5+ Ways to Please your Graco 395/G40

Written by on November 16, 2011 in Air Assisted Airless, Sprayers with 16 Comments
Graco Spray Gun

Graco G40 air assisted gun…

**Updated 2/13 to include Graco 395 pump/compressor use recommendations**

Graco 395 Finish Pro and G40 aaa Gun Update:

The G40 gun on our Graco 395 Finish Pro keeps soldiering on, entering it’s fourth year of service with just one repack, after consistent use in both production and fine finish tasks in the shop and in the field. We have not experienced the excessive air orifice clogging that some painters have mentioned. There are days where it looks congested as heck, but you can still feel full air.

We have sprayed alot of latex and acrylic primers through it, as well as heavy bodied exterior paints like Duration and Aura. Even in long production settings, air clogging has not been much of a production impacting issue.

How to Measure Clogging

The way to test for this issue is prior to engaging the trigger to spray, the initial pull of the trigger calls for air only. Put your free hand right out there and feel it…just don’t pull the trigger any further while your hand is in front of the gun.

Check air flow when the gun is clean at the start of your task, and then throughout.

Here are some tips for keeping your G40 happy:

  • If you feel a decrease in air at the orifices, dunk the gun and scrub tip with a toothbrush
  • Run the air at the compressor high, and dial it down at the gun
  • During breaks in spraying, dunk the gun or drape a damp rag over it
  • On completion, clean thoroughly, show it lots of love with a wooden toothpick
  • Be sure to pull the inline filter at the gun EVERY time; clean/replace as needed
  • Pull the diaphragm filter at the pump EVERY time; clean/replace as needed

When not in use, keep the machine and gun in heated space, your living room if necessary. Also, remember to treat all of your spray gear to pump armor regularly.

Update on The Graco 395 Pump/Compressor Combo

Lately there has been some scuttlebutt amongst online contractor circles, with painters expressing concern over the discovery of paint residue in the compressor of the 395 Finish Pro.

Compressor Internals

Paint residue inside compressor.

To demonstrate, we have removed the front and rear panels from the compressor on our 395.

There is visible paint residue inside the compressor housing. It is in dust form. The compressor is designed to intake fresh air. If the pump is located too close to spraying operations, the compressor will intake air that contains airborne mist. No matter how fine, it is still in the air. If it is in the air it will be drawn to the compressor.

Workarounds to avoid this issue include: using all 50 feet of the supplied fluid/air hose to put maximum distance between the pump and gun. Ideally, locate your pump close to a fresh air source (open window if possible), so that air entering the compressor intake is clean. We also recommend not running the 395 in straight airless mode Рkind of defeats the point of having it.

We would emphasize that while paint residue in the compressor is not a desirable condition, it is entirely unlikely that paint in fluid form could enter the air line at the gun and travel in reverse direction against 30 psi of forward airflow, pass through the air quick connect and enter the compressor for internal dispersal. It is more likely that paint could travel to the moon.

Evidence of paint inside the compressor is an external matter, completely controllable by the sprayer operator during set up of the spray operation: Use all 50′ of hose and put distance between the gun and pump; move the air in your spray space away from the pump and operator; supply fresh air in proximity to the pump.

We recommend pulling the compressor panels periodically to clean any over spray residue that does find its way to the inside of the compressor. Pull the intake filter and clean that as well.

[Related: Graco 395 Finish Pro Review]

Anyone have anything they would add to the list?

Here is a short clip of our happy G40:

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About the Author

About the Author: Scott Burt is a contractor and freelance writer whose column "From the Field" has appeared in American Painting Contractor magazine (www.paintmag.com) since 2008. His writing and projects also appear in other print and digital venues. This site is an extension of Scott's publication work, and he encourages readers to leave comments and questions about articles published here. Hope to hear from you! Scott's Google Profile .

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  1. Graco 395 Finish Pro Air Assisted Airless Sprayer Review : Topcoat Review | February 10, 2013
  1. mike richter says:

    Scott… I had the same problem as Dean with the G40, the air cap clogged with paint in the first 10 min. of use. I tried several times to fix the problem but to no avail. I ended up switching the housing so I could use a flat tip. There was no longer a problem with the air cap getting clogged with paint. I would like to go back and find a way to make it work right with a reversa-tip. Because it is a nuisance when the tip cloggs!
    Graco hasn’t been any help! Do you have any ideas?
    … I don’t belive

  2. Dean Veltman says:

    We do not turn the temp down when spraying, but since the exhaust fan is bringing in colder air from the other side of the shop, temp are not high. We set the spray room side round 68 and the storage side round 55. But, we also open an exterior door for air flow so the fan can move air better. StaysClear was the last finish we shot and ended up just using airless mode. Still have not put paint in it, only wb clears. 208, 210, 310 size FF Grace tips.

  3. Dean Veltman says:

    I usually leave the knob open at the gun and just dial if in at the main control panel. Do you think the build up is too much air or not enough air? The finish also tend to quickly build up on the guard as well and then drops from that get blown into the finish.

    • Scott Burt says:

      We have found, and our rep recommended, running the compressor wide open so the unloader is not so busy (and loud), and dialing it down at the gun. I would try that, just to see if it changes things. That problem just shouldnt be happening all the time for you. We check constantly, putting a hand in front of the orifices at the initial trigger engagement prior to fluid. Just air, and always flowing. I want to think it could be product related as well, but like I said, we run Duration and Aura through ours constantly, and if any product was going to act that way, it would be those two. I’d also consider the location of your pump. We keep ours right next to a slightly open window so there is always fresh, cool air, so the compressor doesn’t heat up and start sending hot air. Otherwise the compressor can get pretty hot in hours of production. Does the problem seem to happen regardless of tip size?

      • Scott Burt says:

        Dean

        When we spray in the shop, we turn the heat way down. Probably 50* ambient temp. Do you keep it cool? When finishes are kicking off and laying down, we heat the place up.

      • Matt says:

        Dean, i know exactly what is going on with your g40. ive seen this happen a fair number of times. the “diffuser” needs to be replaced.

        The first thing i noticed on this post was the picture of the gun sitting on the edge of that support with no air cap. if the gun fell off that edge onto its face it would likely damadge the diffuser. there is a small raised edge around the circumfrence that acts as a seal to keep the paint on the paint side and air on the air side. when these get damadged paint is pushed out and into the “air side” of the gun wich will fill all the air orfaces with paint and leave spit marks all over you painted surface.

        I would NEVER leave my g40 sitting like that, not even for a picture. all it takes is one tap on the diffuser, and its shot.
        the gun is useless untill it is replaced.

        here is a kicker too.
        they aint cheap…
        and no one keeps them in stock…
        they are gonna have to order one in for ya.

        Best of luck,
        Matt

  4. Scott Burt says:

    Dean

    Have you brought your Graco rep in? That just doesnt sound right at all. Doesnt matter what product? No joke, we can spray Duration or Aura in a production setting in aaa. Can’t get those orifices to clog. Have you tried turning the air all the way up at the compressor and dialing it down at the gun?

    • MJ says:

      I know this is opening an old post but just getting comfortable with a new 395 Finishpro/G40 gun. Would you mind passing on what settings are you using to push Duration and Aura? Reading your posts, looks like you shoot and like the new waterbornes (Advance, etc.) Suggestions on those as well?

      Thanks!

      • Scott Burt says:

        MJ, in waterborne primers you will be at 1600-1800 on psi and that will very some based on product and tip size. For paint, because it is thinner and less abrasive, you will be down around 1000 – 1200. Air would be consistently between 28-32 in most situations. Strain everything prior to putting in sprayer, even new paint and fluotrol, and be sure to pull the filters with each use. Do these things and the 395 makes money every day.

  5. Dean Veltman says:

    You know, it does not matter how much we clean the cap, it just builds fluid like cry on the g40 regardless, within minutes at the most. Airless only is fine, some collects on the guard but not much. With the air on it is a mess in just a few seconds to minutes of spraying (2 minutes at the absolute most). AAA has been my most disappointing investment to date.

  6. You have a spindle missing there bud. :)

    I still haven’t gotten an AAA unit Scott. Could have used one today on site.

    • Scott Burt says:

      I was curious to see who would pick that out! When the system is installed, a few of the spindles are metal to give the rail system rigidity. Not sure who is painting those! I bet you won’t be able to live without aaa for much longer.

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