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  #1  
Old 15 Sep 2003
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Power socket and tyre inflator

I bought a 12v tyre inflator designed for cars assuming I could run it off my BMW power socket. Only to discover that it blew the socket fuse which is 7.5 amps - the tyre inflator doesn't have info on it but it does have a 10 amp fuse - so I suspect could blow the socket fuse every time.

Does anyone have any experience of this - or know of a good compressor available in the UK that won't cause the same problem?


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Old 16 Sep 2003
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I have a small 12 volt compressor which I bought from Ernie at 'Overland Solutions' I've used it several times with no problem. I've checked for a manufacturer but it's not on the unit. If you contact Ernie and mention my name I'm sure he will be able to help. Contact details are at the top of the page.
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Old 17 Sep 2003
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thanks - I also saw on the chain gang site someone saying they had switched the fuse on their power socket to 15A

I can't help thinking BMW restrict the current load for a reason - but does anyone know of a good reason why this might not be a good simple solution?
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Old 17 Sep 2003
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I recently made a compact inflator by bying the cheapest car-type inflator I could find (Campbell Hausfeld RP1200) for $10US and swapping out the plug and putting the compressor into a smaller box. This unit did not even have a fuse but by the looks of the motor I doubt it draws anywhere near 15 amps. Maybe you have too much inflator there. It took me a while to find this one as they usually are much larger than necessary for a m/c.

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Old 18 Sep 2003
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I have no idea what their thinking was for sure on using a 10 amp fuse, but would GUESS that it's because they felt that was all that the circuit that they designed is capable of safely handling.

I would carefully follow the wires from the socket all the way to the battery and check out their size. If less than at least 14 ga, and preferably 16 ga anywhere, there's your answer.

MOST accessories are 10 amps or less. An electric vest, which many people run off the BMW socket, is normally fused at 15 amps and seems to work ok off BMW sockets, so it shouldn't be a problem to run other 15 amp accessories.

But it could be on the top end of what's safe, you may find on inspeciton that the wires are warm, indicating under-sized wiring. I have generally found that BMW is very stingy on the wiring sizes, and tends to run thinnner wires than I like. They're adequate in stock configuration and loads, but that's all.

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Old 18 Sep 2003
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I agree that replacing a fuse with a higher amp one is risky. Here is what you can do. Get some wire of the proper size and run it straight off the batt.to a socket. In the wire place an in line fuse. Do not forget to put an in line fuse in the wire. after doing this you don't have to worry about the wire handling the amp or not. Its actually very simple.

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Old 18 Sep 2003
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thanks again all

I'm not familiar with wire guages - but have just found this site: http://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm

this seems to indicate that to be safe I need something around 2.3-2.5 mm in diameter, but if BMW have put in a wire of 1.8 mm - which would indicate a need for the 7.5a fuse they put in - then I need a new wire.

I'll try and let you know how it pans out.

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