Saturday, September 22, 2007
It's that time of year again. People are starting to build their snowmakers for this winter from our snowmaking plans found on our products page and also in our snowmaking guide (also found on the products page).
The last few weeks we have been receiving several calls and emails regarding which nozzles to use. Ultimately it comes down to which snowmaker you are building.
If you are making the design that uses a garden hose and an air compressor to make snow, you have two options. First you can buy a custom stainless steel snowmaking nozzle from us on the Parts and Accessories page. This nozzle ($15) sprays out the mixed air and water (nuc) in a 40º spray pattern. This helps spread the coverage over a larger area. The nozzle also eliminates the sputtering that arises out of a homemade nozzle for this snowmaker design.
If you rather construct your own nozzle out of a pipe cap for this design you must have the CORRECT size hole drilled in the cap, or you won't make snow. The best thing to do is purchase several pipe caps and experiment which size hole works best for your compressor. Remember this design calls for matching your air pressure to your water pressure. If you water pressure is 60 PSI, your air pressure should be 60 PSI also. This means your compressor MUST be able to maintain 60 PSI of air in the tank. If not, the hole you drilled is too big and once the pressure drops below the water pressure you will no longer make snow, and could cause the water to over power the air, causing back flow to your compressor.
If you’re making a homemade nozzle from a pipe cap here are the recommended sizes to use based on your compressors CFM:
4CFM@90PSI- single 1-16" hole drilled in center of pipe cap
6CFM@90PSI- single 3/32" hold drilled in center of pipe cap
10CFM+@90PSI- single 7/64" hole drilled in center of pipe cap
OVER 20CFM@90PSI- single 1/8" hole drilled in center of pipe cap
Some people find it best to use two small holes drilled in the pipe cap. Again, the best thing to do is experiment with which size hole works best with your compressor. What might work for your compressor might not work on someone else’s. We personally find it best to use a single hole drilled in the center of the cap.
Make sure that when you run the snowgun with both air and water, both air and water come out of the nozzle. If not the hole is too small, or your air/water is over powering the other.
For the design that uses a pressure washer you MUST purchase the nozzle kit ($25) from us. You cannot make these nozzles at home and cannot find them in stores. The high pressure water needs the special nozzles to properly atomize the water into smaller droplets. If you try and make nozzles for the pressure washer design out of strictly pipe caps, you will only make ice. You can however use a pipe cap for the bottom nozzle (nucleation nozzle) instead of the special nozzle in the nozzle kit. We don't recommend it because a better nozzle comes in the nozzle kit. If you rather use a pipe cap, you can find the size hole to drill in the pipe cap above.
NOTE: If you purchase one of our kits, the special nozzles are included. This is just to help those people who are making their own snowmaker based on the plans found on our site and in our snowmaking guide.
To order nozzles from us go to the Parts and Accessories page on our site. To order snowmaking kits, plans, or the snowmaking guide, visit our Products page.