Friday, July 22, 2016

Don't Buy: Coghlan's Battery Powered Air Pump. But if you do, this may be helpful.

Do yourself a favor, and don't buy the Coghlan's 0817 Battery Powered Air Pump. I picked one up because I wanted to save myself the hassle of pumping up our inflatable raft by hand. I had pretty low expectations for the $12.00 pump, but it still didn't meet them.

When the pump arrived I put in fresh batteries and hit on the switch. Nothing. I flipped the batteries over. Nothing. I put in another new set of batteries. Nothing. I flipped those. Nothing. Ugh. I had a dud. Off to Amazon I went, where I requested a return. The Amazon experience was hassle free; they'd send me a new one and pay to ship back the broken one.

The second pump arrives. I put in fresh batteries. And...nothing. What are the odds of getting two dead pumps?!

Normally I would have trudged over the computer and requested a refund and bought a new brand. But for the heck of it, I thought I'd troubleshoot the situation. I didn't really have a plan, but I un-bent a paper clip and touched the battery ends like so:

To my surprise, the pump whirred to life. Interesting. So the problem wasn't actually the motor in the pump. I then fiddled some more. Again, pretty much randomly, I grabbed a bit of aluminum foil from the kitchen and wadded it up. I then put it on one of the ends of the batteries. My thinking was that maybe the plastic that held the battery in place was just a little too long, not allowing it to make contact with the battery. Basically, I did this:

To my absolute shock and amazement, the pump fully came alive when I hit on the on switch. So yeah, if you do buy this pump and it doesn't work, you may want to try a little foil to help the batteries make contact.

I suppose I can't really complain: not only did I get a pump out of the deal, but I got a little boost of electronics-troubleshoot confidence, which is rare for me. Hurray for aluminum foil and paperclips!


  1. Coghlan’s has always been pretty low end stuff, but good on you for fixing it.

  2. Yeah, I had very low expectations for Coghlan anything. But I figured it would at least work :-).