7 preseason checks for pressure pump applicators – Dwain Ewald, Vita Plus
By Dwain Ewald, Vita Plus Gagetown customer service
Whether it’s a pressure pump applicator on the bailer or at the silo blower, cleanliness is one of the first things I always check before use. You don’t want to go through all the steps of cleaning and calibrating the system to find out the tips and filters are plugged with sediment and debris still in the tank.
That being said, here are the seven items I check to prepare pressure pump applicators for harvest.
- Clean the tank or barrel and check for cracks or holes. Let’s face it, they are made of plastic and will not last forever as the sun and cold take their toll.
- Take apart the main screen and check for cracks and any plugged screens. Flush out the bowl and make sure the gasket is in good shape.
- Check all electrical connections on the pump as weather and acid can corrode the connectors. Also, check the wiring harness for cracks and bare spots.Make sure the pump actually runs. This is a good time to check your controller. If you have an SP-1 controller, make sure the pump speeds up and slows down because the electrical switches can go bad over time.
- Pressure gauges get stuck, leak, or quit working over time and with high levels of use. They are relatively inexpensive, so if they are questionable, just replace them. This piece of the puzzle is very important for the accuracy of the system.
- If the hosing looks old and brittle, then it is old and brittle. Change it. This isn’t a big ticket item until you find out the inoculant is on the ground and not in your forage. Remember, we are dealing with a pressurized system here.
- Make sure the regulator is adjustable. Try to adjust it as closely as possible to last year’s setting to maintain consistency.
- Check the tips and screens to make sure none are plugged. Do not use a piece of wire to clean them as they can damage easily and affect your application rate. I like to use water, compressed air and a toothbrush to clean them. Please, don’t use your everyday toothbrush and then put it back in the holder.
Cheers to a successful forage season! If you have any questions, contact your local Vita Plus forage team member.