Porter cable nail gun leaking air from exhaust port [Fixed]

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Below we will look at how to fix a range of porter cable nail guns faults including one of the commonest issues: Porter cable nail gun leaking air from exhaust port

In this post, I will be taking you through how to troubleshoot and fix a range of problems associated with Porter Cable nail guns.

As mentioned, we shall start with a pretty common issue: Porter cable nail gun leaking air from exhaust port

Let’s get started right away.

Porter cable nail gun leaking air from exhaust port

Of course, before attempting to fix any problem with tools, it is important to know what is causing it.

Now, a leaking exhaust port is majorly caused by either a damaged main seal or O-ring.

However, it may also be due to debris and dust having found its way inside your nailer.

So, how do you fix this?

Now, there are only two methods to fix this.

The first and easiest method is to clean your nail gun off any debris- you need to disconnect the nail gun from air supply just before cleaning.

If that does not work, then you might need to replace the O-ring- there’s a chance your nailer’s “O-Ring” isn’t sealing properly causing air to blow out of exhaust continually.

Perhaps the best approach is buying a complete overhaul kit –it has everything that could be in bad shape: O-ring and seal and more- for your model.

Don’t worry about installing it- just watch a YouTube video (or two) about installing a Porter Cable nail gun repair Kit and you should get it done flawlessly.

Well, if that doesn’t fix the air leak, then you may have to take to a nearby repair shop.


More porter cable nail gun problems and fixes

Having looked at fixing the issue of porter cable nail gun leaking air from exhaust port, there are a couple of other faults that occasionally occur when using this popular nailer.

And we feel it is nice to have an idea about fixing each.

So let us look at them individually together with their recommended repair:


Porter cable nail gun trigger valve housing leaks

A leaking trigger house valve typically points to one thing: failure of the O-ring or the valve itself.

So, how do you fix it?

This is very easy as all you have to do is replace the valve – we recommend you get a Genuine Porter cable nail gun trigger valve assembly.

Once you do that, it could fix the air leak defect in the trigger and your nailgun may start working again.


Porter cable nail gun top cap leaks air

If you note that your Porter-Cable nailer is leaking air through the top cap, it is likely that the cap screws are loose.

Remember that as you use your nailer, it generates some vibrations and with time, they eventually work loose the screws.

To solve this, try tightening the screws and see if the air leak ceases.

Otherwise, it can also be a sign that either the gasket or O-ring is damaged/worn out completely.

Again the best solution here is to replace the culprit (gasket or O-ring)- disassemble it and check then replace the bad component (get an compatible O-ring repair kit).


Porter cable nail gun air leaks around nose when nailer is at rest (driver blade is in up position)

If you are wondering what makes the nailer leak air around the nose when the driver blade is up, it is again probably a result of defective O-rings.

So go ahead and purchase an appropriate O-ring repair kit.

Porter cable nail gun air leaks around the nose when nail gun is in actuated position (driver blade is in down position)

Moving on, you may have a Porter-Cable nailer leaking air around the nose even when it’s in an actuated position.

Here you need to check if the bumper is broken or worn-out – it is quite often the reason- and your best bet is swapping out the bumper.

Porter cable nail gun won’t cycle during cold weather

Now, there are a number of things that may be behind this including:

  • Frozen valve.
  • Nailer not receiving air.
  • Damaged or broken driver blade.
  • Damaged or worn-out O-rings.

How to fix the nail gun

To start with, check whether the nailer is getting air by inspecting the air supply system.

Recall that since it’s a pneumatic nail gun, it means that if you had previously left the compressor with some moist gas, it could have frozen thereby blocking the valves.

Note that warming up the tool could help restore sufficient air flow.

The same applies if you are having a frozen valve.

Your other alternative is opening up the nail gun and visually inspecting the driver blade and O-rings- you want to see if any is damaged.

Obviously, you’ll want to replace what’s broken.

Porter cable nail gun lacks power (sluggish)

Now, if  you have fired your Porter-Cable nail gun a dozen times and you note that it’s lacking the power to flush drive in the nails, below are probable reasons making your nailer sluggish:

  • Low air pressure.
  • Damaged or worn-out O-rings(for the umpteenth time).
  • Clogged exhaust port.

So, what do you do to fix this?

First and foremost, you will want to check the air supply and make sure that your pressure is between 70 and 120 psi.

Now, depending on the size of nails you are firing and the hardness of your lumber you should adjust the pressure accordingly until you get the perfect pressure that flush drives in your nails.

Also, make sure that the exhaust port isn’t clogged- disconnect the air valve and remove the exhaust from the top of your tool then clean your port (if you see it’s clogged).

Your final shot is changing out the O-rings /gasket (check if they’re damaged)

Porter cable nail gun skipping fasteners (intermittent feed)

Porter cable nail gun skipping fasteners
Now, if you note that your potter nail gun is experiencing intermittent feeds, there are a few reasons that could be leading to this and each has its own recommended fix as you can see below.


Porter cable nail gun keeps jamming

It’s normal for nail guns to jam once in a while.

However, if you note that your nail gun is jamming frequently, then there could be a problem.

Below are the varied potential causes plus what you should try:


porter cable nail gun jammed

Porter cable nail gun: clearing a jammed fastener

We have just previously looked at what may lead to frequent jamming of Porter-Cable nail guns and how to prevent it.

But, how do you clear jammed fasteners in your Porter-Cable nail gun? Well, it’s very easy if you follow the steps below to the point:

  • First, point the nail gun away from you and away from anybody near you.
  • Lock off the trigger and disconnect the air supply from the tool.
  • Release the magazine trigger.
  • Now, push down the jam clearing latch and then pull up to open the front door.
  • You can now see your bent nail. Remove it and where necessary, you can use pliers.
  • If you note that the driver blade is in the down position, using a screwdriver, push it back into position.
  • Now, close the front door and lift the latch to secure the door to the nosepiece.
  • You can now reconnect the air supply and then reinsert the nails into the magazine.
  • Finish up by releasing the magazine release.


A compilation of Porter Cable nail gun repair kits (All are on Amazon) for different Porter Cable nailers – different nailers come with different specs.

Model Amazon link
FC350A type 1, FR350A type 2, FM350A type 1 and FR350A type 1 Click here
FN250B type 1 and FN251 type 1 Click here
RN175A Click here
BN125 type 1, BN200 type 1 overhaul kit Click here
DA250, FN250 type 1 (2 in 1 nailer) replacement overhaul kit Click here
FN250A driver maintenance kit Click here
DA250B type 1 overhaul kit Click here


Troubleshooting Porter Cable nail gun – final thoughts

Now, if you experience problems with your Porter-Cable nail gun and it’s still under warranty, do not disassemble it when it malfunctions.

Instead, visit your closest Porter-Cable dealer or contact your seller and they will get you a new one as long as you haven’t done anything that may void your warranty.

Otherwise, try the above repairs and take it to a repair shop if you don’t get any luck with DIY repairs.


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