Top 10 Spray-Equipment Problems

Are you looking for a way to reduce equipment problems and maintenance costs while increasing technician productivity? Who isn’t?

Avoid problems with spray equipment by conducting regular maintenance.

When it comes to spray-equipment problems, repair shops see the same issues over and over. Fortunately, most of them are completely avoidable.

Here are 10 ways to avoid repeated problems with spray equipment. (Note: spray equipment includes power-spray equipment, backpack sprayers, and compressed-air hand sprayers):

1. Start with the right components.

Without them, you will have problems. This means components with available replacement parts, as well as the appropriate equipment for the job. Failing to adhere to these conditions will result in equipment failure and downtime. For example, if you buy a homeowner-grade backpack sprayer, it will probably last six months before it fails and is thrown away because replacement parts are not available.

Also, be sure to purchase complete specifications for power sprayers. Purchasing departments will often specify the key components–engine, pump, tank, reel, etc. However, the little parts–hoses, fittings, and clamps–also matter.

Although these parts do not contribute significantly to repair and maintenance costs, there are significant variations in the quality of these parts. Using a low-quality plumbing fitting in a critical location also can result in chemical spills, employee injuries, downtime, cleanup, and repair expenses.

2. Look for a good design.

Buying top-quality components isn’t enough though. If they are not well-configured, problems may occur. Three factors are critical in power-sprayer design:

A. Technician safety. Poor design can unnecessarily expose technicians to safety hazards. This can be an expensive and unnecessary risk. Some questions to consider include:

• Are hot parts shielded?

• Are sharp corners protected?

• Can technicians reach key components without straining their backs, scraping their knuckles, etc.?

• Can the sprayer be cleaned easily?

B. Technician access and productivity. Poor design can impact the technicians’ ability to complete work in a timely fashion. Consider the following:

• Can technicians reach all components easily?

• Can technicians easily access checkpoints to ensure effective operation (i.e., filter, engine oil, diaphragm-pump oil sight gauge)?

C. Maintenance and repair. All spray equipment requires service. If components are not easily accessible for maintenance or repairs, equipment will be down longer. Consider the following questions:

• Can engine oil be easily changed?

• Can the pump be easily removed for service?

• Can key components be easily serviced?

A cracked filter can lead to spray-equipment problems.

3. Aim for good filtration.

This is critical to all manual and power sprayers, as more problems are related to filtration than to any other component.

A clogged filter starves a pump of water, eventually destroying the pump. Missing, damaged, or insufficient filtration allows debris into the system, damaging the pump and clogging lines, fittings, hoses, guns, and tips.

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