Introduction: Sprinkler Valve Modification for Air Cannon

In this video I'll show you a simple way to modify a sprinkler valve for use in an air cannon / spud gun.  This modification will allow your valve to open much faster than normal, providing you with more power.

Comments

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JuggleMania made it! (author)2017-05-10

This clear explanation worked for me. Now my teddybear cannon shoots 30% further than when I was using a manually turned ball valve. Thanks!

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sgfidlin (author)2013-09-04

Would this sprinkler valve work for this modification?

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rickosgood (author)sgfidlin2013-09-04

I've never tried it before but it doesn't look like there's a good reason why it can't work. It looks like you might have the same valve as the guy in this other instructable. He shows how to modify this type of valve for the same effect as my own instructable:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Build-A-Net-Gun/step4/Build-The-Trigger-Valve-Assembly/

author
sgfidlin (author)rickosgood2013-09-05

I don't know because it has some gears in the top section.

author
rickosgood (author)sgfidlin2013-09-05

If the gears are in the top section then it seems like you might be out of luck with this particular valve. Can you figure out what the gears actually do? Sometimes it helps if you can figure out exactly how the valve works.

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sgfidlin (author)rickosgood2013-09-04

Okay thanks!

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humbao (author)2013-08-21

Hi I looked into the orbit sprinkler valve ~$12 home depot. But I also saw a Orbit Jar Top valve which is cheaper($10) and seems like it would be even easier to modify.

Does removing the valve trigger from Jar Top and attaching a nipple and air gun handle work?

Thanks.

author
rickosgood (author)humbao2013-08-21

Unfortunately I've never tried to use one so I can't say for sure. However this Net Gun instructable seems to modify the exact same valve you are looking at just like I modified mine:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Build-A-Net-Gun/step4/Build-The-Trigger-Valve-Assembly/

Hopefully that will give you the info you need!

author
Spenceravery (author)2013-07-31

I am using the white standard Teflon tape.

author
rickosgood (author)Spenceravery2013-07-31

I'm going to guess that's the problem. I used to always try to use the white stuff for air cannon projects but I would almost always have leaks. Sometimes using a LOT of white tape would help but many times I'd still have small leaks. The yellow stuff really does seem to work better for gas projects. It's probably extra important for metal fittings. Plastic is a bit softer and you might be able to tighten them so tight that they close up some of the leaks. Metal isn't going to allow you to do that as much so it's really important that the sealing tape works properly.

author
Spenceravery (author)2013-07-31

The part at the top is where it leaks. I used the same air gun tool, and the same 1/4" brass nipple, and the sprinkler valve doesn't leak.

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rickosgood (author)Spenceravery2013-07-31

Oh I think I understand now. It leaks between the 1/4" nipple and the air gun, not between the valve and the nipple. Are you using the correct type of Teflon tape? There is a type that is designed for water and a type that is designed for gas. The water kind is usually white and the gas kind is usually yellow. The gas kind is more expensive but I have found that using the white kind with compressed air usually results in leaks. When I switched to the yellow stuff it worked MUCH better and I had no leaks. Are you using the correct kind of Teflon tape? It looks like the white tape in your photo but it could just be the colors are off from the camera settings.

author
Spenceravery (author)2013-07-30

I used the same blow gun tool as u, and the part at the air gun meets the brass fitting leaks. I had to use silicone, the Teflon tape didn't do it.

author
rickosgood (author)Spenceravery2013-07-30

It must have not been a tight enough fit for some reason. Maybe the hole wasn't perfectly round. The silicone should work though. Epoxy will work too and it should make an even stronger seal than the silicone.

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