This article is sponsored by hydra•flex Inc.
Even though spray nozzles are a physically small component in our overall operation, they are vitally important. The success of your digging day might solely lie on how you use your nozzle to support the overall life-time wear. Using under-performing nozzles, can lead to re-spraying and reduced performance – two problems no one wants to face.
Understanding proper usage of your nozzles will help to extend the lifetime value of the nozzle and drastically increase your performance. This guide provides you with cutting edge reference tips that will help make you a more knowledgeable user of your nozzles.
First, consider these four primary questions when selecting the right nozzle for the job.
• Which nozzle can your pump support?
• What type of project will you be working on?
• What are the safety considerations?
• Is speed or water consumption more important to you?
Next, follow these recommended safety and best practice guides for extending the life of your nozzle.
- Choosing the Proper Nozzle for the Job – When you choose the right nozzle for your job application, i.e. potholing, trenching, etc.) it can dramatically affect your day. Selecting the right tool for the job can reduce the run time especially if using the same tool all day.
- A rotating turbo nozzle is specifically designed with a cone shaped flow pattern and is ideal for potholing applications. Typically, a rotating nozzle is less likely to do damage than the same size, same pressure straight tip nozzle. A rotating water stream contacts the substrate for a shorter duration of time.
- A zero-degree nozzle is a heavy-duty, high-impact nozzle that allows you to cut through dirt faster while using dramatically less water.
- Not Exceeding Pressure Ratings – Nozzles are recommended for use with high-pressure spray wand with automatic shut-off (Dead man’s switch). However, it is very important to pay attention to pressure ratings provided by manufactures. Running below those specs will allow your nozzle to extend its lifetime value.
- Heat Evaluation – Understanding how much heat is enough for your nozzle is important for its ability to run long term. A nozzle is expected to deliver properly over a broad range of conditions. Many manufactures list heat ratings up to 180°F (82°C.). They will work at these heat levels, but not for very long. I have always found that 40°C is enough to get the job done.
- Start Nozzles in Downward position – Most nozzles today have ceramic components that are prone to failure if not started in the down orientation. This alleviates the impact directly on the nozzle tip. Nozzles built with stronger materials like carbide tips can be started in any position, however maintaining a best practice of always starting in the downward direction will always help extend the life.
- Do not submerge – Pushing the nozzle into the water or soil can force debris into the cavity that can harm the internal components. A distance of at least 2” should be maintained between the nozzle tip and the underground facility and/or subsoil. The nozzle should never be inserted into the soil.
- No Probing – The water at pressure will do the job. Probing creates all kinds of issues including cover failure, broken components and dramatically decreased life spans. The wand/nozzle should also never remain motionless during excavation. Aiming directly at the underground utilities should always be avoided.
- Understanding Rebuild kits and timing –
- Preventative maintenance can keep the nozzle body working longer for you. Identify the recommended rebuild time by nozzle manufacture and know when to rebuild.
- The dynamics between water in and water out require matching rebuild kits with the original nozzle size. If you would replace parts with the wrong components, you have rendered your nozzle immediately ineffective.
- Overtightening of the ¬¬¬¬end cap can cause O-ring failures as well as parts not installed correctly can risk damaging the nozzle.
- Check Nozzle Screens – Keeping the nozzle cavity free of debris will lead to longer life. Flush your equipment and make sure inlet screens are on the nozzle properly.
Proper maintenance of your equipment is key, especially is harsh conditions like winter. Same goes for the tools used every day. Follow these tips and you will be getting longer life out of your dig nozzles saving you time, money and frustrations.
Doing routine maintenance, and paying attention to your equipment is always affordable, not doing it is costly.
This article is sponsored by hydra•flex Inc – If you have an idea for a Terrys Tips or a topic you would like me to cover, feel free to contact me at [email protected].
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Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next Terry’s tips!
Dig on and Tanks!