Syringe pump (a.k.a. single pump) water blasters are perhaps the simplest form of water blaster pressurization technology, only arguably beat by squeeze-bulb-based water blasters, but the latter have not seen any significant amount of production in the recent years. For iSoaker.com, syringe pump-based water blasters end up falling under the general class of Piston-based water blasters.
The syringe pump-based water blasters are comprised of four main 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
- Nozzle - where water both enters and exits the water blaster
* 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 syringe pump water blaster technology:
- Power Soaker Jr. Cannon
- Water Warriors Glo Blaster
- Water Blaster XLR / Water Cannon
- Stream Machines (most models)
The Water Blasting Cycle:
While many are familiar with how to operate this simple water blaster, the steps involved are still outlined below for consistency.
Step 1: Priming
Unlike most other water blaster types, syringe pump water blasters absolutely require an external source of water to fill from.
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. As well, the nozzle must be submerged deep enough into the water source such that upon drawing water into the pump, the nozzle will remain submerged (otherwise one will end up drawing air instead of water into the pump, reducing one's effective soaking ability).
Step 2: Loading
To load this type of water blaster, the nozzle must remain submerged in water while the pump grip and rod are pulled out from the pump shaft, causing a reduction of pressure inside the pump shaft allow water to the pulled (technically pushed) into it.
Well designed syringe-type water blasters 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 of the nozzle.
Step 3: Blasting
To blast, the opposite motion must be done versus loading or filling, except with water already present in the chamber. Once 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 nozzle. At this point, depending on the size and volume of water available, one may opt to stop before completely emptying the pump shaft, allowing one to blaster a few to several streams of water on a single fill. Of course, once all the water is expelled from the pump shaft, one will need to return to the water source to refill.
Insights on this Technology
Being one of the simplest ways to push out a stream of water, having minimal parts allows these water blasters to be built fairly inexpensively, yet remain fairly durable. With the direction of force being applied to the water the same as the direction of the resulting stream, provided the nozzle is built well, very smooth, powerful, laminar streams are possible, allowing these types of water blasters to achieve longer distances than many others.
Of course, 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 perhaps the weakest point in that continued use may reduce its effectiveness, leading to poorer or failed performance if the seal gives up.
As stream generation is a manual process, the strength of the stream is partly affected by the strength of the user. It should also be noted that the inner diameter ratio between the nozzle and pump shaft have a significant effect on the amount of force desired/required to produce a good stream. If the nozzle is too small or the pump shaft too large in diameter, stream potency will drop significantly as the maximum force one can apply manually is finite. On the other hand, if the nozzle size becomes too large, water can end up dribbling out when the water blaster is pointed downwards or even when held level to the ground.
- Simple build can be quite sturdy and stable
- Simple operation
- Generally smooth, laminar streams
- Good potential range for amount of water pushed
- Capacity limited to pump volume
- Requires an external water source deep enough for refilling
- Multiple shots more difficult to do well
- Two-handed operation
- Increase pump diameter too much will increase the needed force applied to become more than most people can create manually
- Nozzle opening cannot be too large or it will dribble