air compressor problems and solutions
By Published On: July 8, 2024Views: 56

12 common air compressors problems and solutions(Part 1) will definitely help you! In the process of using this kind of complex machinery—air compressor, we sometimes encounter various problems. This may be caused by a variety of reasons. Understanding these reasons can help us find solutions quickly and accurately to ensure the smooth progress of production.

Air compressor problems and solutions in unable to start

The reasons why the air compressor cannot start may include power problems, circuit problems, improper operation, equipment failure, etc.

  1. Power supply problem: Check whether the power is not connected or the voltage is too low, and make sure that the power supply part provides the correct voltage. If the voltage is unstable, it is recommended to install a voltage stabilizer.Air compressor power supply problems
  2. Circuit problem: Check whether the circuit connection is correct, whether there is any damage, and whether the start button has poor contact. This includes checking whether the wiring terminals are loose and tightening.
  3. Improper operation: Make sure that the operation meets the specifications, such as whether the outlet switch is turned on at startup and whether the pressure setting is reasonable. Sometimes improper operation triggers the automatic protection device, causing the air compressor to fail to start.
  4. Equipment failure: Check whether the fuse is burned, whether the thermal overload relay is disconnected, and whether the motor and host are damaged. These faults may require replacement of parts or contacting professional maintenance personnel for processing.
  5. Other precautions: Check whether there is an alarm that has not been reset or the emergency stop button has been triggered. Sometimes a simple reset operation can solve the problem.

Air compressor problems and solutions in unable to stop

What is the reason why the air compressor cannot be turned off or stopped? Don’t panic when this problem occurs. Generally, the air compressor does not stop due to these several reasons: pressure switch failure, relay failure, pipeline leakage or insufficient gas production. The problem can be found and solved by excluding them step by step in order.

  • Pressure switch failure

The working principle of the air compressor is to compress the air into the storage tank for storage. After reaching the preset pressure, the pressure switch pops up, or the pressure sensor and the relay signal make the relay pop up, so that the line is powered off and the compressor stops running.

If the compressor does not stop after reaching the preset pressure, it may be that the pressure switch did not pop up, or the corresponding pressure was not sensed, or the pressure switch failed. If there is no standard instrument calibration, it is recommended to replace it directly. If there is a standard instrument, we can remove it and use the standard to calibrate it to see if the corresponding pressure can be reached.

  • Relay failure

The relay failure is checked based on the condition that the pressure switch is intact. If the pressure switch or pressure sensor gives a relay signal, but the relay is not powered off, then there is a problem with the relay. The compressor generally uses an AC contactor, and some use relays in the micro- This is also relatively easy for us to repair. Just refer to the manual to find the corresponding circuit and use a multi-meter to measure whether it is working.

  • Pipeline leakage

It is also possible that there is a pipeline leak in the part connected to the air tankresult in this air compressor problem, which makes the air tank cannot store enough compressed air to reach the rated pressure, thus the air compressor won’t stop working.

Another situation is that the gas usage is large, which means that our load gas usage is too large, and the pressure stored in the air compressor is not enough for us to use, so at this time the air compressor pressure tank is not full of air, otherwise you will keep working and will not stop.Air compressor pipeline leakage

  • Insufficient gas production

There are two reasons for insufficient gas production. The first part is that the air compressor itself has a fault and the compression capacity has weakened. The pressure that could be achieved in half an hour before now takes one hour or even two hours, indicating that there is a problem with the compression cylinder, which needs to be disassembled for maintenance.

The second reason is that the usage is relatively large as mentioned above, that is, the wrong model is selected. If this is the reason, we should update the equipment withair compressors that has larger capacity and stronger gas production capacity to avoid this kind of air compressor problem.

Air compressor problems and solutions in unable to run at full load

Before understanding the reasons why the air compressor cannot be fully loaded, let us first understand what full load is.

Full load means that the air compressor is working at its rated load (i.e. full load), the power reaches the rated power, and the compression ratio and speed are determined.

Causes why the screw air compressor cannot run at full load

  1. The air inlet or outlet pipe is blocked: When the air inlet or outlet pipe is blocked, the airflow will be restricted, resulting in the air compressor being unable to inhale enough air or discharge enough air.
  2. Filter failure: The filter is rusted or blocked, which will makethe air being hard to flow through the filter, causing the air compressor to be unable to inhale enough air, resulting in a compressed air output reduction, which in turn causes the air compressor cannot run at full load.
  3. Damage to compressor accessories: The accessories of the screw air compressor include the compressor, exhaust valve, cooler, etc. As long as any of them is worn or damaged, it will not be able to reach full load.
  4. Electrical failure: Electrical failures include loose cable connectors or cable disconnection. If these problems occur, the screw air compressor will not work properly and will not be able to reach full load.Air compressor electrical failure


  1. Check whether the air inlet and outlet pipes are blocked: Clean the air inlet and outlet pipes to ensure smooth gas flow.
  2. Replace the filter: Replace the rusted or blocked filter to ensure normal gas flow.
  3. Replace damaged parts: Replace the parts of the screw air compressor to ensure that the service life of all parts also meets the corresponding standards.
  4. Repair or replace the electrical parts: When the electrical part fails, repair or replace these parts in time to ensure that the air compressor can work normally.

In short, if your screw air compressor cannot be fully loaded, it is likely due to the reasons given above. Solving these problems needs to be based on the actual situation. If you can’t solve it yourself, you need to ask professional technicians to check and repair it.

When choosing an air compressor, Kotech KOE II series fixed screw air compressors are recommended. They adopt the design concept of “large rotor, large bearing, low speed”. The speed is 30~50% lower than other brands, which can reduce noise and vibration, reduce exhaust temperature, improve rotor rigidity, extend service life, and reduce sensitivity to impurities and oil carbides.

KOE Series screw compressor

Causes why the VSD air compressor cannot run at full load

When it comes to the variable frequency air compressor cannot work at full capacity, first check whether the air compressor has reached the pressure set by the user. If it has reached it, then low frequency operation is normal!

Because the variable frequency air compressor itself is designed for energy saving, when sufficient compressed air supply is met, the air compressor will adjust the speed and power by itself to achieve the effect of automatic energy saving.

If it is not reached, then please check whether the feedback is normal, that is, whether the pressure detection is normal. If the pressure detection is normal, then it depends on whether the program is correct. If the problem persists, you can try to troubleshoot this air compressor problem from following aspects:

  1. The intake valve is not open. After the air compressor is turned on, the internal pressure will slowly build up. When the pressure reaches a certain peak, the solenoid valve controls the cylinder to open the valve, and the air compressor inhales air to enter the loading state. If the air compressor does not take in air, there may be three reasons: the solenoid valve, cylinder, and intake valve are faulty.
  2. Invalid loading of the air compressor. The invalid loading of the air compressor is mainly due to the failure of the output point of the PLC, which cannot give the solenoid valve signal, causing the intake machine to not operate. This situation requires professional air compressor maintenance engineers to repair.
  3. Minimum pressure check valve failure. This kind of fault is the easiest to judge. When the pressure inside the machine is very high, but there is no pressure output, it can be basically judged that the minimum pressure check valve is faulty and usually needs to be replaced.
  4. The air endis faulty. This situation requires professional engineers to repair.

Air compressor problems and solutions in overload shut down

An air compressor overload is a condition where its workload exceeds its design or rated capacity, causing the equipment to not operate properly or be damaged. Here are some common reasons that cause air compressor overload:

  1. Excessive load demand: If the gas demand of the production equipment exceeds the rated output capacity of the air compressor, the air compressor may be overloaded. This may be because new equipment has been added to the system or production demand has increased
  2. System leaks: Air leaks in the system cause the air compressor to work at a higher load to maintain rated pressureor gas production, this can easily result in air compressor Leaks in the system may occur in pipes, connectors, valves, joints or seals.
  3. Failure of pressure regulating equipment: Compressed air systems usually have pressure regulating equipment to control the output air pressure. If the pressure regulating valve, pressure sensor or pressure controller fails, it may cause unstable or uncontrollable pressure, causing overload problems
  4. Pressure vessel failure: Air compressors are usually connected to pressure vessels (gas tanks) to store compressed air. If the pressure vessel fails, such as leaking, damaged or blocked, it may cause pressure to increase and cause overload.
  5. Insufficient lubricant: Air compressors need sufficient lubricant to run smoothly. If there is too little lubricant, friction will generate too much heat, which will cause the air compressor to overload.
  6. Cooling system problems: The air compressor generates heat when working. Failure of the cooling system may cause the temperature to rise, which will reduce the working efficiency of the air compressor, which may cause overload.
  7. Electrical problems: Electrical failures, such as motor overload, power supply problems or control system failures, may cause the air compressor to fail to operate normally, causing an overload state.
  8. Harsh working environment: In a hot, humid and dusty environment, the heat dissipation and working efficiency of the air compressor may be affected, leading to overload.
  9. Unplanned maintenance: Lack of regular maintenance and maintenance may cause wear or accumulation of dirt on the internal parts of the air compressor, affecting the performance of the equipment, and may eventually lead to overload.

Kotech KOE Series Rotary Screw Compressor


  • Adjust the machine load

Adjust the load of the screw air compressor and run it according to the rated load. Especially when using the air compressor, pay attention to controlling the air flow to avoid cold start or unexpected peaks, which will increase the workload of the machine.

Regularly replace filters: Regularly check and replace filters, oil-gas separators, etc. in the screw air compressor to ensure the normal operation of the machine.

  • Replace the lubricant

If the lubricant is found to be insufficient, contaminated or contains impurities, it should be replaced in time. You can use high-quality lubricants and replace them regularly according to the manufacturer’s requirements to ensure the normal operation of the air compressor host.

  • Clean the filter

Regularly cleaning the filter is an effective measure to prevent the air compressor host from overloading. You can use professional cleaning agents or water to clean the filter and replace the filter regularly to ensure its normal operation. To learn more about air compressor cleaning, check previous articles:

  • Adjust the airflow in the factory

Rationally design the airflow system to avoid narrow pipes and airflow restrictions. At the same time, avoid setting too high air pressure and establish a reasonable airflow adjustment mechanism.

  • Repair circuit faults

When abnormal operation, overload, etc. of the screw air compressor are found, the circuit system should be checked in time to eliminate circuit faults and ensure the normal and continuous operation of the machine.

In order to avoid air compressor overload, it is important to perform regular maintenance, monitor system pressure, air leakage, and equipment operation status. When production needs change, it is necessary to evaluate whether the compressed air system needs to be upgraded or adjusted to ensure that the equipment can operate normally and avoid overload problems. Check our previous article to learn how to deal with air compressor overload tripping.

Air compressor problems and solutions in leakage

Oil leakage problem and solution

The reasons for oil leakage in air compressors may include multiple factors, such as the main bearing wear caused by the belt being installed too tightly, the oil seal failure caused by the loose main shaft, the oil seal falling off or manufacturing defects, the oil inlet pipe and the oil return pipe joints being loose or the joint surfaces not being tight enough, and process defects during casting or processing.Oil leakage problem and solution

In addition, improper operation or high temperature and high humidity air will cause the oil to accumulate near the oil separator, resulting in oil leakage. Excessive oil level will increase the system pressure, causing the seals in some key parts to fail, causing oil leakage.

The solution to this series of problems includes carefully observing the oil seal, checking whether there are cracks, whether the inner lip is intact, and replacing the oil seal in time; checking whether the contact surface between the oil seal and the main shaft is scratched or damaged, and replacing it if necessary; make sure the return oil pipe is unobstructed to avoid the increase of pressure in the crankcase.

Checking whether the matching size between the oil seal and the box body is standard, and replacing it in time if it does not meet the requirements; checking the clearance of the main shaft, if the clearance is too large.

It may be necessary to replace the bearing and oil seal at the same time; the sealing gaskets of each joint should also be carefully checked, and repaired or replaced if necessary; the joint bolts of the oil inlet pipe and the return oil pipe and the threads of the box body need to be tightened; the tightness of the belt should also be moderate.

KWI Series 100% Oil Free Water Lubricated Screw Air Compressor

In addition, it is also very crucial to clean important compressor components such as oil separators, air filters, etc., and keep them in a good clean state without oil stains or carbon deposits; if the air compressor leaks oil due to the damage of the sealing ring caused by too high oil volume, it can be solved by replacing the sealing gasket and reducing the oil volume. Learn more about how to clean oil and carbon deposits from air compressors.

For oil leakage from air compressors, in addition to the above causes, you should also pay special attention to checking whether there is leakage at the pipe joints. If you cannot find the problem yourself, it is recommended to ask professionals for further inspection and repair.


Water leakage problem and solution

  • Loose pipe connection

Loose pipe connection is a common cause of air compressor leakage. Once the pipe connection is not tight, gas or water will leak out. In this case, it is necessary to check whether the pipe connection is tight and replace the pipe if necessary.

  • Gasket aging

Gasket is one of the key components to ensure the normal operation of the air compressor. When the gasket is aged or worn, it will cause air leakage or water leakage. At this time, a new gasket needs to be replaced to solve the leakage problem.

  • Pressure gauge failure

The pressure gauge is an important part of monitoring the operating status of the air compressor. If the pressure gauge fails, it will cause inaccurate readings and fail to accurately grasp the working status of the air compressor, resulting in air compressor leakage. The solution is to replace the new pressure gauge.

  • Gas-water mixing

The air contains moisture, which will produce condensed water during the compression process. They may be deposited in any area inside the air compressor, especially the pipeline system and the gas tank. If the condensed water is not discharged in time or the dryer is installed, it is very likely to cause the air compressor to leak. In this case, it is necessary to check and drain the water in the air compressor.

Overload pressure is too high: Sometimes, the load operation of the air compressor will cause the overload pressure to be too high, resulting in air leakage or condensate leakage. In this case, it is necessary to check the load operation of the air compressor and make corresponding adjustments according to the situation.

Refer to Top 12 common air compressor problems and solutions|2024 Latest Edition(Part 2) for the rest of common air compressor problems and solutions

Further more help

Need further more help to troubleshooting your air compressor? Whether your air compressor is not functioning properly, has an unknown malfunction, or is simply not operating as efficiently as you would like, Kotech can always help. Kotech has the expertise and experience to diagnose and resolve any air compressor issues, ensuring your system is operating optimally and reliably.

At the same time, we also offer the highest quality of air compressors in the industry, dedicated to providing customized support to meet the specific needs of your compressor.

We offer a wide range of services, including OEM parts supply, 24/7 online/telephone and field technical support, and preventive maintenance programs, so you can have complete peace of mind when it comes to the operation and performance of your industrial air compressor.

Contact us today to discuss your industrial air compressor needs.