Simple T Snow Gun Design (Most basic of all snowguns)

This information is supplied by which is a GREAT place to talk snowguns.

On This page, you will find all the information you need to build your own snowgun and make snow with it.

The first step will be to procure all the items you need.

1. Garden Hose: $20.00 - $ 30.00

2. Compressor : $150.00 - $ 300.00

3. Plumbing fittings: $ 50.00 - $ 75.00

Below is a list of typical plumbing fittings used on a Tee or Wye snowgun. Below that is a picture of a Tee gun broken down into it's components to make it very easy to see what is needed. All of the items you need can be bought at your local Home Depot or Lowes building supply store. Or, a compressor can be purchased elsewhere like at Sears and the plumbing fittings at you local hardware store or plumbing supply.

Click on picture below for full sized image.

Basics plumbing fittings for T or Y Snowguns

Basic assembly of snowgun

Things to understand when buying plumbing fittings.

Brass is more expensive, but the only way to go. The parts wont rust and are less likely to leak when assembled.

Buy all 1/4" NPT fittings for your gun. NPT is the style of thread and stands for 'National Pipe Tread'

Always use Teflon tape on your threaded joints. It will help ensure your joints do not leak. Wrap the tape around the thread part. 2 layers will be enough. Slighty stretch tape as you apply it so threads are easy to see through the tape. Apply tape in direction that will allow it to be srewed into female thread without peeling tape back. Take care in not allowing tape to ride over threads and partialy cover the pipe opening. These peices will break free and clog the hole in the cap.

Be sure to have good tools to assemble the gun. An Adjustable Wrench, a Pipe Wrench and a Vice Grips will pretty much take care of it all.

Keep in mind that most standard plumbing fittings are rated to 125 PSI and should never ever be used at a higher pressure.


Things to understand when buying a Compressor.

Your compressor needs to produce enough air to operate what ever type of snowgun you choose to build. There are lots of different specs listed when looking at compressors. Gallons, Maximum PSI (Pounds per Square Inch),voltage, CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute), HP, vertical/horizontal and there is more. Basically, for home, use a compressor with the following general ratings:


1. 120 VAC (Volts AC)

2. 15 amp maximum electric draw.

3. 8 CFM @ 40 PSI or 6-7 CFM @ 90 PSI

4. 10-33 gallons works, so does nearly anything else.

5. Portable, if you want to move it around.

6. Continuous Duty (so you can run it non stop)

7. If you have a choice, choose oiled over oiless

8. If you have a choice, choose belt driven over direct drive


These are just general numbers and can vary some what. Keep in mind most electric outlets in your home are not rated for more than 15 amps. Always keep the compressor as close to the outlet as possible. If you need to use an extension cord, use the shortest possible cord. If using more than 25’ of cord, be sure to use a heavy duty extension cord that will be label 12 gauge. Using to light of an extension cord poses a fire risk and or equipment damage and should be avoided at all costs.


If you need to get your air out further use longer air hoses. I recommend using at least 5/8” ID (Inside Diameter) Hose rated for at least 200 PSI. Use of an improperly rated hose might cause the hose to burst resulting in injury. Most compressors you buy will come with a hose, or will indicate what hose to buy.

Things to understand when buying a Hoses for Air & Water

The best type of garden hose to use for the water is a 5/8" quality rubber hose. The quality rubber allows the hose to stay flexable even in very cold conditions.

The best type of hose to use for you air line will depend on how long you need to run it. If you only need a 50' run, then a 1/2" rubber hose rated for 200+ PSI will be fine. 100' length of hose should be 5/8" or greater. As the air and or water travel through said hose, friction agains the hose wall causes it to slowdown and created a pressure change. If you set the pressure at your compressor to 40 PSI and then run 100' of 3/8 hose the pressure at your gun might only be 20 PSI which would be to low.

Things to understand when putting your gun together

Assemble all of the plumbing fittings as they are laid out in the picture above. One additional fitting might be needed to get from the 1/4" male NPT to the end of the high pressure hose you bought.

Be sure to tighten all joints so that they don't leak. Do you want to know how tight that is? Simple make them tight, put the gun together. If it leaks, they weren't tight enough, make them tighter!

You need to drill holes in the pipe caps. These will essentialy be your 'nozzles'. The holes you drill will be tiny. I suggest buying 6 drills of each size as you WILL break some as your learn howmuch pressure to give. Drilling with a Dremel makes this task much easier.

I would drill the following holes, each in a different cap. 1/32", 3/64", 1/16", 5/64". You may need to go bigger, depending on the air tempurature and the CFM capability of your compressor.

Once everthing is assembled, you're ready to go.

Things to understand when making snow

WARNING!!! Always remember that you are using equipment that can cause serious injury if not used properly.

Always spray air and or water away from you.

Use safety glasses while making adjustment to your gun if it is running.

Ensure that the electrical outlet that your compressor is plugged into is rated for the amount of amperage that compressor will draw. Contact the compressor Mfg for more details.

The best case scenerio is that you have your air and water located together in a heated garage or basement. This allows you to work hooking everthing up without it all freezing solid in the process.

For thos not fortunate enough to have this luxury, you will need to work very quick on thos very cold days.

In a perfect home snowmaking stetting your air pressure and water pressure will remain constant at 40-50 PSI. But most many of us have well water and the pumps will have a high and low on off setting.

You will want to have your air pressure at around 40 PSI at the gun. You will need to adjust this up and down to get it right. You Should NOT have your air pressure higher than you water pressure! This can allow the air to push the water back into you home and fill your entire system with air. If your not very handy, your plumber will love you.

Adjusting the air and water using the Gate valves. Here... Trial and error rules supreme. No if's, and's or but's about it, you need to try and try again untill you get it right. Some good advice will be to start with very little water and work your way up.

Tempuratrue? Make sure temps are cold. the colder it is the easier you will produce results. low 20's Farenheit will work well. As you pregress and talk with others on the forum you will learn the the 'Wet Bulb' temps will decide when you can and cant make snow.

Good luck!