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Winterize Skid Sprayer?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by bthornhill, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. bthornhill

    bthornhill LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 32

    I'm a newby, matter of fact, just got my skid rig this week and been spraying water to calibrate myself. I'm in Central Alabama and Low temps here are supposed to be in 20's over the weekend. I'm sure there will only be a couple hours of below freezing temps but should I run antifreeze through pump and hose to be safe? Thanks in advance for any information you may be able to provide.
  2. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,539

    Go to the Auto Parts store and buy a 1 or 2 gals of RV antifreeze. I usually turn the strainer upside down and pour the antifreeze in full strength while pull starting the engine without actually starting it. The pump sucks it right in. I use about a half gal(til I'm pretty sure its all through the pump. Good to -50 degrees. Your other option is to have 5 or so gals of water in the tank. Pour a gal of the antifreeze in the tank and recirculate the hose and everything and you'll also keep the hose from freezing up. You'll be good to well below 0 degrees. Some guys try to get all of this out before spraying but my thought is...Why would they allow this in the water system of campers if it wasn't somewhat safe and biodegradeable. When I'm ready to spray, I fill 300 gal of mix on top of it, recirculate everything and go. To each their own.
  3. AcePaul

    AcePaul LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    I have a 50 gal Lesco. Take the gun inside and the filter if you can.
    I've never run anti-freeze thru mine, and so far no problems, just drain everything as well as you can.
  4. bthornhill

    bthornhill LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 32

    Thanks for info guys! I was a little afraid to run the pump dry, but again, I'm a greenhorn to these water pumps...it's a UDOR KAPPA 43 GR diaphragm pump. Anyone know if it's ok to run this pump dry?
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,219

    Don't take a chance that some water might remain in the pump. New pumps are expensive. Ted is right...again. Get as much water out as you can--add antifreeze and recirculate through the reel, gun and hose. Freezing could destroy the reel and swivel--but they can be replaced easily--cost is around $800.

    Of course, if you have an electric blanket or a warm garage to park it in...

    Use RV type; regular antifreeze kills grass (at least that is my experience from a leaking radiator.)
    At least the RV anti-freeze is reusable next year--if you save it and label it carefully.
  6. bobcatrg

    bobcatrg LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I'm dealing with the same thing. Went through all the hassle to winterize in the fall and now it's time to spray but still February. I'm using a heat tape wrapped around the pump, just like I use in my well house. Heavy canvas tarp over the whole unit with a small heater set on the lowest setting. Hope it works.
  7. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,539

    Good Idea.
    When I was solo, I placed a drop light(60W bulb) next to my pump, then covered the pump motor and sometimes the reel with an old packing blanket for insulation then a tarp for a little moisture protection. All you really need to do is keep it above 32 degrees. That was fine with one truck and sprayer. Now I have 3 trucks with sprayers and 2 other sprayers that don't see much action but still get used 1-2 times a month. Too many extension cords and drop lights going everywhere.
    I've got a 24x40 shop but its not enough room for 3 trucks 2 Z-sprays and pallets of fert.
    One of these days I'll be "big time" and be able to afford a nice heated shop I can park everything in.
    I forgot to bring in a JD-9 last month and it got a crack that ran the length of the handle one night when it hit about 19. Pumps are a lot more expensive.
  8. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,219

    Bob's suggestion of the use of a heat tape sounds good to me. It is designed for outdoor use and protection of water pipes. And usually it is controlled by a thermostat--it shuts off when the temp rises above 39 degrees. http://www.foremost.com/mygreathome/?v=a&an=how-to-install-heat-tape
    This is a lot safer than lightbulbs as the risk of fire is much reduced. Potentially it could be covered with insulation and left in place until temps warm up in a few weeks. Protecting the reel seems to me to be more difficult. As Ted mentioned, tarp over the whole thing would be a help in my opinion. Filling the tank with warm water would keep anything under the tarp somewhat warmer. I am not sure if there is any way to circulate warm water through the hose and reel...might help...but how?

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