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Paint Pressure Pot Problems – Causes and Solutions

A pressure pot is relatively simple; it is a heavy duty tank that can handle high pressure. On top of the pot there can be a variety of add -ons including multiple regulators for control of fluid and air pressure, agitation to ensure your coating remains in suspension, and in certain situations heat for around the pressure pot to help keep material flowing well inside the pressure pot. While they are relatively simple, there can be a variety of problems that can occur, which can be problematic if you use a pressure pot for the majority of your coating delivery needs. This article will cover the most common problems that occur with paint pressure pots, how they occur, how to reduce their occurrence, and how to fix the issues when they occur.

 My pressure pot is whistling

A common issue that people will experience with their pressure pot is that it will begin making a whistling noise as pressure is increased on the pressure pot.  This can be a frightening noise. The cause of this problem is that air is escaping from the top of the lid, which under normal circumstances should not occur. This is caused by a few different issues, by checking these issues you can see what might be causing your pressure pot to whistle.

  • Lid is not tightened enough on all sides – most pressure pots will come with a few collars that will allow the lid to be tightened. If the lid is not tightened enough or evenly on each side air will be able to escape from between the lid and pressure pot resulting in a whistling sound.
  • The seal under the lid is worn – A pressure pot will typically have a seal that prevents air from escaping from the pressure pot by creating a tight fit between the lid and the pressure pot. If you tried tightening the bolts on each side of the pressure pot and it is still whistling, then the most likely cause is the seal under your pressure pots lid has worn too much and needs replaced.

My Regulators Will Not Work To Adjust Air or Fluid Pressures

If you are trying to adjust the inlet pressure that your regulators are providing whether it be for fluid or air pressure and they are not adjusting it is usually because the regulators have become damaged. The most common issue that occurs within the regulators is that the internal diaphragms have worn or material has gotten inside the regulator preventing it from adjusting appropriately.  This is how you can prevent your fluid and air regulators from wearing prematurely.

  • Do not leave the regulators turned in if you are disconnecting air to the pot . Abrupt removal of the air to the pressure pot can cause a vacuum which can cause material to be pulled up through the regulators which will cause them to not work. If you do not want to have to turn the regulators out routinely you can also add a ball valve prior to the regulators. When you want to disconnect your pressure pots air you would slowly close the ball valve and then remove the air to the pressure pot. This will eliminate the suction being pulled on the pressure pot and improve the life of your regulator.

If your regulators are not working you typically will need to Order a Regulator Repair kit for the regulators.

Coating Will not move through my Pressure Pot and Spray Gun

If you have your pressure applied to the pressure pot and you are not seeing any fluid come out of your pressure pot it could be due to a few reasons. First, check to see if the coating has hardened in your pressure pot’s fluid outlet or if coating has hardened in your pressure pot’s fluid line or spray guns’ fluid passages.  If coating has not hardened in your fluid line or fluid outlet you may need to increase the pressure on the pot. If the pressure is above 20 pounds or is excessively high and coating is still not flowing you may want to try a larger fluid nozzle or fluid line on your spray gun (unless there is a large height difference between the pot and your spray gun then the pressure may be needed).

How to prevent Issues with coating flowing in your pressure pot

  • Review your coatings technical data sheet – In a coatings technical data sheet it will often have recommendations on sizes of fluid nozzles as well as equipment that is best suited for your particular application. If your fluid nozzle is too small you will need extra pressure on the pressure pot to paint which will cause your equipment to wear quicker or not be able to spray (this is why we recommend a larger fluid nozzle if it will work for you). If the Technical Data Sheet doesn’t specifically mention spray gun application and you cannot get the coating to flow you may need to use different application equipment like a transfer pump with a high pressure ratio or an airless paint sprayer.
  • Properly clean your pressure pot – When you are finished spraying you should empty the pressure pot of all coating and afterwards flush the fluid lines with an appropriate solvent until the material leaving the line is clear, by doing this you will reduce the chance that coating will build up in the pressure pots fluid outlet and fluid line. Additionally, once a pressure pot has been flushed you should leave the lid on so that air is not able to enter the fluid lines which could cause any residual coating to harden.

Overall if you follow these preventive steps you should be able to use your pressure pot for a very long time without needing to replace any parts of the pot.  If you are frequently running into issues with the gauges, wearing parts on your spray gun routinely, or replacing fluid line constantly you may need to implement some of the ideas mentioned here to ensure you prevent issues with your pressure pot. Need additional help knowing if a pressure pot is right for you or why you are having problems with your pressure pot?  Contact us for a free consultation.

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