Garden Sprayer Nozzle: Cleaned

So I finally got around to spraying some 10% bleach on an inconspicuous section of the roof (*) to see whether it would have any effect on that black fungus / mildew / crud. It’s too soon to tell, but in the process I discovered that the sprayer nozzle didn’t produce the nice, round pattern it used to. I completed the mission and took the nozzle to the basement. The problem was obvious:

Sprayer nozzle - with crud

Sprayer nozzle – with crud

Soaking it in vinegar didn’t have any effect; whatever made those deposits wasn’t soluble in water or mild acid. A few minutes with an awl and a (manually turned!) Dremel grinding point restored it to good condition:

Sprayer nozzle - cleaned

Sprayer nozzle – cleaned

You’d be more careful cleaning the orifice of a fine spray nozzle, but this is for a hand-pumped garden sprayer: Good Enough.

As soon as the weather clears, we’ll see if the situation up on the roof has improved. If so, I get to spray the rest of it.

(*) The whole north slope over the garage, in case you’re in the market…


  1. #1 by Red County Pete on 2012-12-09 - 12:17

    The water here is impossible–we have iron, carbonates, and sulfates (volcanic and sedimentary, oh joy!), but for mere lime scale, I used to use a phosphoric acid solution to knock it off brass fixtures. The vendor is long gone (EdFred), but some other sources are around. I suppose you could still use Coca Cola… (Naval Jelly was phosphoric, with some kind of thickener. Need to dilute it, I suppose.) Not for use on aluminum, though…
    A chemist friend has found that the only solutions that work on the local deposits will attack the porcelain and glazes they’re on. Oops.

    • #2 by Ed on 2012-12-09 - 16:38

      Naval Jelly was phosphoric

      I had a pink plastic jar of that stuff for the longest time, until it ate through the lid and perpetrated nastiness on the adjacent metal cans; had to march the thing out back at gunpoint and do away with it.

      This house originally had a well and they plumbed hard-water lines to the outdoor hose bibs, the toilets, and a spigot in the kitchen. Great idea, but over nigh onto half a century the toilets accumulated a ring of hard water deposit that fizzed for a long time in the dilute HCl we poured into the pots…

      Sounds like you have the kind of water requiring a series of four different treatment canisters before the water softener!

      • #3 by Red County Pete on 2012-12-09 - 17:21

        Yeah, if we had bothered with a softener. (My wife uses a Brita filter pitcher for baking/cooking water.) On a septic system (with Oregon’s draconian requirements for replacements) we don’t want to put anything odd down the drain, especially softener salts.

        We’re on an old lumber mill-site with an exceptionally deep well, and our water tastes pretty good. Neighbors have some rather vile liquid coming out of the tap, and that’s before the usual contamination of the shallow aquifers. Our “town” has its own deep well for its 30 or so customers.

        I’ve tried to talk my wife into getting dark-colored toilets to cover the stain, but no luck. :-)

        • #4 by Ed on 2012-12-09 - 18:17

          we don’t want to put anything odd down the drain

          Rules to live by:

          • If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it down the kitchen drain.
          • If you didn’t eat it, don’t put it down the toilet drain.

          I had to replace the kitchen drain line shortly after we moved in: 20 feet of 2 inch galvanized pipe, completely blocked with sludge and corroded to a fare-thee-well. It has the absolute minimum pitch, constrained by floor joists on the high end and the cast-iron main line on the low end, so it’s not surprising everything settled out along the way. The PVC pipe now has cleanout plugs on both ends…

  2. #5 by Red County Pete on 2012-12-09 - 21:47

    Wise. Hard to have too many cleanout plugs–kind of like debug code… I loathe galvanized for drains, too.( Had to (try to) clean out the kitchen drain at our church’s parsonage. We’ve been renting it out, but the tenants forgot the rules about grease in the kitchen line. They got the reading of the riot act after the pro sent the bill.
    Around here, it’s common to bury the septic system access. Did I mention iron in the water? Howzabout iron in the soil? Disables the metal detector trick for finding the freaking lines. We have exposed cleanout points at home (one’s an RV dump), though I caught the later with a snowplow blade. Not a fun repair, and I now use orange cones come winter time.
    Every once in a while, I think about recreating an iron smelter using local soil. Really small scale, though. Running the shop magnet over the burn piles to get stray nails gets some interesting stuff, and not just from the mill-trash.

    • #6 by Ed on 2012-12-10 - 08:59

      They got the reading of the riot act after the pro sent the bill.

      You handed them the bill stapled to the Act, I trust… [grin]

      When my Shop Assistant grew big enough to handle the BFW required to remove the cleanout plug in the shower trap, she received the assignment of cleaning her hair out of the drain. That might account for her current almost-shaved ‘hawk style…