On check valves.

Guides and discussions about building water blasters and other water warfare devices such as water balloon launchers.
Mister Smitty
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On check valves.

Post by Mister Smitty » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:34 pm

I've recently joined the homemade water gun community (cheers, everybody!) after deciding to mix up capture the flag a bit. The internet has gotten me hooked on them.

I'm working on my first proper PVC gun, a simple APH, and after shopping around my local hardware stores, I've discovered that the only check valves they stock are for aquariums (diameter is not gonna cut it) or are made of nickel and copper, which make them quite expensive- $15 dollar minimum! Knowing how many water gun geniuses lurk around here (I just found out that those exist) I was wondering if there was either some kind of check valve substitute that I didn't know about, or, if not, a way of finding something of that make cheaper. Sometimes random stores can carry the most unexpected things. I'll make a thread for the finished product to be sure, whether it's a bang-up job or not!
Last edited by Mister Smitty on Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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atvan
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Re: On check valves.

Post by atvan » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:38 pm

Search SSCentral (or wait for Andrew to do it :goofy: ) for Homemade Check Valves. It was a thread started by a now gone member known as Waterwolf and contains some great information and IIRC good discusion as ell.
DX wrote:In the neanderthal days of K-modding, people would lop off the whole PRV
Well, not that much soakage.
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Mister Smitty
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Re: On check valves.

Post by Mister Smitty » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:53 pm

Thanks, I'll have to consider doing something like in the article that I immediately found on SSC. I'm starting to find some questionable (but very cheap) things on amazon, as well.
"I practice the art of fighting- without fighting."
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Poseidon2000
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Re: On check valves.

Post by Poseidon2000 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:55 pm

Don't get Super Shooter. NO. if it's that, look for the 2000. It's basically a Hijacked Super Soaker CPS 1000, bu cheaper.
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Mister Smitty
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Re: On check valves.

Post by Mister Smitty » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:59 pm

By that, I meant check valves in particular. I sort of gave up buying water guns a long time ago (you can't even find a hornet around anymore,) and a good portion of the fun is in building it then bragging about building it. Wait, even better: destroying the moron that just dropped 90 bucks on a hugeass super soaker at Wally world. Nice.
"I practice the art of fighting- without fighting."
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Poseidon2000
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Re: On check valves.

Post by Poseidon2000 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:25 pm

Mister Smitty wrote:By that, I meant check valves in particular.
Oh.. :mrgreen: Try McMaster-Carr. has just about everythin' for hamemades and DIY fiends. You're average not-what-it's-supposed-to-be-for website. :Phttp://www.mcmaster.com/#
Mister Smitty wrote: I sort of gave up buying water guns a long time ago (you can't even find a hornet around anymore,) and a good portion of the fun is in building it then bragging about building it. Wait, even better: destroying the moron that just dropped 90 bucks on a hugeass super soaker at Wally world. Nice.
Yeah. I hear you. NERF's bull%*^*, and WW isn't the best they could offer right now due to the lawsuit. I'm building a homemade. Go for ergonomics, non like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eR-v6PRPUeY
or this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CamghPHP ... re=related (though it would be an awesome WBL.)
BUT sort of like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TclRPwx_HM

Either way, youll be :soaked: Soak'd!!!

EDIT: I want YOU to make this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aicfg2qo ... re=related

Level=UP- an APH! :) :)
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DX
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Re: On check valves.

Post by DX » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:25 pm

Options by price for 1/2" PVC check valves. 3/4" are usually 20 cents to a dollar more.

Homemade for $6.30: SSCentral Article

Lowes for $6.53: Item #: 103896 | Model #: P32S 1/2 - Not sold on the main site anymore, but still available in specific stores. This is where the vast majority of APH check valves are sourced.

McMaster-Carr for $7.10: {Part# 46835K52
marauder wrote:You have to explain things in terms that kids will understand, like videogames^ That's how I got Sam to stop using piston pumpers

Mister Smitty
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Re: On check valves.

Post by Mister Smitty » Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:18 pm

Thanks for the help.

@Poseidon: Some of those videos are sweet, though for the last one I get the idea he could have made it better with a smaller nozzle. I'm already analyzing things, this is good.

@Duxburian: I found a 1/2 valve for around 3 bucks on amazon, but I'm skeptical...
"I practice the art of fighting- without fighting."
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Poseidon2000
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Re: On check valves.

Post by Poseidon2000 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:30 pm

Yep, you're learning. I don't know too much w/ homemades, but just enough to know what's good. Try something similar to that last one: RIOT blast, a smaller nozzle, and you must upgrade the pump. For your first, if you pull it off, kudos to you!
Do NOT try to make a supercannon or that supersoaker 1000000, not what you're lookin' for. Last 2 are just the right for extreme wars, with improvements.

For the valve, I don't like amazon. Good things tooo overpriced, things that seem good but are trash are still expensive. So it's worse for cheap ones.
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Re: On check valves.

Post by DX » Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:50 pm

The $3 one on Amazon has the threaded and slip pictures mixed up. This one appears to be the slip fit despite the picture having female threads. The -S is slip vs -T on the other model. I really wouldn't buy from Amazon if they mix up important details like that.

Riot blasts on regular homemades are far overrated. I've yet to find it a useful feature on any gun except water cannon class homemades. SSCentral also has a streams article that helps you find optimized nozzle sizes for your homemade.

Base your specs off what you intend to use the homemade for. If you actually want to use it in a water war, build for practicality. It is easy to get caught up in making big PCs, big backpacks, etc while losing most of its practical functions in the process. A practical homemade is ideally lightweight, compact, and has operation similar to a stock water gun in that you can take tap shots, conserve water, and does not take a ridiculous amount of pumps to pressurize. The pump size should also be optimized to be in the sweet spot between ability to build up high pressure vs number of pumps to full. If the pump is too big relative to PC size, it will be difficult to reach high pressures, especially if your seal is not 100%. If the pump is too small relative to PC size, it will not have that problem, but it will take forever to pressurize. Also, if you choose a PVC ball valve as the firing valve, add a torque arm. Without one, they suck.
marauder wrote:You have to explain things in terms that kids will understand, like videogames^ That's how I got Sam to stop using piston pumpers

Mister Smitty
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Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:21 pm
Location: Moscow, ID.

Re: On check valves.

Post by Mister Smitty » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:45 am

I had my eye on the super cannon II (which I found several times on SSC) but I mentally set it aside for a later date. My whole grand idea is to get to know these things well, then design all of my builds.

I actually was drawing up an idea that may either become my next project or never see the light of day. It would be a basic APH, but with a very large pump (1" maybe) and several tall pressure chambers. There would be a screen behind the nozzle to turbulate the flow, then a nozzle maybe as large as 1/2". Basically, the idea would be long, efficient riot blasts by design. An onboard reservoir might make sense. It would basically be a shotgun counterpart, for anti-personal at close range. I think it might be for the novelty, though, not the effectiveness (because in most cases the other person can just back away. Maybe surprise destruction.)

At Duxburian, thanks for the insight. After checking out the PVC isles at several stores, I kind of assumed that any valve would either need a huge arm or hell of WD-40 (which may prove impossible for most of them.)

It's time to go do some more looking, methinks.
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Andrew
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Re: On check valves.

Post by Andrew » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:51 am

atvan wrote:Search SSCentral (or wait for Andrew to do it :goofy: ) for Homemade Check Valves. It was a thread started by a now gone member known as Waterwolf and contains some great information and IIRC good discusion as ell.
Damn, Dux beat me to it. :goofy:

So, from what others have posted, you may want to take a look at the more practical homemades on SSCentral such as the CAR, or the RIptide. Triggers allow you to tap-shoot and conserve water, but are a PITA to get working properly.

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Re: On check valves.

Post by DX » Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:55 pm

I actually was drawing up an idea that may either become my next project or never see the light of day. It would be a basic APH, but with a very large pump (1" maybe) and several tall pressure chambers. There would be a screen behind the nozzle to turbulate the flow, then a nozzle maybe as large as 1/2". Basically, the idea would be long, efficient riot blasts by design. An onboard reservoir might make sense. It would basically be a shotgun counterpart, for anti-personal at close range.
That type of homemade would be best served by a backpack. You want at least a 1:3 ratio between PC and reservoir sizes - if your PC(s) is/are x amount of volume, your reservoir needs to be at least 3x in order to give it acceptable field life. Like these old examples:

Image

^ Note how large the onboard reservoir has to be just for a single PC made of 3" pipe! It can't really get too much larger than that, without negatively affecting the weight and bulk of the gun. The dual chamber APH definitely requires a backpack, I didn't even attempt to make an onboard for that. The only good way to have an onboard and dual PCs is to use 2" pipe, which won't have the same power as a single 3" with comparable volume.

I did make a 2" APH just to see what it would be like:

Image

^ and it was the most practical homemade I ever made. With the greased brass ball valve, small size (smaller than a CPS 4100), incredibly light weight, and small number of pumps (8 to full), it was the equal of any manufactured water gun in practicality and equal to triggers in tap shot capability. Unfortunately, it only shot 48ft on a 9/32" nozzle with low shot time. Breaking 50ft is difficult to do if your PC is only 2" pipe. I could have used 1/2" on the pump shaft to squeeze a couple more pumps in, and that could have affected the power, but oh well I was lazy and this gun no longer exists. Now, if you use 3" for the PC, you are looking at mid to upper 50s for ranges and they will optimize at larger sizes. However, you will start losing mobility rapidly as the weight and size rises.

Ignore some of the design features in these homemades pictured earlier in the post. I built these in the middle 2000s. We generally don't use wooden dowels anymore - getting the fit right is more of an art and less of a science. They also rot over time, and I managed to snap one. I also don't bother to create tracked pumps anymore. I made all three of those tracks with a drill and broken off hacksaw blades! It took forever and they were crooked. A good track requires better tools. You should use something other than threaded endcaps for the nozzles. They are cheap and easy, but turbulent. Angling the PC a bit is also a good idea to keep the air at the top at higher angles of fire, see Wetmonkey's orange APH. It is not necessary if your PC(s) is/are taller. Also, make sure the pipe you use for everything left of the 1st check valve is pressure-rated. You can use unrated fittings for the reservoir. I still use unrated bell reducers in PCs, because I've been using them without incident in WBLs and water cannons. However, it's not a good example to set and I'm not liable if you choose to do so.
marauder wrote:You have to explain things in terms that kids will understand, like videogames^ That's how I got Sam to stop using piston pumpers

Mister Smitty
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Re: On check valves.

Post by Mister Smitty » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:37 pm

One thing that's been driving me crazy is the lack of availability of 3" pipe around here. The largest all 3 of the potential stores go is 2," which I understand I want nothing to do with if possible. Maybe I'll find a way to make the PCs out of components like Ts. As to the check valves (original topic, right..? :lol: ) the smallest I've found for PVC are 10 bucks. Another potential option I came across by accident are aquarium pump check valves, of which several I could put between the gun and reservoir. The main problem with these is I just don't think they'd be strong enough. Oh well.
"I practice the art of fighting- without fighting."
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Poseidon2000
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Re: On check valves.

Post by Poseidon2000 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:21 pm

If you invent something, we'll sponsor you! :P


No. but curiosity helps sometimes, so try some stuff!
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Mister Smitty
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Re: On check valves.

Post by Mister Smitty » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:08 pm

Just found my PCs. I think I mentioned before that 3 inch pipe is not available anywhere I look in town, and range is a priority to me. So I scavenged in recycling bins hoping to find some worthy containers, probably 2 liter bottles, and got a great surprise.* 2 detergent bottles measuring exactly 5 inches wide. I cut the nozzles off and now I'm left with 7" of them. Judging by the thickness of plastic and the shape of the things, they could hold some pressure! I wonder if I should make the pump larger because of the considerable volume increase...

*That's right, I was in recycling bins. I felt kewl that day. :cool:
"I practice the art of fighting- without fighting."
-Enter the dragon
"Let's kick sum ass!"
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Fishfan
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Re: On check valves.

Post by Fishfan » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:56 pm

I would be wary of using those, just because you don't know if it's pressure rated or not. The 6" pipe at our Lowe's is pretty thick but it says clearly on the pipe NOT FOR PRESSURE. And it is not cellular core, it is solid.
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Poseidon2000
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Re: On check valves.

Post by Poseidon2000 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:06 pm

Me neither.my best bet would be to use 3 liter bottles of pepsi or other pops. Heh, a last resort, you could make a cph..... :goofy:
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Re: On check valves.

Post by DX » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:18 pm

Soda bottles are pressure rated to some degree, as the contents are stored under pressure. However, I wouldn't rely on bottles because they are not exactly durable. The trend these days among soda/water companies is to use less/thinner plastic, either to save money or to be more environmentally friendly. If you store the APH properly and minimize contact with anything else when transporting it, soda bottles should be decent PCs though. If you get lucky, you might find a bottle size that screws right into PVC threaded tees. I think GJIV successfully replaced his XXP 275 PCs with bottles.
marauder wrote:You have to explain things in terms that kids will understand, like videogames^ That's how I got Sam to stop using piston pumpers

Mister Smitty
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Re: On check valves.

Post by Mister Smitty » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:46 pm

The bottoms on the containers seem like they might blow out under intense pressure- but my plan is to put a 5" cap over the top so that the main purpose of the container is to bridge the gap between the cap and size adapter. This means that the container will be in constant tension, with little or no torsion forces- the ones that like to rip things open. Here's my artwork (sorry about my MSpaint proskills:)

Image

And on the subject of a CPH, I think I would really rather not... so many things to go wrong...
"I practice the art of fighting- without fighting."
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"Let's kick sum ass!"
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