How to tell if the mix is right, how to fix it if it is not, and some other trouble-causing suspects
In this segment, we will review troubleshooting procedures for your Versi-Foam system.
The color of the foam will help you determine if all conditions are right. Good quality foam is light beige in color, it will set up with a tacky surface in about 30 seconds. After 20 minutes or so, the foam will be firm to the touch with a consistent skin.
This is the result of a good one-to-one combination of the two chemical components, we refer to it as on-ratio foam. The color of off-ratio foam is different from on-ratio foam.
- If the kit is dispensing more A component than B component, the foam will be darker in color and may have a crunchy, glassy surface.
- If the kit is dispensing more B chemical than A chemical, the foam will be nearly white in color and feel somewhat spongy.
Too much A component in the mix
The easiest way to determine if you have an off-ratio combination is to remove the nozzle from the gun and point it into a waste container. Pull the trigger and observe the chemical streams. You should see two chemical streams crossing over each other with equal velocity.
If you have a stronger A chemical flow, first check the temperature sensing strip. Chemicals that are too cold will result in a stronger A flow.
If the temperature sensing strip indicates blue or near blue, warm the tanks until the strip indicates green. Then shake the tanks for a minute or two and perform another test. If your foam still seems to be A rich, check your B chemical tank. Is it empty? Perhaps the valve is not all the way on, turn it off then turn it on again to be sure.
Too much B-component in the mix
If you see more B chemical than A chemical, your foam will be nearly white in color and may have a spongy surface. In extreme cases, where no A chemical was dispensed, you will see a white frothy substance that appears to rise like foam but will revert to a liquid after a short period of time.
First, check the temperature-sensing strip. B rich foam may be an indication that the chemicals are too warm. If the strip indicates red or near red, cool the kit until the strip indicates green. Shake the tanks for a minute or two, check the temperature strip again and do another test shot.
If the temperature seems to be right, check the chemical level in the A tank. Is it empty? Is the valve all the way on? Turn it off and turn it on again to be sure. If all of this checks out, the problem may be in the gun.
The tanks were on their side
If you used the kit before when was the last time you used it? Medium and large Versi-Foam kits should be used at least once a week and more frequently in humid conditions. If the kit is not used for more than a week, humidity can cause small crystals to block the chemical flow through the gun. The only remedy to this situation is to replace the gun hose assembly. Contact your distributor for more information.
If you still are not getting enough pressure, the kit may have been used while lying on its side. Consider these tanks to be large aerosol cans. If you dispense foam while the tanks are lying on their side, the pressure will bleed through the hose and there will not be enough pressure left to empty the tanks. There is no remedy for this. You can only prevent this situation from happening by always keeping the tanks in their upright position during use.
If your kit yields less foam than you had expected, consider the following:
- Published yields are only theoretical based on chemical formulations and the volume of chemicals in each tank. Always allow for a volume variation of 10% to 25%. It depends on the specific application. Experience will become your best ally in making good estimates.
- Was the target surface warm enough? Surface temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit will diminish the amount that the foam rises and will yield less coverage. To get maximum coverage, make sure that your working surface temperature is at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Were your chemicals in the proper temperature range when you were using your kit? Again, if the chemicals are either too warm or too cold, it will affect the foam ratio by decreasing the flow of one chemical and diminish your yield. If you carefully follow the instructions on your box and in this instructional video, your Versi-Foam kit will give you an effective foam product and a maximum yield.
—This video is from Versi-Foam Systems, one of ProTradeCraft's advertisers. RHH Foam Systems was founded in 1981 by Richard Heitzer, whose extensive experience in the cold storage construction industry recognized the need for a low-pressure disposable spray foam kit for on-the-job use. Their offices are in New Berlin, WI. View all Versi-Foam's content