This is a Water Pik handle. It began to leak out of the bottom of the handle. The solution is a new handle assembly, but it will be more than a few days before a new handle assembly will arrive in the mail. I want to make this one work. This Instructable will show how I did that, as well as discuss the solution to another frequent problem.
The main problem is that the white tubing between the base unit and the handle becomes brittle. I tried cutting it back to connect a new end. It soon cracked and broke, too.
Use a sharp screwdriver to pry apart the halves of the handle. Unfortunately, little alignment pins will break. They do not just pop out.
- Needle nose pliers with wire cutter
- Phillips and straight screwdrivers
- 1/8 inch I.D. plastic fish tank tubing
- Steel wire 0.025 inch in diameter
Step 1: New Tubing
The fish tank tubing I bought at a hardware store is a generous 1/8 inch internal diameter. The little plastic fitting is barely 1/8 inch outside diameter. I used some twisted wire to crimp the tubing tightly onto the fitting.
The wire is 0.025 inch in diameter. I tried to place the wire so it will crimp between ridges on the plastic fitting. That will keep the tube from sliding off. Twisting the wire too much could break the fitting, or cause the wire to snap. I used a needle nose pliers to twist the wire.
Also visible in the photo is the valve that shuts off water flow so you do not spray yourself and the room before you get the nozzle into your mouth. (The valve has a blue button operated by the user's thumb.) this valve is quite rugged. Under the blue button is a white plastic cylinder. The working part of the valve is two "O" rings that will last a long time. The valve is spring loaded.
Step 2: Assemble the Handle
I mentioned the little retaining pins break. I squeezed the two halves as tightly together as I could and wrapped them with white plastic electrical tape.
See the second photo. Notice the very small spring that pushes against the nozzle retainer. Be certain it slides into position between the two halves of the handle before taping.
I am doing this as a temporary fix until my new handle assembly arrives. If I had a more permanent fix in mind, I would make the hole for the tubing at the end of the handle larger.
Step 3: Bottom Attachment for the Hose
Remove the two Phillips head screws. The bottom hose connection plug slides in and seals with an "O" ring. If it is not fully seated, it will still seal. That is good because the new tubing is thicker than the original.
Remove the connection plug with your finger nails. Slide the end of the tubing onto the fitting, crimp it with twisted wire as before. Push the connection fitting back into its hole. Put the screws back into place. They may not seat fully unless you cut away some plastic near the end of the fitting for the end of the tubing. Mine did seat fully after a couple of days of pressure on the soft fish tank tubing reformed it a bit. I chose not to cut away any of the plastic base because this is a temporary fix.
Fill the reservoir with water and run the Water Pik for a couple of minutes at the pressure you normally use. Look for leaks, especially under the Water Pik. Position and tighten the twisted wires as needed to fix the leaking. If a leak develops later, check to see that the tubing if on its fitting as fully as possible and push it back into place.
Step 4: Make Room
The larger tubing will not allow the Water Pik to set flat on the counter. I made a couple of wood strips to elevate it just a little.
Step 5: Another Problem
The shut off button sometimes sticks after months of use. People suspect the valve is defective, but it is not. See the second photo. A brown crust begins to form between the blue button and the hole for it in the white handle half. This is some type of a growth. Pour some alcohol or strong mouthwash around the blue button and work it periodically to kill and flush away whatever is growing in there. That should keep it working freely.
Step 6: Finished
The tubing I bought at the hardware store does not coil up as neatly as the original tubing. But, my refurbished Water Pik should work for as long as I want to use it this way.