Inspecting Used Spray Foam Equipment Before You Purchase

In our April blog, we warned about the hazards of buying used SPF / Spray Foam Insulation Equipment. But sometimes a deal really is too good to pass up. This blog talks about ways to inspect used equipment in order to make the best decision for your business. Knowing how to evaluate used equipment can save you lots of money and time.

the inside of a used spray foam rig

Questions to Ask Before Purchasing Used Equipment

If you haven’t read the April blog, you really should start there. Once you understand the pros and cons and still decide used spray foam equipment is your best option; here are some specific things to be aware of before purchasing:

  • When was the last time the spray foam equipment was used, flushed or winterized? (Actually sprayed good foam on a job site)
  • What was left inside the hoses and proportioning system?
  • If the system was flushed out, what flushing material was used and how much? Were they thorough?
  • How old is the SPF material in the rig (if applicable)?
  • How much has it been used?
  • How well was the used spray foam equipment taken care of?
  • Is there a maintenance log?
  • How is the oil in the generator?
  • How often do you plan on using this equipment?

picture of a used spray foam rig

Check If the Used Spray Foam Equipment Is Flushed Properly

More often than not, buying used spray foam equipment is an extreme headache. Usually, it’s shut down or flushed out improperly. Worse yet is when it was never flushed and just sat idle for too long. The A, or ISO, side of this system is basically Gorilla Glue. The most common issue with this is when the A-side hardens, or “crystallizes”, and, depending on where, or how it breaks loose, it clogs up the fluid path due to the extreme moisture sensitivity of the ISO. As the A side of the system is left to sit, it hardens. The same thing happens when the system is flushed out and some ISO is left behind. Even this small amount will harden to the side of the hose and eventually break loose, blocking a passage somewhere down the line, which is why it is so important to check these issues before you buy used spray foam equipment. Any time you’re planning to winterize or store a rig, IDI has chemicals readily available that are designed to neutralize the ISO and flush out the system entirely.

the side of a rig hose

Flushing Out a Used Spray Foam Hose

When I’m walking into a used rig, the first thing I do is grab the supply hose that connects the A side barrel pump to the reactor and bend it close to my ear. If I hear a crackling sound or “rice crispy treats” as I call it, I know immediately the hose needs to be changed out. The supply hose is fairly inexpensive and a “no brainer” to replace, same with the return line. The spray hose on the other hand is thousands of dollars and worth a salvage attempt if necessary. If there is still some liquid present in the spray hose, there’s a chance it can be cleaned out. I suggest unrolling and rolling up the spray hose, heating it up to around 130 degrees, pressurizing and depressurizing the system, and purging some material into a clean bucket, watching the flow, and ensuring it’s a clean material. Maybe unroll and re-roll it again. Don’t forget to bring a clean foam gun with you. If everything checks out, you need to see the system spray for at least half an hour without any issues It is amazing how many problems can be uncovered in this process.

a bad flush of a rig hose

Contact IDI for More Tips When Purchasing Used Spray Foam Equipment

Overall, the negotiated price of the equipment can drastically change based on the findings of the initial inspection. New spray hose can fetch a high price, and rebuilding pumps can be an uphill battle. Write down every problem you find from not having a maintenance log on the generator, to tires with uneven wear patterns. Use everything you find to negotiate your price, or to make a decision. And always remember, our Tech Service Reps throughout the country are happy to help or to answer any questions you may have before, during, and after your rig purchase. We are eager to support you and passionate about your success.

If you have any more questions before you buy used equipment, contact your local branch or reach out to us at the corporate office to get in touch with a technician.