I have a Porter Cable DA250C (15ga angle finishing nailer).

Worked fine yesterday until it just stopped. The gun does nothing at all when the trigger is depressed. It is not jammed. The piston is oiled and I can move it smoothly with my finger.

All the troubleshooting guides and other people posting online about nail guns always mention air leaking from somewhere. But, in my case, there is no air leaking at all. It just acts like it is not plugged in. But there is definitely air going in, it just does nothing when the trigger is pulled. There is no sound and nothing moves.

I took it apart, but nothing looks visibly damaged. Any idea which part may be faulty? Is there a test I can try to determine the problem?

  • 2
    ...does it have a safety?
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 31, 2016 at 20:19
  • 2
    Does it have the contact actuation trigger (black) or the sequential actuation trigger (red)?
    – Comintern
    Jan 31, 2016 at 23:23
  • It has the red trigger.
    – Nick
    Feb 1, 2016 at 0:41
  • This nailer has a safety switch on the trigger to lock it off. Check to see that this switch is on. Oct 4, 2018 at 20:34

3 Answers 3


It was the trigger valve. There was no visual damage or noticeable leaking, and I took it apart and everything seemed fine. But I ordered a new trigger valve and replaced it anyway, and it fixed the problem. Hopefully this helps someone else, since there was nothing noticeably wrong with the faulty part.


I'd start by checking to make sure that the contact trip wire is engaging the trigger. That would be the wire on the right side of the nailer (as it's facing away from you) that runs from the safety tip to the trigger housing. Some Porter Cable guns also have an adjustment knob above the trigger where the safety trip connects that will control how far the tip needs to be depressed in order to activate the trigger. I'd try adjusting this all the way to both stops to see if it will re-engage.

If neither of these does anything, I'd guess that the trigger is either faulty or needs to be cleaned. The sequential actuation triggers (the red ones) are a bit finicky and have been the only parts that I've ever needed to replace on Porter Cable nailers.


Unless you have a compressor valve shut on the air-line or no air in the tank it is probably the safety trigger on the nose of the gun. It needs to be depressed before you can squeeze the trigger to fire a nail.

make sure you have a filter in-line with the air just before it enters the hose. Could be blockage in the hose. Try it with a different hose or connect the nailer directly to the compressor.

  • There is definitely air in the gun and the pressure trigger is being depressed. It is likely a damaged component inside that needs replaced, but since there is no air leaking and no visible damage, I don't know which replacement part to buy.
    – Nick
    Feb 1, 2016 at 12:57
  • @Nick-not a jammed nail or driving rod? If no mechanical sound is heard or can be felt when the trigger is pulled it may be the activator connected to the trigger is faulty or the linkage is loose. Does the trigger work as it has before?
    – ojait
    Feb 1, 2016 at 16:11
  • I would say you need a new trigger kit.
    – ojait
    Feb 1, 2016 at 16:43
  • There's no nails in it and I can slide the rod easily up and down with my finger. There is resistance on the trigger. I also switched to the bump action trigger and it still doesn't fire, so if it's the trigger, its probably the trigger valve inside not the actual trigger.
    – Nick
    Feb 1, 2016 at 17:08
  • The trigger actuator part goes for about $12 from the Porter Cable owned "Service Net". servicenet.portercable.com/Products/… You'll probably get gouged with the S+H charge so you might want to see if Amazon.com sells it.
    – ojait
    Feb 2, 2016 at 0:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.