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The 4th of July has come and gone and my neighborhood, like many, celebrated our Nation's independence with a cookout, fireworks and, of course, a huge water balloon war! We spent hours dragging multiple hoses around, picking them up, filling a balloon, putting them down, tying a balloon, repeat. Water everywhere as you try to stop the flow and the hose goes off on its own. All this for a 5 minute battle.

I knew there had to be a better way so I sketched out this little beauty which allows 4 people to fill at the same time, from the same hose and from a stable platform. It is sized to be used while sitting in a typical lawn chair, which also happens to be a nice height for the smaller kids to stand at a station and help or just play in the water.

Cost for the basic stand was less than $20, I added some optional features which added another $12. It took about 90 minutes to make all the cuts and glue it up.

Ready? Let's get to it!

Step 1: Parts List

All the parts listed below came from my local Lowes so those are the numbers listed. These are very generic PVC parts and can be picked up at any home improvement store.

1 - Apollo 3/4" PVC drip irrigation female adapter, #194629 - $1.81 ea

4 - Apollo 3/4" PVC drip irrigation male adapter, #194636 - $1.48 ea

1 - American Valve 3/4 socket in-line ball valve, #21485 - $3.17 ea

2 - Lasco 3/4" 90 degree elbow, #23868 - $0.29 ea

3 - Lasco 3/4" end cap, #23896 - $0.46 ea

6 - Lasco 3/4" tee, #23874 - $0.47 ea

1 - Charlotte Pipe 3/4x10' pipe, #23971 - $1.69 ea

Total $17.37

Step 2: Cut List

Take the 10' length of 3/4" PVC and cut it into the following pieces:

2 ea 24" legs

1 ea 22" center bar

3 ea 9" leg base

1 ea 5" leg base

9 ea 1-1/2" connectors

All the parts should look something like this once the cutting is done.

Step 3: Assembly

Now that all the pieces are cut and ready, time to put it together. This really is not a tutorial in how to assemble PVC parts, but it isn't that hard to do. Because this project will hold water, I will prime the material; if this was a dry project I probably would not. Glue the pieces in a well ventilated area. Also, it is a good idea to dry fit the pieces prior to gluing them up to ensure nothing is missing.

The cutaway pictures show where the components go. To paraphrase the great Dr. Emmett Brown, 'Please excuse the crudity of this drawing. It was my first time using SketchUp.'

I found it helpful to construct the tee assemblies with the male drip adapters first, then connect two of them together with the 1-1/2" pieces at a comfortable angle to put on a balloon. Mine are about 35 degrees down from horizontal.

Next I connected the angled assemblies to the 22" center bar, being sure to line them up with each other, then glued the top assembly to the leg assemblies. Be sure to use the 5" base piece on the same side as the in-line valve and the female hose adapter, that will make up the length and all the leg bases will be the same size.

Step 4: Fill Valves

Once all the cement has dried you are ready to attach the fill valves and give it a try. Earlier I said I added some optional features, here they are. You can use the plastic filler nozzles that come with almost every package of water balloons, (the ones with the built in valve) but I know my neighbors and how much use this will get, I chose to upgrade to metal components. These items both came from Menards, but again, you can find them in the garden section of most home improvement or department stores. I felt the added durability was worth it, plus they look really cool!

Step 5: Summary

Thanks for taking the time to look over my project. This is an easy build if you stick to the cut list , build assemblies and join the assemblies. I welcome any feedback or suggestions. This is my first of what I hope to be many Instructables. Don't forget to vote if you feel it makes a splash!

Enjoy!

<p>Independence Day update. We filled right at 1,000 water balloons in just over 2 hours with this device for our neighborhood cookout this year!!</p>
This is great. I added a ball valve in the opposite leg to help flush and drain.
<p>The second ball valve is a great modification!! You could also put another male hose connector on the end of the extra valve and daisy-chain a couple of the fill stations for a really big balloon fight! Thanks!</p>
wish i had one if these as a kid.
<p>Hmm this gives me an idea. How well do you think this would work if this was scaled up to make a sort of car port that I could pull my car into, and have the nozzles directed at the car so I could rinse it clean of the road grime and salt after the daily commute?</p>
<p>Nice idea but I think if you wanted it big enough to wash down a car you would need more nozzles which would require more pressure than a garden hose attached to the house. With all 4 nozzle on this open the pressure drops significantly. Still plenty to fill water balloons but not enough to clean a vehicle.</p>
This is perfect!
<p>This is excellent! The small nozzle makes it so much more functional. :D</p>
<p>Thank you! The durability factor went way up too. I plan on getting years of use out of it.</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: I retired from the USAF in 2005 and now work for a local government as a project manager. I live in a fantastic neighborhood that ... More »
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