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Pak Tank maintenance

Posted by Michael Phillips 
Pak Tank maintenance
November 22, 2012 03:37AM
We all have the sprayers we have ... and I really like my stainless steel Pak Tank! What follows are some questions regarding keeping this dependable for years to come.

Winterizing is first on my mind. I finally completed my fatty acid sprays aimed at leaf decomposition today. (I know, I know!) How good to drain the tank and then run RV antifreeze through the system just to the point where "pink" from the antifreeze shows in the gun spray. I have the same two gallons of antifreeze on hand that I started with four years ago when I got this sprayer. Alan Surprenant in Massachusetts has gotten away with skipping this step the occasional winter, but for me, it feels so much better to be safe.

I am frustrated by the Tee-Jet filters. No matter how careful I try to be about alignment the thing gets torqued rather quickly in the final hand tightening. What's needed is fairer pricing on replacement parts! It's pretty basic yet somehow the thing gets caught to the side and ends up cracked, bent, and essentially kaput.

I do keep an eye on the oil fill. This year I had to replace the exterior rubber diaphragm that pulsates with air pressure. I'm not so inclined to go deeper inside the actual diaphragm pump. I figure when things fail, that's the right time. More experienced insights on this point are welcome.

Finally, replacement parts. I go through Orchard Equipment & Supply in Conway, Massachusetts, from whom I originally bought this Pak Tank 100-gallon three-point-hitch sprayer for $2900. Say amen, brother. The price of parts defies imagination even more. Maybe this is necessary given that the orchardist market is far more limited today. I am wondering if there's a better clearinghouse for such things as Tee-Jet filters.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/2012 03:39AM by Michael Phillips.
Re: Pak Tank maintenance
November 10, 2015 02:33AM
I've sprayed all my fall Fatty Acid Knockdown sprays and the compost teas and now frost is showing up in our very nutty-smelling orchard and it's time to think about winterizing.

Glad you posted this. One question-after researching RV Antifreeze toxicity, etc and thinking about my precious microbes that I may spray again during a warm spell this winter or early spring: Are you using the Propylene Glycol type "pink stuff" for RVs or the ethanol based gunk?

I understand the ethanol may be hard on gaskets, possibly the diaphram pump, am I correct? If so, I'll go for that supposedly "non-toxic" glycol unless you have another suggestion..

Seeing as how our 100 gal Pak Tank is new this year, haven't had to mess with the diaphram or exterior diaphram yet "phew!".

But I have had to go looking for Tee Jet filters already as fine compost tea particulates that made it through the hatch filter wreaked havoc on my efficiency with the first filter (that the tank came with). I had to stop and clean it every few gallons to maintain flow, and I needed a courser filter in the Tee Jet.

So where I was able to get some fairly decently priced filters of various sizes and alternate spray nozzles for the Braglia gun we got was through G & R Ag Products Inc in Pasco, WA. I found them to be easy to deal with and direct. Shipping was expensive though. Another that may be closer to your neck of the woods can be found here: Tee Jet Distributers

Happy Harvest!

Nick Segner

Wildcat Valley Farm
Zone 8b
Olympic Peninsula Rainshadow
Port Angeles, Washington
Re: Pak Tank maintenance
November 10, 2015 02:59AM
For what it is worth...

I unhook all fittings and actually remove the pump from the sprayer. Never trusted the antifreeze approach for a lot of reasons.

Also, I like to take apart and inspect all pieces/parts of my sprayer pumps each winter. Don't let it sit! I've seen a minor autumn tear turn into a major spring tear because it sat all winter unused and in the cold: sprayer karma.

Finally, I hate filter screens. Got rid of them a long time ago. If you get a coarser screen, then you're just letting the particles through that will clog the nozzles anyway. Invest in vicon nozzles for longer life and let the screens go!!

Anyway, that's my 2 cents for today.

Mike Biltonen, Know Your Roots
Zone 5b in New York
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