Graco Ultra Max Essential Hacks : How to Keep Your Sprayer Spraying
An airless paint sprayer that takes moments to set up and is the size of a power drill? Graco’s Ultra and Ultra Max range is an absolute dream for most painters.
For touch up or small jobs, this device will be your best friend. And like all good friends, it’s best to know how to keep friends alive. Rather than have us perform CPR on your gear when things get rough, let’s talk preventative measures.
In this video, Anthony breaks down our most FAQs and gives a Graco service agents guide of how to keep your sprayer spraying. Let’s get to it!
What’s it good for? (00:22)
As said, this unit is great for those small jobs and touch-ups. That includes cutting in, doors, window frames, furniture refurbishment and the like. Garage doors and graffiti resprays are also on the cards - check out this preview video from Painting by Josh taking care of a respray in Newcastle.
Safe to say if you want to use this unit for more than this though, you’ll be checking in with us for a pump replacement in the not too distant future.
If you are going to be taking on a larger but not massive project, we'd recommend going in the direction of a ground unit. If you're a homeowner who is going to take care of an occasional project, look towards the Magnum range. You'll pick up a much sturdier sprayer for a very similar price point.
For you contractors, something like the 190PC Express is a great place to start. This unit that will handle significantly more punishment and variety for only a $600-$800 more than the Ultra Max, depending on the pack you get.
What’s the difference between the Graco Ultra and Ultra Max? (00:42)
In terms of performance, nothing. These units are identical. The difference is that the Ultra is not graded for solvent and oil-based whereas the Ultra Max is.
The Ultra Max has higher grade seals, and the pump is earthed to allow for those flammable liquids.
How to set up, prime and spray your handheld (01:11)
- Fill FlexLiner with desired paint/liquid
- Make sure your filter is in place:
- Blue (100 mesh) is suitable for lighter paints/liquids
Black (60 mesh) standard paints and acrylics
See Airless Spray Tips Made Simple - A Step-by-Step Guide to Choose the Right Spray Tip for a more detailed chart breakdown of filters and how they can work with different paint viscosities.
- Connect FlexLiner cup to the unit, remove air from outlet cup, then prime.
- Flick over the spray, reverse tip and check the unit sprays into a bucket.
- Reverse the tip back around, and you’re ready to adjust the unit for your paint.
How to adjust for different paints (03:07)
It’s essential to dial in your unit to optimise that spray pattern according to the viscosity of your paint. Here’s how you do it:
- Using a spare piece of cardboard and the spray tip in the spray position - starting at 4 or 5 - adjust the dial on the backside of the handheld.
- Do so until your spray pattern is consistent without the presence of dots or tails
How to clean up - a Graco service agent’s guide (03:52)
- Flick into prime to release any pressure, and return to the lowest power setting.
- Remove the FlexLiner cup, filter, tip and guard. Place the filter, tip and guard in a bucket of water and cleaned.
- Undo cup, return remaining liquid to tin, then thoroughly rinse.
- Flush water through the unit in prime until water returns clear.
- Prime with diluted pump armour solution
Underuse and overuse - how to avoid malfunction (06:35)
“Underuse is just a dangerous as overuse.”
If the unit is sitting for 3+ month period of time, the pistons and seals can dry up which can cause the pump to cease and potentially cause damage to the motor.
To prevent this, every month make a habit of flushing the unit with a fresh lot of water then repeating the process with pump armour. This ensures those pistons and seals are moving and lubricated, avoiding the potential dangers of seizing up.
There you are. "Officially" first-aid certified for your handheld units. Have more questions? Leave a comment or reach out and we'll be sure to get back to you.
- Paul Morgan