Vintage Garden Syringe Sprayers    


Usually  these work using three valves A ball valve at the front of the barrel, a valve at the end of the plunger rod and a valve incorporated in the filter at the end of tube which goes into the container. When the plunger is pushed in (spraying) the front valve opens the plunger rod valve is closed and the filter valve is open. This allows the liquid to be sprayed from the syringe and draws in a fresh supply of liquid from the container. When is plunger is pulled back the front valve closes preventing any air being sucked into the barrel, the plunger valve opens allowing liquid in the barrel to move in front of the plunger. The container valve closes preventing the liquid from being forced back into the container. The front and container valves are usually simple ball valves, but the design of the plunger valve varies. Three types have been identified. The ‘Eclipse’ type as patented in 1924 (patent GB221032). The ’Ball’ type which uses a brass ball in the valve and the ‘Sliding Washer’ type which is variation of the ‘Eclipse’ type. Click on the various types for additional notes including an explanation on how the pumping cycle works. For these sprayers to work effectively the joints need to be air tight and the valves need to be in good condition .  Some sprayers do not seem to have the front ball valve.

Single Action -  Rear Supply Connection  (Plunger rod type)

They need only one cup washer (cup facing forward). It is essential that the ‘stuffing box’ makes an air tight seal around the pump rod, otherwise air rather liquid will be sucked in. Similarly, all other seals in the hose connections and the seal between the barrel and the end cap must be air tight. In many cases these sprayers are sold without the filter/valve which fits on the end of the tube. Without this, even with a tube fitted, the sprayer will not work efficiently.  Some of these sprayers are fitted with a grip towards the front of the barrel.

Single Action -  Front Supply Connection

In this type of sprayer there is a one way valve in the connector to to the supply pipe this allows liquid to flow into the sprayer from the supply pipe when the plunger is pulled back. There is also a one way valve where the nozzle screws onto the sprayer. The plunger rod is relatively short and extends only as far as the supply connector. The piston  has a single forward facing cup washer. There is a filter at the end of the supply pipe, which goes into the container (not shown here).  One the plunger is pulled back the supply valve opens and the front valve closes. This allows liquid to flow from the container into the barrel of the sprayer. The closed front valve prevents liquid in the  nozzle/nozzle extension from being sucked back into the barrel. On the push stroke the supply valve closes, preventing liquid from flowing  back into the container. The front  valve opens to allow spraying. This arrangement isn’t as common as the rear supply connection probably because  during use  the hose would be a nuisance.


These consist of two tubes one inside the other. Spraying is done by moving one barrel within the other. This appears to be an early arrangements and may  be an  something used  on sprayers manufactured overseas. The internal barrel  which is in effect a  hollow plunger rod  has a handle  (grip) . It has a plunger on the end of the tube and also a ball valve which allows liquid to flow through the inner  barrel when the inner barrel; is pulled into the outer barrel.  The outer barrel connects to the supply pipe and has a valve at the supply pipe connection which which allows liquid to flow into the outer barrel when the inner  barrel is pulled out from the outer barrel.  When the inner barrel is pulled out the valve on it closes and the valve on the outer barrel opens sucking liquid up the supply pipe into the outer barrel.  When the inner barrel is pulled into the outer barrel  the valve on the inner barrel opens  and the one on the outer barrel closes, which forces the liquid through the inner barrel and out through the nozzle.  Air is sucked into the outer barrel through an air vent  during this stroke. Any liquid which flows past the piston will be expelled  through the air vent .  

Single Action -  Rear Supply Connection  (Two barrel type)