Ladies and Gentlemen - clean you trumpets!
Here is a blog I have just posted regarding sticking Amado water keys.
The blog is located at:
In Defense of Amado Water Keys
Here is the text:
I have heard and read many complaints about Amado and other plunger style water keys. There are all sorts of versions from other companies - Stomvi have one, so does Jupiter, I happen to use water keys manufactured by Riedl in Germany.
I often tell people that valve problems are caused by either:
Dirt, Damage, or Distortion.
Well, these plunger water keys are exactly like our valves: they push in and are sprung out to enable the ports to line up in such a way as to open and let the water out, then close to enable playing. When they decline to move, it is likely because of a buildup of dirt/corrosion.
If we treated our piston valves or our tuning slides with the same amount of neglect they would stick also.
Clean your instrument frequently.
Oil your valves and water keys.
Grease your slides.
Amado water keys are held together with a “C” clip; other versions use a screw cap or plug. Both systems have advantages and disadvantages:
“C” clip versions are awkward to re-assemble - but will not come apart from fidgety hands.
Screw versions will come apart easily - but the parts are so small they can often be lost.
The reason that I prefer plunger water keys is that my trumpets play better with them. I think that the forces on the tubing exerted by traditional water keys are detrimental to the overall response of the trumpet.
If your water key is sticking, your instrument is telling you that it wants to be cleaned.