Introduction: Fast and Easy, PVC Water Run!!! (for Under $100)

After constructing a "Fast and Easy PVC Kids Fort" for my 8 year old daughter, I was left feeling inspired.

Being that the 4th of July was coming up (and because the heat/humidity in NC can be a bit oppressive in the summer), I decided to build something fun (and wet) for my kids to play with outside.

I put pencil to paper and what I came up with was, "The Water Run".

Currently, it consists of 3 PVC based structures that spray water from 31 points (9 ea on the "Arches" and 13 points on the longer run"). I used male and female connectors on each, so more can be added on later (which my daughters are already planning).

I started the project the morning of the 4th at about 9:30 am and by 2:30 pm they were running, screaming, and soaked!!

Step 1: Pipes, Connectors, and More Connectors...Plus Tools!

For the build I used and mix of PSI 200 and Schedule 40 PVC pipes. My goal was to minimize the weight (and cost), while still maintaining/maximizing the stability and water pressure (we're on a well for water, so pressure can be spotty, especially in the summer). The results were great, plus it's easy to move around the yard and even easier to store for later use.Here is the parts list (acquired from my local Lowe's):

1 x 3/4" PSI 200 PVC Pipe (10 ft) @ $2.41

2 x 60" Pieces of Pipe (5 ft)

2 x 1" PSI 200 PVC Pipe (10 ft) @ $2.90 ea x 2 = $5.80
Cut to:

4 x 6" Pieces of Pipe

8 x 20" Pieces of Pipe

4 x 28" Pieces of Pipe

6 x 1" Schedule 40 PVC Pipe (10 ft) @ $3.90 ea x 6 = $23.40

Cut to:

7 x 48" Pieces of Pipe (4 ft)

4 x 72" Pieces of Pipe (6 ft)

Connectors:

2 x 5-Pack 1-in dia PVC Sch 40 Tees@ $3.39 x 2 = $6.78

2 x 5-Pack 1-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Caps@ $2.21 x 2 = $4.42

4 x 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Slip Elbow@ $.86 ea x 2 = $1.72

4 x 1-in Dia 45-Degree PVC Sch 40 Slip Elbow@ $.97 ea x 4 = $3.88

2 x 1-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Side Outlet Elbow@ $2.05 ea x 4 = $4.10

3 x 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Adapter (male) @ $.84 ea x 3 = $2.52

3 x 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Adapter (female) @ $ 1.10 ea x 3 = $3.30

1 x 3/4-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Cap@ $1.32

Sprayer Nozzles:

3 x Mister Landscaper 12-Pack Half-Circle Drip Irrigation Micro Spray@ $4.98 ea x 3 = $14.94

Adhesives:

1 x Oatey 8-fl oz PVC Cement and Primer@ $8.81

Grand Total: $83.40 (usd) before tax

As for tools, I simply used a tape measure, a sharpie (to mark the pipe), a hack saw to cut the pipe, purple pluming primer & cement, and the blunt side of a hatchet to tap the pipes together.

*Once cut, make sure the pipes have been cleaned of all shavings/clippings, as these are being permanently attached and you don't want them to have a negative affect on your seal or clogging your sprayers.

**To prime and cement pipes/receptacles, apply 2 coats of primer to the pipes ends and to the inside of the receptacle. Then add a thin layer of cement to both, prior to connecting.

***Be sure your connection points are square, so everything lines up correctly. PVC is forgiving, but it has to be close.

Step 2: Structure Number 1 and 2 (The Arches)

The first two structures are identical, 6 ft x 5 ft "Arches" . Because they are the same, once you've finished building the first "Arch", repeat these steps for the second (or build them in tandem)...

1. First apply primer, then cement to one end of the 4 x 20" pieces of 1-in PSI 200 PVC Pipe and to the inside, of each side, on 2 x 1-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Tees.

Connect each of the prepped 20" pieces of 1-in PSI 200 PVC Pipe to the left and right sides of your 2 prepped 1-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Tees. Be sure to make a tight fit, using the blunt end of the hatchet if needed to tap the pipe into place.

2. Next apply primer, then cement to the exposed ends on both 1-in PSI 200 PVC Pipe foot sets and to the inside of 1 x 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Adapter (female), 1 x 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Adapter (male), and 2 x 1-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Caps.

Then, connect your prepped 1 x 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Adapter (female) to the exposed end of 1 x 1-in PSI 200 PVC Pipe foot and connect your prepped 1 x 1-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Cap to the opposite end. Repeat this process for the other side, substituting 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Adapter (female) for 1 x 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Adapter (male). Be sure the male and female connector caps are on opposite sides of their respective feet.

3. Apply primer, then cement to the vertical outlets on 2 x 1-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Tees on the foot assemblies and to one end of 2 x 72" (6 ft) pieces of 1-in Schedule 40 PVC Pipe. Connect, each piece of 72" (6 ft) 1-in Schedule 40 PVC Pipe to the vertical outlets of both 1-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Tees.

4. Apply primer, then cement to the top of each of the 72" (6 ft) 1-in Schedule 40 PVC Pipes and to the insides of 2 x 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Slip Elbow. Be sure this connection is as square as possible.

5. Finally, apply primer, then cement to each end of 1 x 60" (5 ft) 3/4" PSI 200 PVC Pipe and to the insides of each 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Slip Elbow. Connect the prepped 60" (5 ft) 3/4" PSI 200 PVC Pipe to each 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Slip Elbow at the top of the leg assembly.

Step 3: Structure Number 3 "The House"

The third structure is an elongated "House" shaped feature. It stands just under 6 ft tall, 4 ft wide, and is roughly 4 ft long.

The idea, was to give them a short hall to run through, that would soak them, after the misting arches. What it turned into was a water castle for the queen and the princess to run through (per their walking/running game)

Now, to build it!

1. First apply primer, then cement to one end of the 4 x 6" pieces of 1-in PSI 200 PVC Pipe and to one side of 4 x 1-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Tees.

Connect each of the prepped 6" pieces of 1-in PSI 200 PVC Pipe to the 4 prepped 1-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Tees.

2. Next apply primer, then cement to both ends of 1 x 48" (4 ft) pieces of 1-in Schedule 40 PVC Pipe and to the opposite sides of 2 x 1-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Tees, plus 6" pieces of 1-in PSI 200 PVC Pipe, you were just working with.

Connect each of the 1-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Tees + 6" pieces of 1-in PSI 200 PVC Pipe to either side of the prepped 48" (4 ft) pieces of 1-in Schedule 40 PVC Pipe. Make sure both connections are square (I checked mine against a long 2x4), as this will be 1/2 the base of the "house".

Repeat these steps to construct the opposite side.

3. Now apply primer, then cement to both ends of 4 x 48" (4 ft) 1-in Schedule 40 PVC Pipe, to the vertical outlets on the 4 x 1-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Tees, and to one side of the 4 x 1-in Dia 45-Degree PVC Sch 40 Slip Elbow

Connect one end of the 4 x 48" (4 ft) 1-in Schedule 40 PVC Pipe to the vertical outlet on all 4 x 1-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Tees. Then connect 1 x 1-in Dia 45-Degree PVC Sch 40 Slip Elbow to the top of each. Again make sure this connection is square (I used a piece of pipe to align it).

4. Next apply primer, then cement to both ends of 4 x 28" pieces of 1-in PSI 200 PVC Pipe and to the open side of the 4 x 1-in Dia 45-Degree PVC Sch 40 Slip Elbows.

Connect one side of the 4 x 28" pieces of 1-in PSI 200 PVC Pipe, to the open side of the 4 x 1-in Dia 45-Degree PVC Sch 40 Slip Elbows.

5. Next apply primer, then cement to two the left and right sides of 2 x 1-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Side Outlet Elbows.

Connect the 2 x 1-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Side Outlet Elbows to 2 x 28" pieces of 1-in PSI 200 PVC Pipe (left or right side), being sure to make the connection is square.

6. Bring the two sides together by connecting the open prepped outlets on the opposite side of the 1-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Side Outlet Elbows, to the prepped 2 x 28" pieces of 1-in PSI 200 PVC Pipe from the opposite side of the structure.

7. Now, apply primer, then cement to the left and right sides of 1 x 48" (4 ft) piece of 1-in Schedule 40 PVC Pipe and to the last remaining outlet on the 2 x 1-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Side Outlet Elbows.

Connect both sides of the prepped 1 x 48" (4 ft) piece of 1-in Schedule 40 PVC Pipe, into the open outlets on the 2 1-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Side Outlet Elbows. This will give you a house/hall like frame.

8. Finally, apply primer, then cement to 1 x 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Adapter (female), 1 x 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Adapter (male), and 2 x 1-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Caps.

Place the prepped 1 x 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Adapter (female), 1 x 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Adapter (male), and 2 x 1-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Caps on the open ends of the base pipes (male and female should be opposite 1 x 1-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Cap on opposite sides of the structure).

Step 4: Adding the Sprayers!!!

Now, with all 3 structures assembled, you will need to let them sit and cure for about 2 hours before you can pressure test them. So, while you wait, you can drill and install the spray nozzles. I purchased 3 packs of Mister Landscaper 12-Pack Half-Circle Drip Irrigation Micro Spray nozzles which gave me a total of 36 sprayers to divide among the 3 structures (we used 31).

On to the drilling...

"The Arches"

First using a marker of your choice, mark where you want to drill your holes. Then using a 5/32 drill bit, drill out, where you have your marks.

On the top bar, I drilled 5 (3 on the front side and 2 on the back side) each about 12" away from the next. Then, on the vertical pipes, I drilled 2 each about 22" apart, the first being about 14" from the top.

Finally, screw 1 X spray nozzle into each of the holes you've just drilled. The spray heads are threaded and do screw in pretty easily, however if you're having difficulty, you may want to use a tap to cut the threads prior to screwing in the nozzles.

"The House"

The instructions are going to be basically the same as above, with the only difference being where you will mark and drill your holes.

I drilled and mounted 1 each in the center of the diagonal pipes (4 total on all sides), 1 each in the center of the vertical pipes (4 total on all sides), and then 5 on the top center bar (3 on one side 2 on the other for 5 total).

Step 5: Time to Test It All Out!!!

Once the seals have had time to cure, it's time test to your "Water Run"!

Place 1 x 3/4-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Cap on the 1 x 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Adapter (male) on the last structure in your run (in ours, it was the "House").

Then, connect 1 hose from each 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Adapter (male) to the 1-in Dia x 3/4-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Adapter (female) on the the next structure in your run.

Finally, connect one last hose to the spigot on your house, turn on the water, and with in a minute you should start to see water droplets forming on the spray heads. As the pipes fill with water and the pressure builds, the slow drips will turn to mist!

* It took about 5 minutes to build enough pressure to really get all 3 structures going. As I stated prior, we're on a well, so my water pressure is on the lower side. If you have city water, your run may fill faster.

Step 6: Enjoy!!!!

I can't begin to explain how excited my girls were about this, or how much fun they had. To quote my 8 year old..."This is the best 4th of July EVER!!!!!"

I really hope you enjoyed this Instrutable and I hope it inspires you to build something fun!

Comments

author
nolan.kriegel (author)2015-07-09

gives me an idea to set up a watering system for my garden. I will place it much lower to the ground.

TY

author
BKLaRue made it! (author)nolan.kriegel2015-09-16

So this is the final design for my Garden Watering version of the Water Run! It's right at 20 ft long and stands about 2 ft tall and it works fantastic!!!

IMG_0514.JPG
author
BKLaRue (author)nolan.kriegel2015-07-09

Thanks and you're very welcome. I admit, I've been fiddling around with plans of my own since I built this.You really can modify either of the structures very easily for a gardening set up. You could even run drip hoses in tandem with, or instead of, the sprayers depending on your needs. There are tons of options!

Happy Building and Gardening!

author
LOTL (author)2015-07-12

Hmmm i made cheapo projector screen frame out of PVC a while back, may have to do some modifications...

My concern with the simple U Design is that the kids will start climbing, swinging or just running into it and it may not last so long. Making it truly kid proof, might require some more thought.

Great idea though. We were out in Phoenix Arizona a few years back and they had misters set up at outdoors malls, coffee shops and we even saw one guy trying to sell these setups to put on motorcycle handlebars!

author
BKLaRue (author)LOTL2015-07-12

Thank you!!

So far, so good on the durability. Both my 8 years old and my 4 year old have run into them and all parties survived unscathed. I was a little worried about them being top heavy, when they were full (because they're 6 ft tall), but they're fine. The most they have done when bumped, was move a little.

Now, hanging from it...that might do some damage.

author
pfred2 (author)2015-07-08

This is what they need in southern California to solve their drought problem. I just don't think my garden hose would stretch quite that far.

author
BKLaRue (author)pfred22015-07-08

HA! Good one! The way they are built, technically you could just keep adding structures until you got there. The bonus, you could then charge admission to the worlds longest water run.

author
nolan.kriegel (author)BKLaRue2015-07-09

I think you will run out of water pressure before you get 100 yards

author
PCfreak (author)nolan.kriegel2015-07-11

then he might have to use a booster pump, just a thought

author
nolan.kriegel (author)PCfreak2015-07-11

I am not sure that would work, your faucet will only supply so much water. But then after there is so much in the line the local may no have enough pressure then the pump would work. Maybe like putting substations along the way to keep the pressure up. Yeah, I think that might work

author
BKLaRue (author)nolan.kriegel2015-07-09

True...very very true.

author
crazzydude001 (author)2015-07-11

Does this put out enough output to put a tarp underneath for a slip and slide?

author
BKLaRue (author)crazzydude0012015-07-11

Yes it does, even with so so water pressure. You could also add a few additional sprayers lower down to help wet the tarp.

author
jimg16 (author)2015-07-09

Awesome. Weekend Project. Thank you.

author
BKLaRue (author)jimg162015-07-09

Thanks and you're welcome! I had the same thought too and it was totally worth it!

author
bardbard (author)2015-07-08

looks awesome and it most likey is

author
BKLaRue (author)bardbard2015-07-08

Thank you! I can say for sure, they kids think so (and I'm not going to lie, I do too)! The kid in me almost jumped out of my skin, when I turned it on for the first time.

author
clovisfiesta (author)2015-07-08

Very smart! Congrats!

author
BKLaRue (author)clovisfiesta2015-07-08

Thank you very much!

author
ASCAS (author)2015-07-08

Looks F.U.N. !

author
BKLaRue (author)ASCAS2015-07-08

Thank you! My kids had an absolute blast!

author
dbc006 (author)2015-07-08

You could even turn it into a water slide with some long lengths of tarpaulin and more holes at the bottom to drench the slide. Great ible by the way

author
BKLaRue (author)dbc0062015-07-08

Thanks and great idea, I think we might have to give it a go!

author
mkize410 (author)2015-07-07

touchless carwash? maybe?

author
gravityisweak (author)mkize4102015-07-08

I'm with you on this! With some modifications I think a carwash would be totally doable.

author
BKLaRue (author)mkize4102015-07-07

Maybe a Mini Cooper or a Smart Car, based on size alone. Though the water pressure isn't heavy enough to do more than make it wet.

It would work as a garden mister.

author
hbridge88 (author)2015-07-07

I wish I had this as a kid. Such a great idea!

author
BKLaRue (author)hbridge882015-07-07

Thanks! I agree 100%....which is partially why the "Arches" are big enough to drive the lawn mower through.

author
amy_rotfl (author)2015-07-07

My budget isn't even close to 100 lol

author
BKLaRue (author)amy_rotfl2015-07-07

Mine wasn't either...lol. I really wanted to keep it closer to $60. However, considering how much fun they have been having with it, I feel like I got my moneys worth.

I will note that you could save around $10-$15 if you stick with just 1" PSI 200 PVC Pipe.

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Bio: I'm a husband, a father of 3 great girls, a drummer and a lover of all things Zombie. I'm also a habitual crafter ...
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