Airless paint sprayers have the advantage of being standalone units. The self-contained electric motor and pumping system, however, require special attention for proper maintenance. Winter storage procedures also must be followed to keep the unit in optimum condition for the next season of use.
Keep It Clean
Flush the paint pumping system after each use. Use a manufacturer-recommended cleaner and flushing agent to keep all moving parts well lubricated. Mineral spirits can also be used as an alternative to manufacturer’s agents. Check the sprayer’s specifications for details. The agent will also prevent o-rings from cracking and drying. Chemical additives made for the sprayer will dissolve any remaining paint on the pumping rod.
Replace the spray tip as soon as the paint pattern reflects signs of wear. Wear can also be seen from paint dripping at the exit hole of the spray gun. Worn spray tips cause the unit to use more paint, which in turn will cause inefficiency at the pump. The harder the pump has to work, the more the parts will wear. Clean all inline filters in the delivery system. Inspect the metal screen system often and replace all strainers when they show signs of buildup. The screens will reach a point when cleaning can no longer be performed. Install new filters at this time.
Freezing weather will crack and destroy airless paint sprayers if they are not properly prepared for winter. Latex and other water-based paints expand when frozen; this will crack the suction and delivery systems. Remove all paint from the sprayer. Flush the paint pump with an approved storage agent or mineral spirits. In climates that may reach below minus 30 degrees F., combine a mixture of mineral spirits and new motor oil. Inject air into all paint lines and nozzle heads to flush out any liquid. Only the pumping unit should contain an approved liquid to keep all moving parts well lubricated. Flush the mineral spirits or pump agent from the system when the sprayer being operated.
Oil-based paints will only require a fresh addition of mineral spirits into the pump. Latex-based paints will need a flush of clean water to remove the mineral spirits.