Kobalt Air Compressors

Kobalt air compressors are the house brand of the Lowes of big box store fame.

Made for Lowes, the Kobalt line of air compressors is powered by electric motors and come in portable and fixed styles. The range of motors is from 1.5 HP up to 5 HP.

These motors power a range of Kobalt compressors, small 3 gallon tanked units with a 1.5 HP motor up to the 5 HP vertical fixed style with an 80 gallon tank.

Kobalt air compressors - www.fix-my-compressor.comWe would categorize the Kobalt line of air compressors as mid-use. By this we mean that we would have no problem acquiring a Kobalt compressor for our home workshop or garage. We might even purchase a Kobalt compressor for our work, assuming that our use of compressed air was incremental, and not used continuously. If we were looking for a compressor to do work for us 8 hours a day, five days a week, we probably would not buy the Kobalt air compressors range.

Here’s why.  After sales service.

Who Makes Kobalt Air Compressors ?

Like all department stores or big box stores, the stores do not make their own house brand products. They outsource, and that source will change from time to time.

At any point you might buy a Kobalt air compressor made by YY Company, and it may be possible to get the same model air compressor made by ZZ Company. Where do you get parts? Who do you talk to about service?

Your air compressor will eventually break down. When, not if, it does, who looks after you?

That’s why we would tend to steer clear of any big box store house brand air compressor if we needed one for production purposes. We would always go to an industrial compressor distributor, one that has the expertise and the parts to get us back up and running when the need occurred.

Having said all that, for light use, no worries. Buy the cheapest Kobalt air compressor that does the job – that means has the air flow you need for your air tools – and when it breaks, by and large you’ll toss it out and buy another.

Do you have a Kobalt air compressor? Care to share your thoughts on them? If so, please provide the model number too so that others can read how you feel about your Kobalt.



  1. Ron Johnson says:

    I have a 1.8 HP 20 gal Kobalt A/C Model 0332041 that I just bought recently without giving much thought to where I would put it in my garage shop. It is a replacement for an old horizontal compressor that I had below my workbench. I didn’t do due diligence and measure where I would place the new compressor. The vertical Kobalt won’t fit below the workbench and i don’t really have anywhere else to put it. My question is: Can I run this compressor in the horizontal position or am I going to have to get rid of it and get another horizontal model?

    • If this were my compressor, I wouldn’t try to run it on it’s side. Even though it’s user-added lube oil free, that doesn’t mean there is no lube inside. Also, if on it’s side, the tank drain will be in the wrong place. Sorry, but I don’t advise running it horizontally.

  2. I have a Kobalt Direct Drive Model 103798. When turning it on all you hear and get is a loud fast clicking noise. Was told it was the regulator. I changed that but no change. The electronic circuit board seems to work fine, all that is displayed is an upside down “U” on the display and the normal pictures. Thoughts?

  3. I have a Kobalt 0332041, 3 yrs old, the tool pressure adjustment blew apart. I found the top of the adjustment knob and a spring on the garage floor, but nothing else.
    Personally, I have never heard of a regulator blowing apart, (it would seem that this could be an extreme hazard, with the pressure flinging parts about at a pretty good velocity.)

    So what is a replacement part for this?

    Is there a place to send the bad part as I am curious to find out what could cause this.

    On 2nd look, it appears the spring was too much pressure on the knob. The knob split from its threaded ring.
    So I will need a knob, and any parts other than the spring, such as a needle plunger.
    Any ideas where I can look this up?

    • RFM, that part should be available at Lowes where this brand of compressor is sold. Failing that, Google air compressor regulators and you’ll find many. Pick the one that is the same as the one you removed. You will not likely find parts for it, though the whole regulator is priced in the $15-$20 range typically.

      Odd that a regulator blew apart, as the OEM regulator pressure rating is typically well above the maximum pressure the compressor can generate before the PRV opens to vent overpressure. If you Google Kobalt compressors it brings you to the Lowes website, since this is Lowe’s house brand. Visit your local Lowes with the broken regulator, and ask them for guidance. Good luck with that!

  4. Hi my name is Tony and I have a portable 8 gallon 1.8 horsepower 150 Max Pressure Cobalt air tank my problem is lightning struck the power pole outside my house and then when we tried to turn on air pump it wouldn’t come on when I unplugged it I noticed that the grounding pin for the plug was burnt and had a hole in it now the compressor won’t run is it worth trying to fix is there a fix or is it just shot and I need to dump it

    • Well, a plug is cheap. Change the plug, and then use a multi-meter to follow the power to the compressor. With the tank empty, power should be crossing the pressure switch and flowing to the motor. If it’s not, where does the power stop?

  5. I bought a 20 gallon kobalt compressor at lowes. I needed an upgrade as I wanted to do spray painting. I have not done any painting yet just finish nailing in my shop. I have had this compressor about 18 months then it started cutting of at 70-80 lbs. it is rated for 150 psi. long story short. the thermal fuse inline was failing. I called the help line and they told me there was no such part replacement. My owners manual does not list hardly any electrical parts so I had no p/n. plus a wait time of 20 minutes to talk with s rep. I spent the next 2 hours searching your website but, to no availe. I’m very disappointed with Kobalt at this point as I have most always purchased Kobalt for my tool needs thru the years. Now, I will have to go outside of your company to find the part I need because of your insufficiant owners manuel and parts replacement availability.

    • Calvin, I am happy to approve your post, however, must inform you that my website is not Kobalt, nor do I have any official affiliation with them. If you wish to critique Kobalt at the source, you will want to contact Lowes head office, as Kobalt is their house brand air compressor… among many other items. Good luck.

  6. I have a Kobalt 60 gallon compressor. It had been wired up and working fine for a couple of years. Then I moved. When I reworded it in the new shop it only runs for a while then the reset button on the motor trips. What can be causing this?

    • The reset trips because the motor is getting too hot. That could be because the motor or a motor capacitor has failed, or it could be simply that you aren’t feeding the compressor enough power to ensure the motor runs optimally. What HP, what breaker amperage for the compressor circuit, what length of wire run… please provide details about how you are getting power to the compressor. If it’s a 120 VAC, and you are not plugging it right into a wall socket, that could even be the issue.

      • 3.7 HP. 208-240 volt. I have it hooked to a 30 amp breaker. It’s about a 4′ run. Same exact setup from when I moved from the old shop. I brought it with me and tied into the new service panel.

        • OK then, it’s not the power supply from the panel, Melvin. I still believe it to be because the motor is getting too hot and to me the next thing on the check list is the start capacitor. Please check yours, there’s a page about how on this site. That it may have failed when you moved the compressor may only be coincidence.

  7. I have a kobalt 8 gallon electric air compressor and after the tank filled up with air then as i was using it and the pressure went down the compressor kept sounding like the motor was gonna die and i maybe have only used this compressor around 5 times. Why would it sound like it’s gonna die on me while trying to fill back up with air?

  8. Have kobolt 8 gallon air compressor air leaks out of check valve like it should but does not stop. When it’s starts to recycle new air motor does not kick in or sounds like it wants to try but goes out. The wrong check valve was sent to me so will send back. Just thought I’d get your thoughts . Thanks

    • I looked at some pictures of what I believe to be your compressor, but could not see where the check valve was. Is it one with a small hole in the top? You say air leaks out of this OK, and the leaking air should happen while the compressor is running and for a short time after the compressor stops. If there is air bleeding out this hole all the time and while the compressor is stopped, then the tank check valve is not working. If the air over the pump piston is bleeding off, and the compressor still won’t start properly, check the motor capacitor(s). Some have one, some have two. Don’t know which yours has.

  9. Terry Bishop says:

    I have a Kobalt 26 gal VLK 1582609. A friend of mine borrowed it and when he returned it…after midnight… the motor was missing, long story he tried to repair it and was not too successful. !,5 hp. Where do I find one. Thanks

    • Very odd that, considering that it is necessary to purchase both the motor and pump as a single assembly. Current cost is $200+. If I was in this situation, I’d be buying a new compressor, one comparable one is around $170, quite a bit less than just the pump and motor. Good luck!

  10. Bryan Williams says:

    I am searching for a check valve for a Kobalt air compressor(20 gal. 1.8hp) model #0332041.

    • Pull the existing tank check valve, if you have not already done so. With it nearby, Google compressor tank check valves, and acquire one that looks the same as yours. As long as the new one fits in the tank thread, and the pump head line connects, and the line to the unloader connects if this model has one, you’re good to go.

  11. My compressor check valve failed, I did order new check value after install it run ok but when the air pump between 90psi to 120 psi the pump made a weird noise, but the old check valve back no noise but air was leaked agian. Does anyone know what happened. My compressor model # KLA 1883054. Thank you

    • A weird noise might mean a gasket in the pump is letting go. When you say it’s still leaking, where is it leaking from?

      • Hi Willyr, it’s still leaking when I put the old check valve back( air leaked under compressor switch,) the new check valve is good but have a weird noise. I ordered this check valve # CTRD 3812-PLUS.
        Thank you

        When you mean gasket which one( head gasket or gasket cylinder) and is that easy to do it? Thank you.

        • If air is leaking from the bottom of the pressure switch, that’s an indication that the tank check valve is leaking.

          • Yes, but I ordered the new check valve after installed the pump made a weird noise, but when I put the old tank check valve back pump run good no weird noise but air leaking. Thsnks

          • I suspect that the weird noise is being generated by a gasket leak, and that’s occurring because the new check valve works, and is generating some back pressure (normal amount) as a result. That no noise occurs with the old tank valve is likely because the flapper or ball check isn’t generating back pressure, as it doesn’t work. When the tank is full, the compressor stops, air leaks back up from the tank through the non-functioning tank check valve, and out the unloader.

      • Depends on how handy you are. I cannot tell you if it’s easy or not for you. If you’ve taken things apart and put them back together successfully, and are creative in terms of making gaskets when you may not be able to find an OEM version, then away you go.

        • Thank you very much Willyr , so do I need to buy both head and cylinder gasket or which one . Thanks again

          • It is my experience that pulling a compressor pump apart can damage the pump gaskets. Therefore, I recommend that you replace them all, ensuring that when the pump has been reassembled, that the process did not damage an older pump gasket.

          • Thank you very much for all your help.

          • You are welcome. Good luck with the fix.

          • Hi Wiilyr, I need your recommendations. my compressor is about 12 years old and since it got a problem and I did ordered pressure switch, tank check valve, 90 degree elbow brass, felt filter, hose, now should I order gaskets kit to fix it ? I’m just afraid when I open it up some more stuff get problem like crankshaft,bearing,piston …ect. Should I buy new compressor or fix it? And between Kobalt 30 gal and Husky 30 which one is better?
            Thank you very much

          • I cannot advise you as to whether it’s better to fix or replace. Your skills and your wallet will tell you that. As to which is better, Husky or Kobalt, thought I don’t know for sure, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn they were made by the same factory. Best air capacity, best warranty, best potential for spare parts, best price… all criteria I use when I need to buy a compressor.

          • Marco Polo says:

            I have a kobalt 1.5hp 20gallon air compressor model number 03342041 i am looking for a regulator part number WCFATY.04.05, do you have any suggestions?

          • Sorry, without a model number of the compressor, I cannot make any recommendation, as neither of the numbers you provided result in any information on line. Perhaps you might add a comment here with a photo of the regulator you want to acquire?

  12. Andrew Pollack says:

    I have a 60 gal Kobalt air compressor that is spitting a fine mist of oil out of the breather. I changed the oil and still appears to be happening.

    • If by the breather you mean the air intake, that suggests that the intake valve on this Kobalt compressor has failed. A pump repair kit with valve plate and gaskets is in order.

  13. Ted Jacobs, III says:

    Help. I need some parts for a Kobalt 0200382 compressor…but can’t find a parts list ANYWHERE online. It’s a 3gal, 1.5 HP 150 Max PSI 2.6cfm 90psi one-tank compressor I bought at Lowe’s

    • Hey Ted i have the same compressor and i had the pressure regulator break on me too. I needed a fast fix so i headed over to the Home Depot and bought an inexpensive pressure regulator and a pressure gauge plus a fitting to get them all together. Works great, i was able to get my project done and for under $30 fix

  14. I have a Kobalt 20 gal digital air compressor 1.3 Hp Model # 215908. It recently started making this loud squealing noise and shutting down when trying to re-fill the tank with pressure still in it. Like when I use so much air it comes on making a loud squeal and shuts right down. Turned it off, unplugged electricity, re-plugged it, turn it on, same thing. If I let all the air out of it it will come on and run, but after it pressures up and turns off, it will do the same thing trying to come back on. I have had it a few years but it has a fairly low amount of hours used.

    • My first thought was that a belt was misaligned, but this is, I believe, a direct drive compressor. Since I cannot see under the cover, and have not been able to find a photo showing me detail, I wonder about the unloader. Can you pull the cover to check does this model have a small hole in the fitting between the pump and the tank? If so, that hole is supposed to bleed air all the time and, when the compressor stops, allow the air trapped over the piston to escape allowing an easier restart. IF that hole has become blocked, that might be the source of the squeal, and if it cannot bleed air properly, may overload the motor on startup and shuts down the compressor. What’s under the cover, Chip?

      • Chip Foscue says:

        Oh no I don’t remember seeing an notification email about your reply I am sorry. That does make sense. I need to get a set of star bit hand drivers, I have star bits or Torx, but they are for my impact and an apex will not go down the hole to take the cover off. Yes it is direct drive piston, no belt if I am not mistaken. I plan on getting a set soon just for that so I will let you know if that is what it is in case someone else asks, thank you.

      • Ok I took the cover off and it is belt driven. It is the belt making the squealing noise, it has a flat spot on the ribbed belt. As far as why it was shutting down I don’t know, maybe getting too hot? Anyway, I need a replacement belt.

        • If the belt was squealing, that would suggest that something was stopping the belt, while the pulley turned. Just a guess, but I think you’ll need more than a belt. I’d be looking at the cylinder / piston too just to see what’s what inside.

          • I agree, I haven’t taken it apart but I did spray wd-40 and it does seem to run smoother. I already ordered a new belt because the one on it does have the ribs wore down in one spot. If it is on that spot it will not turn the piston. The air intake tube to the piston was fallen off and there is no air filter, maybe that is what caused it to wear the belt? Debri?

            Thank you for answering! I am going to make an air filter to go on the tube and lube it all good.

  15. Dick Ditore says:

    I have a 60 gal. 220 v compressor. Been great for years. Suddenly l turn it on, and it sounds great until about 70# and then sounds bogged down, making other weird noises. I then noticed a burning smell so I shut down. Have not read about this type problem so I don’t know where to look

    • Don’t know the model number so don’t know if this is belt driven. Is the smell a burning belt, or is it coming off the motor? What weird noises, please?

  16. My Kobalt air compressor VPK0880803 recently stopped building up pressure. It maxes out at 40 psi and the engine stays on trying to build it up. I pulled apart the unit today and noticed that the piston ring is cracked and warped out of shape. That would explain it. Called Lowes but they don’t have a parts program or a way to order parts. Called the number on the back of my compressor and it is no longer in service. I have been searching around and it looks like Sanbor is the manufacturer of this unit and Powermate is compatible as well. I need part #047-0101. Any leads on where to get this or should I call it a day?

    • No parts means no parts, Brian. I can’t find any either. I do see a host of compressors that are 1HP and some 1.5HP in the $100 range. If you even find the part for your compressor, I’ll be it would equal a big chunk of the $100 for the part, gaskets, etc. So, in this case, painful as it is, if you cannot find the same compressor (Sanborn you say, yet I’ve found the same sold by Coleman Powermate) used for parts, it may be time to call it a day. Keep the old one though as some of the parts on it will be usable as back for the new compressor.

    • I just googled 047-0101 and found several websites that have the part. It looks like it is connecting rod/piston assembly so you get everything. The sites I looked at were in the $28-$30 range (before shipping.)

  17. Brand: Kobalt
    Model: LLA4508065, 221580
    I have Kobalt 80 gallon unit and its work great for about 5 years now ,but now I have to turn the switch on and off a dozen times to get it to turn on , I am worried it may not turn on at all dont know whats going here any one know ???

  18. Ron Evans says:

    I have a 3 year old Kobalt 26 Gal 125 PSI oil less compressor that has never worked from the day I purchased it. Model #37296 serial # DDD9184. I took it back to store and was told the tool pressure was not set correctly. When turned on it builds to 60 Lbs and shuts off. Hit reset button and it builds to 90 and shuts off. Reset button will not turn the compressor back on to build sufficient pressure. Help!

    • Sorry that you’ve had such a terrible time with your Kobalt compressor Ron. I’m sure I cannot agree to the “tool pressure being not set correctly” as being the cause. If you dial the regulator up to 100 PSI, then that’s what should be going down the line to the air tool. If the compressor cannot, however, build pressure up to 100 PSI, then no matter where you set the regulator, the air tool will only get what the compressor can deliver. Tell us about the socket you’ve plugged the compressor into? Is it a long way from the power panel? Are there many other items on the same circuit? What is the amperage of the breaker / fuse? Are you using an extension cord? These and other things should be checked, and all are covered on the pages on this site already.

  19. Hello Clint. If you have not done so, you will need to pull the cover from the control panel. Examine the regulator and how it is plumbed into the manifold. We suspect you will find that this is a typical general purpose regulator, unless yours is digital, then it’s more complex. Have a look at the regulator page on this site for more guidance. We suspect that replacing your regulator with a non-OEM shouldn’t be too difficult.

  20. Clint Lott says:

    I have a kobalt 20 gal compressor model 0332041. Had it for over a year and it worked great until I had to turn down the pressure and my regulator stopped working. Now I I have a full tank with no way to get pursue to my fills and I can’t seem to find the right part. It shows in the book that the part number is wcfaty.04.05 but i can’t find it on any parts site. Is there a common regulator I can use our do you know where I can find the part I need

  21. I have a Kobalt Model 37296 Air compessor and I need the start capacitor. But when I look around I only find them for 250 volt. the bad one I have is only 125 volt. Was this a special item for this compressor only?

  22. mitzi harless says:

    I am going nuts trying to find an unloader valve for a Kobalt 30 gallon air compressor with the model numbers 215921 (KLA1683066) on it. Campbell Hausfeld sent me a check valve instead and I can’t find what I need…. I am in Panama City Fl area, does anyone know where I can get help?

    • willyr says:

      Mitzi, we have been able to determine that the part number for the switch may be: 034-0184, though we cannot be sure as we cannot find an image of your compressor clear enough to identify the switch. We mention the switch because the unloader valve is a part of the switch. Please Google “pressure switch 034-0184” and when you see an image of that switch, make sure it looks like yours. Or, start a new thread on this page, and add photos of your current pressure switch, preferably one from each side.

    • @mitziHarless… have you looked here?

      Portable single Stage Electric Air Compressor

  23. I have a 30 gallon digitech plus air compressor that blew out 4 30a fuses. On the front it says made in USA but I found the compressor saying made in Mexico

    I bought it 8 years ago for the past 5 and a half years I have been wanting to fix it but haven’t been able to till now.

    Why is it doing this?

    • We moved this post to the Kobalt pages as Kobalt makes the Digitech air compressor. This compressor has a smaller HP electric motor, and as such, blowing 30 amp fuses suggests a serious electrical problem. While it is possible that a failed capacitor may be the cause, we surmise that there is more likely a fault to ground somewhere in the electrical circuit, possibly in the motor windings, and that’s where you want to focus your search. we would recommend not powering up the compressor until the fault is found.

  24. Audrey Truss says:

    The metal around the piston fractured. How can I get a replacement? Model 37296. 26 gallon 159hp. It’s a 2008 model. It’s been sitting for 5yrs. Now I need one and can’t buy a new one. It is missing pieces of the metal shroud so welding is not an option. Thanks for any help.

    • You aren’t alone. We did a search and found this article: http://www.about-air-compressors.com/kobalt-compressor-37296-casting-fracture.html. They appear to have been a high price for a compressor with such a poor track record. You can acquire a whole new compressor of the same size for $100-$200 should you wish. A search on resale websites will most likely turn up some of these compressors should you wish to replace the fractured parts by cannibalizing another compressor. We know of no source for new parts.

  25. Steve M says:

    I have a Kobalt 60 gal model number 221565 with the condor switch and unloader valve. The unloader is plastic with a type of push-in ferrule compression fitting on the line. When the compressor reaches about 60 psi, it blows the line off the unloader. I pulled the check valve and cleaned all the crud out of it and made sure the spring still works, and it does. When I cut off the motor, the air hissing from the line stops. Is the valve not opening, and if not, is there an adjustment inside the switch?

    • When you say the unloader is plastic, we take that to mean that the unloader line is plastic, yes? If so, over time, the plastic air line loses some of its elasticity. If that has happened with yours, then that may account for the line blowing off the instant fitting inside the pressure switch. If there is enough slack in the line, try cutting off 1/2″ or so of the line, and reinserting it. That may resolve the issue, as would replacing the line with a new one. Good that you cleaned your tank check valve. That’s always a good idea from time to time, anyway. We doubt it’s the tank check valve that is the problem. Maybe you could let us know if this solution resolved the problem with the unloader line blowing off?

  26. serge reyes says:

    I have a kobalt 30 gallon oil less compressor. its been a great compressor until lately i had noticed an air leak.. i finally took it apart and found that the compression fittings from the pump to the tank have a small air leak… i took it off thinking this should be an easy parts to find. 3 weeks later i haven’t found anything.. i;m about to reuse the same line and do some type of repair to stop the air… i rather replace it but i cant find.. can anyone help i would love to get my compressor back up and running.

  27. James Nelson says:

    Going nuts here. Bought a Kobalt VT6389 30gal compressor in August. It suited my needs perfectly and I hit a good price and sale. Honestly, it sat in the shop for a while until I got around to plumbing air lines. I did fire it up a couple of times, but never drained the tank until the motor kicked back in.

    Here is my issue. The tank fills to 150psi with no problem. Once it hits 100 or so, the motor goes to start, but just hums. It will not fill start up correctly until it hits 25psi. At that point, the motor turns over just fine and begins to fill.

    I have been through your site top to bottom and have tried everything suggested. Changed the unloader valve and the check valve, checked the caps, and confirmed that I was on a 20amp breaker. Only things that are plugged in is a wireless router, some surge protectors with nothing connected and a 2 LED overhead lights. I have turned them off and still am having problems.

    Any suggestions of where to start?

    • Kobalt air compressor
      James, please, don’t go nuts. Your air compressor isn’t worth it! We suspect your humming compressor has a power related issue. We assume it’s 14/2 wire that feeds the socket into which you plug your compressor. No extension cords, right? How far is the socket into which you plug your compressor from the power panel. If it’s a long way, amperage drop over the long run may just put your motor out of the sufficient power category. That’s one issue, though since you say it used to work fine, not the most likely one. That you compressor will start OK with 25 PSI in the tank, but not the normal cut in pressure of what… 105 or so, says to us that the additional load against the pump when trying to pump air into the tank is enough to stop the motor from starting. In the hope that it’s not the motor itself, we would still wonder about whether the start cap is weak and can’t fire up the motor against the normal back pressure from the tank. You say you checked the caps… what does that mean?

      Also, since you purchased it in August, is it still under warranty? If so, take it back.

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