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turn off water cannon

Save Water: How to Disable your Blast Zone Water Cannon

We often receive calls asking how to disable or turn off the water cannon on your inflatable water park, while keeping the flow of water to the sprayer above the slide.  This is super easy, and below we offer 3 simple ways for you to accomplish this feat of engineering.  Choose any of the 3 methods that is easiest for you.

1) The easiest first:  Bend over the supply line to the cannon, and zip it closed.  Simply “kink” the hose before it attaches to the water cannon, use a zip tie to keep it kinked, and unscrew the hose fitting that attaches to the cannon.

 

zip-tie

 

2) Use a “Hose Cap” to cap off.  This cap is available, typically for $1 or less, at your local hardware store.  Often this is sold for drip irrigation, as an “end cap,” which includes a piece we won’t need.  You only need the cap, so unscrew the cap from the coupling (the coupling below has the white sticker on it, while the cap is screwed on to the left side of it).  You may discard the part shown with the white sticker, or repurpose it as a mantel decoration as you see fit.  With the Blast Zone supply tube to the cannon unscrewed from the cannon itself, just screw the female cap onto the orange male hose fitting that would normally screw into the cannon. When you want use the cannon again simply unscrew the cap and then screw the hose back into the cannon!

 

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3) Use a 3/8″ insert ball valve.   This is our favorite hack, because you can leave the hose connected to the cannon and simply turn the valve on and off to toggle the cannon on as desired.  With the 3/8″ plastic insert ball vale in hand,  simply cut the hose in half a foot down from the cannon’s orange male attachment,  and slip the hoses onto each end of the valve. Zip tie the two sides of the hose tightly to the valve and continue having fun in the sun with or without the water canon!  Make sure to install the valve on the main sprayer system line, and do not cut or modify the short hose that is installed in the cannon itself, since that piece is engineered to be the exact size to fit through the cannon.

 

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We’ve got a handful of valves here, so if you own a Blast Zone Water Park with a water cannon, and you’d like to add a shutoff valve, shoot us an email with your order number and we’ll be glad to send you one at no charge.

Pirate Blast Memorial Day Giveaway

Pirate Blaster Inflatable Water Park Giveaway

Hey There Potential Partier/Super Slider/Bodacious Bouncer!  We are having our biggest sale of the year this Memorial Weekend.  Kick off summer with Blast Zone’s best prices of the year!  To celebrate, we are giving away a Pirate Blaster Inflatable Water Park to one lucky winner.  Share with your friends to earn more entries (Or you could buy one for $170 OFF)

You can re-enter the contest every 24-hours to increase your chances to win!

Be sure to follow Blast Zone on our Blog, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Not only will we be posting helpful articles and industry news, we will be hosting giveaways on a regular basis throughout 2015!

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Inflatable Slide Safety: 1 Rider at-a-time

As part of our ongoing commitment to safety, we are exploring deeper into the general rules of using Bounce Houses and Inflatable Water Parks safely. During this series we explore the “how’s” and “why’s” of the various aspects of safe inflatable use, such as anchoring, evenly matching players, sliding independently and more.   


1 Rider at-a-time!

1 Rider at a Time Inflatable Slide Safety

 

Kids want to test and push past boundaries, and this can lead to stretching the safety rules.  If the rules are followed, Inflatable Slides are not only super-awesome, but also safe.   However, after a few zips down the sliding lane, and as the play escalates, kids may be tempted to double up, and ride down together, as they look for new and exciting ways to test their boundaries.

Don’t allow this.

Man, we sure seem like wet beach towels over here at Blast Zone, don’t we?  Well, for each safety rule, we have reason.  And those reasons are, well… for safety.  So what are those reasons?

1) The inflatable is engineered for specific user weights.  Doubling up these weights will most likely put the rider’s collective weight over the weight the inflatable is engineered for.  This could potentially damage your valuable inflatable, or worse, lead to instability on the slide.

2) Bonk.  Yup.  Bonk.  The rider in front is going to stop an instant before the rider in the back.  They are going to possibly bonk teeth-to-head, nose-to-head, or tumble over each other.   These are not fun outcomes. This could lead to injury, and nothing takes away the fun like tears.

 

1 Rider at a Time Inflatable Slide Safety Mystic Mountain

 

With Commercial Inflatable Slides, we’ve witnessed parents sliding down with their kids in their laps.  This may seem like a great way to bond with your kids, but the result could be even worse.  Check out our piece on Evenly-Matching Players for further insight behind the physics of a large adult landing on a small child, and reconsider this plan before sliding down.  In cases with commercial inflatables, often the Inflatable Slide is rated to accommodate adults as well as kids, and many times younger kids like the adults to accompany them to the top.  In this case, help your child up, let them slide first, make sure they have cleared out of the landing path, then try to hide your own childish grin as you zip on down.

And please don’t slide head first.  Well talk about this later.

So keep it safe, and keep the fun going.  Resist the urge to ride down the slide with your kids, and if you see kids “doubling up” use your keen common-sense-parenting skills to break it up.  Always make sure kids are following the safety rules, and Have a Blast!

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Mail Zone Q&A (May 12, 2015)

In our Blast Zone Mail Zone series, we answer good questions submitted by you,  our great customers.  Pardon us if we repeat ourselves occasionally.  Some questions are asked frequently, and worth answering more than once!


 

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Jenn Asks:

Has anyone had any problems with the bounce house molding when used with water? How do you avoid this?

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Blast Zone:

First, a technicality:  Blast Zone Bounce Houses are not specifically designed for use with water, and water should be avoided, unless the product is specifically designed for wet use.  If there is not a sprayer system included with the inflatable, the product is not meant to be wet.

Now onto mildew:  Blast Zone Inflatables don’t ship to you with mold, mildew or spores.  However, these issues that exist in certain areas can be problematic if the Inflatable is not thoroughly dried.  Mildew is prevalent in the most humid climates.  Mildew is unsightly, and can erode material over time.  The way to avoid problems with mildew is to thoroughly dry the water park between uses. Unfortunately, the same issues that cause mildew  also cause the water parks to be more difficult to dry.    The carrying case included with your Blast Zone Inflatable Water Park has openings in it to allow moisture to dissipate, however, it is imperative for the owner to dry and care for the Inflatable Water Park properly.

To “clean” mildew, as soon as you see any developing, wash the area with dish soap and water, dry it, and allow exposure to sun.

The simplest approach to avoiding mildew:  Keep it Clean and Dry! 

 


 

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Kristen Asks:

We unpacked bounce house christmas day we set it up and is leaking air inside by seams.

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Blast Zone:

We get this a lot, and the answer is very simple:  Your Blast Zone Bounce House or Inflatable Water Park, and basically every constant-air type inflatable in existence, anywhere, ever, is specifically designed to release air through the seams.  To clarify, Blast Zone Inflatables are meant to leak.  We print this in product literature, and on products, but we understand the the concept that the product is supposed to leak in hundreds, if not thousands of places is foreign to many people who are not familiar with constant-air inflatables.  Don’t worry about it!

When kids jump and slide on Blast Zone Inflatables, the pressure increases tremendously for brief moments.  It’s kind of like squeezing a water ballon.  You squeeze one end, and all the water moves to the another area.  However, unlike the balloon, which will pop if you squeeze too hard, our Inflatables also release that pressure through the seams and blower.

This is where the concept of constant inflation comes into play.  The blower runs at all times during play, providing a fresh supply of air to the Inflatable Product.  As the kids jump and slide, and pressure spikes, pressure is then released momentarily through the seams and back through the blower, and then instantly is replaced with fresh air form the blower.  This is most obvious when kids are jumping, but even with the inflatable empty, you’ll hear the seams whistling.

 


 

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Jen Asks:

Hi,
What is the difference between the Big ol bounce house and the super star bounce house?
I am having a party for several 3-5 year olds this summer, and want to be able to have a bouncer there!
Thanks!

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Blast Zone:

Great question!  The answer is nothing! 😉

This is obviously not the full story.  These products have a much different look, but are structurally identical.  The Superstar Inflatable Party Moonwalk was first to market, and had a lot of success, so a retailer asked us to make a variation for their stores, the Big Ol Bouncer.  While the Big Ol Bouncer was essentially a color-variation, at that time we had started manufacturing with a new type of stronger material, that allowed us to recommend the Big Ol Bouncer for an additional user.  At the same time, we also started manufacturing the Superstar Moonwalk with the new, stronger materials, so while today both are made with the upgraded materials, we did not go back retroactively and change the recommendation on the Superstar.

Some people prefer the Colorful Theme of the Superstar, while others prefer the more subtle look of the Big Ol Bouncer.  Either way, both products are of equal size and quality standards.

 


 

Blast Zone appreciates your questions.  If you’d like to submit a Mail Zone Question, please email us at mailbag@blastzone.com.  For immediate assistance, feel free to call us at 877-889-4685, or email us at service@blastzone.com

 

Boston Museum Donation Charity Blastzone

Boston Children’s Museum Auction

We’re happy to support the upcoming Boston Children’s Museum’s annual “Wonder Ball,” which takes place on November 14th, with a donation of a Magic Castle Bounce House for auction.

The Wonder Ball is their biggest fundraiser of the year and the auction is critical to their ability to continue to provide innovative exhibits and programs to children throughout the Commonwealth.

Check out their article on the power of play.  We agree, and of course Inflatable Bouncers and Water Parks are great physical play devices, encouraging motor development, helping kids develop the ability to control their body’s movements, locomotion, and complex sport skills, as well as social interaction and more.

Remember:

Boston Museum Donation Charity Blastzone

Bounce House Safety: Evenly Matched Players

As part of our ongoing commitment to safety, we are exploring deeper into the general rules of using Bounce Houses and Inflatable Water Parks safely. During this series we explore the “how’s” and “why’s” of the various aspects of safe inflatable use, such as anchoring, evenly matching players, sliding independently and more.   First up…


 

 Evenly Matching Players

Bounce House Safety Kids

 

Mom wants to go in the Bounce House with the son. Brother wants to bring his sister. Your Nephew wants to bring  your dog in. You get the idea…  While each of these scenarios may sound fun, it is important that players in a Bounce House or other Inflatable Play Structure are evenly matched in size, age, development, and skillset.

Bounce Houses are inherently safe products, when used properly – they are giant bags of air (insert your own husband joke). Your lawn is a harder surface than your Bounce House, but the lawn doesn’t encourage kids to wrestle and jump directly on top of each other quite as much as the Bounce House may.

Consider the following physical development milestones for kids (we’ll use boys)

  • 1 Year (22Lbs): Crawl and walk with assistance.
  • 2 Years (28Lbs): Walk and Dance
  • 3 Years (34Lbs): Run forward and Jump in place
  • 4 Years (39Lbs): Run in circles, Ride a tricycle.
  • 5 Years (45Lbs): Jump on one foot, do somersaults.

So within one family or one playgroup, you can easily have kids who are capable of doing somersaults, and kids who can barely walk. That Bounce House can have Kids in with weight differences of 40Lbs or more within the common age-rage of 3-10, some doing somersaults, and some struggling to stay upright. Inside an enclosed bouncing environment, you potentially could have a much larger child jumping and possibly landing on a much smaller child who is unable to stand unassisted in that type of environment.

Don’t fret yet.

There are plenty of ways to keep kids safe in the Bounce House, simply by matching them properly and making sure they are playing nicely.

Evenly Matched Bounce House Players Safety

 

While following the minimum age requirements of 3-Years definitely helps, it is still critical to monitor behavior, and keep kids playing with appropriately matched players. Some Inflatable Combos, like the Blast Zone Sidekick Castle, may have an isolated ball pit area for younger kids, with a Bounce House area for larger, more advanced kids. However, in many instances, it is simply up to the parents/adults to monitor play and keep kids appropriately isolated to avoid contact injury.

A local church has tried a couple approaches with their Blast Zone Bounce House. The first was to find age-appropriate activities for different age groups at an event. In this case, the smaller kids had other activities available. This worked OK, but it is natural for the smaller kids to want to play with the bigger kids, so this is not the ideal situation.

Second, during class-based activities, kids were separated into different groups based on age, which allowed kids to play with other more evenly matched players. This was ideal, as the matching was more official and done automatically.

In family scenarios, it really comes down to common sense parenting:

  • Evenly Match Sizes
  • Evenly Match Skillets
  • Try to keep mismatched players physically separated
  • When Possible, look at Bounce Houses with separate areas for different activities
  • Don’t let bigger kids roughhouse with smaller kids
  • Don’t let people slide together as a unit
  • If you are bouncing with your kids, be very careful not to fall on top of them.

Blow up the Bounce House, Keep kids evenly matched, monitor play habits, and HAVE FUN!

Magic Castle Bounce House Giveaway

Magic Castle Bounce House Giveaway

To celebrate moving our Blast Zone Blog onsite, we will be giving away the top-selling Magic Castle Bounce House to 1 lucky winner!

You may enter daily, and earn extra entries by:
Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+
Every time a friend enters from your link, you will gain 3 bonus entries!

You can enter below or visit the Giveaway App hosted on our Facebook page here:
Magic Castle Bounce House Giveaway from Blast Zone

Be sure to follow Blast Zone on our Blog, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Not only will be be posting helpful articles and industry news, we will be hosting giveaways on a regular basis throughout 2015!

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Using Blast Zone Inflatables Indoors

Using Blast Zone Inflatables Indoors

Kids don’t always have to go outside to burn off energy or have some inflatable fun. If weather or other factors don’t permit, prepare for a bouncing good time inside. You can keep the kids off the furniture, and keep them jumping on the Blast Zone Inflatable by following these tips to use your inflatables safely indoors.

Anchoring

Blast Zone inflatables must always be anchored for safety purposes. Indoors, use the optional sand bags in place of ground stakes. These sand bags simply fill with play sand and tie onto the same loops where ground stakes would be used indoors. Each set of sand bags includes 8 bags. You’ll need to provide the sand yourself.

Blast Zone takes anchoring very seriously.  These anchors will keep your indoor inflatable in one place, so kids stay safe, and will also keep the underside of the inflatable from rubbing against the floor.  Sand bag anchors can also be used outdoors, as a standalone anchoring system, or even as a supplemental anchoring system in conjunction with the ground stakes, especially if you have loose soil.

Soft Surfaces

Your inflatable must have a nice, soft surface underneath. A carpet with a nice pad should do the trick.

Perimeter Clearance

Each side of your Blast Zone Inflatable should have approximately 6 feet of clearance, so plan space accordingly, and choose an inflatable that will fit your space. Also keep in mind that Blast Zone Inflatables have an inflation tube on the back that attaches to the blower, so allow 6 feet for this component (The inflation tube, and blower connected together). Blowers must not be placed in location where debris could be sucked into the motor from household items such as fireplaces, cat boxes, etc. The blower needs to be pumping air, not soot into the inside of your inflatable!

Clear Height

Make sure to choose an Inflatable Bouncer or Inflatable Combo for indoor use that will clear your ceiling! Many Blast Zone Bounce Houses and Bounce Combos are designed to clear standard ceilings, while still providing safe netting enclosure heights.

Water Slides

Your kids probably think it’s a great idea, but no, don’t use your waterslide inside! Come on now!

So when things get cold, or your kids just want to play inside, have fun bouncing safely by following these simple guidelines!

  • Use Approved Sand Bags Anchors to properly anchor your inflatable indoors.
  • Always set up your Blast Zone Bouncer on a soft surface when using it indoors.
  • Allow 6 feet of clearance between the perimeter of the inflatable and any obstructions.
  • Make sure the top of your inflatable bouncer or combo will clear the ceiling.
  • Save the garden hose for the garden.

Purchasing Inflatables for Church

Purchasing inflatables for churches 

There are many instances in which a congregation might consider renting an inflatable.  Because there are so many possibilities for use,  purchasing a commercial grade inflatable instead of continuously renting can be a great investment for churches. Typically, inflatables purchased by churches are used for Church events (such as picnics, festivals, and holiday celebrations), youth groups, Bible study, summer camps, and day care services. Some Churches may also make the inflatables available to be borrowed by congregants for their own parties.

Because of the vast range of uses, the ideal Inflatables for Churches are the commercial-grade variety. With heavy duty commercial-grade materials, products designed to be used frequently, and longer warranties, commercial inflatables ensure an inflatable that will last. Commercial-grade inflatables not only provide fun for Church events, they also provide entertainment and exercise for children while parents focus on other responsibilities. Also, because commercial inflatables have much higher weight capacities than their home-use counterparts, even parents can hop in and bounce around with their kids.

Many Churches are like extended families, and with a commercial-grade inflatable from Blast Zone, the family that prays together can also play together!