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The Water Balloon Launcher - Ball Valve uses a simple 1/4 turn ball-valve to release a chamber of pressurized air to propel a water balloon at high velocity. It consists of a pressure chamber, a valve, and a launch tube.

Later versions will include an in-line version (the launch tube and pressure chamber run parallel) along with a sprinkler solenoid version.

SAFETY NOTE: Do NOT use DWV pipe or fittings (Drainage, Waste, Vent) or any pipe not pressure rated. Use ONLY schedule 40 or greater pressure-rated PVC pipe. DWV is NOT made to be pressurized.

The following guide explains how to identify pressure rated pipe and fittings http://www.spudfiles.com/spud_wiki/index.php?title=Identifying_Pressure_Rated_PVC#Identifying_Pressure_Rated_PVC_By_Text

Step 1: Parts List

To build your Ball Valve Water Balloon Launcher you'll need the following parts or constructed items:

1 - 3" Water Balloon Launch Tube or 4" Water Balloon Launch Tube
1 - Pressure Chamber
1 - 1" PVC ball-valve(TxT)

Both types of Launch Tubes and Pressure Chamber will be shown how to build at the end of this instructable.

Either the 3" or 4" Water Balloon Launch Tube can be used. It all depends on the size of the water balloon you want to use.

Step 2: Construction

1. Construct the Pressure Chamber.

2. Construct the 3" Water Balloon Launch Tube or 4" Water Balloon Launch Tube.

3. Screw the Pressure Chamber into the 1" PVC ball valve. Screw the 3" Water Balloon Launch Tube or 4" Water Balloon Launch Tube into the other end of the ball valve.

4. Your Ball Valve Water Balloon Launcher is complete.

Follow the next steps to construct the Pressure Chamber and a 3" Water Balloon Launch Tube or 4" Water Balloon Launch Tube.

Step 3: Operating Procedures

1. Make sure the ball valve is closed. Pressurize the Pressure Chamber to no more than 50 PSI.

2. Make a water balloon slightly smaller than then inside diameter of the launch tube. Fill the launch tube with 1 quart of water. Gently drop the water balloon into the launch tube.

3. Tilt the Water Balloon launcher at a 45 degree angle with the bottom of the Pressure Chamber held firmly against the ground.

4. Quickly twist open the ball valve.

Step 4: Pressure Chamber - Parts List

To construct the Pressure Chamber, you'll need the following quantity of items:

Qty Item
--- ----------------------
1 - 3" end cap
1 - 3" x 2" reducer (SxS)
1 - 2" x 1" bushing (SxS)
1 - 1" male adapter (SxMips)
1 - 1 1/2" section of 1" sched 40 PVC
3' - 3" schedule 40 PVC
1 - Pressure gauge
1 - Air valve or 1/8" male NPT air tank valve
1 - pressure cut-off valve

Step 5: Pressure Chamber - Construction Step 1

Using PVC cement, cement the 3" end cap onto one end of the 3' section of 3" PVC pipe. Allow at least 6 hours to dry.

Step 6: Pressure Chamber - Construction Step 2

Cement the 2" x 1" bushing into the 2" end of the 3" x 2" reducer.

Step 7: Pressure Chamber - Construction Step 3

Cement the 1 1/" piece 1" PVC pipe half-way into the 1" end of the 2" x 1" bushing.

Step 8: Pressure Chamber - Construction Step 4

Cement the 1" male adapter onto the remaining end of the 1 1/2" piece of 1" PVC sticking out of the bushing.

Step 9: Pressure Chamber - Construction Step 5

Through the end cap and wall of the pressure chamber drill three holes, one for the pressure gauge, the air valve, and the pressure cut-off valve, all within a quarter arc of each other. Drill these holes slightly smaller than the threads on each. The pressure gauge, air valve, and pressure cut-off valve used might be different in size than the ones pictured. Find the right size drill bit for the parts on hand.

Step 10: Pressure Chamber - Construction Step 6

Wrap the threads of the pressure gauge, air valve, and pressure cut-off valve with Teflon tape and snugly screw each into the appropriate hole.

Step 11: Pressure Chamber - Construction Step 7

Cement the part created from steps 6 through 8 on the remaining end of the 3" PVC pipe. Let dry overnight.

Step 12: Pressure Chamber - Completed

Completed Pressure Chamber.

Step 13: 3" Water Balloon Launch Tube - Parts List

The Water Balloon 3" Launch Tube can be used for all variations of the Water Balloon Launchers. This variation is takes smaller water balloons than the 4 inch version but materials to build the 3 inch are much more common so it might be more practical to build this one.

Qty Item
--- ---------------------------------
1 - 3" x 2" reducer (SxS)
1 - 2" x 1" bushing (SxS)
1 - 1" male adapter (SxMips)
1 - 1 1/2" section of 1" sched 40 PVC
3' - 3" sched 40 PVC

Step 14: 3" Water Balloon Launch Tube - Construction Step 1

Cement the 2" x 1" bushing into the 2" end of the 3" x 2" reducer.

Step 15: 3" Water Balloon Launch Tube - Construction Step 2

Cement the 1 1/2" piece of 1" PVC pipe into the 1" end of the 2" x 1" bushing.

Step 16: 3" Water Balloon Launch Tube - Construction Step 3

Cement the 1" male adapter onto the remaining end of the 1 1/2" piece of 1" PVC sticking of the bushing.

Step 17: 3" Water Balloon Launch Tube - Construction Step 4

Cement the part created from steps 14 through 16 on one end of the 3" PVC pipe. Let dry overnight.

Step 18: 3" Water Balloon Launch Tube - Completed

The completed 3" Water Balloon Launch Tube.

Step 19: 4" Water Balloon Launch Tube - Parts List

The 4" Water Balloon Launch Tube can be used for all variations of the Water Balloon Launchers. This is the preferred launch tube for launching water balloons because the wide tube will hold bigger water balloons.

Qty Item
--- ---------------------------------
1 - 4" x 2" reducer (SxS)
1 - 2" x 1" bushing (SxS)
1 - 1" male adapter (SxMips)
1 - 1 1/2" section of 1" sched 40 PVC
3' - 4" sched 40 PVC

Step 20: 4" Water Balloon Launch Tube - Construction Step 1

Cement the 2" x 1" bushing into the 2" end of the 4" x 2" reducer

Step 21: 4" Water Balloon Launch Tube - Construction Step 2

Cement the 1 1/2" piece of 1" PVC pipe into the 1" end of the 2" x 1" bushing

Step 22: 4" Water Balloon Launch Tube - Construction Step 3

Cement the 1" male adapter onto the remaining end of the 1 1/2" piece of 1" PVC sticking of the bushing.

Step 23: 4" Water Balloon Launch Tube - Construction Step 4

Cement the part created from steps 20 through 22 on one end of the 4" PVC pipe. Let dry overnight.

Step 24: 4" Water Balloon Launch Tube - Completed

The completed 4" Water Balloon Launch Tube.
<p>This is not spam, but a warning. PVC will fail suddenly after a while. This was band member that hurt badly by a T-Shirt launcher explosion.</p><p>See the pictures and never use PVC to hold air, Please.</p><p><a href="https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/1Zs3c" rel="nofollow">https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/1Zs3c</a><br>..</p>
<p>I love stuff like this! It's so much fun to put together and then go have a blast. Whenever I'm fixing things or putting things together I make sure I can get all the right stuff from &lt;a href='http://www.fittingsinc.com' &gt;http://www.fittingsinc.com&lt;/a&gt;. </p>
does the pressure chamber have to be that big ?<br>
could anyone tell my where the hell getting this damned pvc pipes from? i don`t find any internet site that sells em ... thx
I've purchased all my PVC pipe at either Home Depot or Lowes. Usually they'll both have everything except the 4&quot; pipe. Usually one of them will have it but other than that, I bought everything I needed from them.
thx, but i'm from germany, and in our home depots you just don't find any valves... so i asked for an internet adress ... but okay, thx for the fast answer ... mayhaps you can search for me i don't know where to find ....
In the UK I don't think they even sell it so I am having the same problem as you yet they sell DWV pipe at all the DIY stores and trade outlets...
yeah i found some in a web shop ... in germany they're very expensive, so it costs c.a. 130 dollars but it can hold c.a. 232 psi ...!
Oops, sorry about that :)<br> <br> Doing I quick search I found the following:<br> PVC Pipe<br> <a href="http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=23979&clickid=redirect" rel="nofollow">http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=23979&amp;clickid=redirect </a><br> <br> PVC Fittings<br> <a href="http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/default.aspx?catid=726&parentcatid=728" rel="nofollow">http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/default.aspx?catid=726&amp;parentcatid=728 </a><br> <br> or this place seems to have it all:<br> <a href="http://www.plumbingsupply.com/pvc.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.plumbingsupply.com/pvc.html</a>
i want to shoot this from my<a href="http://www.bathsfromthepast.com"> Clawfoot Tub Shower Kit </a> so i dont get everything soaked. i agree, get some video so we can see how well it works!
Ok, I'll do my best to get some video this weekend :)
So, about how expensive would this gun be?<br />
!!! <strong>Please don't use DWV pipe and fittings</strong>. If they are pressurized then get bumped or knocked It just becomes a pipe bomb!<br/><br/>Other than that glaring safety omission, this is an excellent Instructable. Easy to follow, effective, a great introduction to air cannons.<br/>I'd be happy to give you 5* if you can add little about pressure rated pipe. :)<br/>
Thanks for the reminder Biopyro. This info actually came from a larger ebook I created which has the warnings but I neglected to add it yesterday. It's now been added to the intro.
Just because it's schedule 40 doesn't make it pressure rated, you need to look for NSF-PW. . Have a look at this page, which makes it easy to check. Identifying Pressure rate pipe. Also a video of it in action would be awesome!
Again, thanks for the heads up Biopyro. Content has been updated. The link didn't come through on your comment for some reason but I found a link to pressure rated pipe information and included it in the introduction. I'll work on getting a video shot and uploaded :)
sooooo about that video...<br />
Awesome, that was the exact link I was thinking of! Congratulations on a great instructable :)
How far can this gun shoot
very nice, i had made one before but it was more of a mortar with a base and all. Whats the point of the cut-of valve?
The pressure cut-off valve is used to release pressure in the pressure chamber automatically if it gets above a certain value so that the pressure chamber can't be over-pressurized.
Looks Nice, I would love to see a video with it but besides that great instructable! Thanks

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