How to Convert an Air Compressor Into a Vacuum Pump

What You'll Need
1/4 inch diameter, braided PVC hose
Air pump
Hose barb
Hose clamp (optional)

A vacuum pump, similar to a compressor, is actually just an air pump. Both types of equipment utilize the input side for suctioning power. But, an air compressor then compresses the air and pushes it into whatever it’s attached to, like a car engine or bike tire. Because an air compressor has such a similar function, this device is easy to turn into a vacuum pump. Use the steps provided below to get started.

Step 1 – Open the Case

First, use the manufacturer’s instructions to review the different parts of your particular air pump. Locate the information that shows you how to open the air pump’s case, and follow those directions.

You can open most types of air-pump cases by pinching the end cap and releasing the tab. Then, you can unscrew the cap. Pull apart the two case sections, and move on to the next step. Note that pulling the case apart make take some force.

Step 2 – Find the Air Intake

Now that you have the case opened, you must find your pump’s air intake. Again, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for information about your unit. Find the motor or pump assembly on the unit, and pull it or push it up. Then, locate the cylinder. The cylinder is where the air intake will be directed into before being compressed into an air hose.

Step 3 – Attach the Vacuum Hose Fitting

Using high-temperature metal-filled epoxy, seal around the intake holes. Attach the hose barb into the epoxy. Add additional epoxy around the base of the flange, and allow it to set for at least 24 hours.

Step 4 – Attach Vacuum Hose

Attach the vacuum hose, the 1/4 inch polyvinyl-chloride hose, to the vacuum hose by working it over the barb. You shouldn’t need to use a hose clamp if you use the proper, flexible hose specified above. However, you may use a hose clamp if you want extra security.

Step 5 – Make a Hole in the Case

Cut a hole in the case for the vacuum hose to pass through. Identify where the hose fits, and then use a pair of nippers to create the hole. Pass the hose through the opening.

Step 6 – Put the Case Back Together

Finally, close the case back up, and put the end cap back on. You are now ready to use the new vacuum pump, whether for filling your tires or using it with your car engine.