Solving the dilemma: why is my air compressor keeps tripping reset?

Are you having trouble with your air compressor? Is it tripping when you turn it on, or every few minutes after running for a certain period?

We’ve all been there – it’s a frustrating experience and can be costly! But don’t worry, let us help you get to the bottom of why your air compressor keeps tripping and what you should do to reset the problem.

Several causes may lead to this issue, such as overloading, improper installation, improper wiring, insufficient power supply, etc. It’s important to run through each potential cause and make sure that you take into account all potential variables to find a solution.

In this article, we’ll discuss the various causes of air compressor breaker tripping and how to combat the problem so that you can use your air compressor without any further issues.

So keep reading if you want to get back up and running in no time!

air compressor keeps tripping reset

What is an air compressor reset?

If you’re wondering why your air compressor keeps resetting, first, you’ll need to understand what an air compressor safety switch is. In short, it’s a safety feature designed to protect the compressor in the event of an overload or power surge.

When this happens, the air compressor reset button can be used to switch off the power supply and allow the motor to cool down before being restarted.

The problem with this is, while the safety switch can prevent further damage to the motor and compressor, it won’t fix the underlying issue that caused the reset in the first place. That’s why it’s important to identify what is causing your air compressor to trip or reset to avoid future trips or resets.

The major causes of air compressors tripping can include:

  • Not enough airflow (blocked filters)
  • Not enough oil levels
  • A motor fault or freeze up
  • An electrical surge or overload of current

What’s the purpose of the air compressor reset button?

Let us start by talking about the air compressor reset button. A thermal overload switch or thermal cutout switch is a device that automatically shuts off the air compressor’s power when it overheats.

The air compressor reset button is usually located at the back of the compressor or in its electrical wiring. The air compressor reset button protects the engine from being destroyed in case it becomes overloaded. It also causes air compressors to stop snoozing when it gets hot.

Common causes of air compressor tripping

A motor issue might be one of the most frequent causes of your compressor’s recurrent trips. Usually, gas engine difficulties are brought on by a damaged fan, a loose electrical connection, or even a motor fault.

In some cases, you may need to completely replace the motor.

Tripping might also result from issues with the air compressor’s cooling system. Your machine may trip and shut off if it cannot properly cool itself. Low oil levels in your system or blocked filters obstructing airflow might be the reason for this.

If the unloader valve fails, part of the pressurized air in the tank may become trapped above the cylinder piston. The air then increases the total load on the motor, perhaps forcing it to draw too much power and blowing the fuse or tripping the breaker.

The duty cycle of a compressor is the amount of time the compressor can deliver compressed air. Normally, a duty cycle lasts between 10-15 minutes. If you run the compressor for a longer time than the duty cycle allows, it will overheat and trip to reset.

The duty cycle is vital, and it works on the premise that for every 10 minutes of work, you should have 10 minutes of rest. If you don’t have a user manual, you may find out the duty cycle of your compressor by getting in touch with the manufacturer.

Most air compressors include centrifugal switches. Centrifugal switch-driven motors activate the centrifuge. If one thinks about cars, then centrifugal switches are the same in first gear: it revs up the momentum of a startup.

After a compressor motor hits 34 rpm, the gear shift is made by the motor windings in the drive windings. Often the centrifugal switch is left out of the adjustment and can remain locked in one location. If a centrifugal switch remains open, the motor windings cannot properly move.

Over time, the centrifugal switch can shift out of adjustment, which causes sticking centrifugal switch.

If the centrifugal switch were to get stuck in an open position, then the windings won’t shift properly.

Finally, overloading your air compressor is a common reason it may be tripping on and off. If you’re running too many tools at once, or they require too much power at once, your machine may not be up to the task and trip out as a safety switch.

Troubleshooting tips for air compressors

When it comes to fixing the issue of why your air compressor keeps resetting, there are a few troubleshooting tips you can benefit from. To make sure you’re doing everything right here is what you should do:

  1. Unplug the air compressor power bar and make sure that it is turned off. Then, open up the unit and check for dirt and debris. Clean out any buildup found in the unit with a brush or compressed air canister.
  2. Test all connections. To check for problems with wiring or other connections inside the machine. If you find that any of them need to be replaced, you must do so as soon as possible to prevent further damage from occurring. It’s common for older air compressors to develop a tank check valve leak.
  3. Check the pressure switch for signs of wear or damage – replace it if necessary. You may also want to try to replace the broken pressure valve and use a multimeter to measure power to ensure it is adequate for your air compressor needs.
  4. Finally, if everything else fails, it may be time to call in a professional!

How to fix a faulty pressure switch

It could be something as simple as your broken pressure valve. A pressure switch’s job is to turn on and off the power supply to the electric motor, depending on the pressure in the air tank.

So, how can you tell if it’s your pressure switch causing this issue? Here are a few signs to look out for:

  • Motor shutting off while running
  • The motor won’t start
  • Motor runs but no air is produced
  • Intermittent on/off cycling of compressor motors
  • Pressure gauge readings that don’t make sense

If you’re experiencing any of these problems with your air compressor, it’s time to check if it’s your centrifugal switch. Testing the switch is a simple process, and can save you from purchasing a new motor or paying for an expensive repair. All you need is a multimeter, which you can get from most hardware stores.

Here are the steps:

  1. Unplug the power bar and disconnect all wires from the centrifugal switch.
  2. Set your multimeter range to ohms—the symbol looks like a fishhook. Make sure not to touch any exposed metal parts or terminals during the test process!
  3. Place one probe of multimeter into each terminal of the centrifugal switch
  4. Check that there is continuity when it is in the “on” position and then again when it is in the “off” position (in other words, make sure that there are low resistance levels when switched “on” and higher levels when switched “off”)

How to test your air compressor

If you think you’ve done all the steps to make sure your air compressor doesn’t keep tripping, it might be time to run a few tests.

This will require unplugging all appliances and electronic devices from the power bar and the circuit breaker for the house or unit.

Check the pressure switch.

Isn’t it so frustrating when you have a fully loaded air tank, and you begin operating the air tool, and as the pressure starts to build, the air compressor suddenly trips the circuit breaker and the reset switch is good for absolutely nothing?

Make sure that your pressure switch is set to shift properly. The set pressure should not exceed the range of pressure values stated in the manual; otherwise, it could trip at low pressures.

If it is set too high, simply adjust the range accordingly and test it by running it until its peak pressure point, then resetting the switch.

Check for overheating.

Usually, a gas engine on your air compressor produces a certain amount of heat when running, so any higher than normal temperatures can cause it to overload and shut down.

The duty cycle is crucial, and it operates on the principle that if your compressor has a 50% duty cycle, you should take 10 minutes off for every 10 minutes of work.

To test this, feel around each part of the compressor to see if any spots feel abnormally hot. If so, this could be a sign that there is poor air circulation or something more serious is going on with your electric motor and compressor—it may be time to call a professional.

Test your amps.

You can alsogauge how well your air compressor performs by testing the amps on each component while running. This way, you can get an accurate reading of how much current your system is using and whether anything needs to be serviced or replaced altogether.

Tips for recognizing and preventing potential issues

If you’ve been having problems with your reset switch, then don’t worry — you’re not alone.

But to prevent future issues, it’s important to recognize potential issues before they turn into bigger issues.

Here are some great tips that can help you recognize and prevent potential air compressor issues:

  1. Check for voltage.

Check the power supply for any voltage problems from the power source, such as fluctuating current or voltage irregularities, which can cause tripping, surges, or spikes in power.

Rather than using an extension cord, plug your air compressor directly into a wall outlet. A power outlet of 20 amps or more is even better. In general, it’s always better to use a longer air hose instead of an extension cord.

  1. Adjust settings.

Adjusting settings on your air compressor can also help reduce the chances of tripping the reset switch.

If you have an adjustable centrifugal switch on your unit, adjust its settings accordingly to put less strain on the motor by reducing pressure levels when not in use.

Checking all centrifugal switch belts for proper tensioning is also important — too much tension puts more stress on your compressor and can lead to malfunctions.

Air compressor keeps tripping reset? (We have a fix!)

It’s incredibly frustrating when your air compressor keeps tripping reset, but we’ve got a fix for you.

Before anything else, take a look at your compressor settings. When it has been unplugged or left idle for too long, the pressure switch will be too low, meaning the motor won’t get the necessary air compressor power to start running.

In this case, you’ll want to adjust the centrifugal switch by following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Additionally, regular maintenance on your compressor can save you many headaches in the long run—things like changing out oil and checking the belt should be done at least once a year (or more often, depending on how much use it gets).

Are your air compressor vents and filters clear?

That’s an often overlooked reason why your air compressor might be tripping—but it’s worth checking out.

If your filters and vents are clogged, then it can cause the motor to overheat, ultimately leading to a trip-out. It’s important to be sure all filters, intake vents, and exhaust power outlets on the compressor are clean and that there’s plenty of ventilation around the machine.

If they’re blocked, air won’t move freely around the compressor motor and eventually, your compressor overheats and trips out.

If you find that cleaning the vents doesn’t work, then you’ll want to investigate installing an external fan to ensure steady airflow around the motor and keep it cool.

Is your air compressor properly maintained?

Finally, it’s important to check if your air compressor is properly maintained. Air compressors are machines and, like any machine, components can wear down over time. If you don’t do regular maintenance on your air compressor, it can cause it to trip more frequently than usual.

Some of the most common maintenance tasks include:

  • Changing the oil
  • Tightening electrical connections
  • Checking the centrifugal switch settings
  • Replacing air filters
  • Inspecting hoses and piping for leaks or blockages

Doing these things can ensure that your air compressor will continue to work safely and efficiently long-term. If you’re not sure how to perform any of these tasks, a handyman or professional technician can help you out.

So if your air compressor keeps tripping reset, make sure it’s properly maintained before you call an expert!

Where is the reset button & what does it look like?

The reset switch is usually located on the side of the air compressor and is usually red or black. It’s typically marked with a warning sign or the word “reset” to distinguish it from other knobs and buttons.

That said, the place and appearance of the reset button can vary from model to model, so it’s important to make sure you’re looking in the right place.

To do this, check your user manual for specific instructions on resetting your compressor.

If you still can’t find it after that, don’t worry — there are other ways you can troubleshoot your compressor. When in doubt, always consider a certified technician to come and take a look at your equipment.



In conclusion, if you’re having any issues with your air compressor, the first step is to try to diagnose the issue. You might be able to solve the problem yourself, or it might require a repairman that relevant as well if you experience issues with a dehumidifier.

Additionally, it is significant to make sure that your air compressor is properly maintained, as this can also help minimize tripping problems.

Frequently asked questions

What could be causing my air compressor to trip circuit breakers?

There can be a few reasons why your air compressor causing to trip the circuit breaker. It could be caused by a faulty electric motor, overload, excess pressure in the tank, too many amps running through the system, or insufficient power supply.

What should I check if my air compressor trips the breaker?

The first thing to check is if there is any visible damage on the compressor motor, like burning or fraying wires. You should also inspect that all wiring connections are in order and there aren’t any loose wires that might cause an electrical circuit breaker to trip.

Additionally, check an unloader valve, which is a critical component of an air compressor. When the tank reaches its pressure limit and the pump stops, the unloader valve releases any air trapped in the air chamber above the piston.

What safety measures should I take when dealing with electric issues?

Always make sure you unplug the air compressor’s power source before attempting any repairs and wear protective gear like gloves when inspecting electric wiring connections.

Air compressor keeps tripping reset? (We have a fix!)

The first step is to check for any blockages or kinks in the air hose. If there are none, then you should check the air filter for dirt and debris buildup. If this doesn’t solve the issue, try resetting the circuit breaker. If the problem persists, it may be time to call a professional for help.

Are your air compressor vents and filters clear?

Air compressor vents and filters should be regularly checked and cleared of any debris or blockages to ensure proper operation.

Is your air compressor properly maintained?

Properly maintaining an air compressor is essential for optimal performance, efficiency, and longevity. Regular maintenance can help prevent breakdowns, reduce energy costs, and extend the life of the compressor.

Additionally, properly maintained air compressors can provide reliable, consistent air pressure and air quality, ensuring that tools and equipment operate safely and efficiently.

Where is the reset button & what does it look like?

The reset button on an air compressor is typically located near the motor or pressure switch. It is usually a red button with a small hole in the center.

Read More: Is Your Air Compressor Tripping the Breaker

James Cole

Considering that most people continue to pay the masters in the service for a consultation, I decided to create my blog.

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