April 10, 2014

The Importance of Nozzle Quality

The nozzle is where the “Rubber meets the road”. You can do everything else right, but if you don’t have sharp jets your removal rates and surface profile will suffer.

Nozzle Quality and Inspection

Removal performance is highly dependent upon the condition of the nozzles being utilized and the cohesion of the water molecules as they are forced through the nozzles. Maximum productivity and 98% removal without damage require nozzles to be in excellent condition.

Nozzles should be inspected before the start of each shift as part of the Pre-op checklist or when the operator notices a loss in pressure or a change in performance while blasting. If the visual inspection of the nozzle shows the quality is not a rating of #1-4 a nozzle test should be completed. (You can download a copy of the nozzle quality chart by clicking the button at the bottom of this page)

Check Nozzles From Cab

The Stripe Hog’s unique “Hog Arm” allows the operator to check nozzle quality from the safety of the cab before performing the removal.


  • The Hog head must be raised; high pressure system activated and set to operating pressure.
  • The head rotation speed dial will need to be set to zero (0) to keep the spray bars from rotating.

A visual inspection of the spray pattern of each nozzle should be completed while at a minimum of 18” from the water jets. The cohesive stream of the nozzles should be ½ to 1 ½ inches from the nozzle to rate as grade 4 or better. If it is determined that a nozzle should be replaced this procedure can be done quickly with simple hand tools.

Nozzles typically last 12-16 hours of blast time, however, you can experience shorter or longer nozzle life, depending on the source and quality of water being used. Any dirt or debris in the system can clog nozzle orifice’s causing a spike in the high pressure system which in turn will rupture the burst disc.

The nozzle should be removed from service if any of the following are true:

  • Nozzle is split or damaged
  • Nozzle is clogged
  • Nozzle water spray is fanned out
  • Nozzle’s ability to hold pressure is suspect
  • Nozzle’s hex head is worn excessively from blasting
  • Nozzle threads are damaged·

To purchase nozzles spray bar protectors and any other Stripe Hog® components, click here and register for our online parts and support website.

Determining the sharpness of the jets is something every water blasting operator should be familiar with.