Loading... Please wait...

Blog

Bad Spray Equipment Design Leads To Tank and Pump Troubles

Posted by Andrew Greess on

We’re going to get a bit technical here but, it’s because we are spray equipment experts. We stay up late at night thinking of problems and how you’d have to deal with them when we design rigs for our clients spray equipment. Thankfully, we see a lot of terrible design ideas to teach us what NOT to do when they come in for help! This is a favorite – they did put thought into this tank actually, but they could have done better.

First, we suggest suction at the top or bottom of commercial lawn spray equipment tanks, toss out this middle of the tank nonsense, please! They did put on a shut off valve which is a step in the right direction but, it’s all connected to plastic, that is just waiting to dry up and break. The heat of the summer sun will do a number on that plastic and with one crank it could all snap! 

On to the main topic though, the pump! In this picture we can see they decided to use their pressure relief line as an agitator into the main tank. You can’t put a shut off valve on that or it will blow up when you release the trigger. So, what happens when you have to service this pump? You have to dump your tank because it’s going to drain to the lowest point! It’s water, it finds level.

We recommend pressure relief on the top of tanks because water can’t drain up. Agitation at the bottom where you can place a shut off valve. Our whole point is good design will save you time, save you money and increase profitability. 

Andrew Greess: Here's another one. Oh, this is amazing. I can do an hour on this photo alone. Let's look. A couple of things. Here's another one. Tanks have suction either at the top or the bottom. Some people like top suction, some people like bottom suction. I like bottom, but there's pros and cons to both.

This is middle tank suction. There's nothing good about this, but it's the same thing. It's all plastic. They do have a shut‑off valve right here, but it's all plastic. If you go to turn this shut‑off...See the shut‑off valve? There's the yellow handle. You go to turn this shut‑off valve, you're going to snap some of this plastic. That's not even what I want to talk about.

Most of the pumps that we use are what's called positive displacement pump, which means, when you let go of the trigger, the water goes back into the tank through the pressure relief valve. You guys familiar with what I'm talking about?

You can't put a shut‑off valve on that pressure relief line because, if you did, when you let go of its spray trigger, it's going to blow up. You have to have that pressure vent back into the tank. What this company did was, they put that pressure relief line into the bottom of the tank and put a jet agitation on it.

They're trying to be clever, trying to save a little money, "We're gonna use our return as agitation." What that means is you can't put a shut‑off valve on this line. Because you can't put a shut off valve in this line, what that means is you can't service this pump when the tank is full.

If you take the pump off or disconnect the pump, 50 gallons are going to drain right out of there because there's no shut‑off valve. Does that make sense? It's a little technical, but it's really important.

To save a few dollars on agitation, instead of doing agitation right...The way you would do this right would be you'd have the pressure relief go into the top of the tank. You don't need a shut‑off because it's not going to drain up.

Then you have agitation at the bottom of tank, and you can put a shut‑off valve on agitation because you still have pressure relief in the top. It's a little technical, but it's really important. Anyone following what I'm saying here? This is stuff people don't look at. That's an important one because when is your pump going to need service?

Your pump doesn't need service when you're not using it. You need service when your tank is full, and you're using it. You have two options here. You can either dump 50 gallons or you can keep using your pump even though it needs service, which means you're going to probably do more damage to it. Really bad design.

When I talk about good design, what do I mean? Here's a sprayer we built. Had three tanks, three pumps, three motors and four house reels. We want to be able to get to...See all these pumps and motors? They're raised so you can change the oil, and they're all easy to get to.

They're all easy for service. You want to make sure your stuff is easy for service, and they're also easy to start. Really good design.

If you missed any of the videos in this series, catch up on them here:

Experience Pays: Top 10 Avoidable Spray Equipment Problems And Ways To Avoid Them https://goo.gl/NRB4qj

Choosing the Right Spray Equipment Engines, Backpacks, Pumps and Trailers https://goo.gl/r7L8zJ

Spray Fittings and Tanks - The Right Small Spray Equipment Components Matter Too https://goo.gl/kCk1qo

Oh The Hose Reel Problems We’ve Seen! https://goo.gl/fHBFhZ

Cut Out Design Flaws and Down Time with Better Spray Equipment Design https://goo.gl/r44m22

Common Sense Missing in Some Backpack Sprayers https://goo.gl/8Vixub

Avoid Problems By Consulting Experts in Their Field https://goo.gl/UuA422

Bad Design = More Work And Money in Repairs https://goo.gl/a2Yt6z

Need Easy Access to Spray Equipment Filters https://goo.gl/8Jm1Hf

For more information on Andrew Greess, visit https://www.qspray.com/

Need Easy Access to Spray Equipment Filters

We touched on this topic in our sixth video in this seminar, the importance of filter placement. We have a few other videos covering the same idea with different equipment parts. It’s clearly something we can’t stress enough – DESIGN MATTERS!  Think through all your steps: How will I clean this?, How will we repair this? [...]

Read More »

Don't Forget the Pest Control PPE

Great article in PCT Magazine (by Allen Fugler) recently about ensuring that pest control technicians remember to use their pest control PPE, specifically eye protection.  The article states that, "More than 800,000 people sustain eye injuries at work each year in the United States".  This is scary stuff. I won't reiterate the entire article here, but I [...]

Read More »

B&G Sprayer Parts - Do Your PM During Slow Periods

A professional who uses his B&G Sprayer cannot afford down time.  Use slow winter times to perform your preventative maintenance on your B&G.  Reminder: Use only authentic B&G sprayer parts. B&G Sprayer tips. Do NOT use anything sharp or metal to clean the tip. If the tip is worn, replace it. A new tip is is cheaper than [...]

Read More »

Birchmeier Backpack Sprayers - A Little Care Goes a Long Way

Birchmeier Backpacks are, in my opinion, the best manual backpack sprayers made.  They are a great tool for your pest control or landscape business. With a little care, your Birchmeier Backpack Sprayer will last many years.Unfortunately, we see many Birchmeiers that are not properly cared for.  Here are my suggestions for regular Birchmeier Backpack Sprayer (daily [...]

Read More »

Avoid Problems By Consulting Experts in Their Field

I’m not an expert but... We’ve all seen these commercials that has a person acting like an expert and when questioned on their authority they essentially say “I’m not an expert, but I stayed in this hotel!”  Sometimes we see sprayers/rigs that look like someone walking down the street was asked and allowed to design it. Don’t [...]

Read More »

Bad Design = More Work And Money in Repairs

It all comes back to design. Bad design will take away time from you and waste it on complicated repairs. O-rings need to be replaced. They are worked and worked some more. Swivel, turn, coat in chemical, repeat. It’s just a small piece of rubber or silicone that will wear out and it’s an easy fix.  In [...]

Read More »

Power Spray Rig Destroyed by Negligence, Lack of Training

This Power Spray Rig was abuse and misused.  The lack of training by the technician destroyed this weed control spray rig.   A little training & attention will save your company money and extend the life of your pest control sprayer.Watch this short video about one company's power sprayer.Some key points:1.  Don't let your technicians operate your power spray rigs [...]

Read More »

Pest Control Equipment - PCT Magazine - An Ounce of Prevention

Check out my article in Pest Control Technology - PCT Magazine, entitled, "Equipment Maintenance - An Ounce of Prevention"In this article I share some detailed tips for extending the life of your Pest Control Equipment through proper pest control equipment maintenance.  Click on the photo to read the article on the PCT website.Comments appreciated.

Read More »

Common Sense Missing in Some Backpack Sprayers

Time to clean the filter on your backpack sprayer! No worries just reach down into the main tank and grab that filter... ERH wait! They want you to put your hand into where there was just harsh lawn and pest control chemicals?! That is some of the bizarre design flaws we’ve actually seen on  professional [...]

Read More »