“ Brand: Aristospray „
I first came across airless sprayers three years ago when I started a job with a new plant and tool hire firm. The first sprayers I serviced had to be carried around and were quite heavy and not very ideal.
After phasing these old type sprayers out, the company decided to buy their sprayers from Aristospray, the main model they purchased was the Q-Tech Q-P025 Electric Airless Paint Spraying pump.
Part of my job is to service these machines so I was hoping for a machine that was easy to mainitain and easy to repair. When I first seen the PO25 I got the impression it would be a simple task and that has proved to be the case.
The first feature that improved upon the old pumps is the chrome trolley frame the motor sits on, simply for the fact that it has wheels. Quite a pleasing aspect when you've been breaking your back moving the other pumps from one place to another. Secondly the motor is connected to a digital display. These pumps pressurise paint up to 207bar/3000psi. When dealing with these kind of pressures it's a good idea to know how much pressure has built up. It also has a filter housing that is easy to get to. The filter is the most important part of the servicing procedure. The pump also comes equipped with a special spanner that fits perfectly around the filter cap for easy removal.
Weighing 35kg the machine would not be so easy to move by yourself if you did ever have to lift it somewhere. The shape of the pump also makes it awkward to lift. If you needed to lift it you should definitely get some help to prevent injuring yourself.
The pump also comes supplied with a blue textile hose and a TriTech 360 spray gun. The hose is about 20m long so you can leave the machine where it is without having to manoeuvre the pump around with you. This hose wraps around the back of the handle and can be quite awkward. The pump builds up a lot of pressure inside the hose so needs to be quite ridgid. The handle itself has two hinges that allow it too slide up and down. The idea behind it is to put the handle down, wrap the hose around it loosely then slide the handle back up into place. By doing this it should ensure the hose stays tight and doesn't slip off. A feature that is pretty much useless and I have never seen the point. I always wrap the hose around the fully extended handle and never seem to have any problems.
WHAT IS IT USED FOR?
Obviously the name gives it away. The PO25 spray pump is used for spraying paint to a professional standard offering the best possible finish. The PO25 can be used anywhere around the home. You can spray walls and ceilings or take it outside and spray your fence. If used correctly it should put a smooth finish on whatever you are painting without leaving marks and runs in your paint. It will give a consistent spray and will save you a lot of time. It definitely would beat using brushes and rollers. Using a sprayer would probably save you around 90% of your time against using more conventional methods.
It will spray most water based application. Varnishes and water based paints and emulsions are the most common use.
WHO WOULD USE IT?
More than likely you would have to be working as a spray painter or a decorator to be likely to use such a machine. Priced at around £1700 it isn't something you would buy and have sat in your loft until you needed it next. It would be possible to hire this type of sprayer for around £150 a week if you thought that the time saved outweighed the cost.
I wouldn't say you had to be trained to use the sprayer. It's a simple task of plonking the front tube of the machine into your paint and letting it do the work but some practise to get the right finish or to set the machine to the right pressure might be needed before hand.
OPERATION OF THE MACHINE.
Firstly if you are going to work with any machine that builds up considerable pressure you should always wear gloves and protective goggles for your eyes.
Secondly you will also need a 240v transformer. The PO25 runs off a 110v input but Aristaspray are adamant that a transformer should always be used or you risk overloading the motor.
Firstly choose your varnish/paint. At the front of the machine there is a tubed stem coming from the motor that has a metal gauze filter attached to the end. You simply lean the machine back and place the gauze filter into the paint. Above this stem is a pressure relief valve that looks a little like a tap. Before starting and turning off the machine always set this to the open position. This valve allows the paint to recycle through the machine and back into the tub without building pressure inside the hose and behind the gun.
Next switch plug into the transformer and then switch the transformer on at the mains. There is an on/off toggle switch on the side of the machine next to the digital display, flick it to on. The digital display should show zero. There is a round black dial next to the display that you turn to increase or decrease the pressure the pump is putting out. Start to turn the dial slowly Now the motor should kick in sucking up paint but recycling it through the relief valve. Close the relief valve and the pressure should build in the hose. The display will show anything form 1 to 3000psi depending on how far you turn the dial. This is where you need to practise your stroke with the gun.
The reason it is a good idea to test the pressure before you start spraying is simple. You don't want to spray your wall in your living room and the paint be too thick, you want it just right, the perfect finish. These pumps running at high pressure can spray three litres of paint in a minute. Using too much pressure could cost you a fortune in paint.
Once you have found your correct pressure and are happy with the result spray away by pressing the trigger on the gun.
After each use the sprayer should be cleaned. This is usually done by simply getting a bucket of warm water through the sprayer. If you leave the paint in the machine it will thicken and cause you all kind of problems. Cleaning the machine is quick and simple and will save you money as parts for the machine aren't exactly cheap.
Filters can usually be cleaned by simply dipping them in water to get any excess paint off. Always make sure you have released the pressure of the pump before attempting to remove the filters from the body of the machine or the gun. Before using the machine again you might want to make sure you have removed all the water from the hose before starting to spray paint again.
Before every use always oil the piston at the front of the machine using thin oil. A bottle will be supplied with the machine. This not only lubricates the machine but creates a seal for the 'packings' helping to build pressure.
The packings are a set of nylon and leather washers. I don't have a clue how it works so I will not even try to explain. These packings can be tightened by using the spanner supplied with the machine. Two lugs on the spanner fit into a ring that you can see just above where the front stem screws onto the machine. It is the same place where you lubricate the piston. Turn this ring clockwise. After a few uses the ring will not tighten anymore. Once this happens you need to replace the packings.
These packings are usually around £60 a set. If you maintain your machine they should last a while, leave paint in the machine and they will not last long. Paint will set in between each washer and the machine will be unable to pressurise. This is probably the main problem I have when sprayers breakdown, customer neglect. I usually find it takes about forty five minutes to repair or replace the packings. They come with instructions on how to fit when you buy them and you don't need a full tool kit to do it. A couple of spanners and allen keys are all that is needed.
The different kinds of applications these sprayers can be used for are Lacquers, Acrylic, Primers, Enamels, Varnishes and Emulsions. There are different types of tips and filters to accommodate each one.
Each tip is numbered from 511 (thinnest) to 517 (thickest). The sizes vary the width of the spray and how much volume passes through the gun. It would be no good using a bigger tip for thinner material because you would then be wasting too much. Thicker materials need a wider tip and a wider spray pattern to give you the best finish.
There are also different coloured filters. Some have thinner mesh for thinner materials and then again rather obviously the thicker materials need a thicker filter to allow it through. Using an emulsion paint with a varnish filter for instance would cause pressure to build at the filter rather than at the tip of the gun causing a lesser quality of finish.
To be fair this review is probably useless to most people but if you ever decided to hire a painter and decorator these sprayers could in the long run save you time and money on labour costs. A decorator may own one of these machines or may hire one and include the price in your quote but I'm sure the by the time everything has been sprayed the end would justify the means.
A decorator using rollers and brushes might take the whole day to do one room I'm sure that using a sprayer save far more time. If your decorator charges by the hour then you would save a small fortune.
Equally I'm sure you could hire these sprayers and do the job yourself. I'm sure that any business offering to hire these would be happy to talk anybody through using them and show you exactly what to do. It would be irresponsible of any company to let you take one without first explaining a few things. Although there really isn't much to them anyway, it isn't rocket science using one.
As a fitter that repairs these machines I have to be impressed with the improvement on the older machines. They are simpler to maintain and repair. I can't speak for our customers but I will say that these sprayers have been none to go out for a year at a time and that is at companies that use them everyday for hours at a time. If you look after it, it will keep on going and going. I have never had customers complain about the PO25 and those that have invariably leave the machines in a bad state and then expect it to be working properly when they come back to it.