How To Adjust Cut-Out Pressure On Air Compressor? [Quick Guide]

Sometimes, you find yourself in a situation where you need to change your air compressor’s cut-off pressure. Even though the default setting that comes with your air compressor is always the best, you never know what tools will require different settings. So, how to adjust cut-out pressure on air compressor?

To adjust cut-out pressure on air compressor, there’s a spring below the pressure switch that controls cut-out pressure. Turn it clockwise to increase cut-out pressure and anti-clockwise to decrease.

For a more detailed explanation, go through the guideline I’ve gathered that includes everything about adjusting cut-out pressure.

What Is Cut-Out Pressure On An Air Compressor?

Before adjusting the cut-out pressure of your air compressor, you must know what a cut-out pressure is. It’s a safety measure. That’s why it’s essential to know what you are doing before you can set it too high.

A cut-out pressure will automatically stop your air compressor at the pressure level you set. For example, if you set your cut-out pressure at 90 psi, the machine will stop running once it reaches 90 psi.

This setting will make it easy for you to operate the machine because you don’t have to monitor and turn it off on exact point cautiously. Cut-off pressure will also prevent your air compressor from experiencing unwanted breakdowns.

Without any further ado, let’s learn how to adjust cut-out pressure on air compressor.

How To Adjust Cut-Out Pressure On Air Compressor?

For your convenience, I’ve divided this simple guideline into a few steps. Follow them sequentially, and you shouldn’t have any problem adjusting your cut-out pressure.  

Step-1: Safety First

Before you alter any setting, you must ensure that your air compressor isn’t connected to the power source. Some people forget to unplug their machines, and some just don’t care. But your machine mustn’t be connected to the power if you wish to avoid any unwanted accidents.

Step-2: Locate The Pressure Switch

Different air compressors will feature pressure switches in different locations. It should be easy to find the switch. It’s a rectangular-shaped housing that’s about the size of your palm.

If you still can’t find the switch, try reaching for your instruction manual. It will take you straight to your pressure switch. Empty your air compressor if the tank is filled with any air.

Step-3: Take The Top Off

Take the top of the pressure switch off. It will come off pretty effortlessly. Now, you’ll notice two springs underneath.

One of them is the cut-in pressure switch, and the other is the cut-out pressure switch. Obviously, you are facing your air compressor. The left one will be the cut-in switch, and the right one will be the cut-out switch.

 At least that’s applicable for most air compressors. If you are not sure, there’s always the instruction manual.

Step-4: Adjust The Pressure

You can adjust the cut-out pressure by turning the right spring clockwise or anti-clockwise. If you turn it clockwise using a pressure switch screw, the spring tightens, and the pressure increases.

Similarly, if you turn the spring anti-clockwise, it causes the spring to loosen, and the pressure decreases.

Step-5: Testing

After setting the cut-out pressure according to your necessity, fill your air compressor and let it have a test run to see if your new settings are working. And you’re done with your cut-out pressure adjustment.

Adjust Cut-Out Pressure On Air Compressor

Why Is Cut-Out Pressure Important?

Cut-out pressure is all about safety. Not just for you but for your air compressor too. Let’s imagine a situation where your air compressor is working with a tool that needs higher pressure than your air compressor is capable of.

This is where the cut-out pressure comes to the rescue. This setting makes your machine stop before it can exceed a minimum safety level.
Without the right cut-out pressure, there’s a high chance your machine will breakdown or blow up. Even if it doesn’t break down, there’s a high chance that it’ll affect your machine negatively and reduce performance efficiency.

Most air compressor tanks are made to withstand higher pressure. However, exceeding the safety limit will always result in an unwanted situation. Even if the machine doesn’t blow up, its performance efficiency will be affected.

So, if you wish to keep your air compressor running smoothly without any hiccups or maintenance costs, cut-out pressure is important.                       

What Is Cut-In Pressure?

Cut-in pressure is another auto system of your air compressor like the cut-out pressure. When the pressure level drops too low, cut-in pressure turns the machine on again to increase the pressure.

In simple terms, it’s the opposite concept of the cut-out pressure. Cut-in pressure comes in handy when you’re working with an air tool, and suddenly the compressor reaches the highest pressure limit and stops.

By setting a cut-in pressure, you won’t have to start the machine by yourself again. When your air compressor hits the lower pressure bar, it will start on its own. You can keep working without getting interrupted.

It’s important not to set the cut-in pressure bar too low. Because when you increase it again, it can take some time to reach your desired pressure level. So, unless you must, try to keep the cut-in pressure to the level your manufacturer suggested.

How To Adjust Cut-In Pressure?

You can adjust your air compressor’s cut-in pressure the way you adjusted cut-out pressure. The only difference is the spring. You used the right-side switch to adjust cut-out pressure, and you’ll need to use the left-side spring to adjust cut-in pressure.

Another way of differentiating cut-in spring from cut-out spring is, the cut-in spring usually bigger in size. At least, it is on most compressors. 

Turn the screw clockwise if you want to increase the cut-in pressure. Likewise, turn it anti-clockwise to decrease the pressure.

Don’t forget to keep at least 20 psi differential pressure, i.e., the difference between cut-in and cut-out pressure.

Cautions To Follow

Because an air compressor is not like a regular machine, you’ll need to know enough to alter any settings. Consider the following things before, after, and during you adjust your air compressor’s cut-out pressure.

  • Re-check if the plugging cord is disconnected before you move to the pressure switch. If you touch the springs while your compressor is connected to the power source, there’s a chance you’ll experience an electric shock.
  • When adjusting the pressure limit, don’t set it too high for obvious reasons.
  • Make sure the cut-in pressure and the cut-out pressure have a minimum difference of 20 psi.
  • If you feel like you’re not doing something right, you should always seek professional help.
  • If you want to alter both cut-in and cut-out pressures, make sure you set the cut-in pressure first and then the cut-out pressure.
  • Every air compressor model is different and comes with unique recommendations from the manufacturer. Always check the instruction manual for special notes. If you can’t understand something, contact the manufacturer or consult a professional.
  • You should be extra careful if your machine is old and hasn’t been maintained properly. Suppose you are using your air compressor after letting it sit for a very long time. Test if it’s okay before changing any setting.
  • If your air compressor switch is replaced by a newer one, check if there’s any change in recommended pressure level. Pressure switch settings can vary from one switch to another.

What Are Others Saying?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why is it important to set the right pressure?

It doesn’t matter what you are doing; safety comes first. If you are operating your air compressor for quite some time, it’s possible that pushing them towards higher pressure will cause them to explode. It’s a risk for both you and your air compressor. That’s why manufacturers will suggest you not cross a limit when it comes to adjusting the pressure.

Q. Why do you need to lower the pressure?

Sometimes, you’ll need to lower the cut-out pressure to run your tools efficiently. As you know, different air tools require different pressure levels. To match the tool’s level, you may have to lower the pressure.

Q. Why should I use lower pressure if my compressor is capable of a higher limit?

If your air tools require less pressure than your compressor’s ability, it’s better to lower the pressure. You’ll save energy. That’s the first benefit.

The second advantage is, your tools will run more efficiently, and your compressor’s durability will sustain.

Final Verdict

Now you know all details about how to adjust cut-out pressure on air compressor. If you have any confusion or your air compressor doesn’t match standard procedure, the instruction manual will help you. Even though every air compressor model is different, the basics are always the same.

There can be some small variations in some elements. For example, the pressure switch can be situated in different locations. The springs can look different from one compressor to another. 

But that’s pretty much it. The procedure remains the same. So, once you get your guideline straight, you can easily adjust any air compressor’s cut-out pressure.

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