How to repair and replace your air compressor check valve?

How to repair and replace your air compressor check valve?
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Air compressors contain many components that help them to work efficiently and get the required work done.

There are various parts that need to work at all times to ensure the air compressor can perform its tasks, which can sometimes be affected by wear and tear and need some form of replacement so that the air compressor can work again. 

One such component that is very important is the air compressor check valve.

​The air compressor check valve is used to prevent backflow from the air tank to the compressor head. Check valves are made from one-piece brass and a stainless steel plug with glass-filled flouro-polymer seats for positive sealing and to assure long term usability.

Preventing backflow stops the issues occurring with pressurization, which could damage the air compressor and even cause damage to you.

What should I look for in a damage air compressor check valve?

  1. Air compressor leaks out of unloader when air compressor is turned off
  2. Air compressors does not hold pressure when compressor is unloaded
  3. Compressor does not operate
  4. Fuses blow repeatedly

All of the situations can occur as a result of a faulty check valve, but are not entirely exclusive to such an event. Either repairing the check valve or replacing can fix them, however in most cases there may be damage that cannot be repaired.

Therefore, it makes it much easier and time efficient for you to find and purchase a replacement part rather than attempt to fix it on your own, although replacement valves can become quite costly depending on your device. But it can be affordable too like the: 

Tru-Flate 41-903 1/2" Compressor Tank Check Valve

It all depends on the model. A number of different issues can possibly arise as a result of using an air compressor however they are not always formed by one specific problem.

When the air compressor leaks out of the unloader when the air compressor is turned off this is most likely the result of a faulty check valve. Such an issue is known as “tank bleed” and requires that you disassemble the check valve and assess it. In some cases the issue can be resolved by cleaning, otherwise it may require a replacement.

When the air compressor does not hold pressure when the compressor is unloaded, the effect is also the same as the previously mentioned scenario of issues when the compressor is turned off. The same method of fixing the previous issue also applies to this, where cleaning could resolve the problem.

The air compressor not operating might be caused by a faulty check valve, but can also be brought about by a lack of electrical power, defective loader or the pressure switch no making contact.

Fuses blowing repeatedly can occur as a result of many other problems including the incorrect fuse size, low voltage, defective unloader or even the belt being too tight. 

What should I look for in a replacement check valve?

  1. Style of check valve
  2. Cost of check valve
  3. Type of check valve

Inline check valve are the standard check valves that stick into the tank and are most commonly produced for air compressors. They are located on the main line coming off the compressor pump. An example of a standard check valve is the: 

New In tank Check valve for air compressor

The inline tank check valve where are goes in one side and out one. The difference between this one and the inline check valve except it goes into the line and not the tank. The metric style check valve that is more common on imported compressor and harder to find.

Depending on the type of air compressor that you have you may see replacement costs range from anywhere between $10 and $30 or higher. Regardless, price should not be a main factor when determining your replacement check valve.

Price is only indicative of the quality you will receive from your purchase. A good quality check valve that is expensive than most is the: 

Craftsman A19712 Check Valve

When purchasing a replacement you will want to be sure that there will be no future problems arising as a result of the choice you make.

Finally you will want to know the make and model of your air compressor and cater your search for a replacement check valve dependent on your air compressor. You will want to ensure that you get the correct size and style of check valve for your compressor and ensure that it has no compatibility issues when you attempt to replace it.

In some cases with equipment of this nature it can occur, so it may also be necessary to buy the manufacturer-approved item. 

How do I replace the air compressor check valve?

  1. Turn off all power on the device.
  2. Unscrew all connections to the check valve
  3. Unscrew check valve from the air compressor
  4. Check the check valve to ensure that the issue is not dirt
  5. Screw in replacement check valve
  6. Screw in all connections on previous check valve
  7. Return power to the device
  8. Test the new check valve

Essentially the process is straightforward and simple, requiring no electrical expertise or technical knowledge.  You will also want to ensure that that issue is not to do with dirt before replacing the check valve, as sometimes it can become dirty and clogged. Before making your replacement you should ensure that the check valve is the cause of the problem.

It is important to also assure your own safety before conducting any form of maintenance on any tool or piece of equipment. Making sure that the air compressor is powered off and depressurized first before tinkering with it will keep you safe from possible harm.

It will also ensure that any tampering done does not affect the device itself which may result in further costs incurred or even the need to purchase an entirely new air compressor.


As always, consulting professional assistance on major issues is the best course of action for any major problems that may arise. They will have the knowledge and experience to handle a larger issue, providing you faster and more efficient path towards getting your item fixed.

It also saves you time, effort and additional expenses incurred as a result of any exacerbation of the issue cause by untrained attempts to fix the issue.

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MZB Compressors

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