Trigger pump water blaster technology is very comparable to pump action water blaster technology. However, in the case of the trigger pump, the pump is typically spring-loaded and much smaller in size (and volume) than pumps found in pump action water blasters. Moreover, the overall water blasters that use trigger pump technology are usually smaller and cheaper. These type of water blasters are often also referred to as squirt pistols or dime-store water guns.
The trigger pump-based water blasters' workings are comprised of five types of parts:
- Trigger-based pump - where the user holds onto the sliding inner section of the pump
- Reservoir - stores water for use; some models' entire bodies are used as a reservoir while other models have a designated space for water
- Check Valves #1 and #2 - for controlling the direction of water flow from reservoir to pump and pump to nozzle
- Nozzle - where water exits the water blaster under pressure from the trigger pump
- Connective Tubing - to connect all the various parts together in a specific order
Example Water Blasters:
The following are some examples of water blasters that use trigger pump water blaster technology:
- Super Soaker Lil' Squirts
- Water Warriors Kwik Grip XLs
- Water Warriors Power Shots
- Most small, "no name" water blasters
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
Being spring-loaded, to prime these types of blasters, the trigger-pump must first be pressed in, forcing air out of the pump via Check Valve #2. In most cases, the types of check valves used in these blasters use small ball bearings to work. If not treated well or if non-clear water is routinely used, these valves can get stuck in their open position, preventing the proper operation of the pumping mechanism.
Step 2: Loading
To load the pump with water, one typically simple releases one's grip on the trigger, allowing the spring to push the trigger-piston outwards and draw water into the pump shaft. The change in pressure closes Check Valve #2 and opens Check Valve #1, allowing water from the reservoir to move into the pump. Due to the small volume moved per pump, for a newly filled water blaster, it may take several air pumps before water is actually being drawn into the pump since the tubing leading from the reservoir to the pump needs to be filled (or emptied of air) first.
Step 3: Blasting
To blast, the trigger-piston is pressed into the water filled pump, closing Check Valve #1 and opening Check Valve #2, pushing water towards the nozzle. Again, due to the small volumes typically moved by these type of pumps, it can take a few pump cycles initially before water is actually expelled out of the nozzle.
It should also be noted that the placement of the two check valves varies widely between various models. Some place the check valves around the pump assembly while other models may put one of the check valves within the nozzle assembly.
Due to the limited amount of water pushes per stroke, streams are typically quite thin and lack much force. Due to their small size, streams also tend to break up in even light amounts of wind.
Insights on this Technology
As one of the simplest ways to push out a stream of water, having minimal and small parts allows these water blasters to be built rather inexpensively. Durability varies widely as these blasters are typically meant for limited use and often seen as cheap giveaway objects rather than something a user would really want to rely on. With pump volumes quite small, the soaking ability of these type of water blasters is also severely limited.
Of course, for this system to work, a good seal must be maintained by the trigger-piston and pump shaft. As well, both check valves must operate properly for the pumping system to work; small amounts of dirt or debris can readily clog or lock these small check valves into an open or closed position.
Beyond this, the typically small amounts of water these water blasters can carry further limits their potential soaking ability, but then again, this can be good for games involving smaller children or for groups who wish to have fun without ended up thoroughly soaked at the end of it.
- Simple build, low cost devices
- Simple operation
- Typically used single-handedly
- Easy to operate for younger children
- Soaking ability limited both by small pump volume and limited reservoir volume
- Access port for filling the reservoir is typically quite small, sometimes making refilling more difficult than refilling larger water blasters