Pump action with spring water blasters are a variant of the pump action water blasters in terms of water blaster pressurization technology. For iSoaker.com, pump action with spring-based water blasters are also categorized under the general class of Piston-based water blasters as well as Elastic-based water blasters due to the presence of the spring-loaded chamber.
The pump action with spring-based water blasters' workings are comprised of seven types of parts:
- Pump Grip* - where the user holds onto the sliding inner section of the pump
- Pump Rod - the part of the pump that slides within the pump shaft
- Pump Shaft - the outer casing of the pump that holds water
- Spring-Loaded Chamber - where some water from the pump is temporarily stored under pressure from the spring
- Nozzle - where water exits the water blaster
- Check Valves #1 and #2 - one-way valves to control the direction of water flow from the reservoir to the pump, then to the nozzle
- Reservoir - water storage compartment
* Note: in the simplest versions of these water blasters, the pump grip may simply be extended part of the pump rod that sticks out from the pump shaft.
Example Water Blasters:
The following are some examples of water blasters that use pump action water blaster technology:
The Water Blasting Cycle:
The steps involved when using this type of water blaster are detailed below. Many of these steps are identical to those for the pump action water blasters:
Step 1: Priming
Before use, the reservoir cap needs to be removed and the reservoir filled with water. The reservoir can be filled completely.
To prime this water blaster, the pump grip and rod should be pushed into the pump shaft, expelling air from the inner-side of the pump shaft. This action may open Check Valve #2 slightly to allow air from the inside of the pump shaft to escape out of the nozzle.
Step 2: Loading
To load the pump, the intake hole or intake tubing within the reservoir must remain submerged in water while the pump grip and rod are pulled out from the pump shaft. This causes a reduction of pressure inside the pump shaft allow water to the pulled (technically pushed) into it. This change in pressure opens Check Valve #1, allowing water to pass from the reservoir to the inside of the pump shaft. Check Valve #2 remains sealed since the direction of force is opposite to how that valve would open.
Well designed pumps will have a stopper at the maximum amount the pump rod can be pulled before it falls out of the pump shaft. However, some models require a little more care not to completely remove the pump rod from the pump shaft, otherwise the seal will be lost, the pump rod will fall out of the shaft, and water will dribble out.
Step 3: Blasting and Storing Pressure
To blast, the opposite motion must be done versus loading or filling the pump, except with water already present within the pump shaft. Once the pump is filled, one simply needs to aim the nozzle in the desired direction and push the pump grip and rod back into the pump shaft, forcing water out of the pump shaft, through Check Valve #2, and out of the nozzle. Check Valve #1 seals when pushing water out of the pump shaft since the direction of force at this time is opposite to how it opens.
Unlike pump action water blasters, some of the water pushed from the pump is used to compress the spring in the spring-loaded chamber. While some may thing that this reduces the force of the produces stream, the change is actually negligible since for most standard nozzles, some energy spent pushing in the pump is not used fully due to the physics of going from a larger diameter tube (pump) to the small-diameter nozzle opening.
Step 4: Continued Blasting
After the pump has pushed out all its water, thanks to some water being stored under pressure by the spring-loaded chamber, the stream will continue to be pushed from the nozzle for an additional amount of time. By calibrating the pump volume, the spring-loaded chamber diameter and volume, and the spring strength, the additional time the spring-loaded chamber pushes out water will be long enough for one to refill the pump with water and push more water towards the nozzle and spring-loaded chamber. The result is allowing this pump action-type water blaster to be able to produce a consistent stream akin to trigger-based pressurized water blasters.
Of course, once one stops pumping and the spring-loaded chamber completes expelling all its water, the stream will end.
Insights on this Technology
As simple to use as any other pump action water blaster, pump action with spring-based water blasters offer simple, single shot capability along with continuous stream ability if one is willing to pump quickly enough. The speed of pumping required is not excessive and most should be able to create continuous streams with these water blasters with ease. While these blasters can produce continuous streams, unlike trigger-based pressurized water blasters, since one must continually pump to keep the stream going, it is much more difficult to keep one's aim consistent. Since a decent amount of force must be applied to bring one's hands closer when pumping, this leaves less focus available for holding the nozzle steady. Trigger-based systems also have the advantage of being ready to fire with a quick pull of the trigger, unlike these pump-based blasters that require much more motion made before a stream is produced.
As with the syringe pump systems and pump action systems, for this system to work, a good seal must be maintained between the pump rod and pump shaft in order to both draw water in and push water out. This seal is one of the weakest points in that continued use may reduce its effectiveness, leading to poorer or failed performance if the seal gives up.
The other parts that may end up failing, particularly if dirty water is used a lot, are the two check valves. These valves must open and seal as needed to ensure water is drawn from the reservoir to the pump, then pushed from the pump out to the nozzle. If either valve's seal is damaged or cannot close completely due to dirt, the maximum strength of streams produced will drop significantly.
There is also a chance for the spring-loaded chamber to become dirty and less responsive, but this has not been observed in any of the blasters tested here at iSoaker.com.
At this time, the only manufacturer that uses this technology is Buzz Bee Toys Inc.
- Simple build can be quite sturdy and stable
- Simple operation
- Generally smooth, laminar streams
- Decent potential range for amount of water pushed
- Reservoir allows one to fill and shoot multiple times before needing to refill the blaster
- Streams can be made continuous if the blaster is pumped quickly enough
- Multiple shots from a single pump more difficult to do well
- Two-handed operation
- Difficult to maintain a stable, consistent shot since hand and arm must be moving to create the stream