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  • TRI-Stack 5 Gallon Compression Problem

    I bought a new Tri-stack 5 gallon compressor and can not get it to stay on. When I turn it to Auto and it begins to take in air it pops the circuit breaker. Am I doing something wrong, or is it likely I need to return it?

  • #2
    Re: TRI-Stack 5 Gallon Compression Problem

    do you have it plugged directly into a 20 amp outlet? From my experiance, unless its a heavy gauge extention cord, they are big no-no's for air compressors. Also, my Ridgid air compressor does not run on a 15amp outlet. it runs fine on a 20amp, but not a 15.

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    • #3
      Re: TRI-Stack 5 Gallon Compression Problem

      My first guess would be as Alphcowboy expressed... it's overloading the electric circuit.

      But there are a couple of reasons that it could do that... First, as "Alpha" mentioned, it's trying to draw more current than the extension cord and/or the circuit breaker will allow. Compressor's generally do not like extension cords, unless they are maximum-sized to fit the situation.

      You didn't mention if this is a lubricated unit, but if that is the case... lubricated compressors (lube oil in the crankcase) also have to contend with viscosity issues in cold weather.

      If neither of these are an issue here, then you could have a defective relief valve at the pressure switch unloader line. This seems to be an issue that comes up quite often with some compressors. Basically, at the point where an operating compressor reaches it's normal operating pressure, the pressure switch will shutdown the compressor, and at that point, it will also trigger this "relief" or "unloader" valve to actuate and dump the pressure in the line between the cylinder and the tank check valve.

      If this valve does not work properly, then that line and the cylinder is still under pressure; and when it is time to restart the compressor the existing pressure cannot be overcome by the motor and it will stall, triggering the circuit breaker.

      One way to check this, is to open the tank drain valve, relieving all the pressure in the tank, any pressure in the supply line and cylinder will also bleed (past the tank check valve) into the tank. With the pressure fully drained (leave the drain valve open), try and see if the compressor will run. If it still triggers the circuit breaker, it is most likely the cord or circuit itself. If it runs, then shut the drain valve and let the tank come up to pressure... listen for the shutoff and try to hear the "relief" pressure on shutoff. If you don't hear that "hiss" or the unit fails to restart on normal use, then I'd expect it to be this "relief" or "unloader" valve to be defective.

      I hope this helps,

      CWS

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      • #4
        Re: TRI-Stack 5 Gallon Compression Problem

        Hey....I am facing the same problem with my compressor. Even I have tried a lot things to overcome this problem but always failed. Can anyone help me out ? Thanks.
        Vacuum Systems | Industrial Pumps |Centrifugal Pumps

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        • #5
          Re: TRI-Stack 5 Gallon Compression Problem

          Read my previous post/answer.

          CWS

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          • #6
            Re: TRI-Stack 5 Gallon Compression Problem

            my compressor ran on low power and know it starts slow turns about 10 times and pops switch tried replacing the capassitors but its not that is this fixable what is the effect of low power(running it off trailer house)?

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            • #7
              Re: TRI-Stack 5 Gallon Compression Problem

              I just purchased the same compressor and have found the same issue, though I know with out a doubt my electrical is fine. What I have found is when my compressor gauge reads about 50 PSI it struggles to start running, 75 PSI or higher it wont run, trips the reset everytime. If I drain the tanks and leave them open and switch from Manual to Auto it starts everytime no problem. I am guessing they have an issue with the Check Valve assembly and the back pressure is causing enough resistance to the motor it just can start.

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              • #8
                Re: TRI-Stack 5 Gallon Compression Problem

                The "check valve" can be a problem, but I'm guessing it is the "unloader" or "pressure release" valve (same valve, just called different name) that is located at the pressure switch. When the compressor reaches maximum operating pressure, the pressure switch shuts off the electrical feed to the motor; AND, at the same time triggers the "unloader" valve, which blows the feed line from the compressor outlet to the tank. (At the tank fitting is where the "check valve" is located... it's a one-way valve, allowing air into the tank, but NOT back out of it.

                You can hear the "unloader valve" blow the line at the moment the motor shuts off, if it is working properly. It releases the air both in the feed line to the tank, as well as the internal pressure in the cylinder. If it does not, then the cylinder is still pressurized and the motor trips the circuit breaker on re-start because it cannot overcome the internal pressure.

                If the unloader valve does work, then it may well be the check valve, which is not seating properly and thus allowing air to bleed back into the feedline from the tank.

                I hope this helps,

                CWS

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                • #9
                  I'm experiencing the same issue. I purchased my compressor a few years ago while doing some small home improvement projects. Yes at first I had the issue of cord sizing but figured that out quickly. Then I had no issues with it for about a year. Just as I was finishing the trim on the shed I built I could hear the compressor kick on and slowly go blat-blat-blat about 10 times before it tripped the ckt breaker on the head unit. Thankfully I had enough air to almost finish the job, but ended up putting the last 3 mails in to old fashioned way. Afterward I took it to Home Depot for warranty repair, they sent it to their service center in St Louis after being unable to repair it locally. I received it back about 6 weeks later.

                  Having moved shortly after that and spending time in an apartment I had my compressor in storage and had tried using it since I got it back. Fast forward to this past June. I pulled it out, and unwrapped it, plugged it and it came right up to pressure, the compressor shut off, and I heard it unload like it should have. I think this is why it malfunctioned in the first place. But now I have a new issue. The pressure switch opens at 150 psi, and is supposed to remain open until the pressure drops below 120psi, but as soon as the needle drops off of 150 the compressor tries to run. Starting at such a high pressure causes the inrush current to spike and it trip the ckt breaker on the head unit. I have not found any adjustment procedures for the pressure switch, ideally I would like to see it drop out at 130, and restart at 100. I'm not using it for commercial work, its just me, and I can only use one of my toys with it at a time regardless of the pressure.

                  In any case I am going to replace the pressure switch and see if that makes a difference.

                  Any thoughts?

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                  • #10
                    sounds like a pressure switch problem
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