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Pollard Water Key Install Suggestions

The Pollard Water Key really does address the most confounding issues with the Amado Water Key design, but the install is very important.  There are many enthusiastic owners of the PWK, and it is a delight, as a player, to know that the water key is going to work every single time!


A couple of things have to be considered for a successful installation.


First, the interior of the cone must remain pristine during the install. If solder gets into the seating surface, and then scraped out, the seating will be compromised, and the only remedy is a new PWK, or lapping in the piston, which will work, but is time consuming. Better to keep the interior clean.


Second, if this is a new install where no water key existed, you must drill the hole in the tubing before you solder on the PWK! Do not drill the hole through the PWK! The drill may pull a burr up into the sealing area of the PWK, and then it may not seat.  

There are some horns where the tuning slide and the third valve slide (trumpet) are close enough together that the PWKs could bump into each other if care isn’t taken, due to the size of the PWK. If a compromise adjustment has to be made to provide clearance, make the compromise on the third valve slide.


Occasionally, the spring may bind, and cause the piston to stop in one position. The end cap can be turned a quarter turned, and the spring should pop the piston back in place. If it continues, take the spring out and turn it around. If that fails, contact us, and we’ll send another spring. It is rare, but may happen due to quirks in the spring, and not due to a design flaw.

The PWK will give you years of great service, but the install has to be perfect!

Contact us at if you have any issues or questions!


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