This page describes how to take apart super soakers, how to repair common breakages, and how to put them back together. Though we've had excellent results, restoring guns to close to their original specifications, we can't take responsibility for anything you do to your gun. We wouldn't take a gun apart unless it was broken either. Simply disassembling your gun probably voids its warranty too.

All of the discussion is solely focused on repairing; we will not discuss how to "modify" your gun to perform differently. Why? Well, the tank of a modified XP exploded in someone's face... Not a pleasant experience. We're pretty hard core, and we don't see any need to mess with the designs that Larami makes-- they work great!

Simple cosmetic damage

If your gun still operates fine but there's something cosmetically broken (i.e., the loop that the neck strap attaches to broke off), it's easy to glue back on. Begin by cleaning the surface if necessary. Then, get some coarse sandpaper and rough up the area. Glue will not bond to smooth plastic surfaces. Then, break out your favorite kind of epoxy (a special "made for plastc" waterproof epoxy is available for a couple bucks at Sears). Apply liberally and let it sit for the recommended curing time (24 hours for our favorite variety.) It's really worth your effort to buy good epoxy. Don't borrow your buddy's old general purpose hobbiest epoxy-- get the waterproof epoxy made for plastic.

Taking it Apart

To fix or dissect a supersoaker, you'll have to get at its guts. Most super soakers have similar constructions: two plastic halves which are attached with screws and occasionally glue. There will sometimes be large plastic O shaped pieces which also hold the two halves together.

  1. Begin by examining your gun. Try to see how it's assembled. Plan your approach!
  2. Take out all the screws with a small screwdriver. We've used a set of jewler's screwdrivers-- the largest phillips of our set works *perfectly*. Most of the screws are of the same size so it doesn't matter which goes where but beware of the occasional exception.
  3. Gently probe the two plastic halves. Where are they still connected? Older guns are often glued together, but fortunately the glue is very brittle and breaks easily. Take a very thin standard screwdriver or a knife blade and gently and gradually pry the two halves apart. Take your time and don't force it.
  4. Remove the pump by unscrewing the round plastic cover where the pump rod enters the body of the gun. Every gun we've seen has an easily removable cover here that can simply be unscrewed.
  5. The nozzle of the gun is probably also preventing you from separating the two halves. Depending on the model, it may be dismantled by simply unscrewing the nozzle followed by unscrewing the nozzle's O piece (XP75), or by gently pulling the two halves apart while gently prying the plastic O piece (which was just "snapped" into place) from the nozzle (XP70). On some models, the plastic O piece is glued on, so you're left with no choice but to forcibly rotate the piece to break the glue's bond (XP40). If you have to forcibly remove the plastic O ring, make sure you don't damage the nozzle itself, only the O ring. The O ring can usually be discarded.

To put the gun back together, just screw everything back together and replace the plastic O rings (if possible). Don't wory about glue-- the guns don't really need glue to stay together.

What's inside?

Most of the models follow the same pattern. There's a pump, reservoirs, a nozzle, and tubing to connect them all. A metal rod extends from the nozzle. When it is pulled back, the nozzle opens and the gun fires. However, the metal rod is spring-loaded, so when the rod isn't actively being pulled back (via the trigger), the valve closes and the gun stops firing.

The XP-40 is very simple and effective. Pulling the trigger causes the large single piece of orangish-red plastic to pull back, which also pulls back the valve rod.
The XP-70's trigger mechanism is essentially the same as the XP-40's. The trigger is attached to the bluish-green plastic piece which is also attached to the valve rod.
The XP-75's design is different from the 40 and 70's, and is, in our opinion, quite inferior. The trigger is not formed from a single piece of sturdy plastic, but rather is attached through several rods. While "cute", it breaks easily (see below.)

Fixing Problems

Firing valve stuck open

One problem we've encountered is when the gun is stuck in the "firing" mode. This is caused by the spring in the valve assembly not drawing the metal valve rod back into the assembly completely, thus leaving the valve open. It can be easily "patched" by using a small rubber band. Attach the rubber band as shown (this is an XP-70 but a similar technique could be adapted for other designs). The rubber band helps push the valve rod back forward. It's not a permenant fix, but it's simple and cheap, and can always be done again when the rubber band breaks or slips off.

Adding a rubber band at the indicated location can fix a gun that can not stop firing by helping push the valve rod back into the valve assembly, closing the valve.

Trigger doesn't fire gun

The XP75's complex and awkward firing mechansim is prone to breakage. The plastic pieces are subjected to substantial force, and they are not reinforced adequately. Thus, the can crack so that pulling the trigger no longer operates the valve rod (i.e., the gun can never fire.)

While Larami fixed this design problem by changing the firing mechanism altogether (see the XP40 and XP70), the best you can do to fix an XP75 is to reinforce the plastic pieces of the firing mechanism.

Gun leaks

This might be the single most common problem. Almost all super soakers leak a little and it's not worthwhile to disassemble the sucker and fix it (fixing leaks can be hard.) On the other hand, if your gun leaks so badly that it doesn't build up pressure, or loses pressure quickly, or you get wet faster than the person you're shooting at, it's time to take some action.

  1. Find out what's leaking and where. The easiest way to do this is to dismantle the gun. Then add a little water, pump it up a bit and see where water comes out.
  2. If tubing is leaking, you can try patching it with a water proof epoxy designed for plastics (Sears carries this stuff.) We've never had to patch the tubing, so let us know what you find works.
  3. If the valve assembly is leaking, you're on your own. We've never had a valve assembly leak, but you can probably patch it with epoxy. Again, let us know what kind of results you have.
  4. If a reservoir is leaking (XP40's are infamous for this) try patching it with... yes... epoxy! The trick is to sand the heck out of it so that the surface is *very* rough. Patching from the *inside* of the reservoir seems to work best, so try slopping on a bunch of epoxy into the chamber with a flexible applicator. Who cares if it's neat? Just slap it on. Of course, patching it on the outside won't hurt either but be careful! Changing the shape of the components (by adding globs of glue) can make the pieces no longer fit together and you might not be able to reassemble your gun!

CPS Problems

CPS's could run into problems similar to those described above, such as leakage or a broken trigger. These issues can be resolved the same way they would be with a rifle-class gun. However, the problem we encountered with our CPS 2000 involved the pressure chamber. While pumping up the gun, we heard a loud pop, and the gun was no longer able to pressurize.

The best way to go about fixing this sort of problem is to take apart the gun, but don't disconnect any of the inner mechanisms. In other words, just take off the external cover. Then, put some water in the gun, and try pumping it. (Do this somewhere where you are not afraid to get wet--there's a good chance water will leak everywhere.) If this doesn't tip you off to the problem, try disconnecting individual components until you see where the failure is. Also, be systematic about the components you take apart--some won't go back together. Some things you can break, or even saw off, as long as they don't have to be air or water tight. Consult our How They Work page to get some idea as to what each component of the gun does.