I have a small air compressor for various small tasks.

Lately when I plug it in and turn it on, it starts working to fill the tank and once it's full, I hear the valve releasing the air thus the compressor always works and never gets full.

While it's plugged in I can use it and I believe that the pressure of the air coming out is the same as when it was working properly.

Any ideas of what the issue might be?


  • My pancake compressor has a relief valve on top and a drain valve on the bottom. Does yours have two and if so which one is leaking? Commented Aug 14, 2018 at 20:14

2 Answers 2


It sounds like the relief valve is sticking. Once the head pressure is gone it should close so it can start again. I have had to replace them in the past and have been able to clean carbon deposits out of the valve on oil lubricated models, and last is to make sure no sawdust or dirt is causing the arm not to close on the outside of the switch.


I would check out the air compressor valve's as something is likely up with them. You can check out the drain valve and make sure it's fully tightened and no rust is present. Also check out the safety valve (the relief valve) and make sure it's fully shut. These are often spring-loaded and the return doesn't always work well forever. They can easily be replaced with a generic valve from your local hardware store for about $10.

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