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Old 06-23-2011, 08:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My Craftsman air compressor quit

It hums but the motor won't turn so something is either locked up or the starter capacitor's blew. It has started tripping the 15 amp breaker that it is on.

This is a 33 gallon 2 horse vertical, "oil less" unit. Does anybody have any experience fixing these things?
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: My Craftsman air compressor quit

How old is it? Dont want to be a party pooper or drag you down, but the vertical oiless compressors have a bad rap.

When I burned up my father in laws 33 gal, horizontal - same thing, motor would hum or buzz, smelled smoke, tripped breaker.

Took the motor to a local electric rep shop (dont know squat about electric motors), and they confirmed it was fried, replacement of the motor was 1/2 to 2/3 cost of a new compressor.

I got a 60 Gal 5hp vertical from Lowes, on sale - its been awesome. Much better than the 33 gal. I run cut off wheels and DA sanders.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: My Craftsman air compressor quit

I live between two large cities that have over one million population each. I know who is cheapest, but the one to the north has five and the one to the south has three electrical shops listed in the yellow pages.

Just unbolt and haul your old motor in to one of these type of shops, and they will test out and reqind it, or try and sell you a good used one from their stock. Which ever way is cheapest for you, then bolt up the EM and be going in a matter of minutes again.

Wm.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: My Craftsman air compressor quit

I am finding out (now) that the 33 gallon Sears vertical compressors like mine don't have a very good rep. I've had mine 3 years or so but it has not lived up to the Craftsman name.

The motor and compressor pump on mine are not sized properly to the 33 gallon tank. It will run continuously if I'm using any air tools and it takes too long to fill back up. It might be better for me in the long run to get something better. In the mean time I have no air.

well: when the motor hums the fan will still turn and its all direct drive I think. Brushes probably wore out because I can spin the fan and get it to fire up. A new motor from Sears is 230 BUCKS.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: My Craftsman air compressor quit

up grade you will be glad you did
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: My Craftsman air compressor quit

I don't like those oil-less versions from Sears just because they're noisy as hell and don't have much volume - in-spite of having one as a gift (they didn't know better) for over 10 years that still works fine. In any case you may want to consider using this failure as an excuse to uprate it with a new pump and motor. Using the tank, valves, pressure switch, etc. can justify the cost. We did this a few years ago on my son's, and with careful shopping, rigged his with a 10cfm @ 90 pump and a 3hp for about $250. Much more air and MUCH quieter. Probably $50-100 more by now for good parts. Just a thought.

David
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: My Craftsman air compressor quit

You might want to make a run to a local home depot if you have one near you.


I was searching for a compressor last summer and found verticle unit at home depot (Husky) that is an oil unit, 5hp and runs on 110v. It's a 60 gallon and was retailing at around $800 if memory serves.

I walked in kicked the flat tires on the display model and told them to give me that one at a discount...

Walked out the door for $299 with a 2 year full service warranty and the flat tire compressor. Air'd up the tires and it's been good to go. I've used Die grinders, DA sanders, metal nibblers, impact guns the works. It handles everything great with the sole exception being a cheap-o DA I bought that was rated at 4.3 CFM @90psi that is more like 43 CFM @90psi My slightly more middle of the road DA runs flawless for long periods at a time before the motor even kicks on... when it does kick on I can still sand away for quite awhile before I start dropping RPM.

I bought mine for sanding and shooting paint. It runs a sander just fine and should have zero issue running a HVLP gun.


I'd definitely see if you can get yourself a deal and buy a floor sample. You *might* have to wait until that's the last one they have of that model, but just go in and talk to someone, most of the people there just want you out of the store and to them giving you the thing slightly above cost doesn't matter.
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Old 06-25-2011, 03:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: My Craftsman air compressor quit

I have a line on a place that supposedly fixes air compressors. I'm going to see if I can get a rebuilt oil type motor/compressor that will mount on the top plate of my 33 gallon tank or I can wall mount the motor right above the tank. This option is probably cheaper than trying to get my existing motor rebuilt. My tank, lines and regulator are all good. I would like to have the 5 horse oil type compressor with a 60 gallon tank but I never come across deals like that and I've had too many unexpected expenses lately.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: My Craftsman air compressor quit

You should be fine with the 33 gallon tank really, and if at some point in the future you want more tank volume you can probably find just a tank on CL or something. I remember I father gave away a couple 80 gallon tanks before I needed one... so there are deals out there.

The motor setup you mentioned sounds pretty flexible and should easily grow to fit your needs in the future.

Best of luck to you and I'm sorry to hear your compressor bit the dust.
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: My Craftsman air compressor quit

Once you go to air tools you don't realize how much you use them until there's no air, LOL. I've had to revert back to the electric stuff to get by.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:51 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: My Craftsman air compressor quit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hottarod View Post
Once you go to air tools you don't realize how much you use them until there's no air, LOL. I've had to revert back to the electric stuff to get by.
Damn. But all will be fine. There are professionals and mild medications to help deal with that. Hang in there!

David
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: My Craftsman air compressor quit

Buying a new compressor of the size I need is simply not in my budget at the moment so in a bit of desperation I decided to try and see if someone could fix it even temporarily and get me through the rest of this year.

I went to a well known generator shop that has been in business longer than I've been alive and they gave me a line on another place so I called and described what it is doing. Well this other place is about 50 miles from me but they were very nice on the phone and said to remove and bring just the motor and they would check it. If the fix was outside my budget amount they would not charge me anything. I just got a call on my messaging system earlier. $48. That is a whole lot cheaper than buying a new compressor. There should be quite a bit of life left in the compressor motor. They had guessed it would be something simple like maybe a starter capacitor.

I feel blessed.
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: My Craftsman air compressor quit

$48 seems like a hell of a deal compared to buying another compressor, I hope that gets her back to life and allows you to get back to using air tools.

I hear you on the air tools... about the only thing I use that's electric these days are my 4.5" angle grinder and my sawzall... only use the angle grinder because I like the feel of my Milwakee more then my pneumatic cutoff wheel and sometimes dragging my big air hose around is a bit of a chore for tight spaces.

Hope you're back in business soon, good luck!
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: My Craftsman air compressor quit

I went down that same path, a new motor or rebuilt motor is a couple hundred.

Here is what I did, budget being key. Lows, Home Depot, both sell the 60 Gal 5hp compressors as mentioned above, one is red Husky name, the blue, Kobalt, HD, Lowes respectively.

Forgot what they sell for, but high 300, low 400. If you go to Lowes, when they are on sale, get a Lowes credit card, you get 10pct off the top, and get it for 6 -12 months no interest.

I got the 60 Gal - it does the job ok, but like you say with DA or cut off wheel, it will run continually, but fills back pretty quickly. It will run the tool after it kicks on. Cant recall how many CFM it makes but at 90 PSI it wont catch up, but wont quit either.

I have had mine for a year plus now, and no issues, matter of fact I was in a hurry when I got it as I was in the middle of a project so mine is still on the packing crate it came on. Bolted to the pallet in the corner. It is 220 though.

If you fix that 33 gal or get another 33 gal, you will be buying another sooner or later.

What kills me though, I go in Northern, Harbor Frieght, the compressor was like 399 from Lowes, the Cambell Haushfield replacement motor at those places are like 225-300, the replacement compressor is like 300, so how come the whole compressor is cheaper then the sum total of the major parts?
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: My Craftsman air compressor quit

I got the post mortem today when I went and got my motor back. The starter capacitor provided by the manufacturer was plastic. The motor shop said that it didn't just pop, it exploded. Its the kind you'd normally find in a washer, dryer or other inside appliance. They couldn't fit the new one back in the same cavity inside the motor so they strapped a metal cased one to the side of the motor. I'll have to make a cut out in the shroud for it but I can deal with it.

Yeah this is only temporary and hopefully to get me through the rest of this year. I will be going to Lowe's in the spring. I need a Lowe's card for a few reasons and have been putting it off. I almost stopped in there today and signed up for one but was too hot and too tired.
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