7 Ways to Stop Herbicide Clogging up Your Sprayer

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[fa icon="calendar"] May 17, 2018 9:20:19 AM / by Matthew Firth

7 Tips that Will Help Stop Herbicide Clogging in Your Sprayer

When you begin to spray with herbicide after it has sat in your sprayer for a couple of days, it may clog. Although every chemical is different, there are simple ways to deal with this issue so it never happens again. After conducting some basic research, I discovered that although this is a common problem for anyone that uses a herbicide sprayer, nobody has shared any easy fix. In this article, you will discover seven common sense solutions to this annoying issue.

When will Herbicide Begin to Clog?

This depends mostly on the type of spray chemical you are using. Some chemicals will be fine to sit in your tank for a week while some will clog up your sprayer within 24 hours. This question will also depend on the quality of water you are using. Dirty polluted water will encourage clogging if debris is in your tank.

"If you made a big batch and then sprayed some 10 days ago and then another bit 5 days ago and then another bit today...I could see that causing issues. Most herbicides state that you are to use it within a certain time period. I try to make only enough for that days spraying." - Sprayer User

Pro tip: Watch the weather before you fill your tank. Windy or rainy conditions will halt any spraying activity.

7 Tips that Will Stop Herbicide Clogging in Your Sprayer:

If you are going to leave chemical sitting in your spray tank for more than 24 hours, we suggest you conduct some or all of these basic techniques to prevent your herbicide clogging.

  1. Don't Mix Chemicals Certain chemicals cannot be used at the same time or back to back without thoroughly cleaning the tank and lines. When certain chemicals come in contact with each other they may clump.

    Pro tip: Liquid fertilizer and some weed killers are ok and can be applied at the same time... some will make a huge mess. Speak to your local Ag extension agent about this.

  2. Clean your sprayer - This is the most important tip that anyone will suggest. Keeping your sprayer clean will always eliminate problems like chemical clogging. If you are finished spraying, WASH YOUR TANK OUT! To learn how to properly clean the tank on your sprayer, watch this video.



    Important: Be VERY careful where any of the cleanup wash water goes.

  3. Agitate or mix your chemical - If it rains and you have to let your herbicide sit in your sprayer for a couple of days, take the time to agitate the liquid in your tank each morning - even if you're not spraying. 

    Pro tip: Watch out for product settling out. Be especially careful if one or more products were in a dry form before they entered the tank.

    Clean Water In Sprayer

  4. Clean your nozzles - Herbicide will often clog up your spray tips first as these are at the end of your spraying system.

    Pro tip: If your sprayer has a valve between the tank and boom, shut it off when it sits.

  5. Use clean water - Clean water free of insects or debris will eliminate a lot of the clogging. Always use clean water when you are mixing with herbicide. Hard well water and water with foreign minerals can react badly with both Round-up and 2-4-D. 
    "If you leave any mix in the sprayer overnight, it starts to get white looking clots and they clog up the spray nozzle and strainer. The longer I leave any residue, the worse the clotting gets. I have to mix and immediately spray. I would suggest you not mix too vigorously before spraying, also check with the local Ag extension agent as to problems with your water type and the chemical you are using." - Sprayer User
  6. Check your filters - It's important to check your filters after each day to ensure no objects or clogs of herbicide are trapped. 

    Pro tip: If clogged, you can quickly clean sprayer filters in a bucket with recommended cleaning agent.

    Cleaning-filters

  7. Store in the Correct Place - Park your sprayer out of direct sunlight. If you are in below freezing temperatures, this will also negatively affect the herbicide.

Although these tips will help eliminate clogging in your herbicide sprayer, you may still have problems if you leave chemical in your sprayer for more than a week. If you have any other tips that have worked for you, I would love to hear what they are. Comment below.

 

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Topics: Sprayer Maintenance

Matthew Firth

Written by Matthew Firth

I really enjoy teaching people about topics that I am passionate about.

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