I’ve gone through 2 sprayers in 7 years. The first one was a 1 gallon Chapin hand pump sprayer. It served me well but it was too small once I accumulated my 30 trees. It also did not handle Surround well ( clogging)
The second sprayer was a 4 gal Chapin backpack sprayer. The shoulder and chest straps did not fit a small person like me well. It worked well with Surround. After two years, a pressurizing handle broke.
I am on to a new sprayer. I only need a 2-4 gal sprayer as I have a small orchard and I don’t mind spraying twice instead of carrying a 5 gal sprayer at once.
I looked up various small sprayers. This Solo 473D diaphragm pump backpack interests me the most. Supposedly it is ideal for handling chemicals in a wettable powder form and is resistance to damage from harsh chemical.
Any of you use this model? Could you please comment on it?
Would you recommend other small sprayers instead?
I have a Jacto HD400 that I bought this spring. I used it for spraying Surround, sulfur, etc. I went through the same choices as you, I think, but picked the Jacto sprayer.
I like it, but will not say it is a hands-down must have, as I can come up with pros/cons. However, I have always thought backpack sprayers awkward.
Unlike my piston-pump hand-cans, it is nice to be able to not have to completely depressurize it to add water or another round of spray. I think that is a major safety feature if you end up using something like lime-sulfur or a synthetic spray. The Jacto’s are only pressurized in the piston part of the sprayer.
It has a paddle agitator. It works well with Surround and sulfur.
It has an external strainer. It is easy to remove the strainer from the wand to clean it.
The hose comes out the top of the piston pump and therefore at the top of the sprayer. I don’t like that much.
Unlike a hand-can with a pump that pressurized the tank, the pressure runs down quickly and you have to keep up with pumping. (I don’t know how that compares with the Solo, in practice.)
Talking about it makes me remember I need to order a wand extension. They are a must have, and I don’t have one now.
I use the slightly larger 4 gallon Solo sprayer with diaphragm pump and have found it to meet my needs.
My orchard spans about 22 trees, so similar to yours. The tip of the sprayer nozzle can become clogged with Surround, but it is easy to disassemble and rinse as there is a small filter hiding in there. I would recommend getting into the habit of cleaning the tank and sprayer tip after every use of Surround. Otherwise, you will notice yourself pumping the sprayer more frequently to get good flow.
The shoulder straps are somewhat clumsy and can come off easily, so you have to be careful when lifting the sprayer onto your back.
I got the Solo brand extension for the wand, and have found it to be essential to get complete spray coverage on semi-dwarfs.
For the price, you really can’t go wrong with this one.
Thank you for your input. My last 4 gal Chapin was quite similar to the 4 gal Solo. It was too big for me. The straps kept sliding off my shoulders making it quite inconvenient to have to adjust it so often.
I think I’ve learned it from @scottfsmith to add a few drops of dish soap into the tank when rinsing off Surround. I do that when I rinse of anything that has Nuflim mix, too.
I’ve been using a Hudson SP0 4-gal backpack sprayer for 2 years now, and it has gotten the job done on my 40+ trees. Like @mamuang, it takes two trips to get everything, but I don’t mind. The best quality is the internal agitator that keeps mixing the product while you’re pumping, which is invaluable when using Surround.
Previous backpack sprayers sprayed a ton of Surround at the very beginning of the tank, and then at the very end, with a too-thin mixture in the middle of the spraying. The SP0 fixes that problem.
All backpack sprayers can get a little wearisome with the pumping. You can switch the side that pumps, allowing your other hand to hold the wand, but that requires setting the contraption down and dealing with cotter pins.
I too use the 4 gallon solo sprayer. I wouldn’t get one smaller…and if worried about weight just don’t fill all the way. But going back to refill gets old.
As noted the screen on wand tip tends to clog when spraying thicker solutions of surround. But it does clear easily with a rinse.
I also find that I am pumping pretty steadily as I spray to keep adequate pressure up, but the handle is conveinent and its not really a problem.
One definetly wants the brass extensions for anything over 10-12’. You can cover up higherwithout them by adjusting you spray pattern to more of a stream. But coverage gets splotchy and volume of material used goes up.
Overall I like the unit, but I don’t have much to compare it to…
I have used surround, but not in a few years and not while I have had the HF sprayer. So can’t comment on how it will handle surround. I am not sure that it has a built in agitator, other than the motion of the pressure cyl going up and down, so that might be a consideration. And it has a comparatively small off-center opening, which is not a problem for me, but could make clean out surround or other hard to clean stuff a bit harder (compared to the ones with a big central opening).