Pest Control Spray Equipment - 5 Tips to Reduce Downtime

Posted by Andrew Greess on Oct 16, 2009

A significant number of  pest control spray equipment breakdowns are completely avoidable. Do you want to reduce equipment repair expenses, downtime and missed appointments? A few simple concepts can do wonders for your pest control technician productivity.

1. Under Pressure. Pressure is good. Without it, most power and manual pest control sprayers won't work. The problem is too much pressure, which decreases sprayer life.

Here is an interesting observation. When we build a new gas-powered pest spray rig, we install it, test it and send it out at 75-100 PSI. When spray rigs come into our shop for service, they are often set at 150 PSI or higher.

The pressure isn't magically increased by a pressure fairy. Pest control technicians turn up the pressure to finish their jobs faster. Higher pressure shortens the life of pump, hoses, fittings, guns, etc. Chemical spills will be more serious if a component bursts at a higher rather than lower pressure. High pressure can also affect spray droplet size and cause unintended consequences such as spray drift.

Make sure techs are operating pest control power sprayers at recommended pressure. Train technicians to release pressure of all power and manual compressed air sprayers at the end of each stop to extend the life of your equipment and reduce breakdowns and downtime.

2. Filter Your Results. The most common cause of avoidable pest control spray equipment repairs is clogged filters. The most commonly ignored advice to Pest Management Professionals is to clean your filter.

When pest control spray technicians come to our repair facility, it almost doesn't matter what they tell us their equipment problem is. The first thing our mechanics do is to check the filter. A dirty filter causes so many downstream problems it is not feasible to list them all here. Be sure technicians are cleaning filters. Be sure supervisors are spot checking to make sure it is being done.

3. Clean it Out. Debris in tanks of pest control power sprayer or compressed air sprayers wreaks havoc on effective pest control operations. Rinse your system with clean water periodically to remove old chemical buildup, debris, etc. Chemical buildup & debris can clog your filter, starve your pump, damage spray tips, and clog other components as well. When in doubt, rinse it out. Be sure to follow all labels and laws when cleaning out spray tanks.

4. Don't Ignore Problems. Here are a couple of indisputable smart systems truths. Small pest sprayer problems will become big problems. Small problems are fixed quickly and cheaply. Big problems are expensive productivity killers. Water anywhere it is not supposed to be is a problem.

We are constantly amazed by the number of major repairs that could have been quickly, easily and inexpensively resolved had the equipment been brought in sooner. Train your technicians to let you know when they find equipment issues. It will save you lots of time and money.

5. Preventative Maintenance. Pest control spray equipment requires service. Harsh chemicals, long operating hours, temperature extremes, rough treatment all take their toll. Don't wait for your equipment to fail. It will cost more and take longer to fix.

Many breakdowns occur during your busy season when equipment is being used hard. This is also your equipment repair shop's busy season, so repairs could take longer. Schedule preventative maintenance during slow periods to reduce the impact on your schedule.

Spray equipment breakdowns can wreak havoc on your schedule, impact your customers and hurt company profitability.  In a challenging economy, these are problems you do not need.  With a little extra training and planning much downtime and repair expenses can be avoided.