Late Fall is the Time to Winterize Your Sprayers

Once the growing season is over and the weather is turning colder it’s time to winterize your pesticide sprayer before it gets too cold and causes damage to sprayer components. The following are tips to guide you.
Late Fall is the Time to Winterize Your Sprayers - Articles

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Winterizing Sprayer, Photo by Andrew Frankenfield

Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Always wear the proper PPE when cleaning, winterizing, or simply making repairs and adjustments to your sprayer. Remember: Pesticides are not the only chemicals that pose exposure risk. Check the tank cleaner precautions.

Clean the Sprayer Regularly

Be diligent in cleaning your sprayer. This should be done after each spray but is critical before winter storage. Pesticide labels indicate proper cleaning procedures, including what cleaning agent to use.

Take Care of the Sprayer

Taking care of your sprayer is essential to ensure its best performance and maximize its life span. This includes following proper maintenance and storage procedures throughout the year.

Winterize the Sprayer

Winterizing your sprayer after the season is over will help prevent damage and save you both time and money in the spring. Be sure to read the owner’s manual for your sprayer and pump. Using the wrong material to winterize your sprayer could void the warranty.

Filters

  • Remove filters from sprayer.
  • Wash by hand with soapy water and rinse.
  • Store metal filters in vegetable oil to prevent rust pitting.
  • Place filter housing back on sprayer.

Nozzles

  • Remove nozzles, check valves and screens.
  • Wash by hand with soapy water and rinse.
  • Store metal screens in vegetable oil.

Pressure Gauges

  • Remove all pressure gauges and cap openings.
  • Store at room temperature in an upright position.

Sprayers

  • Remove as much water as possible from the sprayer (can use an air hose to blow out any moisture).
  • Add RV antifreeze (see below) with corrosion preventer already added. Be sure to save the containers to collect RV antifreeze from sprayer in the Spring for reuse or proper disposal.

Smaller sprayers:

  • Add RV antifreeze to tank.
  • Use sprayer pump to circulate through pump and all lines.

Larger sprayers:

  • Use small electric pump to push RV antifreeze through pump into lines and nozzle openings (make sure flow and pressure is not greater than pump/system can handle).
  • Connect this line via the quick fill valve.
  • Place containers under the open nozzles to collect RV antifreeze.
  • Stop pump when you see pink coming out of the nozzle openings, and then cap nozzle openings to maintain fluid in system.

Other Sprayer Components

  • Refer to owner's manual for proper instructions for the other sprayer components, such as the foam marker system, flow meter, rate controller, and electronic system.

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