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Common Paint Booth Problems and How to Fix Them

A typical paint booth is comprised of three primary components including filters, an enclosure, and an exhaust fan that is designed to pull an appropriate volume of air out of the booth. If your paint booth is operating appropriately, you should not have issues with overspray collecting on vehicles in your parking lot, odors being complained about by neighboring residents or companies, or painters complaining of excessive overspray being present in the paint booth. If you are having any of these problems, your most likely experiencing a problem with one of the major components of the booth .

Problem 1 – Over Spray Collecting on Items near Your Facility

if you routinely have problems with overspray collecting on the cars in your parking lot, you most likely have an issue with the filters you are using with your paint booth. You may also have a paint booth filter that is not inserted and is allowing overspray to directly escape without being collected.  If overspray is collecting on anything near your facility, you will want to try one of the following suggestions.

  1. Change your filters more regularly- Filters should be changed based on a visual gauge that you can mount on the side of your booth called a manometer which you can learn about here, or they should be changed when overspray is hanging in the air inside your booth. If overspray is collecting on outside objects first try changing your filters and see if that resolves the problem. If that fixes the issue consider adopting a more aggressive filter change schedule.
  2. Try a Higher Efficiency paint booth filter – paint booth filters are designed to capture a certain percentage of overspray. High-quality filters will often capture 99.9% or more of overspray. Lower quality filters will be less efficient and collect less overspray.  If changing the filters does not stop the issue with overspray you should consider a higher efficiency paint booth filter that will capture a larger volume of overspray.
  3. Consider the height your paint booth duct is above the ground -typical paint booth stacks will be a minimum of 6 feet above the roof line, which is normally sufficient to bring overspray into the air stream to be carried away safely from any surrounding object. However, if you are having problems with overspray collecting near your facility, you may want to consider extending your exhaust duct to a higher height.  This will allow overspray to be expelled higher into the air stream which will allow it to be carried away more effectively.  Sometimes the standard height above the roof life is not sufficient to get overspray into the air current to dissipate appropriately.
  4. Evaluate your paint booth fans performance-your paint booth fan is typically designed to move air at a given speed based on the size of your paint booth opening which you can learn more about and booth size here . A basic way to check if your fan is moving the approximate volume of air it should is by using an anemometer which visually determines airspeed.  The speed should be measured at the face of the filters and should be done when the filters are relatively clean.  If the speed is significantly slower than the recommendation given your booth size then your booth fan may need to be serviced or replaced.  You may also have a variable speed paint booth fan that allows fan speed to be adjusted in which case you would want to properly adjust the fan speed.

Problem 2 –  Neighbors Are Complaining about Odor

Odor is a natural byproduct of painting, especially when using solvent-based coatings. However paint booths should typically exhaust any odor high enough into the air stream to prevent issues with neighboring facilities or residents complaining about smell.  If there are complaints about the smell associated with your paint booth you should consider and evaluate the following.

  1. Your paint booth fans operation-as mentioned above you should check the speed which are paper fan is exhausting air from your facility. If it is not up to the recommended speed based on your booth size, you may need to consider servicing or replacing your booth fan.
  2. Filter upgrades-sometimes a coating that your spraying has such significant odor that you may need to consider a filter improvement like a charcoal backed paint booth filter. Charcoal backed filters will not last as long as traditional paint booth filters and will typically be a higher cost however they will reduce odors that may be being exhausted from your booth.
  3. The height of your exhaust stack – you can also consider extending your exhaust stack higher into the air stream so that odor is carried away more efficiently
  4. The coating type you are using – you can also consider evaluating alternative coatings for your particular application or using add-ins to your coatings to help mask any unpleasant odor this will be something you would have to check with your coatings provider to determine any potential solutions that may be available.

Problem 3-The booth is excessively dirty all the time

if your paint booth has issues with dust inside of it this will often result in your finish being less than ideal.  To ensure you can maintain a cleaner paint booth you can use environmental controls like discussed in this article or you can consider adding positive pressure to your paint booth by connecting and appropriately engineered air make up unit.  If you already have an air make up unit, you will want to have the balance of your air checked to ensure that your booth is running under slight positive pressure.

Problem 4 – Your paint booth is excessively loud

if you think your paint booth is louder than it once was and does not seem to be operating as well, you will want to check the fan and perform the recommended maintenance that your booth manufacturer specified in the original manual.  If the excess noise is still troublesome, you can consider putting fan within the duct and not directly above or behind the paint booth as this well help to minimize excessive noise.

Problem 5 – Air Make Up Problems

Air make up problems can be caused by a variety of things.  A few simple solutions to check include if the power supply has failed to the air make up.  You will also want to verify that there nothing has changed with your gas supply.  If these are not the source of your problem, you can try resetting your control panel to see if that solves the problem.  If none of these solutions work you most likely will need to coordinate with a service tech to check your control panel and the air, make up itself.

Overall if you remember a paint booth has 3 key components including a fan, the enclosure, and filters you will be able to appropriately evaluate what may be causing a particular issue your having.  If you need additional help with a paint booth issue or have other issues we have not addressed let us know below!

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