How to Inflate a Stuck Ball Valve Needle

Written by eric cedric
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How to Inflate a Stuck Ball Valve Needle
Most sports balls use needle adaptors to inflate the ball. (basketball image by Alexey Klementiev from

Many different sports balls require you to pump air into the bladder via a specialised needle. However, sometimes the needle gets stuck in the valve hole. When this happens, use a tested method to remove the needle and get the ball pumped back up.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pump
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Vise-Grip locking pliers

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  1. 1

    Remove the pump nozzle from the needle adaptor. Pour some rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball and swab around the needle entry area at the hole. Pull the needle up as far as possible with your fingers, and wipe down as much of the needle with the alcohol as possible.

  2. 2

    Grip the needle adaptor top with the vise-grip locking pliers, placing the ball between your knees. Pull up and out with the vice grips to remove the needle out of the ball. Wipe around the hole once more, adding a drop of the rubbing alcohol to the hole itself.

  3. 3

    Push the needle adaptor back into the hole and bladder. Attach the pump and inflate to the recommended pounds per square inch (PSI) for the ball. Add two to three extra pumps after the target PSI is reached to account for air loss when the needle is removed.

  4. 4

    Pull the needle out after inflating the ball.

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