READER: Each spring, when I get ready to use my sprayer, the cast-iron roller pump is stuck. I can put it in a vise and break it loose, but I have to replace it every two years. I think if I could do some kind of winter maintenance, it would last longer. What is the best way to service this pump for the winter months?
STEVE: The best way to service this pump is to first run clean water through it when you retire it for the winter. Then, after it dries, pour clean motor oil into it and rotate the pump. Fill the pump with oil and place it so the pump stays full of oil until you get ready to spray in the spring. You will find that the roller pump will last for a long time, especially if you wash it out after each use during the spraying season. This last step is important when spraying sticky fertilizer.
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