How to Properly Maintain Your Graco Spray Foam Equipment

How to Properly Maintain Your Graco Spray Foam Equipment

March 05th, 2018
Eric Emin Wood

Proper maintenance is essential to any professional equipment. Not only does regular maintenance protect your investment, but it also makes sure your equipment performs best when you need it most.

Graco is one of the world's leading manufacturers of portable spray foam and spray foam insulation equipment. It has become an industry leader thanks to a commitment to innovation and top quality.

Maintenance  Of Graco Expanding Foam Spray Equipment

Graco provides equipment users with an online resource that outlines any specific product and maintenance information. Graco site for manuals specific to your model. Go to the bottom of the page, select your machine type, go to " Support", and select " Manuals".

Basic Maintenance Procedures

The following is an overview of the components of a typical Graco spray foam machine. Note that each machine has its own individual requirements, which will be outlined in a product manual, depending on the equipment you own.

Foam spray equipment consists of the following basic elements:

  • A pump that creates the pressure needed to spray the material through the handheld spray gun.
  • A motor that drives the pump. This can be electric, gasoline or diesel depending on the model.
  • Proportioning mechanism. This provides the proper measurement and mixing of the chemicals that create the foam insulation.
  • Storage Tanks. These are the containers that hold the chemicals used to create the foam.
  • Delivery hoses. These hoses are critical components and are the most vulnerable to damage. Hoses contain heating elements and are often damaged on site by careless handling.
  • Spray Gun. This is the critical part of the system that allows the operator to control the flow of material and apply it to the area being coated. 

Power Supply and Drive Motors

The heart of every unit is the power supply. Graco sprayers can be electric powered, gasoline powered or use diesel fuel. Your owner's manual is the best resource for maintenance specific to your machine, but some general guidelines apply to all sprayers. 

Electric motors should be regularly inspected. Pay attention to bearings that may require lubrication, electrical connections and drive couplings. Power cords should also be inspected for any damage before each use. Look for cracks or any damage that exposes the wires, which could cause electrocution to the operator.

Gasoline and Diesel units require the same maintenance as any gas powered equipment. Check oil levels before each use and follow your owners manual for recommended service intervals and oil types. Air filters are another checkpoint and should be cleaned or replaced if clogged. Fuel additives may be used if recommended by the owners manual, and are used to prevent fuel from spoiling during storage and also ease cold weather starting. Additives are added to the fuel storage container and not the fuel tank on the machine unless long storage periods are anticipated.

Maintenance intervals for gasoline and diesel engines are measured in hours of operation. If you have any questions, contact Graco directly.

Proportioning/Transfer Pump

The proportioning pump is the critical component in any sprayer and is responsible for maintaining pressure and the correct proportioning of the chemicals that create the foam coating.

There are strainers in line between the fluid tanks and the pump. These are the " Y" strainers and they should be checked whenever new material is being used. These strainers prevent large particles from entering the system and causing blockages or damage to the pump itself.

It is vital to check the filters and clean as needed. Hydraulic oil is the fluid that lubricates the pump, and the level should be checked before every use. This fluid requires periodic changing, just as the oil in an engine needs periodic changing. Your owners manual will state the recommended maintenance intervals.

Never use petroleum lubricants on these pumps as this can damage O-ring seals. The occasional addition of a dab of lithium grease at the air inlet is sufficient.

Material Transfer System and Storage Tanks

This system transfers material from the storage tanks to the pump. Essential maintenance points are the desiccant filter which traps moisture that can form crystals and damage the pump and spray mechanism.

Part of this system is the " Swift Heating " system which raises the fluid temperature to the correct level. Foam formation is a chemical reaction, so heating the system to the right temperature is critical. While there is no maintenance, evidence of failure is the foam not forming correctly. A repair is the only solution, and your owners manual should be consulted.

The proportioning valve or "Y" valve is the device that mixes the chemicals in the exact proportions needed for the foam to solidify correctly and adhere to the surface being coated. Valves need to be clean with no debris that can prevent valve parts from seating properly.

Storage tanks are a vital component as they hold the material being used. They should be cleaned after every use. Avoid any abrasives or chemical solvents that could damage other parts of the system.

Delivery Hoses

The only maintenance of hoses is a daily inspection. Leaking or frayed hoses need to be replaced. In some systems, the hoses also provide the heat to the foam chemicals and therefore are critical to proper delivery and application of the foam. 

Spray Gun and Handle

This is the handheld device that mixes and delivers the two components under high pressure at a precise ratio. The gun needs to be cleaned after every use, including the filter screens and tips. The gun should also be coated with a silicone mold release compound to prevent foam from sticking and building up. Most guns use " Air Purging" to keep the internal parts clean during use. This system should be left on at all times to prevent clogging. 

Over 35 years in business, Bolair has established loyal relationships with hundreds of satisfied customers and industry-leading equipment partners. We don't just sell equipment but strive to make sure our customers know how to maximize its potential. Even if you’ve never used a sprayer before, our goal is to be your one-stop-shop for the lifetime of your Graco spray machine.

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