The end of the year is a great mile-marker for annual maintenance. An ounce of prevention is worth years of cure on Comco machines. Check out the maintenance tips below to make sure your system is in excellent shape for 2020.

1. Stock-up before winter shutdowns

First and foremost, double-check your supplies. That includes nozzles, abrasive, abrasive hose, window shields and tune-up kits. Winter weather and holiday closings can bring blasting to a standstill if you are caught unprepared. Prevent production interruption by making sure your team has what they need to get through the next few months.

Check blasting supplies during annual maintenance.

Order by Thursday, December 19, 2019!

Comco will close for the winter holidays December 24, 2019 – January 1, 2020. To ensure shipping before the end of the year, order your blasting supplies no later than Thursday, December 19, 2019. Contact Customer Service at sales@comcoinc.com or 1-800-796-6626 to get your order started. 

Abrasive

You can’t blast without abrasive. Get part numbers here.

Small rupture on abrasive hose; abrasive hose worn through.

Abrasive Hose

Don’t just cut off worn sections. Learn why.

Window Shields

Replace when cracked and peeling. Get part numbers here.

Tune-up Kits

Perform DIY maintenance with a tune-up kit.

Nozzles

Replace at 10-15% growth. Get nozzle part numbers here.


2. Check the PowderGate Nosepiece

The nosepiece regularly opens and closes to allow and block the flow of air and abrasive during a blast cycle. As with anything that abrasive touches, the nosepiece can wear over time. A channel or groove can form on the side of the nosepiece as air and abrasive flow around it.

If the channel becomes wide and deep enough, the nosepiece will not form a seal with the output fitting when the PowderGate closes. Air and abrasive will continue to find a passage, and the constant low-level seep will eventually erode the output fitting, too.

PowderGate parts diagram

Soft abrasives tend to take a long time to wear down the nosepiece, but aggressive abrasives like aluminum oxide and silicon carbide tend to erode the nosepiece quickly, especially in applications that require high blast pressures or large nozzles.
Cutaway of the PowderGate nosepiece (light blue) in the open position. Air and abrasive can now flow around the edge of the nosepiece and out through the exit (red arrows).
The nosepiece in the closed position. The nosepiece forms a seal with the output fitting, closing off air and abrasive flow to the hose.

How to Check It and Replace It

Make sure your Comco blaster is ON but not blasting (footswitch is not pressed). Put your finger over the opening of the nozzle for a few seconds, then release it. If you feel or hear a burst of air exit the nozzle, that indicates a leaky nosepiece. Replace it immediately. The nosepiece is easily accessible from the side of the AccuFlo® without having to remove the cover of the unit.

Contact Technical Support at techsupport@comcoinc.com or 1-800-796-6626 if you have any questions about wear and replacement.

The Comco part number for the PowderGate Nosepiece is MB1653.


3. Check the Modulator

The modulator is the heart of any Comco blasting system, so regular replacement protects your overall investment. Here are 3 ways to identify a worn modulator.

Watch for Low Flow

When a modulator is too worn to seal properly, the abrasive stream starts off strong but drops off to almost nothing within 3-5 seconds.

Track Blast Hours

This is the most accurate way to manage modulator maintenance. The AccuFlo modulator has a lifespan of 5,000 blast hours; whereas, the modulator on the MicroBlaster, Powerflo® and DirectFlo™ last about 2,000 blast hours.

Listen for a Rattle (MicroBlaster® only)

In the MicroBlaster, a good modulator hums, and a worn modulator rattles.

Learn more about modulator wear and repair on Comco blasters.

Understanding Modulator Wear and Repair

If you have a classic MicroBlaster, learn how to spot wear and replace this component. Continue reading →

NOTE: The AccuFlo features a re-designed modulator that works better and lasts longer. Learn why.

The Comco part numbers for each modulator:

  • AccuFlo: MB2250-1 (115V) and MB2250-2 (230V)*
  • MicroBlaster: MB1301-2*
  • PowerFlo/DirectFlo: PF2040*

*Appropriate for standard models only. 


4. Check the HEPA filter

HEPA filtration removes 99.97% of particles from the work chamber in the ProCenter Plus™ workstation. When the mallets can no longer knock spent abrasive from the filter surface, then the HEPA filter is full and needs to be replaced. HEPA filters tend to reach capacity after 6-9 months of regular use.

Learn more about maintaining a ProCenter Plus.

ProCenter Upkeep in 5 Steps

Follow these 5 steps to protect your ProCenter workstation. Continue reading →

Replace every 3 months if…

If your blasting system runs all day and/or processes a high volume of parts, then replace the HEPA filter after 3 months of use. If you are blasting with abrasive that is smaller than 25-microns in size or if you are blasting with sodium bicarbonate, then you should also replace the filter after 3 months of use. Sodium bicarbonate breaks down into dust after blasting, and those extremely fine particles embed deep into filter pores.

The Comco part number for the HEPA Filter is CTR280-1.


5. Check out the new Replacement Parts page

Consult your manual to do a full inspection of your Comco equipment. If you notice wear on components that are not mentioned above and need to replace them, use the new Replacement Parts page to see exploded diagrams and access part numbers and descriptions.

Don’t forget to consult the FAQs on the Support page if you have additional questions, and of course, we are always here to help!

Notice Moisture or Oil?

If you notice moisture or oil contamination inside your blaster, read this. You will need to send your machine in for repair. To obtain an RMA#, contact Technical Support at techsupport@comcoinc.com or 1-800-796-6626.

Replacement Parts

See equipment diagrams and get part numbers for the standard models in our line of MicroBlasting equipment. Continue to page →

Dig Deeper

Power up and down correctly to prevent abrasive contamination.

5 Ways to Break Your Blaster

Learn what happens when you blast without a nozzle or turn the abrasive blend knob too far. Read this and avoid a blaster disaster. Continue reading 

Clean your blaster after using sodium bicarbonate.

Cleaning Guide for Sodium Bicarbonate Users

Learn how to check for plating and keep your equipment clean. Continue reading →
Learn more - changing the tank orifice

Fight the Urge to Pedal Pump

Pedal pumping, or pumping the footswitch, damages key blaster components, wastes abrasive and leads to uneven results. Continue reading 
Fresh vs. spent sodium bicarbonate particles

Before Recycling Abrasive: Read This.

Spent abrasive may look like the fresh stuff, but it produces poor results and damages your system. Continue reading →

Rob B., Technical Support

Questions about maintenance?

Email me or give me a call at 800-796-6626.