Spray nozzles & systems

Maintenance guide for nozzles and spray systems

The nozzle is often a small component in a complex process, but its importance and performance is absolutely crucial for the spray process to work as intended. Regular inspection and maintenance with regard to wear, clogging and possible damage, prevent costly unplanned downtime, as well as ensuring process efficiency. Most spray problems can be avoided by following a simple maintenance program – visual inspection, cleaning, regular nozzle replacement, etc.

Monitoring, inspection and maintenance

Spray system components working together

Spray nozzles are highly engineered precision components designed to provide performance functionality for a particular process such as cooling, coating, or cleaning. The nozzle’s quality ensures a complete spray system with multiple components (pumps, filters, valves, piping) will operate effectively and efficiently.

Nozzle wear and clogging

Not only can damage, wear, corrosion, or clogging affect the nozzle’s performance (system effectiveness) – it also affects the other components of a spray system, potentially resulting in increased energy costs, wasted resources, and unscheduled downtime.

Maintenance guide for nozzles and spray systems

Regular maintenance of the spray process is important to avoid unscheduled downtime, increased amount of liquid used, high energy costs, etc. Changes in the spray process can also lead to a deterioration in the quality of your company's processes and products.

1. Regular cleaning, maintenance and nozzle replacement

  • Soaking/washing with appropriate cleaning fluids is the best method to clean without damaging the nozzle.
  • Always clean tips with a soft instrument such as a cleaning brush.
  • Never use sharp instruments such as probes or picks. Even a tiny nick in the orifice will result in degradation of spray performance.
  • Ultrasonic cleaning baths can help clean small nozzles and orifices.
  • Replace nozzles that show sign of wear, damage or corrosion.

2. Visual nozzle inspection

Visual inspection can show signs of damage that may have occurred during installation or standard operation. Though not always evident, a quick visual inspection can usually identify wear or corrosion.

3. Visual spray pattern inspection

Uneven spray pattern, concentration of flow in a certain part of the spray, changed spray angle, etc. are all signs that the nozzle's performance has deteriorated and that the nozzle is not spraying as intended.


Normal spray pattern

Poor spray pattern

Signs of poor performance

  • Flow becomes centered
  • Coverage angle is reduced


Normal spray pattern

Poor spray pattern

Signs of poor performance

  • Liquid centers in cone
  • Coverage angle is reduced


Normal spray pattern

Poor spray pattern

Signs of poor performance

  • Spray pattern is not precise
  • Flow rate fluctuates

4. Monitoring flow rate and pressure

The flow rate and operating pressure drop of the nozzle are directly related. If these values change from nominal, it can indicate issues with the nozzle like clogging or excessive wear.

5. Monitoring system performance and effectiveness

Changes in overall system performance, such as temperatures, pollutant levels, and coverage, can indicate nozzle issues like damage, clogging, or wear.



Example of how nozzle wear and corrosion can affect the total flow in a spray process

Here is an example of how much the total flow in a spray process can increase due to nozzle wear or erosion.

  • 10% increase in orifice diameter can result in more than 20% increase in nozzle flow rate
  • 20% increase in orifice diameter can result in more than 50% increase in nozzle flow rate
Total flow 20 pcs BETE spray nozzles TF56XPN @ 1,4 bar
Wear nozzle orifice Total flow (l/min)
New 6 904
10% 8 282 (20% increase in flow)
20% 10 356 (50% increase in flow)