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Old 04-09-2008, 10:44 PM   #1
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Compressor Trouble


Hello....Newbie here. I recently bought a Kobalt portable air compressor from Lowes. It is a 5.5 gallon 1.0 horse with max working pressure of 135psi. I don't know much about compressors but I bought this thinking it would be handy for airing up things around the garage,swimming pool toys,basketballs, and the occasional car tire. Thats where I run into a problem. This thing doesn't seem to want to air a car tire up. Is there something I am doing wrong or is this thing just junk? Thanks in advance for your help.

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Old 04-10-2008, 09:30 AM   #2
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Compressor Trouble


Starting from scratch, what do you have the exhaust pressure set to on the compressor itself and, are you sure you have the correct fill fitting on the hose? You might think these are silly questions but we have to start somewhere..

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Old 04-10-2008, 01:07 PM   #3
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Ok, If the exhaust pressure is what the regulator knob controls then I have it turned all the way up. In my owners manual it states that the regulator controls the air pressure coming from the tank. Since I am not using any special ait tools I figured it could just be turned all the way up for what I do with it. As far as the fill fitting for the hose, I am using the kit that came with it which was a 25 piece accessory kit which had all the fittings and hose in it. Thanks for replying.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:21 PM   #4
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Compressor Trouble


Yup, sounds like it's all correct. One last thing I can offer is that oftem times, the valves in the tire itself are tricky. You sometimes have to press exactly square with the valve so that the pins line up and it will dispense the air. If your tank has 135psi and the tire, naturally, is much less than that, there is no "unequal pressure" reason it shouldn't work.

Take a screw driver or similar and press on the center pin in the air dispenser on your hose and be sure it's not stuck. Don't do this while staring at it because air should come out at a high velocity. If none of these work...I'm out of suggestions. Good luck.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:58 PM   #5
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Compressor Trouble


Thank you for the quick reply. I thought I was doing it right but you never know. I know what you are talking about on the tire valves. But since it has happened on different tires then I'm guessing it probably has to be something with the compressor. I will try what you said on the air chuck but there are 2 that came in the kit. One long and 1 short and it does the same thing with both of them so I wouldn't think they would both be bad but then again the kit does look a little cheap. I may try getting a "good" air chuck to try before I call the company. This thing isn't even a year old yet. Thanks again, Garry
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:14 PM   #6
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Compressor Trouble


When the compressor is running you should not hear any air flowing. If you do, there is a drain valve on the bottom of the tank that may be partially open, thereby not allowing the tank to pressurize. You should have at least 35 psi showing on the compressor gauge, if it has one.
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:18 PM   #7
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Compressor Trouble


If you're seeing 135psi on the gauge after the regulator, it's not the compressor. Once the tank has air in it, it's just a question of dispensing it.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:41 PM   #8
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Compressor Trouble


Does the compressor list a maximum CFM for air flow? I know some compressors have a limit on how much air they can produce or output per minute. Typical car tires are low pressure 30-50 psi, however they can be a large volume of air. I have a small 1 gallon compressor that will fill my tire, however it just takes awhile.

When filling a tire, can you hear if air is flowing into the tire at all? If the regulator is fully open, what does the gauge read when the tire is being filled.
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:54 PM   #9
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Compressor Trouble


Wow...Thanks for all of the replies. To answer Bills reply...I don't hear any air flowing while the compressor is filling but when it shuts off at the 135psi mark it does let off a little air out the bottom of it. I drained the tank recently and made sure the valve was tight. After talking with warmsmeallup earlier I went and checked the center pins on my air chucks and both do let the air out while I depress them. I'm not sure if it is high pressure or not but it seems like it was coming out ok. I am going to bring an air chuck home from work and try it too. As for DK's reply....I looked in my owners manual and it says SCFM @ 40psi......3.8 and then SCFM @ 90psi......2.6 ???? Not sure what this means. I think I understand what you are saying about the larger volume of air meaning that 35 psi in a small tire is different than the same psi in a large tire...right? When I am filling the tire I can hear air flow but I have never looked at the guage while doing it. Sometimes the air seems to flow better but mostly it is really slow. And like you said it will eventually fill it but I wouldn't think it should take the time that it does.
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:38 PM   #10
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Compressor Trouble


I had the same problem but found the solution: I just bought my first air compressor and new fittings, and could not get it to fill my tires using the tire-fill air chuck. The chuck is the little semi-spherical one, not the long pen-shaped one. Basically, the problem was that I was not pushing the air chuck hard enough onto the tire's valve stem.

If you look inside the chuck opening, you will see that there is a pin that is basically cone-shaped. When you press this pin air will come out. The trick is to push the air chuck far enough onto the tire's valve stem -- what has to happen is that when you push the air chuck onto the tire's valve stem, the cone-shaped pin in the air chuck has to push on the outer rim of the valve stem, which will push the cone-shaped valve down into the air chuck, opening the valve. This won't happen unless you push the air chuck down good and hard onto the tire's valve stem.

So my advice is, make sure the valve pin in the air chuck is lined up with the pin in the tire valve stem, then push the air chuck down onto the tire valve stem good and hard. If you're pushing it hard enough you should hear the valves opening and air going into the tire.

I know this is an old post, but I was searching for a solution and came across this thread, so maybe someone else will find it and solve their problem.
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:13 PM   #11
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Compressor Trouble


Hey Filius.....Thanks for the reply. I am sorry for not getting back on here to post but the problem was that I just had cheap air chucks that came in the kit with the compressor. After going and buying good air chucks the compressor has worked perfect ever since. I know what you are saying about having to be lined up with the pins but my problem was the cheap air chucks were not letting the air fill properly. Kobalt really should think hard about giving such cheap accessories with there "good" compressors because I was about ready to throw it in the dump. lol
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:51 PM   #12
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Compressor Trouble


garebo--I understand that you have the problem solved before I posted this. Very good! One thing that caught my attention in your second post was: "If the exhaust pressure is what the regulator knob controls then I have it turned all the way up". When I first read this, my thought was that if the pressure regulator knob was in the "up" position, and you turned it "up" as in raising it, then that would be wrong. Turning the pressure regulator knob clockwise, or in, allows more air to flow which results in more air volume and then pressure. Turning the knob CCW closes the regulator and stops the air flow. Also: "and it says SCFM @ 40psi......3.8 and then SCFM @ 90psi......2.6". SCFM=Surface Cubic Feet (of air per) Minute, and of course PSI=Per Square Inch. This sounds like one of those "oil-less" compressors. They are good for the homeowner for use around the house. The are known for high static pressure (final pressure within the tank) but low air volume (SCFM), note that the lower the delivered pressure, the higher the SCFM. And: "when it shuts off at the 135psi mark it does let off a little air". This is to let a little residual high pressure air out of the line between the compressor and tank so the compressor does not "dead-head" when starting up. I'm glad you have your problem fixed, the next time I have a problem with one of those 360HP, 1450SCFM @ 90 PSI compressors --I may call you in. Good Luck, David
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:54 AM   #13
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Compressor Trouble


SCFM=Standard Cubic Feet per Minute. That means that the rating has been corrected for temperature and humidity. Colder, more dense, humidity laden air at sea level, sucked into a compressor will provide a higher CFM rating than warm thin air in the high desert. Using a SCFM standard insures that the rating has compensated for any deviation in the intake air. The difference in rating of SCFM at various pressures is because as the compressor is working it is struggling against higher and higher strored pressure in the tank. The higher the stored pressure, the less air that can be compressed with each stroke of the pump. Comparing the numbers gives you an indication of how much the pump performance falls off under pressure.

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