How to make a Vacuum Pump with an Air Compressor

An air compressor and a vacuum pump have the same system, which encourages converting an air compressor into a pump if needed. So if you have an air compressor, but need a vacuum pump over it, then why not use the trick? But first, you have to learn how to make a vacuum pump with an air compressor the right way.

Both the air compressor and the vacuum pump suck air from outer to inside. So, converting an air compressor into a vacuum pump will not only let you deal with all vacuum tasks, but also save your hard-earned money. You can even reuse the machine as an air compressor once the project is done.

Guides to Make a Vacuum Pump with an Air Compressor

Today we will reveal an effective and quick method for making a vacuum pump with an air compressor. More importantly, the conversion process is quite easy and anyone can do it without getting the aid of experts. Despite this, the guide includes vacuum pump safety tips and some helpful information.

Tools you need

To complete the process, you will require a lot of tools. But don’t worry! These tools are affordable:

  • Screwdriver
  • Nippers
  • Steel-filled epoxy
  • ¼ inches in diameter braided PVC hose pipe
  • Scissors
  • ¼ inches Hose barb
  • Hose clamp
  • Hand gloves
  • Eyes protector

Understand the air compressor

Firstly, get a basic idea about your air compressor and its components by reading the manufacturer’s instruction manual. Learn the functions of its various parts. Learning how to dissemble an air compressor is crucial as it is needed to convert an air compressor into a vacuum pump. It will need plenty of pressure to open an air compressor. Here is the process:

Remove the cap of the air compressor by pinching it. Most of the compressors have the similar mechanism. But if your air compressor doesn’t have the method, follow the user manual instructions to do it in its own way.

Now you can see the motor pump. Find the cylinder; however, it is placed under the pump in most air compressors. You may need to push the motor pump a bit to make the cylinder noticeable.

Join the vacuum hose

Now attach the ¼ inches vacuum hose to the cylinder hole using the steel-filled epoxy. Once you have sealed the intake holes, attach the barb. left the join for 1 day so the vacuum hose could attach to the cylinder strongly. If you find them firmly attached, then carry one, otherwise attach them again.

Attach PVC hose with barb

At this stage, attach the vacuum hose to the ¼ inches PVC hose using the clamp. The hose clamp will not only join them tightly but also prevent an unwanted accident. You can do the task without using a hose clamp, but it is highly recommended.

Create a hole in the case

Now cut a hole in the case following the similar width as the vacuum hose to ensure a simple and safe passage. Attach a nipper to the hole and pass the vacuum hose through the opening.

Reassemble the air compressor

Once you have completed all the tasks properly, you have to convert the air compressor into a vacuum pump successfully. Now assemble the air compressor and the vacuum pump is ready for further use.

Some Safety Tips to remember while making a vacuum pump

Converting the air compressor into a vacuum pump is a mechanical job. So follow these rules while operating:

Safety Tips to remember while making a vacuum pump
  • Wear your hand gloves and eye protectors before starting the process.
  • Power of all the electrical connections to prevent an accident.
  • Choose a clean working area to complete them efficiently.
  • Use the right type of hose with the exact diameter
  • Secure the connection using a hose clamp
  • Seal the join properly with steel-filled epoxy
  • Reassemble the air compressor properly once you finish the task.

How to use a vacuum pump safely

Likewise, creating the vacuum pump safely, you should also operate it accurately. Before using the vacuum pump, place all the cords properly and check the cords if there is any defect. Keep away from using any harsh solvents to prevent damage to the recently built vacuum pump. 

To keep your clothes and hands safe, use a proper belt guard during operation. Check the tube before turning on the vacuum pump and change it if required. Finally, use a small pan under the pump so the oil can’t mess up the area.

Differences between an Air Compressor and a Vacuum Pump

Air compressors and vacuum pumps may look similar, but they are different in plenty of ways. Apart from the design, here are some features:

Operation of a Compressor

An air compressor usually carries gas due to the way it performs. It intakes air, pressurizes it in a chamber, and releases it for chemical and mechanical operations. Mostly, it can’t work with liquids as it is hard to compress.

Operation of a Vacuum Pump

A vacuum pump transfers mechanical power using an engine. It can also transport gas and work with liquids. A vacuum pump is a popular option for people who need to transport incompressible liquids.

A vacuum pump can hold liquids of varying density, chemical content, temperature, and more. But transporting liquids at high temperatures is quite risky. Vacuum pumps take air from a close location by creating a low-force zone.

More importantly, the vacuum pump can intake air from both lower and higher sources and transport it to any destination.


Both the air compressor and the vacuum pump have plenty of applications in commercial and household fields. At home, a vacuum pump is used in the washing machine to exhaust the water out. Besides, cars, ships, and airplanes also use vacuum pumps. Many factories and industries use vacuum pumps for irrigation, mining, flood control, and air conditioning purposes. A medical application like radiotherapy also needs a vacuum pump to perform.

Conversely, air compressors are used in refrigerators and air compressors for home use. It is also used to pump air into the vehicle’s tires, and cars include a compressor system as well. An air compressor is a vital tool for medical and industrial industries as they need purge systems, oxidation, and pneumatic tools. A large vehicle like a train also needs an air compressor to operate breaks and a jackhammer.

Other Differences

Best air compressors and vacuum pumps are also different in their price, power, and storage capacity. Generally, an air compressor needs more power than a vacuum pump and it is a bit costlier. Air compressors can store pressurised gas, while vacuum pumps don’t have much storage.

Types of compressor and vacuum pumps

Air compressors come in three different types, including Centrifugal, Reciprocating, and Rotary Screw.  Centrifugal compressors run through dynamic compression and have a higher capacity. Besides, it’s an oil-free air compressor. A reciprocating compressor uses a piston within a cylinder and it can keep pressurized air until it is ready for further use. The Rotary Screw compressor uses helical straws and has the highest efficiency and ensures quieter operation.

Conversely, vacuum pumps come in two categories, including Positive Displacement and Centrifugal. A positive displacement vacuum pump transfers a set amount of fluid and ensures constant flow at a fixed speed. Besides, the centrifugal vacuum pump uses an impeller and it can accelerate the liquid to transfer the input power into kinetic energy.

FAQs on How to make a Vacuum Pump with an Air Compressor

Is it possible to convert the air compressor into a vacuum pump?

If you have an air compressor, then you can easily convert it into a vacuum pump. It’s a straightforward process and will save you the money spent on buying a new one. We have discussed a step-by-step process on how to convert an air compressor into a vacuum pump.

How much time is required for an air compressor to create pressure?

An air compressor can typically take about 2-5 minutes to build up pressure. It’s not a long time. More importantly, if your air compressor has greater CFM, it will create pressure quicker.

 Is it safe to leave air in the air compressor?

Yes, you can leave air in your air compressor as it is perfectly safe. For regular use, leaving a full air compressor is good. But if you have to store the air compressor for a long time, it is better to drain the compressor and deactivate it.

Hope you got how to make a Vacuum Pump with an Air Compressor

The vacuum pump is a multi-functional tool and creating your own machine can bring great advantages. So, learning how to make a vacuum pump with an air compressor will both save you extra bucks and allow you to handle all kinds of vacuum pump jobs.

But you can’t use this tool for commercial purposes, like the food and medical sector. Aside from these, we have offered an easier process with step-by-step instructions so you can apply the process comfortably and deal with your regular vacuum pump applications.

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Sam Morgan is a general contractor based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He does home renovations, extensions, landscaping maintenance, and general handyman jobs for homeowners. He is also the part-time content writer at Machine Handyman and a lifelong tools enthusiast. Sam loves hand tools, power tools, machinery, and DIY gadgets of all shapes and sizes! He is always researching the different types of home improvement tools that will get the best results. This site will cover products like power drills, air compressors, saws, nail guns, screw guns, grinders, cutting tools, and many more.

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