Favorite Firing Valve Design?

Discussions of all varieties of stock water guns and water blasters.
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WaterDragonMissle
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Favorite Firing Valve Design?

Post by WaterDragonMissle » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:15 am

Based on your experience, what is your favorite firing valve design in a water gun? Things to consider are:

-reliability/durability - will the trigger snap because of the way the trigger for the valve is rigged? How likely is it to develop valve issues over time/use? How likely is it to get gunked up?

-responsiveness - how easy it is to tap shot? In my experience, 1000s feel more responsive than other guns I've tried (though my experience is very limited). All the ones I've tried (I own 3) are easy to tap shot even when they are fully charged.

-ease of maintenance - how easy it to disassemble/clean/lubricate?

-how much/how little it adds turbulence to water flow - I've read Ben talk about "the ideal flow path (for water) is nothing in the way". I'd imagine the pin valves on my 1000s/1200s add more turbulence than the ball valve on my Orca

I've only experienced firing valves from Orcas, Outlaws, 1000s, and 1200s, a 2500, a 2000, and doing maintenance/repairs on the firing valves of some of these guns made me wonder what gun, if any, had the "best" design... It seems like most veterans on this site have a vast amount of experience opening many different guns. I'm asking so I know more when looking for a new gun (ideally guns that even my little cousins can easily tap shot and can handle their abuse) and for whenever I attempt my first homemade; it would probably be a replication of a 2000 built as durable/reliable as possible. Also if there a certain gun model that particularly excels in one of the categories, which gun and which category?

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pat720
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Re: Favorite Firing Valve Design?

Post by pat720 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:05 pm

Ever heard of the silent ball valve mod?

Because in terms of reliability I believe it to be the best
When my friends are bringing big ole cps guns, and I show up with an SS50

WaterDragonMissle
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Re: Favorite Firing Valve Design?

Post by WaterDragonMissle » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:04 pm

I haven’t heard about it, would you mind explaining? I’m pretty new here

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Re: Favorite Firing Valve Design?

Post by HBWW » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:42 pm

I want to try the Hydrocannon again sometime, as its design has some unique advantages.

Maintenance and reliability is a serious issue for all water blasters. Gaskets go bad over time and they can't be replaced easily enough.
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marauder
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Re: Favorite Firing Valve Design?

Post by marauder » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:17 pm

This is a really good question that I'm not sure I have an answer on. I mean... I am always favor what ever the 2000 uses, but like Sam said, reliability is key. I am also interested in what the Hydrocannon could be capable of.
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Drenchenator
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Re: Favorite Firing Valve Design?

Post by Drenchenator » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:03 am

This is an interesting question because it involves tradeoffs between ease of use and performance. The answer depends on who is asking the question. A ball valve will perform the best since it generates the least turbulence, but a pull valve is much easier to use since it will open and close quickly. In my view, ball valves win because they are available off the shelf in stores --- rigging them to triggers is another question entirely. Ball valves have always been reliable to me, but the only trigger system that I've ever built that worked was on my homemade called Riptide, and it was the simplest system possible, as far as I can tell.

I can't recall whether or not somebody has tried to make a pull valve, though my water balloon launcher uses a type of pull valve that could work for water guns. It required a lot of maintenance, though, to maintain the seals, but as a design it should also work for water guns.

There are other options between ball valves and pull valves. A long time ago I tried to make a gate valve that would open just as easily as a pull valve but also allow for "linear flow" --- unobstructed flow --- through the valve itself. I failed to make the valve seal correctly but the ideas behind the valve are solid. Tim later expanded on the idea with a planar gate valve, but he also had some issues with leaking, though I'd recommend his design over mine going forward.
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marauder
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Re: Favorite Firing Valve Design?

Post by marauder » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:04 pm

I am very interested in seeing what kind of valve the Spyra uses. I am guessing it uses some kind of ball valve, but details still vary from one ball valve to another.
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WaterDragonMissle
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Re: Favorite Firing Valve Design?

Post by WaterDragonMissle » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:31 pm

Those gate valve designs look really cool, hopefully the leaking issue will eventually be solved.

And I'm also interested in seeing the Spyra's internals, to see if the durability/reliability/maintainability of the build justifies its price.

WaterDragonMissle
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Re: Favorite Firing Valve Design?

Post by WaterDragonMissle » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:50 am

By the way, does anyone know how the firing valve for the Water Warriors Drench Force works? I’ve read Ben say that it opens in such a way that almost doesn’t add turbulence to the water flow. If there are any examples or pictures of the valve, or something similar, would someone mind posting? I’ve been meaning to get a Drench Force (50 ft per pump-shot sounds amazing for the type of fighting our group usually does), but I can’t find any.

Apparently the Canadian WalMart website sells the 2018 Drench Force 2, but doesn’t ship to the US. I sent Buzz Bee an email asking if they would sell Drench Force 2s in the US, and they replied that they might sell them in the US for spring 2019.

(also sorry to double post, but when I edited my previous comment it didn’t update the date. If it’s a problem I can delete this message and add it to my previous comment)

Drenchenator
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Re: Favorite Firing Valve Design?

Post by Drenchenator » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:26 am

I'm only going based on the pictures provided by iSoaker's review. It appears that the valve is just a rudimentary check valve that opens when the pump is fully extended. Without a picture of the internals I can't comment on the physical mechanism of levers/gears/etc. that achieves that goal, but the point is simple. As you fill the pump, you don't want the pump to fill with air rushing in from the nozzle. So while the pump is being filled you need to block off the nozzle (hence the valve). But once the pump is full, you want it to shoot, so the valve should open. That's what the mechanism appears to do based on the pictures provided by iSoaker.

All of this can be achieved with a simple check valve that you can buy from Lowes or Home Depot or any hardware store, but Hasbro's design is actually pretty clever. It's based on the design of a swing check valve (also available at most hardware stores). These kind of check valves just have a small door that opens and closes. Standard check valves use springs to close the valve, but swing check valves use gravity instead. Swing check valves use fewer parts and should last much longer in practice, but they are limited in how you can use them, since you gotta ensure that gravity can close the valve. That limits what angles you can put the valve at (just like how you can't fire an air pressure water gun upside down).

Another advantage of a swing check valve is that once the door is open, the flow doesn't encounter any obstacles. So much less turbulence is generated using them. A standard spring check valve has a central obstacle, and that would lead to flow separation and turbulence generation and many bad things, let's say. The swing check valve is likely why people are getting good performance out of the Drench Force.

That said, spring check valves are better for most pumps. It's only when a check valve has to be used as a firing valve, like in these pump-action guns, that a swing check valve is a better choice.
The Drenchenator, also known as Lt. Col. Drench

WaterDragonMissle
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Re: Favorite Firing Valve Design?

Post by WaterDragonMissle » Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:21 pm

Any guesses on how the Drench Force's swing check valve opens and closes? It seems to be mounted sideways, which means it doesn't use gravity to close the valve when extending the pump, like most swing check valves. Also, based on iSoaker's description, it seems the valve only opens when the pump is fully extended, otherwise the water flow has to forcefully open the valve. Does this mean there is some sort of trigger at the back of the gun's body that opens the valve fully before each pump-shot?

Drenchenator
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Re: Favorite Firing Valve Design?

Post by Drenchenator » Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:39 pm

Well, I can speculate as to how the check valve opens and closes. We can see in second photo under "Build and Ergonomics" that the valve does have a coil spring. My best guess is that this spring keeps the valve open. The question then becomes how does the valve close. Another guess is that when the pump is fully inserted (no water inside the pump), something pushes the valve shut, and some locking mechanism holds it shut. When the pump is fully extended, the locking mechanism releases and the spring opens the valve for the duration of the shot.

Again, this is speculation. If somebody has this gun I'd recommend that they post photos of it disassembled to clear up how exactly this valve works. I'm not too sure about this answer myself, but it's the best I can come up with after looking at it for a few minutes. I don't think the reverse would work (the spring keeping the valve closed) since I can't see how fully extending the pump would then open it for the entire motion.
The Drenchenator, also known as Lt. Col. Drench

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