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Solo Backpack Sprayers Troubleshooting Tips

Figuring out how to fix your backpack sprayer can be difficult as the cause of the problem isn't always obvious. GEMPLER'S has put together some helpful tips and tools you can use to troubleshoot common backpack sprayer problems and find the right parts to fix and maintain them.
Use the chart below to make troubleshooting and repairing your Solo backpack sprayers easier.

Note: Scroll right to view complete table

Problem Cause Solution
Little resistance, if any, after repeated pumping and no pressure build up Damaged/dirty valve plates Clean or replace valve plates or cylinder
Damaged o-ring at valve seat Replace o-ring
Collar or piston worn (piston pump models) Replace collar or piston
Pressure regulator seal is leaking Replace seal and valve seat
Leaks inside cylinder (piston pump models) Damaged or dirty collar or piston Clean or replace collar and possibly cylinder if worn
Leaks outside cylinder (piston pump models) Damaged o-ring on piston cylinder Replace o-ring
Damaged o-ring on pressure cylinder Replace o-ring
Leaks from pump (diaphragm pump models) Damaged diaphragm Replace diaphragm
Damaged o-ring on diaphragm housing Replace o-ring
Damaged o-ring on pressure cylinder Replace o-ring
Leaks from end of spray wand Worn or damaged shut-off valve Inspect and rebuild shut-off valve assembly
Upward movement of handle becomes more and more difficult and tank walls may indent Wrong tank cap used (no vent hole) Replace cap with correct vented cap
Vent hole in tank lid plugged Clean vent hole
Lower valve plate sticks Replace valve plate
Intake channels clogged Clean channels and tank
When handle is pulled up, it moves forcibly back down by itself Inlet screen at base of pressure cylinder clogged Clean screen with small brush and detergent
High resistance after just a few pumping strokes, but the pressure last only briefly Little or no air cushion in pressure cylinder Remove hose, drain pressure cylinder
Difficulty in moving pump lever Dirty or damaged bushing Remove pump lever, clean and grease or replace bushings
Dirty cylinder walls (piston pump models) Remove piston, clean or replace piston, collar and piston cylinder
Collar swollen from long term exposure to chemicals (piston pump models) Replace collar
Lack of lubrication (piston pump models) Lubricate collar
Parts Diagram
View a parts diagram showing the locations of the parts mentioned in the chart above, as well as other replacement parts available.
View Solo Parts Diagram >
Step-by-Step Videos
Watch these videos for instructions on rebuilding your sprayer using the Solo piston and diaphragm (repair/maintenance) kits. NOTE: For optimal viewing, enlarge the video by using this icon Enlarge.

Helpful Tips
Some maintenance tips for the Solo backpack sprayers to help keep your equipment in top condition:
  • Release any pressure, drain, and rinse the sprayer after each use. Storing the sprayer under pressure causes the pressure cylinder to fill with solution, resulting in poor sprayer performance. Seals will dry out due to age and regular exposure to pesticides; however, prolonged exposure because chemicals are left in the sprayer greatly decreases their lifespan.
  • When cleaning the sprayer, do not use aggressive or abrasive cleaning agents. A mild soap and warm water will work. To neutralize any chemical residue left in the tank, follow the instructions of the pesticide manufacturer.
  • Regularly lubricate the collar, cylinder, piston, and cap gasket with either Solo Superior Grease or petroleum jelly. Do NOT use oil.
  • Before winter, fully drain the tank, pressure cylinder and hose. Store with the shut-off valve locked in the open position to prevent damage from freezing.
  • Do not put any acid, caustic or flammable chemicals in the sprayer.
Get more sprayer cleaning and maintenance tips here >

Looking to buy the perfect sprayer? The Sprayer Buyers Guide from GEMPLER'S will guide you. Check it out >