Frozen or pluged asphalt spray system

by Kevin
(Brampton, Ontario, Canada)

I did some driveway sealing last summer and now that summer is nearly here again I checked to see if I could run my spray machine but found that the hoses are still frozen and the sprayer won't run. I guess it has some tar clogged in it.

I kept the sealant machine in our garage to protect the hose and pipes and sacrificed by parking my car outside.

I'm wondering, after the tar thaws (when temperatures rise), if the machine will still work.

Appreciate your advice. Thank you so much.

Hi Kevin,

Without knowing the actual type of spray system that you have or the specific product being sprayed I'm going to make a few assumptions.

My first assumption would be that your sprayer is actually plugged with dried tar. If the system is plugged with tar then the repair cost could be substantial (if a repair is even possible).

Frozen tar can also cause problems as frozen tar will become brittle over time. Some spray systems also have a sensor in them that once frozen must be replaced.

I did bring a frozen, plugged, sprayer back to life though. To do so I ended up replacing all the hoses and a sensor along with stripping the gun and pump down to each individual part. I then throughly cleaned each part with solvent (due to the smell I did the work in my driveway).

With all of that said, you may end up getting lucky and the thing will work just fine (once it thaws out). I do tend to find that the older a system is (fewer parts) the more abuse it can take. In fact, years ago freezing and thawing a sprayer along with leaving product in a machine for weeks (or even months) on end was common practice. With the newer spray systems this is no longer the case.

If you do get the thing running you might want to follow the manufacturers cleaning recommendations. If it's a used machine you should still be able to find a lot of information regarding the sprayer on the manufacturers website (or you could send them an email asking for the advice that your looking for).

Best of luck,


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