How to Maintain Your Spray Machine in Winter

As it starts to get colder, we see start to see more machines with damage from the cold in our workshop. It’s important that you properly look after your machines in the colder months, this will help you avoid costly maintenance. 
Ideally, you should be storing your spray machines and accessories in a frost-proof and dry area. The ideal place for your sprayer would be indoors. If there is any leftover material in your machines, gun or hose it can cause serious damage in colder temperatures. When water-based material freezes it will expand, which will cause damage because of the added pressure. If you leave any material inside your machines, it will also cause rust due to the components of the machine being made of metal. 
We understand that you may not have an indoor area to store your machine, most machines will be kept in work vans or storage facilities that aren’t heated. Therefore, we suggest that you use a preservative liquid when storing your machine.  
We recommend that you use Pump Armor by Graco. You can buy it from us directly here. 
You should be using Pump Armor even if you’re storing your machine inside as it has other benefits other than acting as an antifreeze.  

What does Graco Pump Armor do? 

Graco Pump Armor has many benefits: 

  • Protects your paint sprayer from freezing  
  • Stop any leftover material from drying in the machine 
  • Stops seals from drying out  
  • Protects the sprayer from corrosion and premature deterioration  
  • Keeps the machine lubricated  
  • Will keep the pump protected when not in use 

How do I use Pump Armor? 

  1. Remove the gun and the hose from the unit 
  2. Remove the filter from the suction tube 
  3. Place the suction tube in the bottle of Pump Armor 
  4. Place the return tube into an empty cup 
  5. Turn the pressure control to the lowest setting 
  6. Turn the prime valve to the open position 
  7. Turn the power on 
  8. Slowly increase the pressure, drawing the Pump Armor into the pump 
  9. When you see the Pump Armor coming through the return tube decrease the pressure 
  10. Turn off the power to the unit 
  11. Turn the prime valve to the closed position 
  12. Carefully remove the suction tube from the Pump Armor bottle, making sure to draw all the remaining Pump Armor inside the suction tube into bottle 
  13. Place the filter back on the suction tube 
  14. If the fluid that was pumped out the return tube is free of any impurities, you can put it back in the Pump Armor bottle 

Your machine is now primed with Pump Armor and ready for storage. 

Should I dilute Pump Armor? 

Pump Armor can be diluted for daily cleaning, you can dilute with water up to 20%. If you are storing your unit for a longer period time, we recommend that you should use it undiluted, straight out the bottle.  

Can I reuse Pump Armor? 

Pump Armor isn’t too costly, so most don’t choose to reuse it however, it is possible to. When flushing the Pump Armor out the unit you can easily refill the container. Make sure that the pump Armor that has been flushed out of your unit is clean and free of any impurities. 

Spraying in Winter 

It’s important to mention that if you are spraying in winter that you need to take the proper steps to ensure your machine doesn’t get damaged. 

If you are using water-based paint in colder temperatures it will expand and if you run this through your machine it will damage it.   
Spraying in cold weather can cause problems in getting an even finish because the thicker material can be challenging to atomise. To Avoid this problem, keep your materials in a warm place. You can also use a paint heater to ensure good consistency in your material.  
Paint manufacturers will state the temperature their paint should be used.  

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