DIY Boomless Sprayer
Pesticide applications like spot- and tree-spraying require only a single wand to apply the spray. Make your own boomless, or wand sprayer, with a few common tools and parts. The tank can be made from a used barrel or bucket that is equipped with a 12-volt DC diaphragm pump. The pump can be powered from a battery on a lawn tractor or ATV. The other components of a DIY sprayer are standard components of commercial sprayers that can be salvaged or purchased from many vendors.
Drill a hole in the side of the tank at the bottom. Drill another hole in the top of the tank. In each hole, install the barbed bulkhead fitting using silicon sealant on the washers before the fitting is screwed on. Tighten the fitting with water pump pliers. Fit a piece of vinyl tubing on the inside barb of the fitting at the top of the tank and secure it with a hose clamp. This tubing should extend to the bottom of the tank.
Drill the holes in the top of the tank for mounting the diaphragm pump. Place the pump on the top of the tank. Apply silicone sealant to the screws and insert in the holes to finish the pump mounting.
Mount the pump switch in a convenient location. Connect the negative lead of the pump to the negative terminal of the battery and the positive lead to one of the switch terminals. Connect the other side of the switch to the positive terminal of the battery.
Cut a piece of vinyl tubing to connect the tank outlet to the pump inlet. Cut another piece of tubing to go from the pump outlet to the sprayer wand. Secure all hose connections to the barbed fittings with hose clamps.
Cut the tubing near the pump outlet to insert a barbed T-fitting for pressure adjustment to the spray wand. Connect vinyl tubing to one end of the "T" to the pump outlet tubing, and the other to the spray wand. On the perpendicular part of the "T," connect a piece of tubing and a ball valve. Continue this tubing from the ball valve, and insert it in the bulkhead fitting on the top of the tank. Secure all tubing connections with hose clamps.
- Quick-disconnect fittings may be preferred for the electrical connections to a lawn tractor or ATV.
- Use the ball valve for pressure adjustment to the spray wand as needed. It also can be utilized for pressure relief at the end of spraying.
- A diaphragm pump is recommended because it is self-priming to about 4 feet above liquid level.
- The motor of the ATV or tractor should be running while you are spraying to avoid draining the charge on the battery. An in-line filter of 40 to 50 mesh is recommended if your spray wand has no screen to remove particulates.
- Follow proper precautions when working with the electrical connections.
- Do not spray when there is high wind. Pesticide drift is highly possible.
As a scientist, Randy McLaughlin has been a professional technical writer since 1980. He has a Master of Science from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Wisconsin. McLaughlin covers diverse topics, including Costa Rica, technical guides, alternative healing and spiritual development.
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