned.


    Glad to see the culprit was just the extension cord. It's always better to use a longer air line than a longer power cord.
  • muncybobmuncybob Posts: 2,413
    The only reason I was looking to use an ext cord is I plan to paint the barn roof this autumn. Would like to situate the compressor outside the barn so the horses don't take off into the next county :(

    I think a 12ga cord of 12' will do the trick. Probably gonna need another air hose too.
    Yep, my name really is Bob.
    Parasound HCA1500(indoor sound) and HCA1000(outdoor sound), Dynaco PAS4, Denon DP1200 w/Shure V15 Type V and Jico SAS stylus, Oppo BDP93, Marantz UD7007, modded Polk SDA 2B.
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 11,532
    Can you move or trailer the horses while painting...

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  • delkaldelkal Posts: 728
    edited July 13
    There is no need to guess on an extension cord size. Play around with this voltage drop calculator. Normally anything under a 3% voltage drop is OK but if you are having problems you can go lower. For reference plug in the values of the cord you tried that didn't work to see how bad it was.

    https://calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html

  • msgmsg Posts: 6,107
    ^^^ cool!
    I disabled signatures.
  • WillowWillow Posts: 10,300
    What's this owner's manual you speak of?
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  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 2,820
    It's a paper product with print on it.
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