Regardless of how many decades of experience you may have as an applicator, the quality of your spray foam application is dependent on properly functioning spray foam equipment.
And as time consuming as it may be, spray foam supplies and equipment maintenance is a necessary part of being in the business.
For example, heated hoses are crucial to the consistent and accurate flow of material, which ultimately translates to a uniform spray and better foam. And the material that actually runs through the hoses can leave residue and buildup over time. As a result, the hose lines need to be flushed out periodically to keep them flowing smoothly and properly.
Caring for Your Spray Foam Supplies: Hose Maintenance
Experts are quick to point out that buildup in A-side hoses tends to only become severe if an applicator lets it get that way. In most cases, during busy seasons, hose flushings need to only be few and far between due to regular usage. However, if there is a span of time in between projects, then a good flushing is in order.
The first consideration for flushing out a hose is the substance with which the hose will be cleaned. For instance, a one-to-one ratio of lacquer thinner to mineral spirits is one option for flushing out build-up, but experts stress that the mixture could be too harsh to leave in the hose while it’s being stored. Other options; diesel fuel and other solvents can be used for both flushing and storage.
With this said, industry pros stress that it’s not necessarily what type of solvent is optimal for flushing hoses, but how much is actually needed.
One you’ve selected your solvent, it’s time to flush the hose. Don’t forget that a five-gallon flushing bucket is required to hold the solvent, along with another bucket for containing waste (optional but highly recommended). Be sure the spray gun and coupling block are removed before starting the process. When everything is set up, remove the transfer pump from the material drum, making sure to cycle the pump a few times to drain the excess material back into the drum. The transfer pump should then be placed in the solvent bucket. Be sure to run the proportioner on “cycle” so as to move the fluid without too much pressure.
As flushing solvent is pulled in, Iso is being pumped out, so at this point, you have two choices: dispose of Iso in a waste bucket, or purge the material back into a drum in order to conserve it.
Of special note: some experts suggest using the hose heat to keep the flushing solvent moving smoothly, which more effectively can help break up the buildup. In addition, a team member can go along the length of the hose and bend it every few feet to help further break up any stubborn buildup.
Finally, the flushing solvent should continue to be cycled until the discharge looks clear, a process that typically can be achieved in five to 10 minutes.
From spray foam supplies and proportioners to pumps, heating blankets and everything in between, Intech Equipment and Supply is your one stop shop.