Care of Your Injection Sprayer
If you are like most professional carpet cleaners, an injection sprayer is a crucial accessory you need to have working at its absolute best every single day. Commonly called a HydroForce sprayer (for the original branded one) it not only prevents you from having to deal with an irritating pump-up style sprayer, but it enables you to apply preconditioning agents more efficiently. Moreover, learning how these actually work will save you money on chemical usage. For the purposes of this post though, we will forego that and focus on how to take care of it properly so it serves you well in your work.
I will interject at this point and mention that we sell only the Multi-Sprayer brand of these. Over the past years, we have found them to be more reliable, feature the original USA-made mixing valve, as well as reliable high pressure hose and a quality German pressure washing gun. We use these guns on all of our pressure washing accessories. Although Multi-Sprayer does not have a fancy side-fill jug, the overall quality alone is quite worth the investment. In addition to all of this, we also sell a stainless replacement 8006 jet with a female thread, which you can upgrade whichever sprayer you have to a better and longer-lasting spray pattern.
This bring us to our first point: jets and spray pattern. How is your sprayer performing lately? If you have a brass jet on it and have used it for more than a few months, chances are the orifice in the jet is now bigger than it used to be. It's probably pretty banged up at this point too. Now what is actually happening is that you are spraying more than you need to, and the fan pattern may be distorted or uneven: more in the middle, less on the edges. If you have a stainless jet, you're good for a few years.
Another common problem we encounter with our customers is uneven usage of product. For example, one day you may find yourself using the jug's capacity too fast, whereas another day you will see you have hardly used any. Chances are, your sprayer's filter and/or metering valve assembly is clogged. How to check? When your jug is empty and you have a few minutes, take a look at the bottom of the jug... see any sludge? If so, you seriously need to keep it clean. Now take a look at the filter at the bottom of the dip tube in the jug. Is it clean? Can you blow through it? Is it even there? Consider the need for a clean jug and filter to maintain the internal cleanliness of the metering valve. The shiny metering valve on top of the cap is half the cost of your sprayer, so you need to take care of this. If internal components fail, it's a quick repair with a rebuild kit which we have here for you.
Next: at the top of the tube you should notice a plastic metering tip. These are commonly yellow which represents an industry-standard 1:8 ratio of dilution of the jug's contents. It represents that dilution because water flow, viscosity of the contents, and water pressure all have input on its variance of the actual dilution. Make sure that metering tip is properly screwed into the receptacle underneath the valve. If it's loose or missing, we have a problem Houston. If you do not understand dilutions or metering or chemical usage issues, contact us anytime for some personal assistance. That's our specialty.
So, what do you do if you prefer powdered preconditioners? Is there any special information you need to know? Yes there is. When using an injection sprayer, you need to make extra sure your concentrated product is mixed very well before deploying in the sprayer. A simple way to do this is to put in about a fourth of the way of hot water first and then add your product. Then, shake it all up and fill it to the top with water. If you find that you are impatient and have frequent clogging issues, you can do something else. Consider the above here, but you can always remove the yellow metering tip and cut your product in half. Why does this work? Well, if you remove the yellow tip (i.e. the 1:8 ratio) your metering valve now becomes a ratio of 1:4. You will need to fill the jug twice as often, but it will effectively remediate your clog issues for the time being.
Big point in all of this: a clean sprayer is a happy sprayer. Keep it happy folks. It never hurts once in a while to completely clean out your jug and fill it with very hot water. Shut your chemical system off in your machine, and simply spray it for five straight minutes or so. This will clean out the system and maintain it easily. This works of course only if you do it very regularly.
Lastly, consider that in the cold weather, most concentrated products left in the sprayer will congeal to some degree. This is normal. So if possible, limit the storing of these in the sprayer, and make sure you clean it out all the more often. If you are one of those people too that insist on making a homemade brew in your injection sprayer, remember that not all products are compatible and can exacerbate clogging issues and metering valve obstructions and sludge.