Have you ever let paint dry in you tip? I have and it can be a costly mistake. especialy when you don't have a spare and are miles away from a new one witch may not be the right size. Now I always have at least one spare on hand. Oh and spare tip seals to! Just try to find a tip seal that fell out of the gun into the grass while standing on a ladder one story up.
I soaked the tip in laquer thinner for a few hours and was able to get the dried latex paint out of it. I picked some of it out with a shirt pin (the ones that hold a new dress shirt together o--------- ) then put the tip back in the guard backwards and blasted the rest out. I had primed my sprayer with water and was using a short hose. I put the tip guard in for a little while to loosen the dried paint on it too. Don't leave the tip guard in the lacquer thinner too long though! Because it will melt the plastic part of it and then it will be useless. I left one in for a few days and it made the plastic all rubbery and it came off the big nut so it went into the garbage. like 15 minutes is better than nothing.
Since then I did some more research and found these little pick things made for cleaning out airless spray tips. Some people say not to use them because they can bore-out the tip and make the spray fan to round. I haven't tried them yet so will post my experience with them here. I think it may be worth the risk if I just spent 25.00 on a tip!
I used them, and they work pretty good. I found it best to soak the tip in thinner for a while 1st. You need to be gentel with them and don't break them off inside the tip.
The best thing you can do is not let paint dry in the tip! If you are spraying latex and are switching back n forth between a couple tips sizes I toss the used tip into a shalow container of water. I save the covers off a Wendy's side salad and use them for this. Put just enough water in it to cover the tip. I usually shake the tip off after I pull it out of the water and wipe the shaft before putting it in the guard. Make sure the seal is still in the guard and don't forget to tighten the guard! If you are doing finish work, do a little blast into the garbage can to make sure you spaying just paint.
Ever tried to put a new tip into the guard and found it didn't fit. Either the tip was to big or the tip was sloppy in guard and would'nt seal? As it turns out some tips and guards dont play well together.
I have found that most tips work in the graco Orange guard. All the black Graco tips (RAC 4 and RAC 5, I use 5), SprayTech black and gray tips, Titan red yellow and purple tips, ASM tips
I'll try to make a chart here that shows what works with what. and maybe pictures
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