At Austates, we often see customers who bring their pumps and sprayers that have died prematurely. There are many reasons that pumps and sprayers won’t work as they’re meant to, or fail quickly. This is why we decided to put this list together of how to get the most out of your pumps and sprayers.
Austates has been in the pest control equipment game for over a decade, so we are well versed on what the ‘do’s and don’ts’ are when it comes to getting the most from your pest equipment.
1. Pump selection
Selecting and using the correct spray pump for your application is a priority. Not every pump can be used for every job. Pump selection should be based on a number of things:
- Materials to be applied: generally speaking, herbicides and fertilisers are extremely tough on pumps. The only pumps that are equipped to handle such materials include diaphragm or centrifugal pumps. They’re specifically designed to handle abrasive materials. Pesticides can generally be run through a wider variety of pumps; these include turbine, roller, gear and piston pumps.
- Pressure and volume: it’s no surprise that higher pressure pumps will be required for some applications. If you require smaller droplet size, added pressure may be required. Diaphragm and roller pumps can supply a large volume and pressure, while centrifugal pumps will struggle to provide pressure. Turbine pumps will give the middle ground on both pressure and volume. Knowing specification breakdowns on your parts is essential for choosing the right tool for the job.
- Budget: Unless you’ve got money to throw around, spend wisely. It will pay to calculate the productivity of pumps when choosing to buy. For example, a diaphragm pump will cost more initially, but it can apply more volume and pressure, therefore helping you get the job done more quickly.
2. Good filtration
A good filtration system will ensure that no foreign particles are entering your pump. If foreign material does make its way to your pump, it will likely damage the pump. Be careful though, a filter that is too fine will clog more easily and starve the pump, which can damage it as well. Most pumps will incur serious damage if not fed correctly. If your water is not debris-free, a secondary filter system may be required.
3. Good agitation
When using granular or non-soluble products, be sure to agitate both sufficiently in order to supply the correct ratio of materials. This will stop the lines becoming clogged and the pump from being starved. You will need to take note of which application method is chosen (jet vs mechanical).
4. Proper plumbing
This is self-explanatory, but often not adhered to. Ensure your equipment is plumbed according to manufacturer specifications. This means things such as correct input size line to feed the pump, a clear feed tube to the pump and a proper return line to the tank. The return needs to be located so it doesn’t interfere with the suction pick-up.
5. Keep equipment clean
Taking the time to clean your tank often will ensure a longer life span. As stated previously, debris will clog lines and starve your pump. You’d be surprised at what we have found inside tanks that we’ve cleaned for customers.
6. Run your engine at the correct speed
Some pumps are not designed to run at full tilt, and some are. There is little to be gained by running the engine connected to a diaphragm pump at full speed. Most diaphragm pumps will generate more than enough,for pest and weed management, at about half revs. Centrifugal and turbine pumps are different, and will only generate their maximum outputs at full revs. Provided the governor on your engine is still set to the factory setting, it is acceptable to do this when required.,. Consult the owners’ manual to see what is specified for your pump.
7. Maintain your equipment
Maintaining your equipment will save you money in the long run. Waiting for it to fail will cost more than annual diaphragm replacements or other preventative maintenance. Think of it like a car – you service a car to extend the engine’s life. You could probably drive it for a fair while, but eventually, it will fail and an engine replacement is much more costly than oil and a filter.
8. Train your staff
Ensuring your staff are well trained and understand how to operate and maintain the equipment they use will pay for itself tenfold in the long run. Checking filters, hoses and other parts of the pump for defects or problems periodically will ensure you catch problems early on. The staff who know what they’re looking for will be able to save you money too.