Every gun has a safety feature. You should get in the habit of turning on the safety feature whenever you stop spraying – whether it’s to talk to someone or check your depth. It’s an often overlooked step when a new applicator is learning, but can quickly cause serious injury or damage if the spray gun releases unmanaged chemical.
I make it a habit to check my A Filter before I start every morning. To me, that’s the only way I can pressurize the machine and accurately read gauges to eliminate any problems. The reason I check the A Filter in the morning is, regardless of when the gun is cleaned the previous day, the cleaner tends to leave a layer of film on the screen.
The B Side, in general, is less likely to cause contamination in the screens. As a result, B Side screens are often neglected.
One possible cause of B Side pressure loss is the collection of paint chips over time. Spray foam drums are recyclable and during the recycling process, some of the drums are repainted inside. Over time, the B component can soften the paint in the drum, causing it to flake off and collect in the Y-filter assembly – restricting flow to the machine. Making the Y-filter assembly a priority to clean can help prevent the collection of paint chips.
When I find my equipment is spraying just right, I grab a pocket thermometer. With a variety of elements including sun and fluctuating temps outside, that’s what I use to maintain the temperature between my gun and proportioner.
I always stick a pocket thermometer at the halfway point of my hose, so if there’s 200 feet I stick it in the sleeve at 100 feet. This way, if the material sprays a little off, I just check that thermometer to ensure the hose is the same temp all the way through.
The “A” component, while in the drum, will react with atoms in the air resulting in the formation of crystal like skin structures. The “A” material should be sealed properly to limit the potential of these formations that if allowed to form will contaminate the liquid. Contamination may make the liquid impossible to process, requiring disposal and wasting of the product. Once the drum is opened, the air needed to replace the displacement of the “A” material being removed should be dry. This is achieved be either low pressure nitrogen being let in the drum as the material is displaced or filtered through a desiccant dryer.
Often overlooked when owning and operating spray foam equipment, is the electrical system. When transporting to and from projects, the spray equipment takes its share of bumps and vibrations that can loosen electrical connections. I recommended rechecking all of the electrical connections at least once every three months. Weak connections can prematurely short circuit or shorten the life of the electrical components.
As Spray Foam Technicians, we recommend one tool you should have on hand that can keep you and your crew up and running. When you suspect that you may have an electrical issue and need to contact a tech for help, one of the first things you may be asked is to confirm voltage’s through the spray system. Having a Multi-Meter on hand in your spray rig will help you to easily determine the answers you need to get your system up and running asap.
The Pump Lube Check Valve is often overlooked when performing maintenance. The check valve can be maintenanced by releasing one pound of air into the valve to ensure it is in working condition.
When using the AP-2 AP-EX extension gun in 16” on center stud wall type spray application – try using PMCs – 00X Mixing Chamber and PCT combination. (PN# KT-814-00X) Set your spray foam machine around 1,000 PSI on you’re A and B gauges. This will allow for further extended control of the AP-2s quick change mixing spray head.
Over a short period of time, ISO material can accumulate on the pump – preventing the equipment from working correctly and causing potential damage. A quick daily inspection and removal of crystallization can prevent costly down time and will extend the life of your pump.
Follow this daily check with inspecting the bottom foot valve housing from potential obstruction. Lastly, color code the transfer pump ‘red’ for isocyanate and ‘blue’ for resin.