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Internal Leak Repair

Written by Silence
Last updated on 2008-01-03

Leaking is a common problem in commercial water guns. Generally, these leaks are the result of cracks or tiny holes in the hard plastic tubing within the soaker, and they are easily repaired.

Locating the leak

In order to access the internals, you must open the water gun. The next step is to identify the source of the leak.

In rare cases, a large crack is immediately noticeable. However, one must often use more complicated techniques to find the leak, especially if the source is a diminutive hole. Both methods silhouette water against air or vice versa to increase visibility.

Pumping the water gun

The most convenient method for identifying the source of a leak involves pumping the water gun normally. After pressurization, if there is a leak within the tubing, a tiny stream of water will shoot from the opening. If a stream is not visible, turn the water gun upside down to make sure the leak is not near the top of the tubing, where only air will escape otherwise. If the water gun is upside down, then water will escape and the leak will be visible.

Still, the conventional method for detecting leaks often does not work if the leak is hidden from view, if it is too small to notice, or if it sprays water directly along a surface (in which case the exact position of the leak cannot be determined).

Submerging an air-filled water gun

The second method, while not always as precise as the first, is more reliable because the leak can nearly always be traced.

To use air to locate the leak, empty the water gun's reservoir and pressure chamber(s), then pump air to generate pressure without water. Submerge the water gun in large body of water - large sinks, tubs, or natural water sources are suitable. If there is a leak, a stream of bubbles will originate from the leak and rise to the surface. If the water gun has separate pressure chambers, pumping slowly while submerged is also effective.

This procedure is nearly foolproof because a distinct, visible trail of bubbles will rise to the surface. However, it naturally is inconvenient because a large body of water is necessary. The easiest way to identify a leak is to perform the second procedure only if the first one fails. If no bubbles are observable when an empty water gun is submerged, then it's likely that an entirely different problem exists.

Note: Submerging the water gun is the only option in a few other instances as well. For example, in pressurized-reservoir water guns, air is pumped into a tank of water, and there are some sections of tubing that do not hold water in the first place.

Sealing the leak

The most durable method of repair involves epoxy glue or other cements that adhere well to plastic. For small holes, a dab of epoxy, perhaps reinforced with duct tape wrapped around the tube, will easily suffice. However, for larger cracks and fissures, check out our cracked plastic repair page.

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