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Everything You Should Know About Paint Booth Pressure Settings

How often do you think about pressure settings? Probably not often, even though it plays a vital role in the spraying process. Pressure settings control the airflow coming in and out of the booth. More importantly, it can affect the direction of the airflow within a booth. The wrong direction can increase overspray, contamination, and airborne particles.

Should Pressure be Positive or Negative?

It’s essential to understand the difference between positive and negative pressure in a paint booth, and what the effects of each are. Slightly positive pressure means that the airflow will be blowing out of the cabin, which helps to keep a cleaner job. Negative pressure will bring air into the cabin. This is particularly unwelcomed because it can bring contamination and airborne particles into the booth when painters are entering and exiting the cabin.

Pro-tip: Keeping pressure slightly positive between .04 and .05 will produce optimal performance and best results.

How to Adjust Your Pressure Settings

Prior to digital movement within the finishing industry, pressure settings had to be changed by hand. Older booths (even some that are still around today) have a pressure gauge that needs to be manually turned and tweaked. However, this method can cause a huge delay because it takes way more time to actually change the pressure within the cabin.

Thankfully, manufacturers have moved to digital control panels over the last two decades, like Accudraft. This allows pressure to easily (and quickly) be adjusted with the touch of a button. All current Accudraft paint booths are equipped with a Smart Pad, which is our basic control panel model.

How to Adjust Pressure Settings on the Accudraft Smart Pad

Our Smart Pad is compatible with booths and prep decks. It provides all important settings right in one place on the pad, including lowering and raising the cabin pressure.

  • Get the booth running in spray cycle
  • Hit the SP button (the light will start to blink)
  • Hit up or down to adjust to the desired pressure
  • Hit SP again once its set
  • The booth will slowly bring the pressure up or down until it reaches where it’s set

When to Change Pressure Settings?

A paint booth’s pressure should only be changed when filters are being replaced. Many newer booths self-regulate pressure, as long as the booth is started with the doors cracked open (doors can be shut completely after startup). If you’re working in a curtained area, the pressure will likely have to be adjusted more to avoid the curtains from blowing too much and affecting the rest of the shop.

Filters and Pressure

Many painters make the mistake of adjusting their paint booth’s pressure because the filters are dirty. However, we strongly advise against this because frequently adjusting pressure with dirty filters will make the booth’s motors work harder and pull more power to maintain balance. This will force all parts to do harder work and increase the chances for burn out, costing your shop more money in energy costs and equipment replacements.

Pro-tip: If your filters are dirty or it’s time to change them, don’t wait—do it right away!

How Accudraft Can Help Increase Your Booth Performance

Accudraft is here to support your shop boost your booth’s performance. From upgrading your control panels to delivering replacement filters to completing routine inspections and maintenance, you can count on us for all your paint booth needs.

If you’re unsure why your paint booth has been under-performing, schedule an inspection with one of our technicians today. We can evaluate your set up and determine what equipment and parts need to be updated. While we pride ourselves on manufacturing long-lasting paint booths (it’s true, check out this 30-year-old Accudraft booth still running strong here), upgrades are needed from time to time.

If your shop has not been updated within the last 10-15 years, you may need to swap your old manual pressure gauge to our digital Smart Pad. We are experienced in equipping old cabins with new mechanics and electronics. Contact us online today to get started!