11 Things You Should Know About Backpack Sprayer Before Buying One: The Guide To Safety, Selection And Maintenance 2021


If you are buying a backpack sprayer for the first time in your life, some questions about its maintenance and use will inevitably arise. Here, we collected answers to popular questions about sprayers.

What is a Backpack Sprayer and How Is It Used?

A backpack sprayer is a portable unit, consisting of a tank and a wand with a spraying nozzle on the end. It is used for a precise and even distribution of chemicals without the need for contacting them. Not only does it protect your hands from chemical burns, but also allows spot and directed spraying, which allows to kill weeds without damaging vegetables.
Choosing the best backpack sprayer is not an easy affair because of their wide diversity. To make the right choice one needs to understand clearly what sprayer type he or she needs and why. Modern sprayers are classified based on their pump type and power source.

These are popular and relatively affordable units. Their construction includes a piston pump, which creates pressure inside the chamber and forces chemicals to the wand from where they are sprayed out. The strong points of these sprayers are ease of use and a wide pressure range. That said, a piston vs diaphragm backpack sprayer is less resistant to strong chemicals.

They are equipped with a diaphragm instead of an inner chamber with a piston pump. They are resistant to strong toxic chemicals and can even pass through the solutions with small abrasive particles. Commonly, diaphragm units are more expensive than the piston ones.
Based on the power source, the following types of sprayers are distinguished:

  1. Manual units where the pressure is created by manual pumping.
  2. Motorized sprayers that run on gasoline.
  3. Battery backpack sprayer options with rechargeable motors.

The two latter options are expensive; they relate to professional gardener equipment. You’ll hardly ever need them unless you have to handle vast territories, such as parks.

What Are The Critical Backpack Sprayer Parts & Components?

The quality of backpack sprayer parts and components is crucial as it determines the unit’s lifespan and durability. Though different models have different construction, most of them have similar parts. Here are the components that are found in almost any sprayer.

  • A tank is a reservoir for chemicals.
  • A pump is responsible for creating pressure and moving the chemicals.
  • A hose is a flexible tube that connects a tank with a wand.
  • A wand is a rigid hose extender for target spraying.
  • Nozzles can vary in their form and intended use. Various sprayer models come with different sets of nozzles.
  • Clamps and fittings are responsible for the leak integrity.
  • An engine is a part of a motorized sprayer.

We strongly recommend to read a manual before assembling a sprayer, even if you have an experience of using other models. The fact is that Roundup backpack sprayer parts are slightly different from the components of FlowZone sprayers, so you can miss something important.

Things to Consider When Buying a Backpack Sprayer

If you don’t want to stay disappointed with your purchase you need to take into account multiple parameters of the product in question. When it comes to choosing a backpack weed sprayer, the following characteristics are of primary importance.

  • A Manual or a Motorized Sprayer?

Manual sprayers are cheaper but they have certain advantages. Thus, they are much more convenient for spot application of pesticides. They are also more lightweight and portable: one can easily move them around even without special carts. For a small or medium-sized garden, a manual sprayer is a better choice.
Motorized sprayers are powerful units for handling vast territories. They can produce a higher pressure that makes them a more effective option for spreading chemical over a large territory. Also, they commonly have a range of extra features, which add convenience. They are expensive if compared to the manual units.

  • The Pump Type

Sprayers with piston pumps are cheaper and work faster but they are quickly damages by some aggressive chemicals and those containing abrasive elements. Diaphragm pumps are more chemical-resistant and durable but slightly more expensive. Before ordering a sprayer, make sure it will handle the chemicals you are going to use.

  • A Spray Wand

Check the material of the sprayer wand before buying the device, since it is of primary importance. Keep in mind that some herbicides and pesticides are extremely toxic, so the probability of leakage must be excluded. The best option is a stainless steel wand with brass fittings.

  • Nozzle Selection

Extra nozzles add versatility to a sprayer. There are nozzles for spot and directed application and nozzles for spraying. Check what options are included and make sure they meet your needs. It’s a good idea to check whether you’ll be able to buy spare nozzles separately.

  • Durability and Easy Repair

Always read backpack sprayer reviews to know how durable and reliable it is. Don’t forget to check the warranty on the product. Keep in mind that even the best units tend to break down sometimes, so it’s important to make sure you’ll be able to find spare parts for your model and repair it or replace the broken components.

What To Know About Backpack Sprayers Before Buying?

  1. A backpack sprayer is a multi-purpose device: it can be used for windows, walls, and vehicles cleaning; whitewashing, and even washing large animals.
  2. Using a powerful backpack sprayer is the only way to treat big palms with chemical mixtures from the land.
  3. Motorized sprayers are widely applied in the industrial agriculture for the treating of many acres of land in a short term.
  4. Specialists recommend wearing a mask and gloves when spraying. A mask will protect you from the toxic mist, and gloves – from occasional leaks.
  5. Some do-it-yourselfers make garden sprayers from fire extinguishers.

How to Use a Backpack Sprayer?

Using a backpack sprayer is pretty straightforward. That said, there are some important things to consider before you begin treating your garden with pesticides. Here is a common instruction.

  1. After unboxing, you need to assemble your sprayer, using a manual. In most cases, it is very simple: just attach all the components to each other as it is shown on the box.
  2. Calibrate the sprayer. Choose a suitable nozzle if there are several of them included; find an optimal level of pressure, and the wand length (in case it is adjustable). Detailed information about your backpack sprayer calibration can be found in the manual. Always use clean water for calibration.
  3. Prepare the chemical mixture. Most fertilizers and weed killers need to be dissolved in the water. Commonly, the mixture is prepared in a separate container.
  4. Pour the prepared mixture into the sprayer tank: be careful not to touch the toxic preparation with your hands.
  5. Screw the cap on the tank tightly and make sure the liquid doesn’t leak anywhere.
  6. Put on a backpack sprayer and adjust the straps; put on a mask and gloves, and begin spraying.
  7. Don’t forget to wash the sprayer with clean water after every use.

Backpack Sprayer Safety Rules and Other Tips

Here are some basic tips on how to make working with a sprayer safer and more efficient. In fact, most commonly arising troubles can be easily prevented by following several simple rules.

  • Always release pressure when you finish working in order to prevent a fast wearing-out of the unit. When there is high pressure inside the tank, all the fittings, a cap, and gaskets have to carry an increased load, which reduces their lifespan. In winter, there is a risk of reservoir breakage – freezing water tends to expand, and if the tank is filled with compressed air, there is just no space for the expansion.
  • Buy repair kits in advance. Problems often arise spontaneously. If you have spare high-quality O-rings, gaskets, fittings, and so on, you’ll be able to fix small troubles in a couple of minutes.
  • Check your sprayers for leakage and other troubles before every use. Make sure all its parts are reliably secured, and the level of pressure is properly adjusted. It takes not much time and helps to prevent major problems.
  • If you run your own agri-business and use sprayers at an industrial scale, make sure all your workers know how to use the Roundup or Shindaiwa backpack sprayer correctly, as various units have various mechanisms of action.

How to Maintain Your Sprayer?

To keep your sprayer in working condition and prolong its life don’t forget to pour out or dispose of the remaining chemicals after you’ve finished working. Wash all the backpack sprayer parts with clean water by running a gallon of it through the pump. In winter, it is recommended to pour some anti-freeze liquid into the tank.

How Far Can a Backpack Sprayer Spray?

It depends on the type of sprayer, the length of the wand, and the type of nozzle used. The wider a jet the shorter the distance is. On average, most sprayers can spray at a distance of 20-30 feet.

Can I Spray Water Sealant through My Sprayer?

Yes, many sprayers are compatible with water sealants. The best approach is to check the sprayer manual and read the labels of the sealant. Commonly, sprayers with a brass wand are safe for use with water sealants.

Does a Sprayer Require Constant Pumping?

Motorized and battery-powered sprayers do not require pumping at all – they create consistent pressure inside the tank automatically. Manual sprayers require regular pumping but you don’t have to do it constantly. Once the pressure in the tank is created you can continue spraying for quite a long time.

Can I Use a Weed Killer and Insecticide in the Same Sprayer?

It is better to use different sprayers for different types of chemicals – some pesticides and herbicides are not compatible with each other, and their mixture can cause harm to your plants. In case of urgent, it is allowed to alternate the two types of substances, but you must wash the sprayer carefully with a mixture of 1/25 ammonia water.

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