Trigger sprayers or commonly known as spray bottles are quite useful tiny machines that are a complete demonstration of plumbing principles. Have a look at any sprayer bottle head and you notice that it is made of just a few parts. The most important part is the trigger lever which has a significant role of activating a small pump. This tiny pump is attached to a smart plastic tube which works to draw cleaning liquid or other fluid from the bottom section of the reservoir. The pump plays the central role of forcing the liquid to ensure that it comes down the narrow barrel and through the hole present just at the gun muzzle. This nozzle or the hole, as commonly referred to serves as the focus to flowing liquid, helping it form concentrated stream.
There is just one complex portion in the design of trigger is the fluid pump. The moving element in the sprayer is the piston which is placed just inside this cylinder. If you take a look inside and see the cylinder, you will notice a tiny spring. To operate this pump, the trigger needs to be pulled back. This movement in turn pushes the piston fast into the cylinder. The piston which is now moving works to compress the spring. As the trigger is released, this piston automatically gets pushed back and out of the cylinder. Thus, these two important strokes by the piston, into and out of the cylinder is the main constitution of the pump cycle.
With the down-stroke movement of the piston, the total area of the cylinder shrinks that forces the liquid to come out of pump. With the up-stroke movement the cylinder area starts to expand, which means more fluid is sucked into the pump. In any spray bottle, the cleaning fluid is normally sucked from the reservoir located below and is forced to come out from the barrel located above. To ensure that the fluid is moving smoothly in the trigger sprayer, the pump should be able to force the liquid upwards. If it forces the liquid into the reservoir, this is not going to work. It can be said that the fluid inside has to move just in one direction through the pump for its effective working.
The above mechanism is made possible with a small device fitted inside trigger sprayers – it is the valve. Any trigger spray bottle has two, one way valves. These are present in the pumping system. One valve is present between the reservoir and pump and is made up of a small rubber ball which rests comfortably inside a small sealed compartment. There is another valve which rests between the pump and nozzle. The valve which rests between the pump and reservoir has its sides well sealed in an angle, to ensure that the ball does not fall.
A lot depends on the design of the trigger sprayer. Depending on this design, a tiny spring or the gravity helps in holding this ball against the seal. This is important so that when the user is not pumping, the water passageway is smartly blocked. As the piston will move out with the release of the trigger, the expanded area will suck the fluid. This will pull the ball out of its seal. As the ball is removed from the seal, the fluid freely flows out from the reservoir. As the spray trigger is squeezed, the outside force of moving fluid again pushes the ball and blocking the water passageway. This pressurized fluid gets pushed inside the barrel.
Role of Valves
Valves have important role to play in the entire mechanism. These act as a shut off system too. As the nozzle piece is screwed in, the valve cup is pushed quite tightly against the barrel. This means liquid cannot be forced out. As the nozzle piece is loosened, the valve cup gets enough room to move forwards and backwards.
What Happens When the Trigger Sprayer Is First Used
When the trigger sprayer is used for the first time, the trigger needs to be squeezed a few times which helps in spraying the cleaning fluid. If there is a delay in flow, it means that something is wrongly done. A down-stroke has been set for the gun, instead of an upstroke. As the trigger is pulled back for the first time, the piston is pushed in but there is no fluid to be pumped out. The cylinder chamber has just air in it. The piston has to slide so that fluid is sucked out from reservoir.
With the first up-stroke, the pumps begin to suck the liquid from where it is stored in the reservoir. However, it not just sucks the liquid, it sucks the air also which is in the plastic tube. Before using the spray, you will have to drive the air using the pump mechanism. This might involve a few upstrokes and down-strokes.
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