Electric pump advice

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Evan Burck, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. Riverman Member

    Posts: 195
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    Moon... Missing a part or a couple of clips? Simply contact me by PM, just let me know and I will order them for you. Best wishes.
  2. Stewart Skunk Happens

    Posts: 951
    Ratings: +48 / 0

    I've had this brand for about 10 years. I bought it to inflate the tube I pull behind my boat. It has inflated air mattresses and the tube a zillion times, inflates my pontoon tubes really fast. I have had to repair the wire connections on the battery clips and the cigarette lighter thing, but for the price you can't beat it.

    Edit: The tubes and airmattresses I top off with lung power. My pontoons get topped off with a double-action pump. The electric pump is a low pressure item and won't inflate against any significant resistance.
  3. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,136
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,226 / 0
    +1 for the Rule inflator. It's a virtual clone of the LVM for less than half the price. I hadn't seen them offered lately, leading me to think they'd been sued for infringement so I was glad to see the link. Anyone on the fence about buying a LVM but hesitating because of the cost should definitely consider the Rule as an alternative.

  4. Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Posts: 1,690
    Outer Duvall
    Ratings: +248 / 1
    I was told the same thing (not to have the vehicle running) by Whitewater sports were I bought my pump. The explanation was that when you start your vehicle it changes the voltage going to the pump. I can neither confirm or refute that information but I definitely trust the source.

  5. Preston Active Member

    Posts: 2,475
    Ratings: +460 / 0
    My experience with the LVM has been almost entirely positive. I did have the leaf switch crack and sent it to NRS for repair; the shipping cost more than the repair. I've used the same pump for nearly twenty years to inflate a 12 1/2 foot raft (an NRS Sprite and now, an Achilles). Inflation of all three chambers takes less than ten minutes and the drain on the car's battery is negligible.
  6. Ray Pelland Member

    Posts: 42
    Port Ludlow, WA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    You guys got my curiosity up. I went out to the shop and did some live testing on my LVM that's about 15 years old. Here's what I found:

    Start current (initial surge) is too fast for my digital meter but it quickly drops to the running current with no air load which was 21.15A. When I put my hand over the air outlet and try to stop the flow completely the current drops down to 17.51A. I thought it would go up. I think there must be a relief valve for the air in the pump to prevent overheating when the air flow is obstructed (or the tubes are full). I can hear the pump speed increase when I do this which is what I'd expect a relief valve would do.

    The voltage at the battery at the end of the original 10 ft power cable for these 3 situations was: 12.5 for motor off (no electrical load) - 11.6 running without an air load - and 11.6 when I try to stop the air flow with my hand. i.e. no change. I was using 2, fully charged 12 V deep cycles in parallel.

    If it takes 10 minutes (I'll use 15 minutes worse case) to fill both of my 14 ft by 25 inch diameter tubes then I will have used up 4.375 ampere-hours of my battery capacity (17.51A times .25 hrs). I'd say most car batteries are at least 75 ampere hours capacity. Probably more like 200. So, if your battery is fully charged - as it probably is after driving to the river - then filling even 2 or 3 rafts should not really affect your ability to start your car at the end of the day. This agrees with Preston's conclusion above.

    Heat generated by the motor is I (17.51A) times the voltage drop (11.6V) = 203.1 watts. That seems enough to heat that small motor up but it's designed with vents so air flows around the motor internally when its running. Also, at 17 to 20 amps the switch is possibly more likely to fail at higher operating temperatures. Running it in the shade on a hot day is probably a good idea. And if it gets noticeably hot (not just warm) to the touch, although mine never really has, I'd shut it off and let it cool down a while. It also confirms the advice to not run the vehicle engine while using the pump. The higher voltage (maybe 14 VDC) would add a lot to the amount of heat generated by the pump motor (now 245 watts). If it gets warm at 11.6 V I'm pretty sure that would overheat it under most conditions.

    The curious thing is that if these measurements are correct the pump generates less heat (uses less current) when it's pumping air into the tubes than it does running with no resistance against the pump. I think they designed it that way with the relief valve spilling more air around the motor windings as the airflow into the raft decreases but maybe someone with more knowledge about DC motor air pumps can educate us on what's going on there.
  7. Gregg Lundgren Now fishing on weekdays too!

    Posts: 513
    N. Edmonds / Mukilteo, WA
    Ratings: +89 / 0
    Thanks for your testing Ray. Based on your last paragraph, I don't think I will bother to start inflating a chamber with an open valve. Generates less heat with some air resistance anyway.

    My takeaways...

    1) Don't use the LVM pump when the vehicle's motor is running (lots of warning documentation regarding this)
    2) If the LVM pump does get hot, shut it down to cool.
    3) Shite can happen sometimes anyway.
  8. Ray Pelland Member

    Posts: 42
    Port Ludlow, WA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Sounds about right. Especially #3. But I've gotta say this pump has been problem free for me for quite a few years.
  9. Stewart Skunk Happens

    Posts: 951
    Ratings: +48 / 0
    Nice post. Wish I understood it better, but I like deduced and quantified. :ray1:
  10. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,488
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,469 / 9
    I agree with Stewart. Great post. I don't understand it at all, but I'm totally conviced because it was so well presented. I have a hurricane that will fill a watermaster to about 1.75 psi about 5-6 times from a small UB 1280 battery. If that little battery can do all that there is no way I'm worried that my fully charged truck battery is at any risk of dying.
  11. Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

    Posts: 881
    Ratings: +66 / 0
    There is a separate Halkey Roberts valve depressor that goes on the end of my LVM HR valve adapter.
  12. Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

    Posts: 881
    Ratings: +66 / 0
    It used to be that the charging system on automobiles put out about 14VDC (and change) to charge the battery. I recall my LVM docs say not to use the pump with the car motor running to avoid an overvoltage situation to the pump.
  13. Kirk Singleton Capt Kirk

    Posts: 673
    Sammamish, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I had really good luck with my metro/magic air. Abt $80 at NRS
  14. Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Posts: 3,336
    Haus Alpenrosa, Lederhosenland
    Ratings: +895 / 0
    Does anybody make a pump with a standard two-prong electrical plug setup? I'm asking because I have the Tacoma package with the outlet in the back of the truck bed, and I'm dying to use it for something:clown:
  15. Mark Walker Active Member

    Posts: 2,771
    So. Cal.
    Ratings: +225 / 1
  16. sportsman Active Member

    Posts: 805
    Kirkland, wa., 98034.
    Ratings: +78 / 0
    You could easily buy a 2 prong plug yourself and it would work. BUT, the pump uses 25 amps on startup and I'm sure the wires on your truck are at the most 12 guage and maybe only 14 guage...check the fuse for that outlet and it's probably only a 15 amp fuse. For a length over 12-15 feet you need 10 guage wire. I ran my own for my ranger pickup; about 18 feet and 10 guage wire. The problem is with 12-14 guage is that it will show 12 volts but it can't carry sufficient amperage. It will work for awile but will end up heating the motor up.
  17. mk4 New Member

    Posts: 7
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Most automobile starting batteries don't have 75 AH. They only deliver a good amount of CA's, since that's what they're designed for. We're probably looking at 50 AH in a new top of the line battery. For a generic off of the shelf battery that's a year or so old, 30 AH is reasonable estimation.

    The general rule of thumb is to never run down your battery to less than 50%. That means in a real world situation with an automobile starting battery, you're looking looking at roughly 15 AH before your battery won't be able to provide enough amps to start your car.

    That's why I run an AGM group 27 as my main battery. More power.
  18. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,357
    Ratings: +1,205 / 0
    Alex, yes and they are really cheap and work well. I have had mine for years and it still works great. It is not powerful enough for a closed-valve fill but that's no big deal. I just found a used one at the Goodwill for $3.99 and bought if for a spare. I have an expensive Metro one too but I always just take this little one as it is so much easier to use and is really small. If you want to meet up when I come up to town tonight, I'll show it to you.
  19. Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Posts: 3,336
    Haus Alpenrosa, Lederhosenland
    Ratings: +895 / 0
    Sounds great, Sue; I'll pm you.
    Now didn't THAT sound tacky!! how about "I'll send you a PM"? You guys see what 35 years of political correctness will do to you???
  20. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,357
    Ratings: +1,205 / 0
    LOL! Here is a link to the pump. It looks like a toy and I never expected it to last so long but it is still going strong years later. I open the valve to fill my tubes and it doesn't take to long to fill even my 13' cat tubes. There will be a noticeable pitch change when the motor can't fill it any further (about 95% full) so I immediately remove the pump, close the valve and top off by hand. And for $8.75, it is a bargain! I know I have gotten my money's worth out of mine.