Tuesday, August 7, 2012

DIY Kids PVC Sprinker (aka Kid Wash)

It's bath night at the P&R house!

Like many, one of the things I love to do in my spare time is peruse pinterest.  I've spent many evenings clicking through picture after picture wasting away the minutes "pinning".  Mentally I've remodeled and redecorated my house, bought a whole new wardrobe and made every craft known to man 10 times over.  Its kinda therapeutic and feels oddly productive.  Don't ask me why because other than a recipe here or there I rarely put anything in action from my pinterest life into my real life.    

But this weekend in a fleeting moment of motivation the hubs and I actually crossed over and put a pinterest project into action.  

A while back I found a pin for a "kid wash".  The original idea came from an instructables post found here and here.  Basically it is a sprinkler made from PVC pipe.  Looked easy enough and seemed like a reasonable entry level pinterest project we could accomplish.  After running it by the boys we decided on the mister jet version and were off to the hardware store for supplies.   

What you will need:
2 - Ten foot long lengths of PVC (we actually used CPVC)
3 - end caps
1 - threaded female hose connector
2 - 90 degree elbow joints
2 - T connectors
1 - Pack spray jets
PVC Primer and Cement
(note: our PVC and connectors where all 3/4 inch)

We found all of our parts down the same aisle where they had all the sprinkler parts.  Your hardware store may be different.  Also make sure you are getting parts for the correct dimensions of your PVC.  I noticed our hardware store had parts for 1 inch and 3/4 inch PVC and they were all mixed together.  Make sure you don't buy 3/4 inch PVC and 1 inch connections.  It wont work out so well and then you will have some unhappy kiddos.

Next, cut your PVC pipe. You will need to cut as follows:
2 - 5 foot sections (these will be the sides of the sprinkler)
1 - 4 foot section (this is the top of the sprinkler)
4 -18 inch sections. (these make up the base of the sprinkler)
If you cut your pipe correctly, the two 10 foot pipes should give you exactly what you need.

After the pipe was cut the hubs filed down the edges to make sure there were no burs left behind to clog up our sprinkler once we had water running through it.  Since we went for the mister jet version we didn't want any particles of PVC clogging it up. Again, this would lead to unhappy kiddos.

Now its time to decide how many holes you want in your sprinkler.  We bought a pack of 10 spray jets so we decided to add three on each side and four on the top.  We measured for spacing but honestly I think you could eyeball this if you wanted to.  We went every 10 inches on the side and 9.5 on the top.

 Now drill the holes.  We used a drill bit slightly smaller than our spray jets.  We also found it easier to drill the holes if we scored the PVC with the file first, just to give the drill bit a little something to grab onto.  It may also be easier to lay the pipe on the ground.

Add the spray jets.  Our spray jets were threaded and we did not prime or glue them in.  Just simply screwed them into the openings.  Hubs did have to use gloves for this part because it was a tight fight.  Make sure all your spray jets are facing the same direction. 

 Time to put it all together!  Don't worry, this part goes fast.  First, prime all your connections. 

Assemble the base first.  Take a T joint run PVC glue along the insides of the two parallel openings and insert an 18 inch piece on either side.  Repeat with the other T joint.  You should have an open connection on top like this:

Now add your caps and female hose connector to the open ends of the pipe.

Glue the 5 foot sections into the opening of each T joint on the base pieces.  Make sure your spray jets are facing so they will spray towards the inside of the sprinkler.

Prime your elbow joints.  Glue one to the top of each side section and add the 4 foot top piece.  Again, check your spray jets. They should face so they will spray downward. 

 Now comes the hard part, waiting for the PVC glue to cure.  The directions on our box said 15 minutes to handle and 2 hours to completely cure.  TWO HOURS!?!  The boys were crushed.  So after about 20 minutes we "tested the waters" (ha!) and let her rip....
 Success!  No leaks, no blowouts, no spray jets flying off and taking someones eye out.  Now I'm not recommending you go against the PVC glue gods and tempt your own fate by not letting it completely cure, I'm just saying it worked for us. 

(Hopefully this was easy to follow, my apologies if it wasn't.  I'd go read the instructables posts if you got lost.  They seem like they are professionals.  This is my first tutorial.  Be nice. :) )

The boys have really enjoyed this so far.  The only problem I can see with this is storage.  Since it's glued together there isn't really an option of disassembly over the winter.  And at 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide its no small potato.  But even if it doesn't make it to next season this was so easy to put together and didn't cost us more than $25 so a rebuild wouldn't be a big deal. 

So one successful pinterest project in the books, only 1,469 more to go :)

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