Graco Airless Paint Sprayers

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Airless Sprayer Storage Procedure

Graco LTS 190 airless paint sprayer - Same as 190ES

Proper storage of your airless paint sprayer is critical to its overall life and can keep maintenance costs down. There are various methods for storing paint sprayers; different routines for various types of paint sprayers, numerous techniques for different time lengths of storage, a variety of methods for different spray materials.

In virtually all cases, the product to be used as a pump preserver is used ONLY in the pump; do not run  the material through the hose and gun!

Graco Pump Armor

There are several pump preserver / protector products available, we primarily use; Graco Pump Armor, Titan Liquid Shield, mineral spirits and mineral spirits with engine oil. Some paint sprayer storage products also protect against freezing and most of those are non-flammable.

These instructions are geared towards Graco Contractor Series Airless Paint Sprayers such as; STX, 390, Ultra, Ultra Max, Ultra Max II. If you have a Graco Magnum Series airless paint sprayer other than the 190ES, please disregard the portions referring to Throat Seal Liquid.

This guide is not a replacement for your airless paint sprayer manual !

Use standard safety precautions such as wearing eye protection, grounding equipment when using flammable materials and please dispose of waste material properly. See more about airless paint sprayer safety.

If your airless sprayer will be subject to freezing temperatures while being stored, choose a pump-preserver that will not freeze!
We recommend; mineral spirits or mineral spirits & oil or Pump Armor (use full-strength to protect down to -30 F, Titan Liquid Shield is NOT freeze proof).

Thoroughly clean your airless sprayer prior to storage!

Material Storage length (times are approximate)

Latex
Water-based

 
In use   1 hour - 3 days
 

This is not truly a storage method, it is a way to get to the next day of painting without cleaning your paint sprayer. Though this may not be the best practice, we know that cleaning the paint sprayer everyday during a week long job may not be not feasible. Using this technique may leave you with some hard to clean areas though such as the intake tube.

  1. Leave suction and drain tube in paint can.
  2. Cover can and hoses tightly with plastic wrap.
    If can is half empty or more, lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the paint before covering the can.
  3. Release all pressure from the sprayer, and leave gun attached to the hose and submerge gun in pail of water.
  4. To prevent fluid from running out of the inlet tube and strainer during short periods of storage, fasten a plastic bag over the suction tube when not using the sprayer.

Heat and humidity are factors in how long this will work.
Not recommended when freezing may occur!
 

Short   3 days - 3 months
 

This is probably the most common storage method for most airless paint sprayers. Most painting professionals and contractors fall into this time span.

Clean your airless paint sprayer first!

Water left in a paint sprayer will corrode and ruin the pump! Always circulate a storage fluid through the system after cleaning.

You can use a "pump preserver" such as Graco Pump Armor or just plain, clean mineral  spirits. A quart of ready to use product is usually sufficient for most paint sprayers. Larger sprayers such as the Graco Mark IV or Mark V may require more.

  1. With the paint sprayer off, relieve any remaining pressure (pull gun trigger)
  2. Place suction tube in the quart bottle of Pump Armor or other protector product.
  3. Place return (prime) tube in waste pail or bucket.
  4. Turn spray/prime valve to "prime".
  5. Turn pressure control to lowest setting.
  6. Switch the power on.
  7. Turn the pressure control up until the pump starts to operate.
  8. When the storage fluid begins to come out the return (prime) tube, switch the power off.

    Some paint sprayer storage fluids, such as Pump Armor, are colored so you can see it come out of the return tube thereby eliminating guess work.

  9. Turn spray/prime valve to "spray" to keep the fluid in the system and the system sealed which is very important in stopping corrosion.

You may want to wrap a plastic bag around the intake tube end and secure it with string  to keep any escaping fluid from getting on the surface that the sprayer will be stored on.

 

Medium   3 - 6 months
 

General contractors and property managers who paint, tend to be in this category.

Same procedure as short instructions above except use Pump Armor or mineral spirits with some 30wt oil added to it - a couple capfuls per quart of mineral spirits.

Apply a few drops of Graco Throat Seal Liquid (TSL) to the cup & rod while the pump is cycling the liquid through.

 

Long   6 months to 1 year
 

Seasonal resorts, some homeowners and others should use this routine.

Same procedure as short instructions above except use Pump Armor or mineral spirits with some 30wt oil added to it. A few cap-full's per quart of mineral spirits.

Apply many drops of Graco Throat Seal Liquid (TSL) to the cup & rod while the pump is cycling the protestant through.

When you turn off your sprayer after using a pump protectant, try to do it so that the rod is in the down position, down in the fluid section.

 

Very long   More than 1 year
 

Homeowners and the occasional painter are likely to store their paint sprayers for long periods of time and should use this technique.

Same procedure as short instructions above except use Pump Armor or mineral spirits with some 30wt oil added to it. A several cap-full's per quart of mineral spirits.

Apply plenty of Graco Throat Seal Liquid (TSL) to the cup & rod while the pump is cycling the protectant through.

When you turn off your sprayer after using a pump protectant, do it so that the rod is in the down position, down in the fluid section.

 


Oil Base

 
In use   1 hour - 3 days
 

This is not truly a storage method, it is a way to get to the next day of painting without cleaning your airless sprayer. Though this may not be the best practice, we know that cleaning the paint sprayer everyday during a week long job may not be not feasible. Using this technique may leave you with some hard to clean areas though such as the intake tube.

  1. Leave suction and drain tube in paint can.
  2. Cover can and hoses tightly with plastic wrap.
    If can is half empty or more, lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the paint before covering the can.
  3. Leave gun attached to hose and submerge tip and guard in some mineral spirits.

Heat and humidity are factors in how long this will work.
 

Short   3 days - 3 months
 

This is probably the most common storage method for most airless paint sprayers. Most painting professionals and contractors fall into this time span.

Clean your sprayer first!

Fresh, clean mineral spirits is considered a storage fluid for this time span, use it or another pump preserver such as Graco Pump Armor. A quart of ready to use product is usually sufficient for most sprayers. Larger sprayers such as the Graco Mark IV or Mark V may require more.

  1. With the paint sprayer off, relieve any remaining pressure (pull gun trigger)
  2. Place suction tube in about 1 quart of fresh, clean mineral spirits or quart bottle of Pump Armor.
  3. Place return (prime) tube in waste pail or bucket.
  4. Turn spray/prime valve to "prime".
  5. Turn pressure control to lowest setting.
  6. Switch the power on.
  7. Turn the pressure control up until the pump starts to operate.
  8. When the storage fluid begins to come out the return (prime) tube, switch the power off.

    Some paint sprayer storage fluids, such as Pump Armor, are colored so you can see it come out of the return tube thereby eliminating guess work.

  9. Turn spray/prime valve to "spray" to keep the fluid in the system and the system sealed which is very important in stopping corrosion.

You may want to wrap a plastic bag around the intake tube end and secure it with string  to keep any escaping fluid from getting on the surface that the sprayer will be stored on.

 

Medium   3 - 6 months
 

General contractors and property managers who paint, tend to be in this category.

Same procedure as short instructions above except use Pump Armor or mineral spirits with some 30wt oil added to it - a couple cap-full's per quart of mineral spirits.

Apply a few drops of Graco Throat Seal Liquid (TSL) to the cup & rod while the pump is cycling the protectant through.

 

Long   6 months to 1 year
 

Seasonal resorts, some homeowners and others should use this routine.

Same procedure as short instructions above except use Pump Armor or mineral spirits with some 30wt oil added to it. A few cap-full's per quart of mineral spirits.

Apply many drops of Graco Throat Seal Liquid (TSL) to the cup & rod while the pump is cycling the protectant through.

When you turn off your sprayer after using a pump protectant, try to do it so that the rod is in the down position, down in the fluid section.

 

Very long   More than 1 year
 

Homeowners and the occasional painter are likely to store their paint sprayers for long periods of time and should use this technique.

Same procedure as short instructions above except use Pump Armor or mineral spirits with some 30wt oil added to it. A several cap-full's per quart of mineral spirits.

Apply plenty of Graco Throat Seal Liquid (TSL) to the cup & rod while the pump is cycling the protectant through.

When you turn off your sprayer after using a pump protectant, do it so that the rod is in the down position, down in the fluid section.

 

Lacquer

In use   1 hour - 3 days
 

This is not truly a storage method, it is a way to get to the next day of painting without cleaning your airless sprayer. Though this may not be the best practice, we know that cleaning the paint sprayer everyday during a week long job may not be not feasible. Using this technique may leave you with some hard to clean areas though such as the intake tube.

  1. Leave suction and drain tube in paint can.
  2. Cover can and hoses tightly with plastic wrap.
    If can is half empty or more, lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the paint before covering the can.
  3. Leave gun attached to hose and submerge tip and guard in some mineral spirits.

Heat and humidity are factors in how long this will work.

Short   3 days - 3 months
 

This is probably the most common storage method for most airless paint sprayers. Most painting professionals and contractors fall into this time span.

With lacquer, you must clean out the sprayer with lacquer thinner, however do not leave the thinner in the pump

Fresh, clean mineral spirits is considered a storage fluid for this time span, use it or another pump preserver such as Graco Pump Armor. A quart of ready to use product is usually sufficient for most sprayers. Larger sprayers such as the Graco Mark IV or Mark V may require more.

  1. With the paint sprayer off, relieve any remaining pressure (pull gun trigger)
  2. Place suction tube in about 1 quart of fresh, clean mineral spirits or quart bottle of Pump Armor.
  3. Place return (prime) tube in waste pail or bucket.
  4. Turn spray/prime valve to "prime".
  5. Turn pressure control to lowest setting.
  6. Switch the power on.
  7. Turn the pressure control up until the pump starts to operate.
  8. When the storage fluid begins to come out the return (prime) tube, switch the power off.

    Some paint sprayer storage fluids, such as Pump Armor, are colored so you can see it come out of the return tube thereby eliminating guess work.

  9. Turn spray/prime valve to "spray" to keep the fluid in the system and the system sealed which is very important in stopping corrosion.

You may want to wrap a plastic bag around the intake tube end and secure it with string  to keep any escaping fluid from getting on the surface that the sprayer will be stored on.

Medium   3 - 6 months
 

General contractors and property managers who paint, tend to be in this category.

Same procedure as short instructions above except use Pump Armor or mineral spirits with some 30wt oil added to it - a couple cap-full's per quart of mineral spirits.

Apply a few drops of Graco Throat Seal Liquid (TSL) to the cup & rod while the pump is cycling the protectant through.

Long   6 months to 1 year
 

Seasonal resorts, some homeowners and others should use this routine.

Same procedure as short instructions above except use Pump Armor or mineral spirits with some 30wt oil added to it. A few cap-full's per quart of mineral spirits.

Apply many drops of Graco Throat Seal Liquid (TSL) to the cup & rod while the pump is cycling the protectant through.

When you turn off your sprayer after using a pump protectant, try to do it so that the rod is in the down position, down in the fluid section.

 
Very long   More than 1 year
 

Homeowners and the occasional painter are likely to store their paint sprayers for long periods of time and should use this technique.

Same procedure as short instructions above except use Pump Armor OR mineral spirits with some 30wt oil added to it. A few to several cap-full's per quart of mineral spirits.

Apply plenty of Graco Throat Seal Liquid (TSL) to the cup & rod while the pump is cycling the protectant through.

When you turn off your sprayer after using a pump protectant, do it so that the rod is in the down position, down in the fluid section.


Other tips

Before storing a airless paint sprayer, make sure all water is drained out of hoses and gun. Do not allow water to freeze in the sprayer, hose or gun.

Do not store an airless sprayer under pressure.

If your paint sprayer will be subject to freezing, use Pump Armor or full strength Liquid Shield.

Store your airless sprayer indoors!

When you turn off your paint sprayer after using a pump protectant, try to do it so that the rod is down, down in the fluid section.


If you want to see some pictures of paint sprayers that have not been taken care of, see The Wall of Shame.