NOV 5, 2015

How to Troubleshoot Problems with Your Sand Blaster

Sandblasters operate on a pressure or siphon system, whether you use them for cleaning glass, metal, plastics or wood. This means that troubleshooting problems with your sandblaster will be similar, regardless of the model or brand. A sandblaster’s input is high-pressure air from a compressor and the correct abrasive for the surface you’re cleaning and the output of a sander is a mixture of air and the abrasive, meaning there are few places for a malfunction to occur. The majority of your problems will be due to moisture in lines, tanks or valve adjustments, if you’ve ruled out the lack of compressed air and other obvious problems.

  • Air pressure- Eliminate the possibility of a faulty gauge by testing your air gun to ensure you have high-pressure air available. No air is generally caused by a faulty compressor, so confirm that the air compressor output pressure gauge indicates a suitable pressure available when the compressor runs.


  • Clear blockages- Try activating the sandblaster gun and ensure you can see and feel the abrasive coming out of the nozzle. If you can, your sandblaster is working correctly. Don’t worry, changes like this are common and often, clogged abrasive lines will clear themselves if they’re bumped or clogged.


If you can feel air but no abrasive through the gun, you either have plugged up feed lines or an empty abrasive tank. If you have a pressure blaster, you may find that the mixing valve on the pressure tank is defective or obstructing the abrasive feed.


  • Check your nozzle- If you have adequate air and abrasive material, but you have a reduced blasting effect, try changing your nozzle. This is because the nozzle wears over time. As it gets larger, the blast pattern also becomes larger and less effective. This gradual fault can often be overlooked. An enlarged nozzle will cause your blaster to use more abrasive, so it’s always a good idea to regularly change it.


  • Unwanted moisture-Drain condensation builds up in the compressor tank to be noticeable within a week, and even quicker if you live in a high humidity area. Getting rid of this unwanted moisture is one of the most important preventative maintenance jobs you can do. You will need to locate the drain and open it to properly dry it out. Moisture in the abrasive and air lines is the main cause of problems with sandblasters.


Tips and advice

  • Complete your troubleshooting in an orderly fashion, and keep an up to date maintenance log, so you can quickly identify any possible problems before they occur.
  • Never look into the sandblaster nozzle whilst the air compressor is attached to the system.
  • Wear a respirator when troubleshooting your sandblaster.
Created on 5th November 2015
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