You may be wondering about when and how to attach a needle to an air compressor. While this sounds like a straightforward question, it requires an in-depth explanation and guide.
Air compressors are used in a range of environments for different purposes. This may include maintenance or for leisure at home or in a working setup.
An air compressor is a go-to tool because it works efficiently and safely.
The tool’s efficiency has made it a favorite for sports enthusiasts. In particular, those who play ball games such as football, basketball, and volleyball.
This is because it can be used in place of a ball pump to inflate the balls.
While ball pumps are great, they are slower when compared to air compressors.
Compressors produce more power and are capable of inflating many balls in a short period of time.
For the compressors to transfer air into the balls, they require a small tool capable of penetrating the balls’ valves.
That is where the air compressor needle comes in. Therefore, taking the time to understand the inflation needle and how it works is necessary.
Deciding on the Inflation Needle to Choose
When shopping for an inflation needle, it’s easy to jump to the cheaper option. While this is not an entirely poor motivation for purchase, it shouldn’t be the only factor considered.
This is because if you choose a cheap inflation needle, it may end up costing you more in the long run.
This is due to needles breaking in your sports ball. Below are factors to consider before making your purchase.
- Size of an inflation needle
The dimensions of a standard-sized ball pump needle are 5/16 inches in diameter and 11/4 inches in length.
When it comes to length, standard sports balls only allow 11/4 inches of the needle to penetrate the ball.
However, needles with longer lengths are available and are used on other inflatable items.
However, when you use needles that are excessively long, there is a risk of the needle either bending or breaking.
- Metal quality
When the quality of your inflation needle is poor, you have to be extra careful when handling it.
In some cases, you may be required to slowly pull out the needle to avoid damaging it.
Slowly removing the needle will result in more air escaping from the sports ball. Therefore, finding out the metal used to manufacture your needle is essential.
A variety of metals that offer both durability and strength are available. These include plated metals and metal alloys.
Materials such as zinc and nickel are plated on iron and steel to ensure the needle is corrosion resistant.
Stainless steel is commonly used and is the best option. Not only is the metal strong, but it is also rust-resistant.
In fact, in some incidences, when the stainless-steel needle bends by accident, it can be easily straightened out due to its resilience.
Before purchasing a needle, it is vital that you conduct research. Conduct online research to determine the price ranges of these tools.
Also, check on customer reviews to determine which brands customers recommend.
Visiting sports supply shops in person will also make your work easier. You can consult with attendants who will point you in the direction of the best products and answer all your questions.
Attaching Needle to Air Compressor
Before attaching a ball pump needle to an air compressor, you should ensure you have all the tools you require. Below is a list of the necessary equipment.
- Air inflator needle with adapter (for air hose)
- Air compressor
- Air hose/air line
To put a needle in an air compressor, you require a flexible air hose to connect the two tools.
The air hose is the line that will transfer the compressed air from your air compressor to the sports ball.
Step 1: Create a complete air hose
The way an air hose is structured, it should contain air tool connecting devices on both ends (end A & end B) for it to work.
When the air line has male threads on either end; or a female thread on one end and a male thread on another, you have to add connectors and couplers.
On one end of the air hose (end A), you should have a connector. Typically, connectors either have male threads or female threads.
Usually, these two connectors have one end that is the same for both of them. Then, the other end is differentiated by their threads.
Most often, air hoses come with male threads on both ends. You, therefore, have to purchase a connector that has a female thread on it.
You will then thread it onto one end of the air hose (end A). This will merge the male thread and female thread.
For the other end of the air line (end B), you will require a checked coupler. The coupler you need has a female thread on one end.
You should thread the female thread connector to the other end of your air hose.
Once done, your air hose will have a coupler on one end (end B)) and a connector on another (end A).
Step 2: Attach the air hose to the compressor
The side on the air hose with a connector (end A) should be attached to the discharge coupler of the air compressor. This connection allows air to flow from the compressor.
Step 3: Attach the air hose to the inflation needle
Assemble the inflation needle by connecting it to the adaptor. Once completed, connect this assembly to the air hose (end B).
Do this by pulling the outer sleeve of the coupler back and insert the assembled inflation needle.
Once you insert the needle, release the outer sleeve of the coupler. Finish by ensuring the connection between the hose and ball pump needle is secure.
How Does an Air Compressor Needle Work?
The air compressor needle works by allowing air from the air compressor to pass through it straight into the inflatable object.
The thin and long features of the needle facilitate easy entry into the ball’s air valve. The needle is also inserted slowly and safely to keep it from bending or breaking.
It’s important that you moisten the air compressor needle before inserting it into the ball valve. You can use a wet paper towel or run it underwater.
Alternatively, you can spit on the needle. When you use a moist needle, you are assured of a smooth slide into the valve, which will, in turn, prevent damage to the valve.
This is crucial because when your valve is damaged, your sports ball will leak air.
However, precautions should be taken while using the air compressor needle. One of the things you should avoid is applying the outlet of the inflation needle against someone’s body.
Also, avoid looking down the air outlet hole of the compressor needle.
The same way the ball pump needle can be used to inflate sports balls, it can be used to deflate them as well.
This may happen after you realize you’ve overinflated the ball, which will prevent the ball from functioning effectively.
You should use the needle to deflate it, and by doing this, you will also be preventing the stitches from weakening.
With the comprehensive guide above, you now know how to attach a needle to an air compressor.
All that is left is taking out your sports balls and giving them the pressure they need.