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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
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    • CommentAuthorbogal2
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2015
     
    Just insulated over the rafters with insulation boards and filling any gaps with foam but seem to be spending rather a lot of time trying to unblock foam guns. Onto my third one now. I leave the canister of foam on if not finished and put something over the end. When finished I clean out with gun cleaner and have disassembled the nozzle, pin and poke the ball bearing valve to make sure not blocked but still can't get them to work. Any tips would be much appreciated!
    • CommentAuthorMike George
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2015 edited
     
    I've had one for years and never used the cleaner - use the gun several times most weeks. Just leave the tin on and make sure that the regulator is tightened right up after use.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2015
     
    My method is, once finished:

    1) Take the can off. Can be messy.
    2) Spray cleaner where the can connects until it's visually clean
    3) Put the cleaner in the gun, open regulator fully
    4) Trigger the gun until the foam stops coming out and then it's just cleaner coming out
    5) Take the cleaner off, last spray around
    6) Close the regulator
    7) Put the foam can on, nice and tight ready to use again
  1.  
    I never needed to clean mine apart from the nozzle for a long time. Then I got a dodgy can or maybe just put it on incorrectly and the foam leaked out around where the can goes onto the gun. Now I need to work out how to clean out the hardened foam, if it's possible at all...

    Ed
    • CommentAuthorbogal2
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2015
     
    Thanks for the tips.
  2.  
    Now I need to work out how to clean out the hardened foam, if it's possible at all...

    Foam gun cleaner. It works for hardened foam too.
  3.  
    Gravelld,

    You say:

    1) Take the can off. Can be messy.

    7) Put the foam can on, nice and tight ready to use again


    are you suggesting there is a valve in the can, then? There did not seem to be when I took a can off too early and effectively decorated the room (including a Chinese silk lampshade) with foam until the can was empty.
  4.  
    do what Mike says
    • CommentAuthorJT101
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2015
     
    My experience is that taking the can off when not in use and spraying the foam cleaner inside is the worst thing to cause blockages. It might work a couple of times, but eventually you'll leave it just that bit too long, and the foam will start to set.

    I've used tonnes of the stuff, many different guns and the best luck I've had is as Mike George said. Keep the cannister on until it is empty, and always screw closed the valve on the back to shut it off after use. When you need to change cannisters, do it immediately. Don't leave the gun exposed to air with all the foam inside it.

    I've tried taking a gun apart, and it's pretty much impossible without damaging it, so once it's gunked, it's junked.

    Even doing it Mike George's way, and I've done it religiously, some guns still managed to seize. I think it's an inbuilt flaw that forces you to buy more foam and more guns, but I certainly wouldn't waste time with the cleaner.

    Maybe a better quality gun has better seals.
  5.  
    Posted By: JT101Maybe a better quality gun has better seals.


    Yes, certainly the valve in the nozzle at the end is brass on the better ones - the cheaper ones being plastic. just scrape the hardened foam off the end down to the brass with a stanley knife. Estimate my current gun about 5 years old only had two before that - one brass nozzle which got stepped on and a plastic nozzle that lasted a couple months
  6.  
    Posted By: JT101When you need to change cannisters, do it immediately. Don't leave the gun exposed to air with all the foam inside it.


    Yes - I should have said that. foam begins to cure very quickly
  7.  
    My most recent foam gun came with very explicit instructions NOT to ever remove a canister that wasn't completely used, and to immediately clean and replace the canister when it does get used.

    It did say if you don't plan to use it for more than a month then you should run it through with cleaner, and you should expect to use half a can of cleaner to do it right.

    This probably explains why my previous gun gave up as I was removing the canister and cleaning it after almost every use, but not with anything like half a can.
    • CommentAuthorrhamdu
    • CommentTimeMar 3rd 2015
     
    Just a gentle reminder to you foam users. The fumes are inflammable. Responsible for the Glasgow School of Art fire. And now this: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/fireball-engulfs-builders-arm-as-he-uses-foam-to-plug-mouse-holes-10079536.html
    • CommentAuthorrhamdu
    • CommentTimeMar 3rd 2015
     
    And no, I can't imagine what kind of mouseholes needed 8 cans of foam, either.
    • CommentAuthoralexc
    • CommentTimeMar 3rd 2015
     
    100% with All of Mike George notes.

    I tried the other way, with cleaner and thoroughness. did not work. I now have a gun per type of foam.
    I have left one gun unused for many months and come back to use it. All good
    If i lend the gun to anyone/let them use it, first thing I do is check the that regulator is screwed up.
    Sometimes when taking cans off they have a life of there own. still plenty of foam, even though its not coming out via gun. As soon as a the nozzle from the top of the can gets stuck to gun, the gun is a write off.
    I tried all metal guns and guns with just metal nozzle. No difference.

    Cleaning foam from clothing : my approach has been slow attrition. Minor scrape of foam before a wash, wash item, then another minor scrape. Its just gets into everything. If its gets on me, leave for a few days as per glues and minor attacks on it when gets to annoy me .
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeMar 3rd 2015
     
    Posted By: Nick ParsonsGravelld,

    You say:

    1) Take the can off. Can be messy.

    7) Put the foam can on, nice and tight ready to use again


    are you suggesting there is a valve in the can, then? There did not seem to be when I took a can off too early and effectively decorated the room (including a Chinese silk lampshade) with foam until the can was empty.

    Seems a crapshoot to me, sometimes when removing a can whatever valve exists doesn't spring back and it continues dispensing for a while - that's what I meant by can be messy. Sometimes it just works.

    TBF Mike has much more experience so I'll probably end up doing it his way in a few years.

    I'm just using the screwfix products (gun and foam).
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 3rd 2015 edited
     
    Posted By: gravelldI'm just using the screwfix products (gun and foam)
    Prob as gd as any - rebadged Soudal.
  8.  
    Posted By: rhamduAnd no, I can't imagine what kind of mouseholes needed 8 cans of foam, either.

    and mice seem to just love making tunnels through foam...
  9.  
    Posted By: alexc
    I have left one gun unused for many months and come back to use it. All good

    Same here. I eventually killed one by leaving it for over a year on a very nearly empty can.

    Posted By: alexcAs soon as a the nozzle from the top of the can gets stuck to gun, the gun is a write off.

    Come to think of it, that's just what happened with the dead gun when I came to take the last can off.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeMar 3rd 2015
     
    Screwfix do one of their 'value' products is the screw on can of cleaner - works great. IIRC it is not in the catalogue. Product number 60133. Agree with all the above. Have had to clean guns after a while. I usually do it when I change a can (unless it is one after another quickly) just to stop any build up. Had expensive guns fail quickly and cheap ones last ages.
  10.  
    Can anyone recommend a decent foam gun?

    My cheap screwfix one is kaput

    Thanks
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2017
     
    Any method to clear a gun that's been left (with can on) for a year? The solvent doesn't seem to attach such well-congealed foam (inside the gun). I dismantled as far as possible but e.g. the pin thro the middle won't come free.

    The can that was left on is half full, is clean, but has no puff when put on a new gun. Any trick - does it just need clearing somehow?
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2017
     
    yes... the guns are very simple, the 'seal' is a brass nipple at the end with a tapered pin pushed home onto the internal machined female cone.
    Unscrew the adjustment knob at the back, remove keeper spring, grip rod with molegrips, rotate and 'unscrew'.
    The pin/rod will have debris stuck to it, that need to be wire-wool-removed, but be careful where the pin enters the tube 'chamber' by the trigger... laborious but can resurrect a dead gun.
  11.  
    In my limited experience the pin/rod is the easy bit. What I've not found a way to recover from is when foam sets between the tube and the point (sealed by a sprung ball bearing?) at which foam from the can enters the gun...

    If anyone has any bright ideas I have two dismantled and probably dead guns that I'd love to refurb...
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2017
     
    ... not yet :bigsmile:
  12.  
    So can anyone recommend a decent gun?
    • CommentAuthorBeau
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2017
     
    I have tried cheap and pricey. The way I use it seems to have more influence on it getting gummed up or not. Leave it on the can for regular use or give it a darn good clear out with cleaner and leave it on the cleaner can if left for longer periods.
  13.  
    I have not found better than Screwfix, though I have got several dead ones! I bought one, cheaper than Screwfix, on-line, and it was completely rubbish. It barely worked at all. I cannot remember exactly what the issue was, but I think maybe something bent - it was probably made with chrome-plated cheese.
    • CommentAuthorMikC
    • CommentTimeNov 8th 2017
     
    I've got one of these. Came free with a box of foam. Works fine for me (first time foam user).

    https://www.uksealants.co.uk/concept-pu-expanding-foam-gun.html

    There are obviously more expensive models. But the main think is that it regulates the foam output in a controlled and adjustable manner.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    IIRC I bought mine from Ironmongery Direct, but not the really cheap ones. Need to take the gun off if you are not going to use it for a while and clean it out.
   
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