Broken Air Compressor

I went to use my Husky H1506F air compressor last weekend.  When I saw that it wouldn’t get higher than 25 psi pressure, I knew there was something wrong.  So when I called their technical support, they were thinking it was probably a damaged valve plate.  They asked me to open up the compressor and take a look.  (I didn’t have an 8 inch long 3/16″ allen wrench to take the cover off, but luckily a really long 5mm allen wrench for an old bicycle suspension fork was close enough and did the trick.)  I removed the valve plate, which is sitting on the tank in this photo.

Here’s a closeup of the valve plate.  Notice the damage on the second “finger”.

Although the compressor was out of warranty, the valve plate and gaskets only cost about $10 plus shipping.  I received them yesterday, put the compressor back together, and now all is well.

Other than the issue with the valve plate, this pancake compressor – with a 6 gallon tank, 1.5 hp, 2.5 cfm at 90 psi – has worked out quite well.  I bought it mainly to use with a palm nailer. The only downside – and it’s not the compressor’s fault, it’s the laws of physics – is that the performance suffers quite a bit at altitude (6000 feet).  Consequently, instead of cycling on and off as needed, the compressor runs non-stop when using my palm nailer.   That tells me I’m running the compressor right at its limit.  I have a project for which I will need to rent a framing nailer, and if I were at sea level I’d try this compressor, but it looks like I’m going to have to rent a bigger compressor for my project.  (I could rent a cordless framing nailer that has a fuel cell pack, but I’m not sure the folks at the big box stores would have the high altitude fuel cell packs!)