One of the more commonly asked questions regarding water trampolines and water bouncers is how to inflate and deflate it. The process of inflating and deflating a water trampoline or bouncer isn’t overly complicated and with a few simple tips, you can make setup, inflation, and deflation of your trampoline much easier.
Inflating your water trampoline can be accomplished in one of two ways, either by use of an electric pump or a manual pump. I would suggest using an electric pump, especially with larger trampolines because it will save you time and a tremendous amount of effort. Please DO NOT confuse an electric air pump with an air compressor as air compressors are NOT recommended for inflating water trampolines or bouncers as their air pressure output is far too high and can cause over inflation, which can in-turn damage your trampoline or bouncer. Instead, try a regular electric air pump such as those offered by Sevylor or SportsStuff that will offer power in the range of 110 volts and put out between 2-3 PSI of air pressure. This is ideal because a water trampoline only needs between 1-2 PSI of air pressure. Another popular inflation tool is a shop vac, which will also work just fine. If using an electric air pump, inflation time should be between 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your specific water trampoline or water bouncer.
If an electric air pump is not available to you or you are looking for a less expensive alternative, hand held pumps will also work for inflating your jumper. Hand held pumps are available from numerous manufacturers, including Aquaglide and SportsStuff. If you choose to go the route of a hand held pump, please keep in mind that it will be fatiguing and more time consuming. If you want to avoid the fatigue on your arms and hands, there is another option for manual pumps, a foot pump. Foot pumps tend to be easier to use and less tiring because of their design. They are set up so that you place them on the ground and use your foot to push repeatedly on a plastic pedal. Its design simplicity is great and it will save you a great deal of energy when inflating larger trampolines or bouncers. Advanced Elements and Aquaglide offer some great options for foot pumps. Total inflation time with a manual pump will vary depending on how much effort you exert and how larger the tube is that you are inflating.
Tips for Valves
Once inflated, it is important that the valve of your trampoline or bouncer is closed and secured tightly to ensure that air will not leak out. Many water trampolines come with a Boston valve, which can be kind of confusing when attempting to close. To ensure your Boston valve is closed securely first check to make sure that the O-ring is in place on the valve body and there are no nicks or sand blocking the body from screwing down properly. Next check to make sure the valve body is threaded straight into the base. There is a plastic retainer ring that keeps the valve body from falling apart from the base. If this ring gets pulled out of its groove in the base, it can easily be trapped between the o-ring and base when the valve body is screwed into the base. This is by far the most common cause that people determine for their valve to be leaking. To correct the problem, reinsert the ring into the groove in the base, or you can clip off the ring to ensure it can’t interfere with the o-ring seating properly on the base. The most common reason air leaks out of water trampolines is because the valve is not shut properly.
Once inflated it is important that you maintain the proper air pressure for your water trampoline. Over inflated or under inflated tubes will create extra stress on the seams which can cause rips and tears. To prolong the life of your water trampoline, keep your air volume within the recommended amount. A good way to check for proper air volume is a simple touch. The tube should be firm to the touch and should not give way too much when pressed upon. If it does give way it may not have enough air pressure whereas if the tubing is bulging in certain areas more than others, it is over inflated.
Due to changes in temperatures, the air inside of your water trampoline will expand and contract causing your water trampoline to change its air volume. Therefore, it is important that you check your air pressure periodically to ensure that more air is not needed. You may find the need to add more air every once in a while, especially if your water trampoline is not used frequently. Your water trampoline will perform at its best with the proper air volume and allow for better bouncing.
When it comes time to deflate and store your water trampoline, you will again have two options. The first of these is simply opening your air valve and allowing the tube to self deflate. This method will take considerably more time and will require you to put pressure on the tubing to get all the air out. The second method is quicker and easier, and that is by using a two-way air pump to remove the air. This method should only take a few minutes and will ensure all air is out of the tube, allowing for easier storage. It is important to try and get as much air out of your water trampoline before storage to reduce the chances of a rip or tear during storage months.