As the season changes to autumn (officially on Sept. 22, 2014), 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 our sprayer changes 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. We’ve combed over our collection of trade tips to uncover the essential needs for this time of year.
Below are five tips for autumn sprayer maintenance from Sprayer Depot to keep you going through the end of the season.
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.
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.
3. Check fuel levels.
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. Get a winterization game plan.
As the weather changes, winter is fast approaching and it’s time to dig out your winter coat. This is also the time to think about scheduling your annual winterization maintenance and end of year sprayer tune-up. Remember that caring for your machine properly now will pay off next year when it’s time to break it back out and use it. Put it in your calendar today and check back for more tips on winterizing your sprayer as the date approaches.
With sprayer season coming to a close in most parts of the country, our friends in the lawn maintenance and pesticide industries are busy making one more pass at killing weeds before the season ends. With so many holidays approaching it can be easy to get swept away, but don’t let regular sprayer maintenance slip.
Consider implementing these five tips for seasonal sprayer maintenance and let us know if you have additional tips to share by making a comment below, on Facebook or Twitter.