Reasons Why Your Air Compressor Is Slow to Build Pressure: Easy Fix

Air compressors are very effective to their users when they perform well. If you are a regular user of air compressors then you realize that sometimes your compressor isn’t building enough pressure or is slower than usual time. It means your air compressor is not building enough pressure for its regular task. This expected issue is one of the most common air compressor problems that will hamper your work. You are worried about solving this issue. Here, I will discuss the “Reasons why your air compressor is slow to build pressure and how to fix it”.

There are many things that can be responsible for the air compressor’s slow-to-build pressure problem. First, you have to identify the problem and then take the necessary steps to fix it. Follow my article it will help you to find out the problems with your air compressor.

How should your air compressor build pressure?

To understand the air compressor’s mechanism you should know how an air compressor builds pressure. 

The regular working method of an air compressor is, it attracts air from the environment through an intake valve. But the dust and other dirt from the air can harm the air compressor. There is a valve on the filter which protects the compressor from dirt.

The pump of the compressor will start to increase pressure. Then the compressor will turn on. Within five minutes your compressor will raise the pressure. But building up the pressure depends on the size of the air compressor also.

When the tank is full, you can use your air compressor. If you want to use your air compressor the whole day, it will draw air again when it needs to refill the tank. In general, You can use your air compressor even when it’s refilling air.

Read more: Why does my air compressor keep shutting off

How to Identify Why Your Air Compressor is Slow to Build Pressure?

And how to fix the problem?

If you notice the following disorder in your air compressor then it is not building enough pressure-

  • When your air compressor will take more time to refill the tank 
  • which part of the air compressor is not performing well is difficult to understand.
  • Making loud noise
  • It will often refill and be difficult to run in refilling time.
  • Leakage issues with the switch
  • Leaking problem of the tank

There are some common issues with your air compressor those indicates clearly the pressure building problem of your air compressor. To know why your air compressor is slow to build pressure you have to research the following symptoms of your air compressor:

The Pump Failure issue

When the pump of your air compressor is not in a good condition you will face slowly building pressure problems often. It is not a pleasant experience with your air compressor.

Sometimes air compressors make unfamiliar noises. If the pump of your compressor runs continuously and you can’t stop it, then there is something wrong with your air compressor. 

When You will notice that your compressor pump is pressurizing enough air and running throughout the whole day and making a very loud noise. It means that you should replace the pump as soon as possible. Otherwise, it will fail soon and the air compressor will stop working.

How to Fix- Fixing this issue means that you will replace the pump. Before fixing you have to calculate how long you will run the compressor and how often you use it. It will not cost more. But before fixing check the warranty.

Intake Valve failure Issue

If your air compressor’s intake valve is bad, the air compressor’s pump draw will escape before compressing the air. But a very little amount of air can enter into the pump and build up pressure for a short time. Then the compressor will stop.

If you remove the air filter and check the intake port of your compressor you will identify the problem. After removing the filter housing when the compressor is running put your hand carefully near the intake, if it will suck air you will feel it. Then the intake valve has no problem. After checking if you realize the air is coming from the port, it can be the problem with the pump’s pressure valves.

How to Fix- For fixing the intake valve failure issue require different things according to the size of the compressors. Smaller sizes need to change the valve plates while larger sizes need to change the valve only. But valve plates are not always available in the market for small air compressors. 

Gasket failure Issues

There are valve plates inside the air compressor. The valve plates have intake and pressure valves. A gasket separates these valves of the compressor. When this gasket fails it’s very difficult to identify. Because all other parts will work properly and when the air will flow into the failed gasket, it will prevent to build up the pressure. It is difficult to find it out because the pressure has to reach a certain point. Then the pressure load is too much for the faulty gasket and starts leaking.

How to fix-  change the gasket and other damaged parts of the pump is good in gasket failure issue. But it will cost more money if you want to change the gasket it’s better to buy a new compressor.

Pressure Switch Issues

There is a pressure switch in your compressor. This switch maintains the pressure of the compressor. This switch will turn off the compressor when the pressure range reaches its limit. It reminds the compressor to add more air when necessary and when to recharge the compressor.

The pressure switch is very important for the air compressor. If there is any leakage at the switch or somehow it failed it’s impossible to charge up and allow the air in. The compressor will produce low pressure while it will only turn on and off randomly. It will damage your air compressor very badly if you ignore this issue.

How to fix- to solve this issue changing the pressure switch of the compressor will be good. Otherwise, the compressor will damage badly.

Leaking Tank  Issue

If you using an older air compressor then the leaking issue in your compressor is common. The quality of the tank is poor. Or the connection of valves can be responsible for the tank failure.

For a leaking tank, your air compressor will not charge enough. It’s dangerous also to use the compressor in this state. When you see any damage in your tank, it will be a wise decision not to run the compressor.

This kind of issue is generally solved by the replacement of the whole air compressor. Because changing the tank will cost high.

How to Fix-  The leaking tank issues are not good for any compressor. If your compressor tank has cracked or damaged you should take the necessary steps. Changing the tank is the solution but it cost more. So, replacing the whole compressor is good.


How fast should a truck build air pressure?

A truck builds air pressure from 80psi to 100psi in 45 sec or less. This is the normal operating rpm. For ensuring the right air system operation, observe the air pressure gauge when driving.

How to set pressure on the Husky air compressor?

To set the pressure on the Husky air compressor start from an empty tank following steps will help-

  •  start the compressor and wait till it reaches the highest pressure. 
  • then slowly open a drain for escaping some air. 
  • You can see that the pressure comes down slowly. Wait until the compressor start and note the cut in pressure.
  •  There is a big set screw that helps to adjust the cut in pressure. To increase the pressure turns the set of screws clockwise.
  •  Now the drain valve should be closed. Run The air compressor until the cutout pressure reaches its limit.

You have to repeat the cycle again until set the pressure.

How long does it take for the air compressor to build pressure?

Air compressors are useful in many ways. But building pressure depends on a few factors of the air compressor. The air pressure measuring unit is CFM or cubic feet per minute. If any air compressor’s CFM is high then the pump of the air compressor takes less time to build pressure. And other larger sizes of the air compressor take more time to pump air into the large tank. Generally, an air compressor takes 2 to 5 minutes to build pressure.

How much PSI should an air compressor have?

Most people use an air compressor to run air tools. Maximum air tools require 70 PSI to 90 PSI. Any light to medium-duty air compressors can serve 90 PSI but go for more PSI than you need. You can follow the PSI rating.


When your air compressor is not performing properly and is slow to build pressure, it’s so frustrating for your work. But there are some common issues that are responsible for slow to build pressure problem. If you observe your compressor you will identify some problems with why it’s slow to build pressure. Then you have to check thoroughly to fix the problem. I hope the above discussion will help you to solve some common issues with your air compressor.