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Bicycle pump as projectile launcher
Old 09-04-2009, 02:18 AM   #1
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Bicycle pump as projectile launcher

I was using a 20 year old T-style bike pump to top off my car tires earlier this evening. I had been noticing the one way valve inside was getting flaky; often when I would pump I would feel the backpressure not just on the downstrokes as normal, but also on the upstroke as well.

As I was undoing the valve connection, I heard a loud noise. I turned around and the T handle had shot off the pump and hit the second story of the house 15 feet away with a loud whoosing and cracking noise. This is an old heavy duty model, and the wooden T handle weighs about a pound, so the launch momentum must have been incredible. It reminded me of the time I accidentally launched a stick of wood across the yard and into the ground when I was learning to use my router table; the launch and impact noises seemed instantaneous. No question this pump could have taken my eye out if I was in its path, and what's scary is that most of the time I was pumping with it my face was right in the firing line.

The pump is now in my garbage can, and I'm ordering the electric inflator I had my eye on:

Amazon.com: Black & Decker ASI300 Air Station Inflator: Home Improvement
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Old 09-04-2009, 04:18 AM   #2
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I do high pressure hydro and pneumatic testing as part of my job. A number of years ago a customer in the oil drilling industry was telling about the time they were testing a pipe to destruction as part of their normal procedure. They capped off the pipe, (4" in diameter), placed it next to a concrete wall for protection and pumped up the pressure. The end cap blew off somewhere around 25,000 psi pressure, went through the concrete wall and through someone's car. That's a different way to get a new ride!
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Old 09-04-2009, 07:18 AM   #3
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There's got to be a Mythbusters segment in there somewhere.
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Old 09-04-2009, 07:57 AM   #4
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Don't forget to buy the whole-house electricity generator to go with your new electric pump. You might need to pump up your bike tires during a one-week power failure. You won't want to use your car since you would've siphoned all the gas out to fuel your generator.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:15 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
Don't forget to buy the whole-house electricity generator to go with your new electric pump. You might need to pump up your bike tires during a one-week power failure. You won't want to use your car since you would've siphoned all the gas out to fuel your generator.
I've still got a manual frame pump for the bike, but that's an interesting concern. The old floor pump might have a higher purpose as a self defense weapon in a disaster scenario But I can't imagine scaring the looters away by pointing my bicycle pump at them.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by free4now View Post
The pump is now in my garbage can, and I'm ordering the electric inflator I had my eye on:

Amazon.com: Black & Decker ASI300 Air Station Inflator: Home Improvement
I don't know if you have a Harbor Freight Tools store near you (or similar type store). I bought a cheapo air compressor/tire inflator from them recently for $6 or $8 that works great. 12V DC "cigarette lighter" power connector (no 120v AC though). Works great for car tires, bike tires, athletic balls, floats, etc. It's a little slow if you are pumping a lot of air, but usually no more than a couple minutes per car tire to add 5-7 psi (top em off). It is very small and fits easily in the recess of my spare tire on my civic (underneath the trunk floor). Neat tool for very cheap.
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:37 PM   #7
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The pump is now in my garbage can, and I'm ordering the electric inflator I had my eye on:

Amazon.com: Black & Decker ASI300 Air Station Inflator: Home Improvement
I have this model and have been pleased with it. I think I got it at either Home Depot or Lowes when on sale last year sometime. Much nicer than the bike pump method (which I also used for a while).
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