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How to Avoid Spray Equipment Breakdown

Isn’t it the worst when you go to pick up your spray gun or system and instead of a nice fan with well atomized paint you get something different. Maybe the pattern is not even, or the material will not atomize correctly, or worse the entire system is not allowing any paint to flow. When these kind of issues happen it’s important to evaluate why. We will go over the most common spray equipment problems, there cause, prevention if possible, and solution.

Spray pattern is uneven – most commonly this is due to a faulty air cap. To check if the air cap needs replaced spray and switch the cap 180 degrees. If the pattern is again uneven but on the opposite side your air cap is most likely in need of replacement. You can always try cleaning the cap to ensure it isn’t just a clog in an air passage.
Fluid leaks from the gun tip – This is most commonly due to a poor seal between the fluid needle and nozzle. You typically will need to replace both the nozzle and needle as overtime the components wear and allow paint to drip from the front of the gun. Prevention of this issue is keeping fluid pressure in pressure fed systems to the minimal adequate amount. Excess fluid pressure causes faster wear of the fluid nozzle and needle. Additionally, with viscous materials it is often a good idea to use harder metal components like tungsten carbide nozzles and needles.
 Air is constantly leaking from the gun – This is typically due to packings that are behind the trigger being faulty. When these packings go bad air is able to escape around them. There is not much you can do to prevent this issue. However, replacing them is simple enough.
The entire system will not supply any paint – This is usually done to hardened paint in your gun or pressure tank. The most common culprit of this is leaving paint in longer than the recommended pot life or poor cleaning of your equipment. If this happens you typically at least have to soak your components in a solvent or sometimes have to replace components that are packed with hardened paint. Avoidance comes from allowing adequate time to clean equipment prior to pot life expiring. Additionally, it is usually a good idea to leave the fluid lines wet with thinner which will prevent any residual paint from forming partial blocks. To better understand the concept of cleaning your equipment please reference this article.
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