Grease guns are practical tools used for applying lubricants and greases to any and all mechanical or moving parts. They are used by mechanics, engineers, and even hobbyists alike. Grease guns are made to deliver lubrication under pressure, forcing it into areas of a rotary bearing that may otherwise be difficult to reach without disassembly.
Grease guns are used in both industrial and DIY settings. You can find the use of a grease gun in auto maintenance, agricultural vehicles, factory, plant and processing systems, etc.
A grease gun is called so solely because of the tool’s shape and basic mechanisms. Grease guns are generally operated through a lever that may resemble a large ‘trigger,’ with a grip and a nozzle.
Grease guns are a very useful tool, but they’re also more often than not handled aggressively. So it’s necessary to keep them in the best shape possible. And one of the steps to keep it in good condition is to depressurize it while storing.
How To Depressurize A Grease Gun For Storage?
Depressurizing your grease is a must if you want it to be in a good condition for a long time. Frequently, grease guns are left pressurized for a couple of days between uses, and this downtime can cause a loss of pressure. There are two easy ways to depressurize a grease gun before storage.
The first method is the most common one. You just have to release the gun’s pressure by depressing the trigger and allowing all the grease to push out of the nozzle. It’s a quick method, but it can get real messy fast. Also, you must ensure the gun is completely empty before putting it away.
The second method is to attach it to the grease fitting on a piece of machine or vehicle. Then push all of the greases out of the gun with ease. This method might be a little more complicated than the first one, but it keeps the space clean. Using this method, you can catch all the grease from the nozzle with a small container. There’s no wasted grease.
To depressurize a grease gun, you have to attach the end of the hose or coupler to an empty tube. You can do it by using a short length of pipe or a funnel, or even a piece of garden hose will do if need be. Once the grease is pushed out entirely, store your grease gun and as well your equipment for the next time.
How Do You Store A Loaded Grease Gun?
The best way to maintain a clean grease gun is to hang it horizontally inside a clean, fireproof cabinet with the plunger separated from the tube.
Grease guns are advised to be stored horizontally. Storing the gun horizontally helps you avoid two potential problems.
First, you don’t want to strain the spring and plunger. This will only cause the grease gun to wear faster and change the amount of lubricant it exerts on each pump. Secondly, if the gun is loaded and the base oil starts seeping out of the thickener, you would want that base oil to be evenly distributed inside the tube. This will prevent you from just pumping thickener into your machine.
Grease guns also almost always make a mess when stored. As a solution for that, you can store your leaky grease guns inside a used PVC pipe with a cap on it.
Can You Store Grease In A Grease Gun?
You can keep unused grease in a grease gun. If the grease tube is left in the grease gun, you should depressurize it beforehand, wipe it with a clean cloth to remove any contaminants and store it in a horizontal position inside a clean, cool, dry area to keep the oil from bleeding out of the grease. Otherwise, the oil may split from the grease as time goes on in storage because of the increased pressure applied by the grease gun spring.
Does Grease Break Down Over Time?
Most materials break down over time. And grease is no exception. The general shelf life for oils and greases is around five years when stored correctly in the original sealed containers. After that, the grease begins to break down or deteriorate.
You can tell grease is breaking down through these signs:
- Way too much oil separation.
- Noticeable change (>25%) in the consistency.
- A significant change in color or odor
- Change in texture
Safety Conscious While Depressurizing A Grease Gun
- It will help if you are always careful while depressurizing a grease gun. Some safety measures you should take are:
- Check if the grease gun is empty before attempting to depressurize it.
- Be careful not to point the end of the grease gun at yourself or anyone else.
- Before you start the process, tie back any loose clothing.
- For additional safety, make sure to wear safety glasses so that grease or other debris don’t fly out of the grease gun into your eyes while you are depressurizing it.
A grease gun is a valuable tool. So, it’s necessary to know all its tips and tricks. Depressurizing a grease gun is a must. The most effective way to depressurize a grease gun before storage is to either release all of the pressure or attach it to an empty tube and let out the grease.
Both methods are pretty quick and convenient to perform. You should pick the one that works best for you. Make sure to always clean up after depressurizing your grease gun.
Also, remember to clean the grease gun before storage if you don’t plan on using it for an extended period. You should also cover the gun with a cloth to prevent dust buildup.