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Air compressor throwing breaker #5994873 10/26/15 03:28 PM
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Gumbeaux Offline OP
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I've had this air compressor for 15+ years with no issues. Used it last week with no issues. Fired it up last night and it is throwing the breaker. It will run for 10-20 seconds and then the breaker flips.

Any ideas of how to trouble shoot and fix this thing before I just scrap it and buy another? Gotta be something in the motor. Not sure if those things are repairable or not. It's not an expensive unit. Cambell Hausfeld I believe.

It's a 110V.

Last edited by Gumbeaux; 10/26/15 03:30 PM.
Re: Air compressor throwing breaker [Re: Gumbeaux] #5994903 10/26/15 03:48 PM
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Check oil level ?


If you`re running down my country, man,
You`re walking on the fighting side of me. (Merle)
Re: Air compressor throwing breaker [Re: Gumbeaux] #5994940 10/26/15 04:07 PM
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Plug in to a different circuit ?


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You`re walking on the fighting side of me. (Merle)
Re: Air compressor throwing breaker [Re: Gumbeaux] #5995090 10/26/15 05:51 PM
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My CH throws sparks but never a breaker, at least not yet


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Re: Air compressor throwing breaker [Re: Gumbeaux] #5995137 10/26/15 06:25 PM
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I have to plug mine into the washing machine plug inside the house, it throws every other breaker I have tried. You might replace the circuit breaker though it could be weak.


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Re: Air compressor throwing breaker [Re: Gumbeaux] #5995143 10/26/15 06:27 PM
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Check the breaker using something else in the same outlet.


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Re: Air compressor throwing breaker [Re: Gumbeaux] #5995227 10/26/15 07:27 PM
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Is it in an unheated shop or outside?

Mine was doing that when it was on a 10A breaker when it was cool outside. The oil got viscous and made it hard for the motor to turn the compressor. I would put a space heater on it for about 10 minutes and have no problems.

When I build my shop, I put it on a heavier duty breaker and had no problems.

Last edited by bull279; 10/26/15 07:28 PM.

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Re: Air compressor throwing breaker [Re: Gumbeaux] #5995324 10/26/15 08:45 PM
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Does sound normal or does it sound labored? Normal... try at different circuit. Labored.... probably start capacitor or motor. Start cap looks like a battery, usually leaks out if defective, visual inspection.

Another thought, it may have a mechanical start switch. It will be located under the vented end of motor. Could be full of dust and need cleaned. This is the part that "throws sparks" when it starts.

Re: Air compressor throwing breaker [Re: Gumbeaux] #5995429 10/26/15 09:48 PM
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I second (or third or fourth) replacing the breaker before trying to trouble shoot an air compressor. Could just be a weak breaker. It happens.


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Re: Air compressor throwing breaker [Re: Gumbeaux] #5995824 10/27/15 01:45 AM
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Another vote for the breaker

Re: Air compressor throwing breaker [Re: Gumbeaux] #5995890 10/27/15 02:17 AM
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Appreciate it guys. Will try some of this stuff this weekend.

Re: Air compressor throwing breaker [Re: Gumbeaux] #5999386 10/29/15 01:21 AM
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I wish I had a compressor that worker for 15+ years without issue. With the age of the compressor I am guessing the motor winding is causing a short or pulling too much amps causing the breaker to trip. I've seen this before and some will try adding a bigger amp breaker. Depending on the size of the conductor it will overheat and cause a fire if the conductor is not rated for amp breaker being used.

Re: Air compressor throwing breaker [Re: Gumbeaux] #6005262 11/01/15 11:50 PM
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Went to troubleshoot yesterday and the damn thing worked perfectly.

Re: Air compressor throwing breaker [Re: Gumbeaux] #6005384 11/02/15 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted By: Gumbeaux
Went to troubleshoot yesterday and the damn thing worked perfectly.


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Re: Air compressor throwing breaker [Re: Gumbeaux] #6006845 11/02/15 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted By: Gumbeaux
Went to troubleshoot yesterday and the damn thing worked perfectly.

sounds about right until you need it again ... mine was doing similar in throwing the breaker but wouldn't ever run. Flip it on and tripped breaker immediately. I see you are in Georgetown (me too) ... I called Lone Star Tool & Fastener on Shell Road, they had a technician that did pick up & repair on certain makes/models of air compressors (and various air tools). Might be worth giving them a call IF it happens again. It took a few weeks and I believe it was a starter motor relay that was causing the issue.

Lone Star Tool & Fastener


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Re: Air compressor throwing breaker [Re: Gumbeaux] #6011297 11/05/15 12:15 AM
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first breaker
second start capacitor
third brushes
fourth new compressor



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Re: Air compressor throwing breaker [Re: Gumbeaux] #6013695 11/06/15 03:15 AM
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Mine did that and it was the capacitor. Got a new one on Amazon for less than $15

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