The bigger, the better, right? Not quite. Sure soakers like the CPS 3000 or Monster XL are awesome sights on the waterwar field, but if one can't move well with it, one might as well be standing still with a sign saying "Squirt Me! I'm helpless!" One must choose the blaster one feels most comfortable when using. Also, certain blasters are better suited for different styles of playing. For all-out-squirtfests, something that holds a good amount of water, can be refilled quickly, and is easy to run with will perform very well. Range is not as important since one tends to do more close-combat squirting. For sneak attacks, a weapon with good range is more important than water capacity.
Though simple to do, one should avoid emptying the entire firing chamber of your blaster in one long shot. Short bursts tend to be more effective at drenching a moving target. As well, short bursts conserve water consumption hence increase the duration one may remain on the field before returning to base to refill. Of course, in certain situations, a full payload shot may be worth the price in water, but for the most part, should be avoided.
If the weapon one is using has more than one nozzle setting, one should be familiar with the advantages of each. Larger nozzles can soak a foe faster but also drains one's resources quickly. If the blaster is one's own, one may consider writing numbers on the top of each nozzle such that one does not need to look at the front of the blaster, only at the top, to know what nozzle it is set at. A good, black, waterproof marker works well for labelling.
:: Tips for Care and Maintenance
DISCLAIMER: iSoaker.com takes no responsibility for the following care and maintainance suggestions. iSoaker.com cannot be held liable for any damage or injury to personal property, self, and/or others. Use at your own discretion.
General Care Tips
When the battle is over, as Larami Limited suggests, definitely empty all water and depressurize the blasters when not in use. This prevents the build up of "buggies" (i.e. mildew) as well as prolonging the life of the firing mechanism. Most models can be drained by pulling the trigger and continuing to pump while the trigger is depressed to empty the tubes within the recesses of the blaster. Caps (if applicable) or water reservoirs should be left unscrewed to allow the main tank(s) to dry. Once dry, the caps or water reservoirs can be reattached to prevent their loss and to prevent dust from entering.
The blasters should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent the blasters from warping due to heat. (They're only plastic, y'know.) It is also recommendable to do a couple of dry shots to try and empty any remaining water from the firing chamber.
If possible, weaponry should be stored with their nozzles angled towards the ground. This allows any residual water to collect around the nozzle and can be expelled by doing a dry shot at a later point in time.
Here, at iSoaker.com, all weaponry with straps are hung from plastic hangers. Other weaponry are stored on top of a towel resting on their nozzle and handle such that they point downward. After use, the blaster is drained then dry-shot a few times. Once done, the blaster is placed in its resting position overnight, then dry-shot a few more times to remove the excess water. Completely dry blasters which are not likely to see use for awhile are stored in plastic-sealed bins to prevent dust from gathering.
The best way to keep a blaster in its best overall form is to clean off dirt quickly, ensure that only clean, clear water is used in the reservoir and to completely empty the blaster when not in use. Preventing mildew and mold growth is overall much easier to do than to attempt to clean a blaster.
Cleaning (Non-CPS Blasters)
Despite one's best efforts, mildew may still end up growing, especially if one's storage space is not cool and dry. For all non-CPS blasters, warm, soapy water can be used to help clean out one's water reservoir. If the mildew/mold is really bad, a dilute bleach solution can be used. It is, however, not recommended to pump the bleach solution through the firing chamber as this part is more susceptible to chemical damage. Once the reservoir is clean, it should be flushed thoroughly with water until no bleach can be smelled on the plastic (this can take a lot of water so only use bleach if ABSOLUTELY necessary).
A dilute soap solution can be used if one suspects one's firing chamber is contaminated. Note that this part of the blaster should not be worried about too much as it is usually not exposed to open air. To clean, pump up the firing chamber with dilute soapy water, shake, then fire. Repeat twice. Then rinse with a lot of water. Continue to rinse until the water coming out has no trace of soap.
Cleaning (CPS-Based Blasters)
Since the CPS-firing chamber is made of a rubber-compound, cleaning solutions used should take this into consideration. For the plastic water reservoirs on most CPS-based weaponry, a warm, dilute soapy solution can be used to flush out residual dirt. If mildew/mold is growing, a dilute solution of vinegar can be used as well as soap to help coax the mildew/mold off the plastic.
If the CPS-based firing chamber is contaminated, use only very dilute soap solutions for trying to clean. Using bleach, concentrated soap or vinegar will react with the rubber to make it more brittle and more likely to rupture when pressurized with water. To clean, pump up the firing chamber with the dilute, soapy water, shake, then fire. Repeat until clean, then repeat using clean, clear water until all trace of soap has been removed.
Posted: 19990622 | Page Last Updated: 20040115