Air Compressor Motor Troubleshooting
Motor problems are the most common and annoying problems faced by every compressor user. When the motor fails, it can cause a lot of trouble. For example, the lights are dimmed, or the compressor is just humming. To address these issues, ATO created this air compressor motor troubleshooting Guide. We hope this helps you solve your problem easily.
Problems due to motor failure
- Blown fuse or circuit breaker: When your compressor's motor isn't getting enough power, it can overheat. The motor has overheated causing the fuse or circuit breaker to blow. If you're using an extension cord to power the compressor, or if you're using a power strip instead of direct power, the motor won't get enough power. So it will overheat. Another cause of motor overheating is if the motor's capacitors are damaged. This could be a possible cause if you've been using the compressor for a long time.
- Lights dim at startup: Most of the power consumed by the compressor goes to the motor. The motor of the compressor needs a lot of power to run. In fact, the electric motor needs a lot of power to start and less power to run. If the capacitors of your air compressor motor are damaged, the motor will draw an abnormal amount of power when it starts. This can cause other components to run out of power. As a result, the light dims or flashes when the motor starts.
- Compressor clicks and stops: Sometimes, when you are about to start the compressor, you will hear the compressor click and then stop. Why is this happening? This could be because of the compressor's pressure switch. But it can also happen because of the motor. If there is a problem with the centrifugal switch of the motor, the motor will have difficulty starting. So you'll just hear the click and the compressor won't run.
- The compressor is just humming: Typically, air compressor motors require 120 V/AC power to operate. More precisely, the motor needs this power in the first place to start. But to keep running, it's just as good to reduce the power. To get this much power in the first place, each motor has a starting capacitor. Capacitors work on the same principle as batteries. It takes electricity and then supplies it to the motor.
However, if something goes wrong with the capacitor, you will notice that your compressor won't run. Instead, it just hums. This indicates that your compressor's motor is getting power but not enough. That's why it's humming instead of running.
Compressor motor troubleshooting
- Replace the capacitor: Capacitors are components used to control the amount of power supplied to the compressor motor. The capacitor holds a certain voltage and then discharges as required by the motor. As you have already seen, most problems caused by air compressor motors in compressors are caused by capacitors. Therefore, by replacing the capacitor, many air compressor motor problems can be reduced.
- Add new centrifugal switch: Most air compressor motors will have a centrifugal switch mounted on the motor shaft. But how do you know if your motor has a centrifugal switch? this is very simple. After turning on the compressor, let the compressor run for a while, then turn it off. If your air compressor is working properly, the motor will slow down first when you press the off switch. Then the speed of the shaft will slow down and you will hear a clicking sound. This indicates that your motor has a centrifugal switch.
Use rebuild kit or replace motor: What if there are no problems with capacitors or centrifugal switches? Instead, the electric compressor motor itself cannot start. If this happens to you, you have two options.Your first option is to rebuild the compressor motor. You can use a screwdriver to open the motor and inspect the inside. Sometimes just cleaning the inside of the motor can make it as good as new. If you find any part broken, you can repair that part and turn off the motor. This is how rebuilding works. If there is no option to use an air compressor motor rebuild kit, you must buy a new motor and replace the old one. If you see your air compressor motor stop working permanently, replacing the motor is the only solution.