Unfortunately, I can't get pictures right now but I can still give general repair procedures on repairing these.
First, some basics on the ball valve and how these triggers work.
Ball valve: A valve where a ball rests in a portion of pipe. The ball has a hole in it and by rotating this ball, water can be allowed to go through the hole or can be blocked. Used for applications where maximum water flow is needed; delivers great performance on water guns. Ball valves open slowly and are not good for pneumatic (pressurized air) applications.
The ball valve has am arm attached to it to facilitate opening and closing. It usually rotates with a range of up to 90 degrees of movement. In water guns, a spring must be used to close this valve.
On Buzz Bee Toys' Water Warriors water blaster, the spring is usually directly attached to the arm, or it is attached to another arm that attaches to the valve's arm. A wire is connected to the actual trigger that you pull with your finger, and the pulling opens this valve. The Max-D trigger, used by Hasbro's Super Soakers, operates a bit differently. A series of rotating pieces is held together by a spring and when pulled; the valve does not open until you pull back to a certain point. At that point, the valve immediately snaps open completely. This method requires more force and does not allow users to open the valve partially for low powered blasts, but it also ensures consistent and full performance on every shot.
Internal pictures of the Flash Flood, which features two Max-D triggers, can be found here
The most common problems with ball-valve powered blasters are the following:
- The closing spring snaps (more likely to happen on Max-D's)
- Closing spring wears out significantly (slight wear-out is not a huge problem; this happens on both Max-D's and WW's)
- Ball valve needs lubrication
- Any combination of the above
Now, how to open a blaster is out of the scope of this discussion, but I'll go over that in another thread when I get the time to do it. I will simply address the main issues and put out the most common solutions:
> The closing spring snaps:
- Replace the spring with another extension spring that's the same size, or as close to the same size as you can find. Extension springs might be found in hardware and home improvement stores; it's a good idea to bring the broken spring to the store especially if you don't know how the springs are specified and measured. However, you probably have to search online (try http://leesprings.com
) to find the specific springs you need. Be ready to measure the dimensions and put them in online.
- Replace the spring with a rubber band. It's important to choose a good rubber band especially for Max-D's as bad ones can snap easily. Rubber bands used by orthodontists (for braces) have been reported to work well for the Flash Flood, though I have yet to try them myself and they seem to be very small. (They are however, quite durable.)
> The closing spring wears out:
- Replace the spring as mentioned above.
- Or replace/assist the spring with a rubber band. Assisting usually works unless there's not enough room.
> The valve needs lubrication: Self-explanatory. Sometimes users may mistake a sluggish valve for a worn out spring when the spring still works fine. In this case, lubricating the valve is the answer. A lubricant friendly to plastics and rubber is needed; don't use WD40 unless you want the water gun's internals/seals eaten up. I have two silicone based lubes in particular that work effectively:
- Heavy-duty silicone spray: Spray is needed to get to hard-to-reach areas. Also works if you have trouble with silicone grease.
- Silicone grease: A bit like Vaseline but designed for lubrication, not for skin care. Also more friendly to rubber since it's not petroleum based. Useful for large areas such as the pistons in air pressure homemades, but has also worked well on ball valves. I can't confirm this, but the grease seems to go bad if you're not careful with application and get the mixture messy.
Lubrication can work wonders on a valve when no combination of spring and/or rubber band seems to do the job. It may require regular maintenance though which is why silicone based lubes are best since they create a layer that lasts fairly long.
That's about all I have for now. If you're having trouble with a Max-D or WW ball valve/trigger, or have some more tips for dealing with them, post here.