Skip to main content

September 9, 2011

Winterizing a Sprayer

The time is rapidly approaching, the final sprays of the season are being applied and soon it will be time to settle in for a cold winter.

But don’t forget about your sprayer! It needs to be taken care of so that it will survive the winter and be ready to serve you again when spring arrives, the material left in the tank, pump and hoses of the sprayer will freeze when the mercury drops below 0*C, and with that freezing comes expansion, and that expansion can cause some serious damage.

here is a step by step guide to preparing you sprayer for winter.

    1. Drain the tank; to do this, remove the bottom of the filter cap and (if you have one) make sure the foot valve is depressed for draining.
    2. Drain the pump and hoses; the best way to accomplish this is to detach the hoses where they attach to the spray booms making sure all the nozzle bodies are in the open position, and then turn the pump with all the boom valves open, displacing the water in the diaphragms and moving it out the hose. (if you don’t get every last drop don’t worry, you will be replacing it with a water/antifreeze mix soon anyways). If you have a long hose for a spray gun, detach and drain it, and hang it up.
    3. Open the valve on the hand wash station.

    1. Now with all the water removed you can reinstall the filter cap and the hoses. Leave the hand wash station open.
    2. Place 8L of antifreeze/water mix in the spray tank, following the mixing directions on the antifreeze bottle. Do not place mix in the hand wash tank.

    1. With the boom valves open, turn the pump to distribute the water/antifreeze throughout the system, keep turning the pump until you see the mix coming out of the nozzles. This is especially important If your sprayer has electric valves.
    2. Turn all the ball valves on the sprayer to a 1/2 open position, this is to prevent water from becoming trapped within the ball and freezing.

  1. In the spring, repeat the steps for draining to remove the antifreeze mix before your first spray.

A note about spring operations! Often times a sprayer that was duly winterized will become victim to spring freezing. This is when the temperature drops overnight enough to freeze water inside the pump and hoses, but not the larger volume of water in the tank. nothing is frozen solid so there is no visible danger, but when the machine is started, the ice jams the pump and can cause a total failure. To prevent this, if you suspect that the temperature will drop below 1*C overnight, be sure to park your sprayer under cover that night, and in the morning turn the pump by hand for a few turns to “feel” if there is ice jamming it. If there is any ice detected or suspected, wait for the ice to melt completely before operating.

If you follow these instructions, you will help your sprayer live a long life, and avoid costly repairs.