cold weather air compressor start ups

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by wookie posted 02-12-2010 09:48 PM 14505 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View wookie's profile


154 posts in 2505 days

02-12-2010 09:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tools air compressor

I guys. Does cold weather effect the start up of an air compressor? My All Power Quietzone acted like the motor was stuck when I tried to start it up the other day, a very cold day. It is brand new and I am in contact with the mnaufactuer. I would appreciate anyones input. Thanks, Wookie.

-- Wookie=Wood Rookie

10 replies so far

View cliffton's profile


117 posts in 2503 days

#1 posted 02-13-2010 01:12 AM

My 17 gal always seems a little louder when its cold but it never seems “stuck”

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3521 days

#2 posted 02-13-2010 01:26 AM

Oilless compressors will start pretty good, even in subzero climates. I know this for a fact because I have used my oilles compressors at -5° and -7° with no problems.

Oil lubricated compressors will have a really tough time though. You can get a lighter weight winter grade oil for them but they are still affected by the cold.

I am a remodeling contractor and my oilless compressors end up getting shared with the other guys because their oil lubricated compressors won’t start, they act just as you described.

The biggest drawback to the oilless compressors are that they are really loud compared to an oil lubed unit.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2999 days

#3 posted 02-13-2010 01:41 AM

I have found pretty much the same thing Todd has .

-- Custom furniture

View eastside's profile


97 posts in 2683 days

#4 posted 02-13-2010 02:53 AM

II picked up a new compressor the first week in January and had the same thing happen. My basement is not heated and when it drops below 50 it sometimes won’t start on the first try. I moved it into a new room I built in the basement with the boiler and immediately it started running better. You may just have a cold problem and not a bad compressor.

-- Mike, Westport MA.

View poopiekat's profile


4189 posts in 3156 days

#5 posted 02-13-2010 03:42 AM

Your unloader valve, which some compressors have, allows the electric motor to come up to speed under reduced pressure. The orifice may be clogged with ice, especially if moving it to a warm area instantly makes it start up easily.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Mike's profile


93 posts in 2586 days

#6 posted 02-13-2010 03:56 AM

I have this problem a lot in the winter working outside. I usually just open the drains in the tanks and let it run for a minit with them open to warm up. Once it gets fired it never seems to have a problem the rest of the day. Sometimes I have to reset the fuse a couple times to get it going. This can’t be good for the compressor but when you got to work you just do it. Been doing this for at least 5 years with this compressor and still working fine. Good luck

-- Mike, Cantral Oregon

View 459fitter's profile


30 posts in 2487 days

#7 posted 02-13-2010 07:31 AM

On any compressor you can remove the quick connect and install a tee with a valve, which will act like an unloader. Open the valve and release any pressure before you try to start and leave open. Many large compressors will operate this way to allow the oil to begin lubricating before the real work begins. once the compressor has ran for 30 seconds or a minute close the valve and go to work. If you are going to change the oil to a lighter weight oil DO NOT use motor oil!!! Use a high quality non-detergent oil. The detergents in motor oil can break down the rings and seals in your compressor causing major headaches. Most automotive parts stores (napa or the like) carry non-detergent compressor oil, just ask them about it. Also when the weather warms up make sure to put the proper weight oil back in. Also in cold weather it is critical to drain off any condensate from the tank before quitting time each day. I recently saw a tank at work rupture due to corrosion of the tank bottom. Scary! Good Luck


-- Andy ---- Missoula, MT

View wookie's profile


154 posts in 2505 days

#8 posted 02-13-2010 10:06 AM

This compressor is electric and oil-less / lubricated for life. Single digit temps at night here lately in good ol’ IL. with below zero windchills. What I like about this unit is that it is quit, 55db and lightweight. The manufactuer is in the process of sending me a return/exchange. I hate to return it because I got the last one the retailer had and I got a really good deal on it. I would like to hang on to it but if it is not safe I better unload it. I’ll move it inside for a couple days and start it unloaded as suggested. It is made in China just like everything else. Thanks for the replys guys. You Jocks always come through.

-- Wookie=Wood Rookie

View SKFrog16's profile


661 posts in 2622 days

#9 posted 02-17-2010 06:43 PM

Being a retired Firefighter, we constantly use equipment that goes from one temperature extreme to the other. For best results, never leave air in the storage tanks, drain after every use before you put them away. If portable, raise the end of the compressor up from the drain valve when draining. This will ensure any moisture will get out of your tank. Always use the proper oil for the tools you own. Always oil your tools prior to each use.
Invest in a heavy duty Extension Cord 12ga. Ok, 10 ga. Better, 8 ga. Best. I use old arc welders cables and never make the length more than 10 feet. Better to have a long hose and raise the pressure than starve the motor for electricity. Better yet, rewire the old flimsy cord direct from outlet to compressor.
P.S. Wookie, I live in Illinois. No what you mean about the cooold daaamp air.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View wookie's profile


154 posts in 2505 days

#10 posted 02-18-2010 09:51 PM

Thanks Tom1 and UnionLabel. I have been letting it warm up with the petcock all the way open and seems to helping a lot. I have a very heavy ext. cord. It is from the hospital where mama works and was used on various life support equip. I Don’t know what gauge it is but every time I whip it out to use it someone always asks if I can get another. UnionLabel, thanks for your service. You guys are abreed apart.

-- Wookie=Wood Rookie

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics