Pancake compressor sparking motor ...


I have a Porter-Cable pancake compressor, made in 1999, which currently tends to show sparks from the motor housing when it is running. The other day, it quit completely and then today, when I tested it, the motor fired right up. 1) any one have any idea what the problem might be? bad brushes? 2) something I can do myself or do I need to take it to the shop? the one place around the corner seemed to think it would need a new motor/pump combo, at a cost of $150. Yes, they too thought that was silly. But, then again, that is when I told them that it was dead. I don't know what they would say if I showed them the current behavior. thanks in advance.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Lots of handy guys on this group that understand motors, certainly better than me. I am a field mechanic, fixing my tools as I need to to get them back on the job.
It sounds to me to be brushes, or a worn commutator, or both. Check the windings and make sure they are still in good shape, insulated and clean. Try blowing out the motor assembly and motor with another compressor.
If it is brushes, you can fix it easily, if it is the commutator you are toast. Available, but $$$. A bad capacitor would certainly keep it from starting, but >generally< speaking if that was it, it wouldn't start again later as if nothing was wrong. But a bad capacitor wouldn't account for the sparks.
But for $150, you shouldn't have it fixed at all.
I just bought a Bostitch C265 refurb combo that had the following: a six gallon 2 hp pancake compressor, 16 ga. finish nailer, 18 ga. brad nailer, gauges, fittings, hose, brads and a one year warranty on all of it. The cost was $199 to the door, and it was delivered in two days from the day I purchased.
I was looking at new compressors when I found this deal as my favorite little compressor I use all the time for the door/trim installs I do is finally giving up. This is a $129 compressor, and the cost to repair was around $65 in parts. I couldn't see putting that into a compressor that has been on the job for almost 5 years. My experience is that I will fix some part of a machine like this and it then some other 5 year old part will break.
This stuff is getting so cheap, I am thinking that we are going where we all fear, a totally disposable society. If I paid for the parts and had someone fix the compressor, they charge a minumum $65 bench fee. They would put the new parts on, but then it would be $130...
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Mixing motors, I fear. If it's a universal motor, it might have brushes/commutator. They'll spark as part of the nature of the beast, just like your router or other things with universal motors.
If an induction motor, it might have a capacitor, but it wouldn't spark long before igniting, sparks not being part of the nature of the beast.
Brushes can easily be replaced. Not worth rebuilding a universal commutator, that's for sure.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
``It sounds to me to be brushes, or a worn commutator, or both. Check the windings and make sure they are still in good shape, insulated and clean.''
So, I guess black stuff on the windings would NOT, generally, be considered clean?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'd check the motor "start" contacts and see that they are not pitted and sticking or bouncing and arcing. Don Dando

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.