Introduction: KidWash 2 : PVC Sprinkler Water Toy

Picture of KidWash 2 : PVC Sprinkler Water Toy

Fun toy with mister jets helps kids beat the heat.

This project owes a big debt to the original KidWash instructable by discontinuity. When I saw it I knew right away it was going on the "must build" list for summer. A great combination: simple project, lots of fun for the kids!

I headed down to the PVC section of the local home improvement store to pick up supplies. While browsing the adjacent sections for interesting stuff I noticed the micro-irrigation section and inspiration struck: KidWash with mister jets!

The modification worked great. We turned it on and kids from up and down the block started showing up to help with the testing. It's a lot of fun on foot, but my kids also get a blast out of riding their bikes through it (just like dad at the carwash).

Pictures courtesy of J. Good Photography

Step 1: Get Your Parts

Picture of Get Your Parts

Head to your local hardware store for the following 3/4" pipe and fittings:

2 ten foot lengths of PVC
3 end caps
1 threaded female hose connector (slip fit)
2 elbow joints (90 degree)
2 T connections
1 pack quarter circle mister jets (12 count)

If the option of chaining your KidWash with other water toys interests you, just pick two end caps and add:

1 threaded male hose connector (slip fit)
1 hose cap

Note: you want the PVC hose connectors, not the more expensive metal fittings. Don't give up if they're not with the other PVC fittings, I found them by the sprinkler parts.

The misters used here are from, a brand carried by Lowes.

Step 2: Get Your Tools

Picture of Get Your Tools

You need:

measuring device
pen or pencil
PVC cement
5/32" drill bit

Step 3: Cut Pipes

Picture of Cut Pipes

Time to cut. You will need the following sections and sizes:

2 at 5 feet
1 at 4 feet
4 at 18 inches

Cut one of the 10' lengths in half so that you have two 5' sections.

Then, cut a 4' section from the second one. Cut the remaining 6' section in half and then each of the 3' sections in half.

Step 4: Make a Center Line

Picture of Make a Center Line

We want all the misters pointing more or less in the same direction, so start out by making a center line on the three longest pieces of pipe. Hold two pieces of pipe next to one another and use one as a guide to mark the other. The angle you hold your pen/pencil at isn't important, just keep it the same and you'll end up with a straight line.

Step 5: Mark Locations for Misters

Picture of Mark Locations for Misters

I had 12 misters, so I decided to put four on each side and four along the top. If you've got the same setup, measure 9" from the end of each pipe, mark it, and then mark three more locations at 10" intervals. This will center the four misters along the top, and provide nice coverage on the sides.

Step 6: Drill Holes

Picture of Drill Holes

I found that a 5/32" hole was perfect for my mister jets, but check yours before drilling holes. The mister jets have threads and a taper that increases as they go in. The bit should leave a hole that allows the bottom to slide in easily, but engages the threads where they start. With the right combination you'll need to bear down to get the first threads to "bite", but after the first or second turn they'll cut their own threads into the pipe for a tight fit.

Step 7: Assemble Upright Pipes

Picture of Assemble Upright Pipes

Make sure there are no PVC chips or other debris in the pipes before assembly. Fit the drilled pipes together to form a "U" shape with all the drilled holes facing up. The drilled holes on the side pieces should be closest to the end with elbow joint (near cross piece). Once you're satisfied glue up the "U", making sure the holes stay facing up.

Step 8: Screw in Mister Jets

Picture of Screw in Mister Jets

Screw the mister jets into the holes. You'll need to bear down at first to get the mister jet threads to bite, but after a turn or two they'll burrow into the pipe just fine. When you get down to the last turn or so, align the jet so it faces inwards. Angle the jets near the corners towards the center so that the water goes where the action is.

Step 9: Glue Base

Picture of Glue Base

Now that the "U" is glued up and has the misters are installed, we need a base to stand it up on. Two options are pictured below. The left one is the default setup, the right one has the option to support chaining. Check the fit of all your parts and glue them up.

Step 10: Attach Base

Picture of Attach Base

Assemble the "U" and the base without glue. Make sure the base pieces are parallel with each other, and perpendicular to the plane of the "U". You can place the base pieces on either edge of a sidewalk for a handy reference before gluing it up. Line the "T" pieces up with each side of a crack, then make the base pieces parallel to the edges of the sidewalk and you're ready for glue.

Step 11: Try It Out

Picture of Try It Out

Let the glue dry before testing. I know, it's hard. Clean up while you wait, it'll be dry in no time.

Turn the water on low enough that you get a little spray from all the misters. Check and adjust the direction of the misters to direct the water towards the center.

Turn it on full and look for leaks around the base of the misters. If you find one, you can use a wrap of teflon tape around the base of the mister to stop it.

This project uses 12 misters rated at 10 gallons per hour, for a total of 120 gallons per hour. I don't know how that compares with other water toys, but in an era of increasing water restrictions, getting the most out of the water you do use is a good thing.

Step 12: KidWash Times Two -- Optional Chaining

Picture of KidWash Times Two -- Optional Chaining

If one kid wash is fun, then two must be more fun, right?

The pictures below show a hose connecting the two, but if you want them right next to one another you can connect them directly together. If you're going this route, make sure the connectors are going to match up before gluing the base to the second unit.


TorchGirlSarah (author)2017-10-04

Hello. I am an online marketing representative for Mister Landscaper. The owners of the company requested that we contact you and ask if we could have permission to use your content and images on our companies blog. If so, that would be awesome! Please send confirmation to .Thank you so much, and have a great day.

BrianJ144 made it! (author)2017-08-02

My three kids love it, and I let my 6 year old son help with the measuring, marking, and cutting (though he didn't do much cutting just don't tell him that). Great learning experience for him and fun for the kids, plus it only cost 20 bucks. Did the same as the poster before me and added a quick disconnect shut off valve at the connection to the toy.

thehoss made it! (author)2017-07-09

I made it!!! My great-grandson and his friends loved it. It was a very hot day, 90 degrees, when I finally got the misters from Lowe's in the mail and they had a ball. One thing almost messed it up. I couldn't get one of the misters to self thread. I got them all in except the one so I decided to complete it while I think of a fix for the hole. I couldn't get the glue can open and had to use a c-clamp to open the can because my grandson had borrowed my channel lock pliers. I got the idea to use the c-clamp to install the mister. I was very careful not to break the mister because I only had 12. I was able to force it in without incident and it worked perfectly. I also attached a turn-off valve for ease of operation.

BlackoutXIII (author)thehoss2017-07-27

Great idea to add a shut-off valve. I'm looking forward to making this with my 4-year old.

smb1973 (author)2016-08-02

Thanks! Kids had a blast.

WasimB made it! (author)2016-08-02

Greetings from Pakistan, awesome fun this was. The kids, bless them, we hadn't glued it yet together, and they turned the top bar 180° so the water spouts up and falls like a rain curtain! Next step is to find some misters, till then 1/16 holes are doing just fine.

CHARLIEG31 (author)2016-07-31

great shower, or push bike wash. brilliant.

RandyD3 made it! (author)2016-07-31

Just made it and the kids loved it. Easy and quick to build. Easy enough that the kids even helped with the construction. Thanks for the great project.

LilyT9 made it! (author)2016-07-24

I chose not to glue the parts for ease of storage and travel. I also had the helpful folks at Lowe's cut the pipes for me... just be courteous and don't go when they're swamped.

RonS36 made it! (author)2016-06-20

thanks -- the directions made this easy! our only hitch was that we misread the drilling spacing notes, ending up w/ an extra hole on each sidebar, but we just got some more mister nozzles and now have more mist -- not exactly a problem.

Dutch56 made it! (author)2016-06-19

My Father's Day gift to my grandkids. I couldn't get them to run thru it while I had the camera out. I went with three full circle mister prayers on this.

EdgardB made it! (author)2016-05-29

Modified a few things, but overall the same design you provided. The kids had a blast and we even made a 2nd one and connected them! One of the misters broke off, they are cheap plastic and sch 40 pvc is tough. Had to duct tape the hole since i did not have extras and the water squirting from the hole took away the pressure from the rest of the misters. once we fixed that it was golden. We will be enjoying this all summer long and are already looking for ways to extend it!

Bawilson1981 made it! (author)2016-05-29

Super easy to follow instructions, my 18 yr old made it for her siblings. Found everything except for the misters, we will need to order them online. drilled holes in the mean time and it's fine.

MichaelS115 (author)2016-05-28

This was a quick, easy build. I modified it to be six feet tall so mom and dad could walk through standing up too.

chysaw made it! (author)2015-08-12

My son and I saw this and knew we had to make one. Ours has the twist of using sprinkler heads instead of the misters. Thank you for the inspiration!

DBrooks86 (author)2015-05-13

Hi! I'm making one of these for my 100ft Slip n' Slide project. The width of the SnS will be roughly 8ft wide - do you think the top pipe will sag w/ the water weight at 8ft long? Thanks!

davidbarcomb (author)2014-12-03

Good stuff. Thanks

forgedcu made it! (author)2014-09-23

My twins and I built this and really had a blast. They measured and cut the tube with the rotary tube cutter. Somehow one of the spray heads got broken, but it was an easy fix.

b_levin84 (author)2014-06-22

Thanks for the great instructable!! I made this out of schedule 80 cpvc for extra strength. The threads on the mister jets were softer than the cpvc so I couldn't just push, turn, and create my own threads on the pipe. I drilled with a 5/32 bit and drilled a size10/32 bolt to create the threads. The nozzles went right in after that.

J2host (author)2014-06-04

Thank you for project, Beautiful day today, babysitting my 4 year old grandson, guess what we are doing today.... boy is he psyche out, again awesome, thanks

Justin_whiting (author)2014-05-27

This was a fun memorial weekend project and the kids loved it. Love the addition of the misters and I also put a valve on by the hose attachment as well so I could turn it off and on easily. At Lowes, I even found some small spray circle mister nozzles that I am going to swap out for some of the others as this will make the water spin around and should be fun for the kids. Only other tip, is to make sure to get all slip fit PVC. I wasn't careful and ended up with threaded 90 elbows which resulted in a second trip to the store. I had a little bit of a hard time finding the hose attachment part, and had to go to another store but found what I needed.

net normy (author)2013-07-05

Where can I get thesemister nozzles? I live in LaCrosse WW and can"t find them at ACE HOME DEPOT or MENARDS

StriderNL (author)net normy2013-07-07

I had to order them direct from the manufacturer.

StriderNL (author)2013-07-07

Built mine today - went nearly perfect! There was an iffy point when I had glued the 90 degree to the wrong pipe, man that glue dries fast!

I added the chaining parts, and also added an on/off valve so I could turn it off without disconnecting it. Went perfectly.

flyboysgu (author)2013-06-26

This was awesome! Thanks for sharing. I chose to make two and chain them together as well. To make the hook-up easy, I purchased a "Gilmour Poly Faucet Quick Connect" from Lowes. That makes it super easy to attach the hoses.

lyle4940 (author)2013-05-06

How do you attach the quarter circle mister jets to the PVC?

jnewquist (author)2011-06-15

True, HD does not have these exact misters. They did have Rainbird misters in a 10 pack that I purchased and they worked just fine.

JonnyDude2008 (author)jnewquist2012-08-22

You can say that again aha, what a poor summer this has been in terms of weather.

erik_mccray (author)2012-08-22

Wow, I would think there would be a rule or two on this site on not trolling. Its Florida they could install a kid wash every ten square feet and still have flood problems. This is great idea don't be a downer man.

m.hutchinson (author)2012-08-11

That's why my play sand is free-range organic desert sand. My purchase goes toward water recovery projects there, enabling me to use my water here with a free conscience. *WINK* Saving a little water here does not magically make it show up in a drought-region. We saw that with the drought in Texas, when Louisiana was in a flood state.

Seriously though, it just rained hard enough here to flood my basement. Somebody please turn on their mister so I can dry off. Thank you.

Nice build, I'm going to make a couple of these, maybe make it pulse the misters to cut down on water use and to vary the misting. Makes it more interactive too, kind of like those funny water displays.

sanchez05 (author)2012-07-20

I dod this for my kids today it took me about an hour or so maybe less i wasn't keeping track of time. I followed your instructions to the T, the only thing I am thinking of changeing is add cement to 3 pcs. of the legs for more stability or just add 2 parts for chanining to add 2 10ft. pvc with misters. to make it longer I will up load pics soon maybe 2 days. but after all THANKS FOR THIS INSTRUCTABLE, I paid a total of 17 bucks for 3 hrs of fun for my kids.

RJMatthews (author)2012-07-05

Can you affix the mister nozzles to the PEX in the same manner? I have never had the chance to use PEX but this might be the perfect opportunity!

wrksnfx (author)RJMatthews2012-07-09

I would check at your local hardware store they should have the answers your looking for.

CrazyNick (author)2012-07-05

Can't buy the jets around here (Pittsburgh) either.... I'm looking at substituting these instead (plus would save on drilling...) Any thoughts or experience using these?

CrazyNick (author)CrazyNick2012-07-05

i forgot that this site blocks certain websites... search "Orbit 10112W 1/2-Inch PVC Splitter With Mist Nozzle" and click the amazon link.

B Hislip (author)2012-05-28

If you live in a place that gets cold, and you'll be leaving this outside, you may want to consider adding a clean-out that will allow you to drain leftover water from the assembly. I got a 90 degree elbow with a removable cap, and put it opposite my hose connection - hose at bottom left, clean-out at upper right. Now (if I remember to drain it!) this thing won't get busted by ice formation - like my first one!

drsteevo (author)2012-05-24

Thanks for this great instructable. My kids love it!

zaphodX (author)2012-02-16

I am totally sold on this idea.. looks a lot of fun and plan to do this in summer.

Has anybody put this together for 7 yr old kids?

My boy just doesn't want water, he wants something he can do while he is getting drenched.. like some sport/game or activity that involves more water.. He likes water guns, crazy sprinklers etc..

Are there any ideas on rigging this with additional fun-activity things on this toy?

wrksnfx (author)2011-11-07

I do agree with corporal punishment when a child misbehaves but, a belt is too excessive it can cause welts and even cause the skin to rupture and bleed which is then classified as abuse; I grew up in that same generation where if you got caught doing something by a neighbor the spanked you and then they called your parents and when you got home you got it again.

sokamiwohali (author)wrksnfx2011-11-07

i wouldnt personally use a belt. just my hand. i got much worse than a blet tho...i got spanked with racecar tracks for hotwheels, wooden spoons, the old school fly-swatters (u kno the ones with the wire) name it ive prolly been spanked by it.

oh and i wasnt directing the post at you btw. i was making a scenario. sorry if you thought that...i wrote it at 0200 in the morn where i

wrksnfx (author)sokamiwohali2011-11-14

No prob no offense taken.

OCLVig (author)2011-08-19

Great instructable! As far as "wasting water" goes; If I don't mind paying the bill, I'll use as much water as I want. Anybody remember playing in the sprinkler as a kid?... same thing. Just have fun and relax.

Valster (author)2011-08-17

That's why there are misters on it. It saves water. Far worse to turn on a hose, with or without a nozzle, to let the kids play.

mitchelt (author)2011-08-07

Awesome...easy to build and my little girl loved it! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful project with us.

akarabinis (author)2011-07-16

So I just built this for my girlfriend's kids and it seems the misters on the post farthest away from the connector to the hose are just squirting out a small stream of water and not a mist. Has anybody else encountered this problem? The kids will love it when they come home and I just want it finished in time. Thanks.

caitlinsdad (author)akarabinis2011-07-27

You may not have enough pressure built up in the main tube. Barring that the mister is not defective or adusted correctly, reduce the number of misters or block off one of the misters in the middle to spread the joy. The other option is to reduce the diameter of the pipe section to build up pressure at the end. Good luck.

bkenney (author)2011-07-20

CPVC is NOT TOXIC. CPVC is commonly used for hot and cold lines in homes. PVC should not be used for potable waters, but this project is not for drinking.

wrksnfx (author)bkenney2011-07-25

If cpvc is exposed long term to direct sunlight it can leech toxins and show me any kid when their outside and hot won't drink the water coming from it when going through it; remember our generation drank from pvc garden hoses......Maybe this why today's kids are so messed up.

miketherdaintx (author)2011-07-21

Awesome in all ways. Got it done in 10 minutes for 10 bucks. Son loves it. Perfect project for the summer. I have him play while I water the lawn.

mschillerny (author)2011-07-19

AWESOME! IM Thinking BIGGER, Great ideas here people!
I picked up a PVC ball valve to turn it off at the sight, and they have half circle, and full circle spinner nozzles by the same company I picked up at Lowes.

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Carl, I'm an engineer. I like to build things and solve problems. I like learning how other people build things and ... More »
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