Contributed by Guest Blogger: John Lang, Hypro
Three Steps to Prevent Pump FailureYour pump can fail or become inoperative when left dormant for long periods of time. The elastomeric (rubber) components, when left in a compressed state, will take a “set”. When this happens the rubber components deform to their compressed state over time and don’t properly respond when brought back into service. The rubber components are also susceptible to “drying out” when stored without liquid in them. The elastomers don’t actually dry out but some chemistries that have come in contact with the elastomer can react with air and become hard and brittle. To prevent these types of failure during seasonal storage perform these three operations.
- Adequately flush the pump and solution system to remove all residue of chemicals. Check the label of the chemicals used for recommendation on what agent should be used to best clean and neutralize the sprayer components.
- To prevent oxidation of components it is always good practice to fill solution system components with some form of antifreeze and spray a small volume through the system (from tank to nozzle). This procedure will prevent elastomer components from “drying out”.
- For Centrifugal pumps with cast iron components use an antifreeze with rust inhibitors or crop oil.
- Roller pumps benefit by being stored with a light oil run into them with plugged ports.
- Diaphragm and piston/plunger pumps can be stored with RV antifreeze.
- Cycle valves and unloaders on and off while spraying to displace water in these components.
- Leave regulators and unloaders in a loose or open state so that they don’t stick on startup and fail the pump.
- Check maintenance schedule for pump. The best time for maintenance is before the season begins when the system is clear of hazardous chemicals.
- Cycle unloader valves and pressure regulators to be sure they are not stuck in place. If you feel the component is not free perform service on the component.
- Check pump to see that it is not stuck. If the pump is driven by a mechanical drive, rotate the pump by hand to check that pump is free. An electrical driven pump that has a closed couple drive should be run in short bursts to determine that pump operating as expected. Always set the sprayer to a low pressure setting for initial startup and check sprayer for leaky joints.