Melnor Garden Hose Watering Nozzle

As a change of pace from electronics teardowns: I’m taking apart something with no electronics at all: my very old garden hose watering nozzle. It’s been leaking for years, which is why I’ve had to turn the faucet off when this is unused. Otherwise, it wastes water dropping out from the front and the back. But recently it started failing in a new way: there is now a horizontal curtain of water when I pull its lever, spraying water everywhere from just behind the spray pattern adjustment knob. It is finally time for this guy to go, but not before I take a look inside.

A single Philps-head self-tapping plastic screw held the spray pattern selector knob in place.

With the selector knob removed, its seal and detent mechanism falls out easily. The white spring-loaded mechanism pushes into dimples in the selection dial for that satisfying “click” when we are lined up for a spray pattern. The rubber seal has lost its flexibility and became rigid with age. It could no longer seal against water pressure, causing this nozzle’s retirement.

Two more screws were visible and promptly removed, but this plastic piece did not release easily. I broke a bit of the lip (visible in upper-right area of the rim) trying to pull it out. No other fasteners or retention mechanism were visible.

If I could not pull it, perhaps I could push it? I started working on the back end. Unthreading the adjustment nut all the way allowed its removal.

Pushing on the thread, the front face popped free along with the piston assembly. A coat of rust clearly designated regions that had years of water exposure.

Inside the handle body.

Inside the front face.

Intact piston assembly.

I could only partially disassemble the piston assembly. In use the rear seal and its washer moves against the piston shaft and thus could be slid off the end. The spring followed easily.

However, the front seal and the X-shaped plastic guide keeping it centered in the cylinder never had to move and now it is held in place by rust. The plastic guide showing signs of abuse of my removal attempt. Even if replacement seals were available, I would not have been able to replace this particular wear item.

The lever hinge pin is riveted in place, requiring a drill to free it.

And finally, the soft handle surround was cut free of the metal core with a box-cutter knife. Doing this reminded me of that scene in Terminator 2 where the T-800 cut off living tissue covering its arm to expose the metal endoskeleton.

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