As the season changes to Autumn, the scenery for many of us quickly follows, adding to it shades of red, orange and yellow to the typically green landscape. The weather too, will turn cooler (at least we’re hopeful in Florida), and of course the needs of sprayers change too. While we’re not quite to the point where we need to winterize our tools, care should be given to prep for that necessary activity and to ensure the changing weather elements don’t impact the end of your season.
These five quick tips for Autumn sprayer maintenance will keep you going strong until it's time for winterization.
1. Flush your sprayer.
To get rid of all excess chemical and chemical residues, flush your sprayer at least twice with clean water. It would be awful to not flush your pump with a month left in the spray season and then rupture some diaphragms. That would result in late season repairs you might not have accounted for, let alone the hassle. When you’re finished, make sure there’s no debris left in the tank. We can help make this process easier by adding a 3 way flush system - give us a call, and we can assist with this handy addition!
2. Clean strainers.
This is one of those tasks no one enjoys, but is so necessary. Partially clogged strainers can result in drops in pressure and even reduce the flow rate of your nozzle. Not to mention that a clogged or dirty strainer can be a source of contamination where you may least expect it. Since most sprayers have more than one strainer, take care to clean each one.
3. Check lubricants.
Make sure the oil levels in your spray pump, gearbox and engine are at appropriate levels. If you do need to refill oil, check with the part manufacturer to ensure you’re using the recommended oil.
4. Inspect machine.
What you’re looking for are a number of things, including: worn nozzles; damaged nozzle screens and strainers; cracks, leaks and overall performance in the pump; hose condition, especially cracks or brittleness; any possible leaky valves or areas where valve seals may have loosened; and finally your booms (if applicable) to make sure there aren’t any cracks that need to be fixed. While you’re at it, keep the equipment clean by wiping down motors, pumps and lines.
5. Make a winterization game plan.
Caring for your machine properly now will pay off next year when it’s time to break it back out. Put sprayer winterization on your calendar, and make it a point to situate your equipment before the temps drop and wreak havoc. To make it easy, here's a Sprayer Winterization Guide and a how-to video.