Handheld/knapsack sprayers

Sally Drury explains how to safely operate and care for sprayers and looks at what's new on the market.

- Q: What is UK legislation relating to pesticide application?

A: The supply, storage and use of pesticides is regulated by various legislation including the Control of Pesticides Regulations (COPR). Use is also regulated by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH).

- Q: What is required of the operator in terms of checking knapsack sprayers prior to use?

A: It is important to ensure the sprayer is in good working order before starting an application.

A checklist has been developed by the National Sprayer Testing Scheme (NSTS) and the Crop Protection Association, which advises that the general condition of the sprayer be investigated, checking that it is clean, without apparent damage, and the straps and their fixing points are strong and secure.

Next, fill the sprayer with water and check that the straps will take the weight, the sprayer is stable when filled and there are no leaks when the tank is upright and laid on its side.

Check the pressure-relief valve to maximum pressure, then spray out the water, checking that the cut-off valve is working and the spray pattern is correct. Make sure the nozzle is undamaged and the nozzle flow rate is within 10 per cent of the stated output.

Continue to spray until the fan collapses and air appears, checking that the remaining liquid is less than a cupful.

- Q: What is involved in cleaning a sprayer after use?

A: Sprayers should be rinsed with detergent. Rinse it twice with clean water, flushing the water out through the lance. Clean the nozzle and all filters in water with a soft brush. Then clean the outside of the tank and straps, if any. Follow disposal procedures for rinsings, making sure no liquids enter any drains.

- Q: Are there any new sprayers?

A: Hozelock has given its sprayer range a major facelift with upgraded features and simplified structure. Suited to spraying in conservatories and for dampening floral displays, the Spraymist range comprises two trigger sprayers of 0.5 litres and one litre, plus a 1.25-litre pressure sprayer.

The three models of the Promo pressure sprayer range - at five litres, seven litres and 10 litres - fit most garden-spraying applications and feature a heavy-duty pump handle with metal shaft, fibreglass lance with lockable on/off control, a shoulder strap and a wide-pouring neck for easy filling.

Designed to spray fertilisers, weedkiller, fungicide and pesticide, the heavy-duty Killaspray garden sprayer range from Hozelock includes 1.25-litre, five-litre, seven-litre and 10-litre models with blow-moulded translucent containers, plus two knapsack sprayers of 12-litre and 16-litre capacities. The knapsack units have side-mounted pump handles, telescopic lances with lockable on/off control and back-pack-style harnesses.

The new Killaspray Plus high-end, high-spec range of sprayers is designed for prolonged spraying tasks and comprises sprayers of five, seven, 10, 12 and 16 litres, all with telescopic lances.

Somerset-based Rochford GM has been appointed distributor of the Inter range of compression and knapsack sprayers. The compression sprayers feature an external level indicator and fibreglass lance, a safety valve, ergonomic handle and screw-on hose connections. Tanks are made of polypropylene and have a shoulder strap. A drainer sited in the bottom is intended to make cleaning easy. Three models are offered: the Intereko 1.5 with one-litre capacity, the Intereko 7 with a five-litre capacity and the six-litre Inter 9. The latter features a hose reel tucked into the base and retails at £34 ex VAT.

Inter knapsack sprayers feature adjustable pressure regulators to maintain an even flow. Four models are available. The Inter 12 and 16 Green units have 12-litre and 16-litre capacities, and are supplied with fibreglass lances.

The Inter 16 and 20 Argo units have capacities of 16 and 20 litres and come with chromed brass lances. The sprayers have larger filters, Viton seals, non-clamp screw connections and external indicators. The lance can be swapped from left- to right-handed use. Prices range from £51.02 to £63.79 ex VAT.


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