We winterize our plumbing, sprinkler systems, cars, and even our lawns because we know a little effort in the fall can prevent big problems over the winter, and potentially some very unwelcome surprises once spring comes again.
Large equipment like hydroseeders are no different, and likely even more important since they’re such a large investment. Hydroseeders need to be properly winterized to continue working in peak condition, season after season.
Follow these steps to help ensure a seamless start to spring hydroseeding:
How to Winterize a Hydroseeder
Drain the Tank and Pump
Probably the most important step to preventing costly damage to a hydroseeder over the winter is getting moisture out of the system — this means thoroughly draining the slurry tank by removing the tank drain plug and also removing the plug in the bottom of the slurry pump.
Drain the Hose
Unreel the hose from the hose reel and orient it so that it is laying downhill so all water can drain from the hose. Disconnect the hose reel supply hose from the pump outlet stand pipe and orient it downwards so all water can drain from the hose and hose reel elbow.
Once all the water is thoroughly drained from the hose, reconnect the reel supply line and roll up the hose. Afterwards lubricate all of the fittings on the hose reel and inlet elbow to prevent corrosion.
Preparing Slurry Pump for Storage
The slurry pump can be kept in peak condition by adding a coating of mineral oil to all of the exposed steel surfaces that contact water during normal operation. To ensure a proper coating of the slurry pump internals, pour up to one quart of mineral oil into the pump housing and spin the pump’s impeller by hand to make sure that all surfaces are coated.
After coating, remove the drain plug from the pump and let the excess liquid drain out. This process will prevent rusting, and ensure that your slurry pump is ready to operate again next spring.
Keep removable parts, like the drain plug, in a container and store with the hydroseeder so everything will be easy to find in the spring.
Hydroseeder valves that can be removed and stored in a temperature-stable location should be. All other valves that cannot be easily removed, should be left in the open position to ensure that water cannot collect and cause damage to the valve assemblies.
Grease Lube Points
Your hydroseeder’s maintenance manual should outline all lube points on the machine — once located, apply grease according to the manual’s specifications.
To keep additional hydroseeder components protected from weather-related damage like rust, make sure to apply a layer of rust preventative to safety chains and hooks. Applying lubricant to the throttle and choke cable ends will help protect these components as well. If your hydroseeder has a radiator, check its antifreeze levels and add as needed.
Disconnect and Store Battery
Locate and disconnect the hydroseeder’s battery and store in a temperature-controlled location to prevent cold weather issues. It’s also a good idea to periodically connect the battery to a battery charger to ensure it maintains a full charge throughout the winter months.
Slurry Tank and Agitator Maintenance
With the battery disconnected, and following proper OSHA procedures, crawl into the tank to inspect the interior surfaces of the slurry tank including the agitators. If there are any spots where rust may have started to form, clean those areas by removing the rust.
Once all of the rust has been removed, recoat the repaired surfaces with a coal tar epoxy paint. By doing this maintenance during the winterization process, the tank and agitators will last for years in peak condition.
Winter Storage for Hydroseeders
Consider where the hydroseeder will be parked for winter storage and how the elements may impact it. Ideally, hydroseeders will be stored under cover or covered with a tarp.
Once you’ve learned the right way to winterize hydroseeder, you can look forward to years of dependable service from your hydroseeder. For additional questions about how to winterize your hydroseeder, contact Finn today.
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