Thursday, March 21, 2013

How To: Fix A Campbell Hausfeld Tire Inflator

Campbell Hausfeld Tire Inflator - Charging
We've had this Campbell Hausfeld air compressor / 12V power supply for a few years. It's great because not only can you pump up a flat tire with it, you can plug a car charger or even a power inverter into it and get power in an emergency. So if your tire is flat or your car battery and cell phone are dead, this beast has you covered.

Ours got to the point where it wouldn't hold a charge, and I took it apart to determine if the battery could be replaced. Turns out that the battery can indeed be replaced with minimal effort. I noticed Home Depot had a whole new unit on sale for about 50 bucks, but the battery was only 17 bucks delivered, so I decided it would be much cheaper to just fix the one I had.

Disassembly


Campbell Hausfeld Tire Inflator - Case cracked open
The unit is held together by 7 Philips screws. Once you get the screws out, the unit separates into two halves, with the battery attached to one of the halves. To remove the battery, just slide the connectors off the battery and pull the battery out. There isn't much slack in the wires, so it can be a little tricky removing and re-installing the battery.

Battery


Campbell Hausfeld Tire Inflator - Portalac Lead Acid Battery
This unit uses a 12V sealed, lead acid battery, with a 7.2 Ah capacity. It's also heavy, and constitutes most of the weight of the whole unit. A quick search for a compatible replacement led me right to Amazon, where I placed my order for what looks like the perfect replacement. It has the same capacity, and the same dimensions, which I had to break out the calculator to convert to decimal.

The new battery arrived USPS priority mail in a wad of padded envelopes. It's a perfect fit, and even a little lighter than the original. I plopped the new one in, connected both battery cables, put in the 7 screws and plugged the charger in.

Testing

Campbell Hausfeld Tire Inflator - Connected to power inverter and charging a laptop
Shown connected to power inverter and charging laptop


I figured my new mobile power inverter would make a good test. Obviously I could plug a car charger into the tire inflator, but charging my laptop from the AC charger via the power inverter would be an even better test. In a pinch, this setup would probably make a good "poor man's UPS" as you could run your desktop computer for a very short period of time. The battery doesn't have that much capacity, but it's sure not bad for a tire inflator.

Future Projects


I thought about putting 3 EagleTac 18650 lithium-ion batteries (3100 MAh) in series to replace the old-fashioned lead acid battery. It would reduce the weight about about two thirds and also up the capacity to 9.3 Ah. The only problem is that they cost $15 a piece, and having $45 worth of batteries in it seems a little steep. But it would sure be nice to have in an emergency.

Gallery


Campbell Hausfeld Tire Inflator - Old battery with new battery on right
The new replacement battery is on the right

Campbell Hausfeld Tire Inflator - Front
Charging up the new battery
Campbell Hausfeld Tire Inflator - WIthout battery installed
Shown without battery installed

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for this! I have the same problem with the same pump - just ordered the battery, and made a mental note to treat it properly this time. :)

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  2. Mark,
    Just wanted to thank you for your blog post. I successfully replaced my battery per your instructions. Great pictures and article.
    Stan

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  3. Nice post.Its may help viewer many way.I got basic idea from it.Thanks for this post.

    ReplyDelete