Don’t Let Winter Slow You Down
When the nights start to cool off and the mornings greet you with frost on the ground, you know it’s time to prepare for winter. This applies to your sprayer pump, which can fail or become inoperable due to improper winterization. For example, a poorly stored ball valve can fail to open upon startup causing the pump to run dry. It’s important to remember to properly winterize your sprayer to help avoid failures.
1. Flush the Pump
Adequately flush the pump and chemical solution system of all chemical residue. Be sure to remove all strainer screens and clean any residue that has build up on the screens.
Read the label of the chemicals that were used for recommendations on an agent that will best clean and neutralize the sprayer components.
2. Prevent Oxidation of Components
Fill chemical solution system components with antifreeze and spray a small volume through the system (from tank to nozzle). This procedure will prevent the elastomer components from “drying out” and remove residue that continues to attack system components.
Simply draining the pump for winter storage will jeopardize the integrity of its components.
- Cast surfaces have increased levels of corrosion when exposed to atmosphere
- Chemical residue can dry on the mechanical seal causing the seal faces to stick together
A. Improve the storage life of centrifugal pumps with cast iron components by using antifreeze with a rust inhibitor.
! Automotive antifreeze is toxic. Proper use and disposal is required.
B. Rotate the shaft to ensure that all internal surfaces are coated with oil. Plug ports after lubricating the pump. Roller pumps benefit by being stored with a light oil.
C. Store diaphragm and piston/plunger pumps with RV antifreeze in them.
D. Cycle ball valves and unloaders on/off to circulate winterizing solution and displace water throughout all components.
E. Remove spray nozzles and top screens. Clean them in detergent water, then dry and store them in a container.
3. Open Pump Components
Leave regulators, unloaders and valves in an open or loose state so that they do not stick upon startup.
4. Drain the Winterizing Solution
Clear out the solution prior to use next spring. Retain the solution in a properly marked container for use again the following fall.
Performing these simple checks early can help ensure your sprayer will be ready next season.