I am sitting here at Panera (yes…again…I know, I should go to work some) looking out at the dark rain clouds rolling in and wishing that we would get a bunch more days of nice weather. I have always loved Summer. I sort of dread the coming of Winter and Fall.
I was thinking about some of the things that I love about Summer and water rockets came to mind. I think it sort of mixes water, heat, adventure, a little danger and an explosion of sorts. How can I not love it?!
When we lived in TN, we decided to make a water rocket to keep us all cool and give the kids something to chase. You see, a water rocket shoots water all over the place and anyone nearby gets soaked. It also launches pretty high up in the air and someone has to go and recover the fuselage.
So, what is a water rocket you ask? Simple…it’s a 2 liter bottle with 3 inches of water in it. Add some compressed air and off she goes! I glued some pvc pipes together in an “L” shape and added a bicycle valve and stem to the back (drill a hold in a pvc cap and insert the stem…seal with silicone). All you do is put 2-4 inches of water into a 2 liter bottle and carefully hold it upside down on the open end of the pvc pipe. Add compressed air via the tire valve at the other end and you’re in business. As the air builds, the water starts to leak signalling that it’s time to let go!
By not making too tight of a fit between the bottle and the pvc (some people suggest a tight fit but that’s more dangerous), you run very little risk of having anything explode. I added some duct tape to the tip of the pipe to make is a snug (but by no means tight) fit between the pipe and the bottle. Air will leak before pressure will build up too high.
Of course, the bottle flying off the end of the pipe could be dangerous so make sure it points upward and not at anyone/thing. Other than that, a water rocket is an absolute blast and something kids and adults will enjoy. As Winter sets in, consider the design of your water rocket for next Summer. It will be worth the wait!