Prevent power spray equipment from freezing

Posted by Andrew Greess on May 20, 2009

Power spray equipment freeze damage is expensive in repair expense, downtime & missed appointments. That’s why winterizing sprayers matters.

With winter comes additional risk for PMPs and the need for cold weather safety methods. Deep freeze conditions can cause considerable damage to power sprayers. Some of the most expensive power spray rig parts are most at risk of freeze damage.  Water can freeze in lines, and the resultant expanding ice can damage pumps, spray guns, line strainers (filters), hand sprayers, etc. In addition to the added cost of equipment repairs, customer appointments will be missed while equipment thaws out or is repaired. How to prevent frozen pipes?

Cold weather safety tips There are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself and reduce the risk of freeze damage to your pest control equipment. Consider these power sprayer winterizing insights from experts.

Equipment Design

Work with your equipment provider to build in preventative measures. Some suggestions:

  • Install a valve between the tank and filter to shut off the flow of water through the system.
  • Install a drain at a low point in the system to allow water to drain out.
  • Install a fill with a removable plug to allow the addition of anti-freeze to the pump.
  • If you live in an area with sudden freezes, it may be wise to request that your equipment vendor use flexible hose instead of pipe, wherever possible.


  • Train your technicians to be aware of and take sprayer winterizing steps to prevent freeze damage. Remind them that damaged equipment impacts their ability to provide great service to customers and hurts the company financially.
  • Train your technicians to always release the pressure when they are done spraying. Systems under pressure will experience greater damage from freezing than would otherwise result. This is especially true for handheld compressed air sprayers and backpacks.
  • Train technicians not to use frozen equipment until it thaws out.  Using or running frozen equipment will make a small problem worse (i.e., more expensive, longer delays, etc.)
  • From the department of the truly obvious: store vehicles in places where the equipment will not freeze.
  • Wrap hoses with insulating material to reduce freeze risk.
  • Covering equipment with insulating blankets at night is an important part of winterizing your sprayers.

Purchase an electric battery heater/thermal wrap to keep your pump warm and cozy at night

  • Build a pump heater by hanging a light bulb inside a cardboard box over your pump.  Be sure there is no fire risk.
  • Remove filter cup from the body to drain filter.
  • Drain water from equipment before an expected freeze.
  • Add anti-freeze to equipment being stored for the winter.
  • If storing a pest control sprayer for the winter, consider removing the pump to perform annual maintenance.

Awareness and preparation are key to preventing freeze damage to your spray equipment. Remind technicians of their responsibilities to prevent damage to company equipment. Perform spot checks to ensure your policies are implemented. Track damage by technicians to identify repeat offenders and problems with equipment design.