The anatomy of a sprayer

The Anatomy of a Sprayer

November 16, 2021

The anatomy of a sprayer

Agricultural spray equipment has several uses and comes in different varieties. You can use your spray equipment to apply water, pesticides, herbicides, crop enhancements and other materials quickly and efficiently. Crop sprayers regulate the amount of substance applied to your crops and distribute this substance evenly.

An important part of using spray equipment on your crops is knowing the anatomy of a sprayer and the function of the sprayer parts. This knowledge is beneficial when it comes time for maintenance and repair. Read on to learn more about the different parts of the sprayer and how they help the sprayer to operate correctly. 

Engine and Pump 

The first part of the sprayer is the engine. The sprayer engine powers the pump of the sprayer. The engine needed to operate a sprayer depends on the size of the sprayer and how much output is needed at a time. There are different types of engines that can be used to power the pump of your sprayer, including hydraulic engines and gasoline engines. 

The sprayer pump is how the substance in the sprayer flows to the nozzles. The pump must send the substance to the nozzles at the correct flow to ensure accurate coverage. Common types of pumps include diaphragm pumpsroller pumpspiston pumps and fluid transfer pumps

The different types of sprayer pumps work best for different applications. Things to consider when deciding which pump you need include:

  • How you intend to use your sprayer.
  • How abrasive or corrosive the materials you will be spraying are.
  • The type of power source you will be using. 

Diaphragm pumps are a popular choice because they can withstand wear from corrosive and abrasive materials. Gas, air or electricity can be used to power diaphragm pumps. Roller pumps are very versatile and can use electricity or gasoline as a power source. Piston pumps are popular for large spraying applications and are great for instances where you need high-pressure application. Fluid transfer pumps are great for the efficient transfer of materials and can be powered by a pedestal, electricity or gasoline. 


The sprayer tank holds the substance that will be sprayed onto your crops. These tanks should be made from materials that won’t corrode, like stainless steel, polyethylene or fiberglass. All tanks used for crop spraying should include a drain or sump at the bottom of the tank, as well as an opening that can be used to inspect the inside of the tank, clean the tank or service the tank. 

Safe crop spraying practices suggest running water through the tank after each use and keeping tanks clear of contaminants like rust and dirt. It is also important to know your tank’s capacity and fluid levels to ensure you are using the appropriate level of pesticide, herbicide, crop enhancement or other material. 

Inside the tank is the agitator. Agitators mix the substance in the tank and help keep chemicals from settling at the bottom of the tank. There are two main types of agitators:

  • Mechanical: Mechanical agitators are located at the bottom of the tank and are a shaft with paddles. The shaft rotates, powered by an engine, and mixes the contents of the tank. 
  • Hydraulic: Hydraulic agitators operate using a pressure line connected to the spray system.

Not all applications require a lot of agitation. If you are using materials that include liquid concentrations, soluble powders or emulsifiable liquids, not much agitation will be needed. Using a material that is a wettable powder will require severe agitation. 

Using a spray gun

Hose and Spray Gun 

The hoses on the crop sprayer connect the tank, pump and nozzles. Hoses provide the path for the substance being sprayed to get from the tank to the nozzle. A sprayer won’t function with maximum efficiency without the correct hoses, so it is crucial to use hoses that are fit to withstand the materials you use in your spray equipment. 

Agricultural sprayers typically use synthetic rubber or plastic hoses because these materials are flexible and durable. These materials are also resistant to the abuse that can occur during use and the general wear and tear from weather, chemicals and oil. 

Spray equipment includes general hose lines, a suction hose and sometimes a flatlay discharge hose. The suction hose sucks liquid from sources such as the main tank or an external water source. The flatlay discharge hose is used to discharge water from the crop sprayer. 

The spray gun is used to apply water, pesticide, herbicide or crop enhancements to the crops more directly. The spray gun is connected to the crop spraying equipment using a hose and allows users to apply the substances to crops easily. Using a spray gun allows for more precise coverage and application. 

Boom and Nozzles

If you are looking for a quicker way to spray your crops, a boom may be the right choice. The boom is typically attached to the back of the piece of machinery being used to spray the crops. This may be a tractor, ATV or UTV. The boom is used to spray a wider range of crops at a time and can be adjusted to different heights to accommodate different crops. A boom includes multiple nozzles fixed directly to the boom that are evenly spaced. Adding a boom to your sprayer can help you achieve more efficiency and better application coverage. 

The nozzles on spray equipment control how the substance is applied. Nozzles help to maintain spraying speed and pressure, as well as ensure coverage is uniform. Choosing the right nozzle is essential. If you are using a nozzle that underperforms or is not right for your application process, you may be forced to re-spray or deal with reduced performance. 

There are many different types of nozzles that can be used on crop spraying equipment, including regular flat-fan nozzles, flooding flat-flan nozzles, hollow-cone whirl chamber nozzles and raindrop nozzles. When deciding which nozzle to use, consider the substance you are applying, how much coverage you are looking for, uniformity of application, durability and drift. 

Nozzles can be made with a range of materials, such as brass, stainless steel, nylon, plastic and ceramic. Nozzle durability is important for proper performance since a worn-out nozzle can affect your application quality. Brass nozzles wear quickly. Nozzles made from nylon have good corrosion resistance but can become deformed. Stainless steel nozzles are more expensive but have a longer lifespan. 

Get Your Sprayer and Sprayer Parts From PaulB Parts Today

Get Your Sprayer and Sprayer Parts From PaulB Parts Today

Knowing the parts of your boom sprayers and other spraying equipment will allow you to make better decisions when it comes to maintaining your equipment, ordering replacement parts or adding a new piece of spraying equipment to your set of tools. 

If you are in search of an agricultural sprayer or are searching for sprayer parts, explore PaulB Parts. We have everything you need to efficiently use your spray equipment including nozzles, spray guns, pumps, hoses and more. Contact us today with your crop sprayer and crop sprayer parts questions or browse our options online.

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