Business tools custom-built for our industry

Say 'so long' to generic business software. Houzz Pro is designed for industry professionals like you.


inflating a wheelbarrow tire

October 13, 2005

I feel rather stupid posting a question such as this, but I am stymied. Our wheelbarrow has a tubeless tire, with an air valve through the metal rim. I went out to haul some stuff the other day, and the tire was dead flat. Now I cannot for the life of me figure out how to re-inflate the thing. There is no tube, and there is no seal between the tire and the rim, so what's to keep the air from escaping? Does anyone have a tip for this novice? I hope I will not have to go out and buy a new wheel everytime the old one goes flat.

Comments (65)

  • hydroharold

    Omab, I have to take exception to using "grease" on tire rubber. Some greases are not compatable with rubber and will degrade it. A better formula is a mild dish soap solution or commercial "Ru-Glide". Both are safe on rubber and evaporate leaving nothing behind. Make the soap/water solution so it feels a bit slippery to your fingers and put it on with a cheap-o brush or sprayer. But if'n you don't have any soap use the baby powder on the bead. You'll be surprised how slippery it is on metal/rubber contact areas.

  • jester

    Thanks to all for the many suggestions. I was out of town for the weekend, so have not yet had the opportunity to try any of the remedies proposed. I will be sure to post my results.

  • Related Discussions

    Craftsman Living Room/Dining Room Help


    Comments (269)
    Hi Linda, I did finish my project last May. I still need to purchase furniture and rugs and stuff but need to wait until we have some money for all of that! We also finished our addition and it looks great. I'll post some photos for you. Next up will be the kitchen and then the inside will be all done! Well...except for the furniture.This is me having a celebratory glass of wine the day I finished my wood project. This art is only there until I find something better (and more colorful) but you can see some of the wood. One of my little dogs checking out the Christmas activity. Apparently I haven't taken too many photos once I was done. Which is amazing as I have so many in progress photos. I'll post the addition separately
    ...See More

    POLL: How soon do you decorate?


    Comments (135)
    There's no Thanksgiving in Mexico either...tree came out November 1st and I took a week to decorate it...then couldn't wait for the garland on the fireplace so that came out as well as my husband got into the spirit and before Thanksgiving the lights were up inside and out. As you can see in this picture Thanksgiving night, I was feeling quite cozy and in the spirit. I hung the stockings, set out the Nativity, the rest of the Christmas toys, decorated the kitchen and bathrooms 2 days after Thanksgiving. I love Christmas and we celebrate it big...will wait until after the New Year to pack it up and bring it out again next November 1st. :) (p.s. We celebrated our first Christmas in July this year 2014. didn't put everything out but we did have the tree, some homemade summer Christmas decor, lights in the house, selective Christmas tunes and lots of presents!) Thought we'd try the Aussie way since it was our rainy/cloudy season ;0)
    ...See More

    POLL: Holiday Prep Checklist


    Comments (146)
    Check the anti fouling was done, that the the diesel, the refrigeration gas, the G.P.S. chart plotter, auto pilot, the R.I.B. inflation, the outboard fuel, that the water tanks, wine fridge and freezer are all as full a possible, check off the fishing gear, air bottles, dive gear, B.B.Q and cooker gas, sun cream & sun glasses and hats, that the toilet paper is hung over not under- in all five heads : )...... then cast off, remembering to unplug the shore power cable! The next person who speaks above a whisper does the dishes for a month : )
    ...See More

    POLL: Do you prefer a rural or urban setting?


    Comments (82)
    Was raised in the city but always spent time in the country every chance I had. The fresh air, feeling closer/in touch with nature became a vital need. Will be able to enjoy it full time as I am retiring this June to our secondary residence now full time home in the beautiful Laurentian region in Quebec. Can't n wait to being able to tend to my vegetable garden and flower beds. I am also reading up on raising chickens. Although village rules don't currently allow it there is a petition going around to change same...Looking forward to doing everything on foot and not having to fight traffic; hallelujah!
    ...See More
  • ohmyrakinback

    Grease has always worked best for me,and has never ate a tire.I dont go by the book,whatever works I do.Please dont take that as being rude or smart ass,cause its just my opinion on how to solve a problem.Thats whats so great about this forum,lots of different opinions.

  • snuffyinatl

    My advice is to trash the regular tire, get a boat trailer tire and a tube, and never worry about a flat again. They seem to last forever this way.

  • jshort

    Tube it.

  • keydelsys33

    I've had tubes installed on all my hand trucks. I've never had a problems with flat tires since then. Nothing like getting a flat when you're trying to move something heavy.

  • hopdaddie

    I was able to use a long, thick leather belt tightly wrapped around the tire while inflating it. It worked great.

  • jester

    this past week end I went ahead and tried the 'tourniquet' method and the tire inflated nicely. It may also have had something to do with the fact that I bought a much nicer and easier to use air pump, too. We'll see how long this solution holds air. I will keep the forum informed of any further developments. Again, thanks to all who took the time to offer help. What did we do back in the dark ages, before the internet, when these kinds of questions arose?

  • montesa_vr

    We asked Grandpa, who lived next door.

  • brit101

    Thank you for the followup. You asked what we did before the internet, paid for needless tubes, tires and other repairs at shops.:o)

    Grampa was ok for a few things he knew about, however it is nice to tap into the internet for limiting the repairs on all our modern day tools, computers, automobiles etc. This thread is not only for your benefit but for others with the same problem. I enjoyed learning about the lighter fluid technique.Wish this site had an archive to benefit others better, however it is still a great service the way it is, with lots of knowledgeable people sharing like Butch and Fisher.

  • montesa_vr

    Yeah, the internet is an amazing resource. When my dryer started making a horrible noise I couldn't figure out how to get it apart. I found instructions, complete with photographs, on the net. I was ready to try to take the back off when I really needed to pop the top and tip the front out. It would have been a disaster without the information.

    Agree on Butch and Fish, also would add Canguy, and Slammer and John Deere on the tractor forum have been a wealth of information. And a bunch more of you that deserve recognition but don't come to mind now.

  • brit101

    Montesa when you mentioned solving your dryer problem it made me recall my washing machine problem. Found the site and ordered the part and installed it.

    Fixing a washing machine was something I had never experienced, however with the symptoms, suggestions the plus the diagrams,the repair was a snap. Far quicker than waiting for the repairman, or dealing with granpa:o)

  • Socalinspector

    Ether or Starting fluid has always worked for me. 3 easy steps, 1. spray 2. light match & throw into tire 3. BOOM, bead is now set :>)

  • obio3

    Here's one works great and is cheap > Rubber cement on both tire bead and rim seat > Don't matter how long it takes to get it to inflat but with a strap it should go quick > I had a golf car repair business for many years > No winter golf in Montana lol and those golf car tires were bad for slow leak beads > lots of flats in the spring > I never had a tire leak down after this aplication again and in the event of a flat taking the tire apart was no problem

  • montesa_vr

    Two week ago I wrote, "I'm sure there is a way to apply some kind of adhesive to the tire bead and continue to run tubeless..."

    Yesterday, OBIO3 comes up with the answer: rubber cement. The Tool Shed forum comes through again. Hooray for OBIO3. For anyone who want to continue to run tubeless, here is a tested method.

  • hydroharold

    "Ether or Starting fluid has always worked for me. 3 easy steps, 1. spray 2. light match & throw into tire 3. BOOM, bead is now set :>)"

    Oh, yeah? Well I lost a good maintainence job for a construction outfit using that method! Since it takes about five gallons of gas for a Euclid pan tire I blew all the windows out of shop, office and four nearby houses... :)

  • jammer1

    I prefer all steel wheels--I never get a flat,and the wheelbarrow is always ready to work....................quite a few years back,I found 1 at an antique store and I love it!........Other than that,I would clean the bead,and apply some form of lubricant/sealer........just to be sure,I would paint the inside of the wheel,to seal any slow leaks,before I did that.............good luck

  • brit101

    HydroHarold, does one lay the tire on the side, suspect so, however since we are on the subject thought now is a good time to ask? Safety glasses, ear muffs and a cap to reduce singed hair seems the appropriate dress code?

    Euclid tires I assume would be quite trying, not many larger, thank you for sharing the incident, naturally got a laugh from the "blown out windows":o) but sorry about the job.:o(, guess a tad heavy on the gasoline charge.:o)

  • hydroharold

    2.5 (Imp.) gallons is plenty for anything biggeer than a road grader tire! As far as safety proceedures, as the lit match is in the air close eyes tight while putting fingers in BOTH ears! :)>

  • schammy

    I have a hand cart/dolly with two flat tubeless tires. After reading this very informative post, i lubed the bead with a dish soap and water solution. Then used a ratcheting tie-down around the 10" diameter tire and sinched it snug to the hub. Then used a regualr bicycle pump to inflate. It worked perfectly! Thanks.

  • happygilx

    I just found my 1 yr old snow blower had a flat and had to hand shovel my large driveway. I Googled "inflate tubeless tire" and found this page.

    I will be trying the advice this afternoon.

  • cato42_mac_com

    OK, so I tried the "pump really fast method"--hey, it's worked before!--but with no luck this go-round. So I came here, got educated, and tried a combination of the rope and soap, and, voila! My variation/contribution is to tie a small fixed loop in one end of the rope--a bowline is great for this. First, soap the inner rim to help the bead seal, then wrap the rope 'round the outer circumference of the tire/wheel assembly, and pass the free end of the rope through the fixed loop, then pull back in the opposite direction, really scrunching down on the tire, and then inflate. I was able to hold the rope/tire in one hand and pump a regular ol' bicycle pump with the other, and feel the pull on the rope as the tire inflated--ah, talk about gratifying! Now I'm up and rollin' along again. Yeehaw!

  • cato_the_younger

    BTW, to find out how to tie a bowline--ask Grandpa! Or a Boy Scout. And if either says he doesn't know how, tell him I said he needs to learn, right pronto.

  • ray_okla

    What is the active ingredient in tire sealant? Latex paint appears to work just fine in the Grandkid's bicycle tires but have not had nerve enough to try it in more expensive tires.

  • ujd100

    Nice tips in this forum, but any on repairing a slow puncture. I inflated my wheelbarrow tire using plenty of soapy water, a waist leather belt to draw or flatten in the tire pushing the seam to the rims, used a std bicyle pump to inflate to 20psi. The soapy solution helped reseat the tire seam and ensure air tightness, but also revealed that I had 2 pin hole punctures in my tread. Soap bubbles started eminating from the holes. Now what? -- should I get a $5 tube or can I use a rubber adhesive/sealant to repair the punctures, and how?

  • groundhogva

    You will be able to get tire to seat and move on. But when you need it agian in a few months, it will be deflated. A tube is the best solution for a low pressure tire. The only other option is a solid tire. A tube is cheaper. Pinhole leaks, tube it.

  • sawdust_maker

    Ah yes. I just had to re-discover the trick of wrapping a cord around the circumference of a tire to get it to seat. My approach was to use that common item in a garage nowadays - the bungee cord. My compressor is a decent one, but still not enough volume of air to get the tire to seat. Wrap a bungee cord under tension around the tread, and the tire walls spread out, neatly seating themselves. And it seems far safer than detonating an explosive mixture of gas and air as I had read about.


  • dillybird

    You guys saved my day with the soap and rope method. I didn't think I was going to ever get it, but finally it seated. I used a thin piece of rope- the fatter piece kept slipping off. I used a "stick" bike pump for the stick, and inflated with a scuba tank. I am so happy it worked!!

    Thank you so much,


  • frostythebear

    While trying to inflate our snowblower tire, the first thing we tried was Slime and an air compressor, but we didn't have a good seal so the Slime just sprayed out between the tire and the wheel. After reading about the tourniquet method on this Forum, we gave that a try using an old jumprope and a small pry bar. After about five minutes of positioning and tightening, it worked like a charm. Thank you very much for the helpful information, because this problem was driving us crazy!

  • adrenalynn

    I owe you guys a back, as you surely saved mine!

    Moving, I pulled the trusty box dolly out and one tire was flat and unseated. I tried for 20mins to get it inflated before turning to GrandPaInternet. ;)

    Browsed the thread, grabbed the nylon web shoulder strap off an old SuperSoaker that was near the dolly Wrapped it around the tire and "locked" one end underneat the other, gave it a couple twists with a handy screwdriver, put a little air in with a handpump and SNAP! Found the bead. Five seconds later, the dolly is good-to-go. AWESOME! Thank you all so much!

    --- Jodie

  • MLcom

    Ah so hope this works off to fix one tire.


  • woodchoke

    The tips here are all good, but the rope and soap did not work for my tire. Tried to buy inner tube at Lowes, nogo they were out of the size I needed ( I guess there are a lot of people flattening there wheel barrel tires). Eventually I took some bathroom caulk, spread over the inside rim, put waist belt around tire to and started to (foot) pump up the tire. It worked! If it is really good for the tire I do not know, but it sits snug and inflated.

  • Scott F Smith

    The rope method worked like a charm for me, first time. Last time I drove it to the gas station to get more pressure. The rope way is much easier.


  • rcmoser

    Put a tube in it, that cheap china made tire just going to go flat again, besides the tube will help reenforce the dry rot.

  • big_al_grower

    The strap and liquid works. I was so frustrated with the tires on my wheel barrow and leaf blower I was looking for tubes or solid rubber replacements. I went to and this forum came up. I put some liquid detergent on the rims and tires, pulled the strap tight and turned on my new Husky 1 gallon compressor. The compressor was about fifty dollars. All my tires are fixed and inflated. I'm ready to garden now. Thanks to all on the forum- it works real easy.

  • sreeniz

    Thanks to the suggestions in this forum, I tried the bungee cord technique and my portable car tire compressor. It worked like a charm and the wheelbarrow was good to go in less than a couple of minutes. The other options (both expensive) were a replacement tire from a leading home improvement store or having a tube inserted at a tire place.

  • doc88

    Applying the soapy sealant and the bungee cord around the circumference of the tire did the trick for me: worked immediately.

  • wxdude99

    BEWARE!!!!! Based on what i read in this forum, I thought using an inner tube sounded like an easy solution to a flat tire on riding more front wheel. I bought the inner tube, but I had a VERY hard time putting it inside the tire. I ended up using the rounded edge of a wrench to try to jam it in, and ending up slicing the tire against the rim. Waste of money and time. Now I'm going to do what I should've done in the first place. Take it to a tire repair place and pay 15 bucks to get it fixed by the pros.

  • ewalk

    Some people just are not Mechanically Inclined lol .

  • tesquizito_yahoo_com

    Thanks for this thread.

    I had ratchet straps, so I used that method. I had lighter fluid and propane torch on standby but I didn't need to use them.

    Ratchet straps worked. Thanks everyone :-)

  • PWOZ

    Thanks for the tips, I used a 1 inch nylon tie down strap. I wrapped it around the circumference of the tire, snugged it up and the tire seated as soon as I began to inflate it. My suggestion with this is, seat the tire and keep it soft (kind of flat), then remove the tie down before completing the inflation otherwise the tie down is on too snug to remove. It took about 1 minute.

  • yoppykyabetsu_hotmail_com

    Thanks! The wife is gonna think I am real handy now!

  • joehandy_mailinator_com

    Having young kids around I passed on the lighting technique. The soapy water and tightly wrapping technique did the trick just fine. Took me a couple of times but that only added like 2 minutes to it.

  • ofpete

    Have just pulled one wheel off a log splitter the tire of which has sat flat for lord knows how long, probably through at least one winter and summer. Unfortunately we had to make the splitter roll about twenty feet, thus breaking the bead on one side. No way that I could see to reestablish the seal. Then, finding this thread I tried the ratchet trick, first putting dish detergent - maybe too much dish detergent - all around the circumference and then putting the air to it. Massive bubbles from a couple of locations, and the tire does not inflate. So I guess I will first take out the valve stem and see if the extra air will make it pop, andif that doesn's work then some silicone caulking the way someone suggested.Don't think I'll try the ether/lighter fluid trick, though.

    One thing I am not clear about, and that is, does prolonged application of air result in a seal, like well over 5 minutes? I have a pretty good Campbell-Hausfeld compressor that should provide enough. maybe I should try that again

  • Outdoorman136

    What a brilliant forum. Thanks guys, had problem with inflating a flat tyre on a small trailer and your ideas/advice worked first time (rope & soap).
    Just have one slight problem now, spilled my tea when I laughted so much about guy who blow out windows of four houses (great). Just have to Google how to clean tea off carpet!

  • MangoJazz

    New member here, a friend told me what a great forum this is. Thanks for the great info!

    Flat wheelbarrow tire. I tried a lot of this stuff, finally got it to work by greasing & caulking (bathroom caulk) the tire against the wheel, using a rope tourniquet and a floor bicycle pump.

    I look forward to asking and hopefully answering more things in the future.

  • Khristov12

    Great info. I went with the inner tube replacement after repeat rim leaks. Does anyone know how much PSI I fill the tube now that I have it installed? It's a "Tire Science Universal 4.80 x 4.00 for 8" rim.
    Was a real bugger to install but I used a brake tool to ease it around the rim and shove it under the tire.

  • royw1376

    I used the rope method on a new snowblower tire and it popped right out with my small compressor. Thanks a bunch! Roy

  • dunwurguy

    No mention of wheelbarrows with the crappy plastic wheels that come with some of the newer cheap models like my wife purchased from Canadian tire a couple of years ago . The rim cracked on mine when the kids where using it with an underinflated tire . I guess it means a whole new ( steel ) rimmed wheel . My wife gave it to me for my birthday ( Honest ) . If she wasn't such a good cook ...............

  • tom_nwnj

    Or one of these things will get air in it

    Band Clamp


Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268