General CPS-type maintenance questions

For questions, articles and discussions regarding water blaster maintenance and repairs.
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James G.
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Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2022 4:50 pm

General CPS-type maintenance questions

Post by James G. » Sat Jun 11, 2022 2:01 pm

It's been a long time since I've used a working CPS-type blaster; unfortunately, when I was younger and dumber, and didn't have any venue to use them in, I didn't put the proper amount of effort into maintaining my old blasters. They may still be reparable (if I can open them up, it's possible there'll be a thread about one or both of them), but in the meantime, I thought I'd ask some questions about my new one (which is a SC 600) so that I can make sure it lasts as long as possible. I'm not sure now what 'normal' functionality is, either for a new and perfect CPS or an old and slightly used one, so this community's extensive experience will be helpful in answering these questions.

1) To maximize the water in the blaster, I fill the PC first and then refill the reservoir. Does it matter if the reservoir cap is closed during the pumping process? Is there any connection between the prepping technique and the occasional mist-shots the gun has when firing upwards (or later on, when it's running near-empty)?

2) When there's water and pressure in the blaster, and the cap is closed, I often hear a 'hissing' sound coming from the tank. This generally seems to stop after it's fully pumped up (26+1 times, triggering the pressure relief valve). What's the cause of this?

3) My father pointed out a little bit of water that dripped from the blaster. I don't think there's a significant leak, because I've taken it around the block twice and refilled and fired it 4+ times and never noticed any unusual amount of water that couldn't be attributed to the filling process or handling it with wet hands. However, when I examined the pump, I did notice that the pump rod tends to be moist, with a few miniscule droplets of water here and there, almost like sweat. Is this normal behavior? If not, how serious is it, and how should it be addressed?

4) When the blaster has water in it and is pressurized or is being pressurized, the pump doesn't completely go back into the gun; it tends to rest about a centimeter or two open, similar to iSoaker's recommended 'storage' position. When the gun is empty and depressurized, though, it can be closed all the way. Is this abnormal?

5) I haven't opened it up at this point, because I don't have any positive experience so far with trying to work on Super Soakers. I don't think I have a screwdriver that's suited for it handy, and my motor skills aren't the best, either. Some people are novices when it comes to mechanical processes, but I'm worse than a novice. I've read, though, that you ought to at least open it once when you buy it. If this is so, are there any tips you'd offer for the opening process, or anything else you'd generally recommend to do or to look out for once it is open?


The blaster seems to function as I expected overall, with good range and slightly better than 1x performance. The seller claimed it was in great condition, and I believe he's right, especially considering it was made in 1998. But when you're a demi-enthusiast, you spend $40 for something, and you've suffered the effects of your carelessness before, you want to be sure you at least get it right this time!

I've been thinking of taking a video of it in operation. If I do, I'll put up a link here, in case it might help diagnose anything I should be aware of.

SSCBen
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Re: General CPS-type maintenance questions

Post by SSCBen » Sat Jun 11, 2022 6:40 pm

1) The standard Super Soaker reservoir caps of that era allow air to flow into the reservoir (but not out to prevent water leaks), so unless the cap is damaged, I don't see any need to leave the cap open when pumping. If the pump pulls in air, that could of course lead to a mist-shot. So you might need to pump at an angle that allows only water to flow into the pump.

2) I'm not sure what the cause is. Where on the tank is the sound coming from? The cap?

3) You could submerge the blaster empty, wait a while for the case to fill with water, and then pump air for a while. If you see air bubbles after pumping, then you'd know there is a leak, but you won't know where. If there is a leak, empty the blaster of all water, and then open it up. You can pump up the internals with air while keeping most of the internals underwater. That'll help you identify where the leak is. If you don't want to submerge the internals, you could cover them in water and watch for small bubbles and spray forming to find leaks.

4) I wouldn't be worried about this, but I haven't seen that sort of behaviour. I'd guess that one of the check valves lock up once the pressure reaches a certain point.

5) There is no need to open a blaster unless it needs to be repaired. Opening some blasters can be challenging. In some blasters, some parts will be difficult to open because they are glued on. I don't know about the SC 600. You can check the forums for previous experience on opening a SC 600 or wait for someone here who has opened a SC 600 to report their own experiences. You should also be careful to keep all the screws as finding replacements can be difficult.

James G.
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2022 4:50 pm

Re: General CPS-type maintenance questions

Post by James G. » Fri Jun 17, 2022 7:02 pm

Well, I investigated it a bit more, and it seems that issues 2 and 3 are related: when the pump is extended, there is a notable hissing sound from somewhere (it did sound like the tank cap to me, but perhaps my sound localization is awry), and a small water leak (enough to be annoying, though not enough to seriously impact the function of the blaster). It looks like a patch job might be in this blaster's future, provided that we get enough positive experience to justify the risk. Since it still works, I'm not going to rush to open it up until we've actually opened another CPS blaster and not completely broken it in the process.

Since we're here, I admit I am a little confused on (at least ;) ) one point. You mentioned putting the internals underwater to identify where the leak is, but also suggested, as an alternative, 'cover[ing] them in water'. What's the difference?

SSCBen
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Re: General CPS-type maintenance questions

Post by SSCBen » Fri Jun 17, 2022 11:21 pm

James G. wrote:
Fri Jun 17, 2022 7:02 pm
Since we're here, I admit I am a little confused on (at least ;) ) one point. You mentioned putting the internals underwater to identify where the leak is, but also suggested, as an alternative, 'cover[ing] them in water'. What's the difference?
Sorry, I was unclear. The difference would be the depth of the water. Just covering the internals with water could be as simple as pouring a cup of water over them to put a thin layer of water over the internals. You should still be able to see air bubbling with a thin layer.

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