Why is the sandblaster surging and clogging?

Trying to figure out why your sandblaster is surging or clogging?

Well, I have some solutions for this in the sandblaster manual and some simple things to look at below.

People have been coming to me saying that while they were blasting the sand will start surging. First you will start out with a bunch of sand and the next minute- none at all. It can be really hard to work on a project and then this surging happening right in the middle of the job. What a pain!

Some people state that the system seems to be full of sand and gets clogged up even though the air is perfectly dry. Then they blow it back out and it works for a little bit longer.

Why is the sandblaster surging and clogging?

Here are some of the things to ask yourself:

1. Is the sandblasting media all the way dry?
2. Is the media a proper size for the blaster’s components such as the hose, pickup tube, and nozzle? Make sure its not too course because it could be jamming up the system.
3. Is the rubber pickup hose deteriorated inside? Abrasive could bind up on non smooth internal parts.
4. If you have a siphon sandblaster system, have you tried moving the pickup tube to various depths? A tube placed at different depths may work better.

If non of these help, you may want to consider picking up my sandblaster modification plans to fix abrasive flow problems. See, manufacturers aren’t always perfect and this can help solve that problem.

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16 responses to “Why is the sandblaster surging and clogging?”

  1. David Sullivan

    well i’ve looked at your site a few times and you really don’t give a lot of info , basically a sales pitch for your book.
    But i’ll keep checking it out
    D Sullivan

  2. Charles Armbruster

    If you are recycling your sand it brakes down or if your using sand that is’nt one grit that will cause it to clod and or surge. Hope that helps.

  3. Peter

    In response to David Sullivan, I don’t have a problem with a ‘sales pitch’
    There is still a lot of very useful information
    I’m a motorcycle technician
    I’ll help just about anyone (as I already do on multiple forums) but, it has cost me too much in time, effort and actual cash to just give away everything I’ve learned or ‘invented’ in last 40+ yrs.

  4. Craig Schindler

    These helped a lot. Thanks for being there.

  5. Mike

    I am looking for information where I could fine 1/4″ glass for practicing multi stage carving at a good price or even for free.
    Any ideas would be appreciated

  6. Jack L Clifton

    I”m new to sandblasting but, i have a new baby in my shop that needs a good cleaning. THANKS for all that have posted to help us newbees. I”ll send pics of before & after. Thanks again for all the free help. (In hopes shes ready to show next year) THANKS again Jack Clifton Ohio

  7. Ross

    Many blasters have a vibrator attached to the tank, generally near the bottom. This extra component is worth the investment, but most inexpensive units do not have this feature. The more media in the tank, the tighter the pack. Adding a vibrator can help significantly, but be careful of its placement. Keep it on the tank body and away from all fittings. Vibrations at the fitting connection point can cause equipment failure. A cost effective approach is the hand held massager. Some are even curved like your tank. Add this to Eric’s good advice and your downtime clearing clogs will be reduced.

  8. Eric R. W.

    Great tips Ross! I talked about the vibrators in the ebook here: http://www.sandblasterinfo.com/sandblaster-manual/ and I just updated it which lists all the research about where to get them, along with the different types.

  9. James

    Please let me know when you have information on the dustless pot then I buy.

    Thank you jm

  10. turnerbend

    You can stop you blaster from clogging by replacing bottom section with 1/2″ iron piping. Also you can modifly the dead man shutoff with ball valve. cost less than $15. email me for pictures.

  11. Eric R. W.

    @turnerbend, I have tried something similar to this and didn’t solve my problems, but it may fix other problems people are having. Thanks for sharing

  12. jefferson

    I didn’t see any mention of low air volume and pressure, i have the same problem with my blaster when the pressure and volume get low. I just stop and let my compresser build up and shut off and start blasting again and everything works good. I have both types pressure pot and siphon and get the results with both. I don’t know the cfm of my compresser, it is two stage with a large 5 hp electric motor mounted on an 80 gallon tank and keeps up with a Binks model 7 spray gum while painting a car but with an abrasive blaster they require a lot of CFM. Hope my comment was of some help.

  13. Joel

    Hi can u send pictures my sandblaster is doing the same as all the other replys it’s slowing my work down as it’s constantly clogging

  14. Stephanie

    I have invested in a second hand unit to help me with My vintage Land rover restore but when I tried to use it I found the pick up tube was too heavily crimped to the outside sleeve by the po, However reading through everything I could find on the web and here I decided to remake the pick up tube.
    I used a 1 inch alloy outer pipe and turned a couple of alloy collers for the ends which stand my inner tube off the outer by around 5 mm all round I drilled a series of holes around both coller faces top and bottom and made it long enough to be well above the media. but deep enough to be in the valve area which dumps my media it stands off the bottom by a couple of inch,s
    Instant improvement all round.

    I have one more thing I would like to try and that is to introduce air into the pick up end (just a tiny amount to see if this agitates the grit enough to improve it to 100 percent.

    But well happy now from the old system it came with I will post again when I have tried the air idea

    Stephanie Cornwall England

  15. Flip

    I bought a second-hand pot and compressor. The compressor is built on top of a 200-liter tank.
    Can you give me indications about nozzle size as well as pressure and air volumes needed to make this work

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