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Winter Maintenance

Winter Maintenance

2nd January 2019


The weather can have a major effect on the quality of your marking out and spraying.  The natural reaction is to assume that the paint is faulty, but this is not necessarily the case.

The Summer has passed and Winter is fast approaching.  The ambient temperature is dropping and the air is filled with moisture.  Morning dews are commonplace and it won’t be long before we have regular frosts.  (see Early start)

All these things can influence the quality of lines you are marking out and spraying.  Colder weather means longer drying times are necessary after the lines have been marked out.  The longer drying periods increases the risk that the lines may be affected by climatic conditions before they have a chance to fully dry and “harden” on the grass.

With moisture on the ground prior to marking out, you will essentially be adding extra dilution to the lines as you spray them.  It is natural to assume that, if marking out in dry conditions at 4-parts water to 1-part line marking liquid, that is exactly what you will mark onto the grass.  Take the same dilution in colder, wet conditions and the result is that the line will not perform as well.

The moisture present on the grass will affect the finished quality of the line and with moisture also present in the air, the line may well be affected further before it can dry properly.

In warm, dry conditions the line marking liquids we manufacture will normally dry within 15 to 20 minutes.  In the Autumn and Winter, this drying time could be extended dramatically, sometimes taking more than an hour to dry fully, subject to ground and atmospheric conditions.  On a damp, foggy day, moisture will constantly dilute the line until the sun appears to dry the paint.  In warm, summery conditions, the ambient temperature is helping to dry the line; in cold, wintry weather, only the presence of direct sunlight will do this job.

[Damp and dew bring challenges to line marking picture]

These changes usually start around September – so remember, it doesn’t have to be that something is wrong with the liquid; it’s more likely the conditions.


Winter is on the way.  We can all hope that we do not experience the harsher winter conditions we have had in recent years but there will always be a freeze whatever happens.  It is important to store your machine correctly over the winter, particularly over the Christmas period, when no line marking is undertaken.

During the winter months, a freeze can happen at any time.  It is very useful to know how to protect your machine from damage during these times.

  1. Fully clean the machine after its last use – using Supaflush will ensure a better clean and will greatly help in colder conditions.
  2. Run your machine until as much water has been discharged from the system as possible.  Once the machine appears completely empty and is only apparently pumping air, run for a further 30 seconds to ensure that all liquid has been purged from the system.
  3. Ensure all liquid has been tipped out of the main tank.
  4. Unscrew and remove the grey bowl on the main filter, located behind the pump.  Ensure all liquid is removed from this before screwing it back into place.  It is a good idea to ensure this is clean at the same time.  Remember to make sure the filter seal is in place before replacing the bowl onto the filter.
  5. Fully charge the battery, then disconnect the main wiring loom from the battery.
  6. The machine is now ready to be stored – store the machine in a dry place, preferably inside a garage or brick shed.  It doesn’t have to be kept warm, just protected from direct exposure to freezing.


The battery on your line marking machine will lose charge over time when not regularly used.

If you intend putting your line marking machine out of use for any period of time, it is important to look after the battery whilst doing so.  When you intend not using your line marker for any length of time, during the Summer when marking out is at a minimum or in Winter when the weather is not suitable, proper battery care should be observed.  After the last use of the line marker before intended storage, fully charge the battery.

Next, disconnect the main loom from the battery.  You can disconnect the wire that is connected to either the red (positive) terminal on the battery or the black (negative) terminal, it doesn’t matter which.  This prevents the machine being inadvertently turned on and draining the battery.
Remember – these types of battery last longer if stored in a charged state.
If your machine is going to be out of use for a much longer period of time, the battery will need to be recharged every three months.

Putting your battery directly onto concrete will damage it beyond repair.

Never put your battery directly onto concrete.  Concrete will suck the charge out of the battery in moments and cause irreparable damage to the battery cells, meaning it will not recharge again.  Always leave the battery on the machine where possible providing there is no danger of freezing temperatures.  If you are to remove the battery ensure that, if it is put on the floor, something is between the battery and the concrete surface, a piece of thick card, wood etc or is kept in an airing cupboard.

We always disconnect the battery on a brand-new machine for transit.

When we prepare a brand-new machine to be dispatched, we always fully charge the battery and then disconnect the wiring loom from the battery.  This ensures that the machine cannot inadvertently switch on during transit to you and will reach you ready to use straight from the box.  Just remember to reconnect the loom to the battery and you are ready to go.  Our range of bigger machines come with the switch taped in the off position, to ensure the same result. 


Quite often, simple answers are available for seemingly serious faults – things aren’t always as bad as they seem.  This Q & A section answers 5 of the more common issues that arise.

Q – My machine has arrived but when I switch it on, it doesn’t work
A – We disconnect the batteries on our machines to safeguard the battery whilst in transit.  Check that the battery is connected to the loom.

Q - When I operate the switch, the machine does not turn on
A – Check the fuse, it may just be this has blown.  The fuse is located on the main wiring loom.

Q - When I operate the switch, the pump does not run
A – Disconnect the pump wires from the main loom and hold them directly onto the battery terminals – the black pump wire to the black battery terminal and the red to the red.  If the pump is not faulty, it should now operate – the fault will likely be in the wiring (this tip simply eliminates the pump as being faulty)

Q – My line definition has deteriorated – is my pump faulty
A – Not necessarily – check the condition of the nozzle tip, a worn tip will not produce as good a line as one in good condition

Q – My machine is drawing in air and is struggling to spray the line marking liquid
A – Check the filter seal is in place.  If the filter has recently been cleaned, the seal may have been left out.  This will cause air to enter the system and will limit the machine’s ability to work correctly.


We put anti-freeze in all our line marking liquids.

We use a specific ingredient in all of our grades of line marking liquid to give anti-freeze qualities to the product.  This provides valuable protection against the cold weather and sudden frosts up to a limit.  You must ensure that your stock of line marking liquid is not exposed to temperatures below minus 5°C.  If allowed to fall below this temperature, irreversible damage may be caused to the liquid.  If allowed to freeze, the liquid will still be useable once thawed but it will not give the same quality as before.


The toothbrush is an essential tool.

Always keep your old toothbrushes.  It sounds silly but the toothbrush is a very valuable tool in maintaining your line marking machine.  There are some delicate and hard to reach places on your machine that will eventually need cleaning and the toothbrush is the ideal tool for the job.  Cleaning a dirty nozzle tip, inside the spray head or the filter body is much easier and more efficient with the trusty toothbrush.  Cleaning the valves inside the pump is also easier and safer for the pump with the toothbrush, but remember – don’t open your pump in the first 12 months – this will invalidate your warranty.  Contact us and let us help you with this first.

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