Run 12V compressor directly off battery?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Joey_S, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. Joey_S

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 21, 2013
    Hello, this is maybe not strictly an electronics problem but I hope someone can help me anyway.

    I have a 12V air pump (runs out of the car cigarette lighter). It had worked ok the first few times then stopped working, with smoke billowing out of the receptacle while it was plugged into the socket. I opened up the receptacle and it was all melted inside. I replaced the entire receptacle with an identical one. The result was that it worked for less than a minute, smoke started coming out, the inside of the receptacle melted again. Reviews on this air pump from the store I bought it from showed this to be a common occurrence, along with repeated burnt fuses, etc. Except for one particular reviewer who seemed to have found a way around it with a mod as follows:

    "...did not want to return the unit to get a replacement with the same cheap cigarette lighter plug, I simply cut off the burnt plug and replaced it with 2 strong alligator clips and an inline fuse receptacle and I now plug the unit directly onto my car battery's post. No more problems !!!!"

    I guess I could just get a heavy-duty marine-grade receptacle, but I like the idea of just running off the car battery directly. This seems easy enough to do but since I'm no expert, I was wondering if anyone here could provide a little more detail on the above modification. What I would really like are pics of or links to the sorts of parts referenced to in the above mod so that I'm sure what to get. The fuse that was inside the original receptacle was 15A. Thanks!
  2. paulktreg

    Distinguished Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    In-line fuse holder something like this with 15A 1.25" fuse and some heavy duty crocodile clips like these. Hope that helps.
  3. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    I guess either the plug is cheap and under-designed, or the compressor draws more current than it should ( because it's cheap and under-designed ) In the first case, upgrading your connection should solve your issue. In the second case, nothing you can do will solve you issue, other than buying a good compressor. Always make sure you have a fuse in place. Nothing will get you into trouble faster than bypassing the fuse.
  4. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    Cigarette lighter outlets top out at 10 amps which is marginal to run a tire air pump. Mine always got hot at the connector which would get soft.

    Clips are an excellent choice, see what your local auto parts store has.
  5. Joey_S

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 21, 2013
    Thanks! But the first link for the in-line fuse holder is dead. Although I think I know what I'm supposed to get, could you please re-post the link (or someone else please provide a link or pic) so that I can be sure? Thanks!