KidWash 2 : PVC Sprinkler Water Toy




About: 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 solve problems. I like to laugh, and look for the humor in any situation. I...

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

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Step 1: 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

You need:

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

Step 3: 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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188 Discussions


Question 3 months ago

Can the top bar with the jets in it be threaded vs. glued to the corner elbows to allow the unit to be taken apart for easier storage?


2 years ago

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.


3 years ago

Thanks! Kids had a blast.


3 years ago

great shower, or push bike wash. brilliant.


3 years ago

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


4 years ago on Introduction

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!


5 years ago

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.


5 years ago on Introduction

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

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

6 years ago on Introduction

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

1 reply
StriderNLnet normy

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

I had to order them direct from the manufacturer.


6 years ago on Introduction

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.


6 years ago on Introduction

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.


6 years ago on Introduction

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


8 years ago on Step 2

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.

1 reply

7 years ago on Introduction

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.


7 years ago on Introduction

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.


7 years ago on Introduction

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.