How to Pump a Ball Without a Needle

Written by carl o'donnell
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How to Pump a Ball Without a Needle
All sorts of balls require regular inflation. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

An air pump needle seems like an obscure tool until it becomes an urgent necessity. If the only ball you have is deflated and a ball sport is scheduled in the near future, the lack of a pump needle could ruin your plans. With a little ingenuity, you can prevent this from happening. It is possible to substitute commonly found household items for your needle and air pump. Using a compressed air canister, a paper clip and a straw, you can reinflate your ball and be out in the field or court in no time.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Compressed air pump with straw
  • Paper clip
  • Vaseline

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  1. 1

    Unwind a plastic-coated paper clip until it is straightened. Lubricate the paper clip with a small amount of vaseline.

  2. 2

    Wedge the tip of one of the paper clip's ends into the ball's air hole. Make sure that the tip is lubricated so it does not tear the air hole. Gently rotate the paper clip until the air hole has become temporarily widened.

  3. 3

    Detach a straw from the air canister that it came attached to. Keyboard cleaning air canisters often come equipped with detachable straws. Slide the straw into the hole. Do this quickly before the rubber hole begins to contract.

  4. 4

    Reattach the end of the straw that is not in the hole to the air canister. Hold the ball in one hand and grip the air canister firmly in place with the other. Inject air from the air canister until the ball is reinflated.

  5. 5

    Remove the straw when you are finished inflating the ball. Since the straw is wider in diameter then the pump needle would be, the hole will initially be widened and it will leak air. Place a piece of tape over the hole to prevent leakage until the hole contracts again.

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