For an air compressor to work, it must be able to build sufficient tank pressure. Whether you're using the device to power a nail gun or body-paint a car, without enough pressure, your application will suffer. The air compressor may also fail to reach its cut-out pressure or shut down thanks to overheating. Discover the answers to common air compressor pressure problems below.

How to Fix Your Air Compressor if It’s Having Pressure Problems

1. Look & Listen for Leaks

Inspect the air tank visually for leaks. These are most likely to occur around areas subject to physical contact with other parts, such as the motor mount. When inspecting for leaks, listen for a hissing sound. In the case of a crack, the air tank needs to be replaced. 

2. Clean the Filters

air compressorMake sure the air inlet filter isn't clogged with dust or other debris. To access it, loosen the wing-nut and take off the housing cover. Then, replace the filter if it’s clogged or dirty.

3. Check the System Valves

The inlet valve should be open while the drain valve at the base of the tank should be closed. If this is not the case, air will escape and pressure can’t build up in the tank as it should. Turn the valves counterclockwise to loosen them or clockwise to tighten as needed.

4. Evaluate the Belt

The belt connects the motor and compressor pump. Remove the back of the belt guard to view the belt, and if it has any damages, such as cracks or frays, remove it. To install a new one, place it over both of the motor and compressor pulleys. Then, slide the motor away from the compressor to pull the belt taut.

5. Assess Your Motor

Your compressed air system requires power to start. If the capacitors—the components used to store energy for the system—aren't working, the motor won't get the energy it needs for normal operating speed. Have an electrical expert check the capacitors for signs of cracks, leaks, and other issues.


Industrial Compressor Supplies of Maryland Heights, MO, is the trusted one-stop-shop for all of your air compressor needs. They have a comprehensive inventory of supplies, replacement parts, lubricants, and accessories, which they ship across the United States and worldwide. They also offer maintenance and repairs within the St. Louis area. Visit their website to check out the brands they offer, or call (877) 426-3131 to schedule a service within the St. Louis, MO, area.