Misting System Maintenance


How to Maintain a Misting System

Maintaining a misting system to keep it operating smoothly for as long as possible needs your attention in 3 or 4 ways:

  1. Cleaning nozzles.
  2. Checking for leaks and damage.
  3. Maintaining the pump (if your system uses one).
  4. Storing your system in off seasons.

Visit our page on What Makes a Great Misting System for an introduction to this highly effective cooling method.

1. Cleaning misting system nozzles

Rust and minerals will build up in the plumbing of your misting system and restrict the flow of water, whether or not your pump uses a filter. So you will occasionally need to clean the nozzles.

Periodically brush any debris and buildup from each nozzle while the system is running. Yes, you will get a bit wet. Do this when the system is on to prevent any loose particles from falling deeper into the nozzle.

If you do this regularly, even when you don’t see any debris or buildup, you can prevent it from accumulating to the point that you can see it. If you wait, your nozzles may have begun to drip and accumulate buildup more quickly. At that point it will take more effort to get the nozzles really clean.

Then, with the system off, simply remove the nozzles and soak them in any solution that will dissolve rust and minerals, then rinse. One manufacturer suggests soaking for 30 minutes in half white vinegar and half water. Another suggests soaking in CLR for a few minutes. Replace them and run the system briefly to remove any deposits left in the nozzles.

2. Checking for leaks in your misting system

With the system running, do a visual check of all lines and connections and nozzles. Also check areas around the system for drips or puddles that could be a sign of leaks above them. If you do locate a leak, you will need to mend or replace the leaking part or connection. Repair supplies are available in the plumbing section of most hardware stores or from your misting system supplier.

If the leak is coming from a specialty fitting you may need to contact a plumber or your misting system supplier to make the repair.

Do you notice any areas around the system that are constantly wet? You may need to adjust the angle of the nozzles to prevent potential water damage.

3. Maintaining the misting system’s pump

If you have a low pressure system without a pump, you get to skip this part. But whether your misting system is permanent or portable, low-, mid-, or high-pressure, these simple steps maximize your system’s cooling effectiveness, reduce problems, and keep it in top condition for as long as possible. A poorly maintained system can degrade quickly and become unusable.

The heart of a misting system, the pump itself, can last for many years as long as it is taken care of. Basic pump maintenance involves changing its oil and filter cartridge from time to time. Oil changes are typically required after the first 50 hours or so of use and then about every 500 hours after that. Your pump’s maintenance manual will tell you exactly how and when.

A typical oil change is just a matter of unscrewing the drain plug at the bottom of the pump, letting the old oil drain into a drip pan or bucket for disposal, then replacing the plug and filling the pump with fresh oil designed to work with your specific pump.

To change your filter, unscrew the filter housing, pull out the old filter cartridge and replace it with a new one. The number of filter changes in the equipment depends upon the quality of the water that goes through the misting pump. Regardless of water conditions, filter cartridges should be changed a minimum of once per year or cooling season. Supplemental water conditioning is available for areas of very hard water to reduce nozzle failures.

Some pumps may need additional maintenance. For example, their seals may need to be inspected and replaced, if necessary. Seal monitors are a pump feature that can help you keep track of the seals’ condition. Other pump features, like valves, switches, and regulators also need to be checked regularly and either cleaned or replaced. Follow your manual closely to keep your pump and your system operating at its peak.

Also check for any damaged electrical parts.

How to Store a Misting System

Some systems, including most that are permanently installed can simply be disconnected and the pump covered or brought indoors for the winter. If there is a risk of freezing, take some precautions when storing them for extended periods, such as through the winter.

This generally involves three basic steps:

  1. Remove all nozzles.
  2. Drain all water from the pump, line and filters. If you live where freezing might happen, purge the system with air to prevent standing water from freezing and damaging the pump and lines. Never turn on the pump with frozen water in it.
  3. Change the pump’s oil for prolonged storing to protect the motor’s components.

A misting system’s technical elements are discussed in our in-depth series,
The 3 Parts of a Misting System.
1. Misting Pumps – the heart of a strong misting system
2. Lines & Connectors that tie it all together
3. Estimating Water Use, Nozzles and the quality of the mist.

Estimating Costs is especially helpful before you purchase a system, but can help you keep an eye on expenses in the long run, too.
Finally, Installation Tips will help you with some “nuts & bolts” issues.

Troubleshooting Your Misting System

Your misting system manufacturer / dealer is the go-to resource for your particular system. For this reason, it helps to purchase all of your system components from the same source. Make sure they stand behind their product before you purchase from them.

Low pressure systems typically offer little in the way of customer service or any kind of warranty. But high-pressure systems – whether rented or permanent will typically want to ensure your satisfaction. Make use of their customer service if you have any questions.

For some surprising tips on shopping for a great misting system, take a look at Selecting a Misting System.

Other Outdoor Cooling Methods

Take a look at our comparison page or our pages on other outdoor cooling methods.

While misting systems work well on their own, they can combine with other cooling methods, such as outdoor fans for added cooling effect. Misting fans are a clear example of how misting systems work with another cooling method to maximize cooling. Outdoor shades are a nearly universal solution that work well with any outdoor cooling method.

Swamp coolers (desert coolers) use a similar technology as misting systems, but in a contained unit.

Portable air conditioners are especially suited to enclosed areas and special circumstances.