Preventative Maintenance

When the filter can no longer be rinsed, replace it. Chemicals such as herbicides cause rubber O-rings to swell. Replace the filter O-ring periodically before it swells and no longer creates an airtight seal. Install a gate valve between the tank and strainer so that the strainer can be checked even when the tank is full.


Service the pump according to the manufacturer’s specifications. You may want to rebuild a pump periodically to prevent problems. Most pumps have repair kits to replace worn parts. It is a good idea to service a pump just before or just after the busy season to be sure it is ready for next season.

If you wait for a pump to fail before servicing it, expect longer downtime and more costly repairs. Be sure spray technicians and mechanics know the signs that a pump requires service. For example, roller pumps and gear pumps require attention when they begin dripping water. Diaphragm pumps require immediate attention when the oil-sight glass contains white or milky-colored material, or serious pump damage will occur.


Service the engine according to the manufacturer’s specifications. As with an engine in a personal vehicle, changing engine oil is the best thing you can do to extend engine life. Periodic tune-ups (change oil, filter, spark plug, clean carburetor, etc.) can keep an engine running and technicians productive. Inspect pull cord and belts for wear, and replace as necessary. Train technicians to check oil and gas levels before leaving the shop.

Hose Reel

Most hose reels have a swivel on the input side of the reel. The swivel contains parts that should be replaced periodically to prevent leaks. Check the reel-tensioner or locking brake for wear. Servicing the reel can help reduce chemical spills.


Check the main spray hose and all feeder and connector hoses for excessive wear or damage. Check clamps and connections to ensure good fit and an airtight seal. Be sure to check any O-rings, gaskets, washers, etc., that are used to create airtight seals. Failure to do so can result in large spills, especially if the technician is at the far end of 200 feet of hose when the leak occurs.

Spray Gun

Most spray guns can be rebuilt with repair kits available from the equipment provider. Servicing the spray gun can help reduce chemical spills and chemical exposure to technicians.

Dollars spent on preventative maintenance will reduce time lost due to unplanned equipment downtime, help keep parks looking great, and keep the boss happy.

Andrew Greess is owner of Quality Equipment and Spray, an Arizona-based company that designs and builds spray rigs for safety, productivity and ease of maintenance. For more information, visit or e-mail him at

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