Farmers and landscapers have used spraying equipment of some kind for several hundred years. But those old fashioned sprayers had large, bulky tanks and were difficult to operate. Then along came the motorized backpack sprayer. A backpack sprayer with is small tank and easy to use spray system has become the weapon of choice for thousands of homeowners, gardeners and plant professionals.
Motorized Backpack Sprayer Pump Types
While there many different types of motorized backpack sprayers available, they can usually be classified by their pump type. The most common pump on a backpack sprayer is a piston or diaphragm. Generally speaking, piston sprayers are more affordable and provide greater output pressures than a diaphragm-type motorized backpack sprayer.
On the other hand, while a bit pricey, diaphragm pumps are more durable and can be used to for spray formulas like wettable powders (“A substance that does not dissolve in water but remains suspended in it. Usually refers to pesticides that are applied as sprays”), which can knock off or wear out a piston pump sprayer very quickly.
Tank Design and Capacity
Most motorized backpack sprayers use polyethylene plastic or fiberglass for the tank. Both of these materials are strong, lightweight and resistant to most insecticides/pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals. If you are going to use your backpack sprayer to apply oils or stains then you need to make certain your tank is rated to handle them.
Tank capacity can go as high as 5 to 6 gallons on some commercial motorized backpack sprayers. But four gallon units like the popular Solo backpack sprayer are bestsellers. The Solo backpack sprayer is one the most widely recommended sprayers for the home and garden markets.
Pressure Regulator Value and Pressure Gauge
Two of the most important parts of any backpack sprayer system are the pressure regulator and pressure gauge. A regulator value controls the flow and pressure of the spray mixture that comes out the nozzle. It also acts as a safety value to protect the seals, hoses and other pump parts from being blown out from too much pressure. Get a sprayer with an adjustable regulator.
The pressure gauge is your visual indication of just how much pressure the spray mixture is under as it leaves the nozzle. A gauge helps you determine spray rate and application coverage. Get the best pressure gauge you can since, it will eventually wear out from being clogged with junk.
Chemical Resistance and Durability
All things being equal, most common thing to fail on a motorized backpack sprayer are the accessory parts. Good high quality hoses, wands, spray nozzles, strainers, pump seals, gaskets and O-rings are worth the extra cost in the long term.
Padded Straps and Waist belt
A motorized backpack sprayer isn’t for wimps. Think about it, 4 gallons of water (US) weighs over 33 lbs and a 4 gallon backpacker can weight from 14 lbs dry! So get a sprayer with wide, adjustable and well padded shoulder straps (with a waist belt if possible).
Now that you know a little bit about a motorized backpack sprayer, you should be ready to venture out and buy one on your own.