# Is there an AC Mains powered tire inflator? -- Updated

#### berkeman

Mentor
I used to have a compressor that I used for keeping my vehicle tires inflated to the right pressures, but it was big and bulky (and I had to keep draining it between uses), so I got rid of it a couple of moves back.

I'd like to be able to keep our vehicle tires topped off, without the bulk of a full compressor and tank. I haven't been able to find what I'm looking for so far -- I either find 12V powered tire pumps (way too weak -- I have one of those), or AC Mains powered "inflators" for pool floaty things and air mattresses.

Does anybody know if there are compact AC Mains powered tire inflators available? Or do I just need to get a small compressor setup and deal with the constant draining issue? Thanks.

Typical 12V powered version:

AC Mains Inflator:

#### Attachments

• 64.2 KB Views: 261
• 113.9 KB Views: 256
Related Mechanical Engineering News on Phys.org

#### anorlunda

Mentor
Gold Member
Amazon has a few cordless ones for about $50. Some are the size/shape of a cordless drill. Amazon also has a 12V cigarette lighter compressor for$23.

#### berkeman

Mentor
I guess I need to look at flow rates or something to be sure I'm getting one that can top off a tire quickly. The 12V powered pump I have now is very weak...

#### anorlunda

Mentor
Gold Member
I guess I need to look at flow rates or something to be sure I'm getting one that can top off a tire quickly. The 12V powered pump I have now is very weak...
I bet it is a case of you get what you pay for. Higher flow rate = more bucks.

BTW: when I travel, I always carry an old-fashione bicycle pump. A couple of times, it was useful. No more than 2 minutes pumping on that thing brings my tire from <20 to >30.

#### rcgldr

Homework Helper
What about the power drill like cordless tire inflators (these use the 18 / 19 v power tool batteries)?

#### Tom.G

If the compressor has a tank, you will have water accumulation in it. You could get a compressor without a tank and have the moisture in the tire, or install a moisture trap in the air line. Trap prices start around USD \$25.

(also try that search with 'water' replacing 'moisture')

Cheers,
Tom

#### Attachments

• 10.9 KB Views: 170

#### berkeman

Mentor
You could get a compressor without a tank and have the moisture in the tire, or install a moisture trap in the air line.
That's interesting -- I hadn't thought of that before but it makes sense. So when using a pump without a water trap (or a tank), water will accumulate in the tire or tube. Other than weight, does that have bad side effects? I know approximately how much water I used to get with my old compressor, but I'll have to think about how much I might get with the straight pump instead. I guess it's probably enough that I should add the water trap...

#### Tom.G

The only possible drawbacks I can think of for water in the tires are possible rust of steel wheel (are they still available?) and if the tire/wheel assembly is statically balanced it could throw things off (as opposed to dynamic balancing).

But if you have to reinflate very much there is probably a leak that needs looking into.

Just as a personal opinion, going from 25psi to 32psi once (maybe twice) a year, I expect the tire will reach end-of-life from tread wear or Sun and Ozone exposure before moisture build-up is a problem.

#### berkeman

Mentor
UPDATE -- I ended up buying a tire inflator that works from either AC Mains or 12Vdc. That way I can plug it into the wall outlet in my garage to top off our vehicle tires, and I can carry it with me for 4-wheeling and other situations where I will be airing down for off-road, and need to air back up when I get back on the road. I also bought a heavy duty 12Vdc extension cord to make it easier to get to all 4 tires.

So far I'm happy with the unit. We'll see how the long-term reliability turns out.

#### Tom.G

Nice find!
We'll see how the long-term reliability turns out.
Mediocre in my experience, just treat them as a consumable. Most of the portable ones are piston pumps running without lubrication; air volume, and particularly maximum pressure, decrease with wear.

"Is there an AC Mains powered tire inflator? -- Updated"

### Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving