Metering Tips & Dilution Ratios – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are metering tips?
A: Metering tips are color-coded orifices that can be installed in the suction tube on many Blue Mule units. For water-driven systems, they reduce the amount of chemical being drawn into the water stream. For air-driven systems (Foggers/Misters) they reduce the amount of chemical being drawn into the air stream.
Q: Do I need to buy metering tips with a new unit?
A: No. Each unit includes at least one set of metering tips. The tip set includes a tip identification chart similar to what is shown above and a metering tip driver tool to help install the tips. Your purchase will also include a set of printed instructions with a unit-specific metering tip chart. Details below.
Q: How do I read the metering tip chart that came in the bag of tips?
A: The oz/min flow rates in the chart represent the average number of ounces of water-thin chemical which will pass through the tip per minute. Tip colors are listed in ascending order, from smallest (Brown) to largest (Black). NOTE: oz/min is not the same as oz/gal. Details below.
Q: Where do I find my dilution ratio on the tip chart that came in the bag of tips?
A: You don’t! This chart only says how fast chemical concentrate will be consumed and helps identify each tip. Dilution ratios depend on the water flow rate through the venturi injector (this is unit specific), water pressure, and viscosity of the chemical.
Q: OK, so how do I choose the right tip for my dilution ratio?
A: First, check the product label to determine how it should be applied.
- Some products will list the dilution ratio directly (16:1 means 16 parts water per 1 part chemical). Some products may list ounces per gallon (7 ounces of chemical per 1 gallon of water). Some products may list other volumetric measurements (2 tablespoons per 1 gallon of water). All of these are dilution instructions.
- Convert the provided dilution instructions to a ratio. TIP: There are 128 fluid ounces in 1 gallon.
Refer to printed instructions (page 2) or the “Requirements & Technical Details” on our website product detail pages. There you will find a metering tip chart based on the flow rate of that specific unit. The ratios in the chart are based on 40 PSI water pressure (common), but the ratios will be weaker than expected if water pressure is significantly higher.
Q: How do I calculate the dilution ratio for each tip if my water pressure is higher or lower than 40 PSI?
A: The unit-specific metering tip chart includes a formula with instructions for manual calculations.
Q: Is there an easy way to calculate dilution ratios without doing so much math?!
A: Yes. If you know your actual water pressure, the Metering Tip Calculator can provide the dilution ratio for each tip at various water pressures based on the flow rate of the unit. The Metering Tip Calculator is also helpful because it presents dilutions in other common formats, such as ounces per gallon.
Q: What if I don’t know my water pressure?
A: You’ll have to do a bit of trial and error to find the perfect tip. Start with the metering tip chart dilution ratios in the instructions, which are specified at 40 PSI water pressure.
Adjust the tip size larger or smaller based on results. If the chemical isn’t foaming well in a foamer, try a larger tip. If sanitizer test strips reveal that the chemical output is too weak/strong, adjust accordingly and use a larger or smaller tip. Once you choose and install tip you should rarely, if ever, need to change it.
We offer a Water Pressure/Flow Test Kit to facilitate unit setup and provide validation of water pressure. Chemical Proportioners for filling spray bottles, mop buckets, sinks, etc. include a water pressure gauge as a standard feature. Contact us if you would like to order gauges on any other water-driven system.
Q: How do I achieve the strongest possible dilution ratio?
A: To draw the maximum amount of chemical into the water stream, do not install any metering tip. Dilution ratios will be weaker at higher water pressure, so consider reducing the incoming water pressure if it is significantly higher than 40 PSI.
Q: What if my product label doesn’t specific a dilution ratio or says to apply a certain amount of product for a specific size area?
A: For products that do not need to be applied at a specific dilution ratio (lawn fertilizer, for example), metering tips simply set the rate at which the product will be consumed. This means you can pre-dilute chemical to apply it even slower, and select a tip that “finishes the bottle” after you’ve covered the required area.
Q: What if I can’t find a tip that achieves my required ratio?
Based on your water pressure, you may require a ratio that falls between two metering tips. Use the closest available tip or adjust your water pressure. For disinfectants and sanitizers, it is typically best to use a bit too much product, rather than too little, to ensure effectiveness.
Precise dilution ratios are much less important for products like car wash soap or simple cleaning products. It’s all about the cleaning results and/or foaming performance, and success is in the eye of the beholder based on expectations and goals. Adjust tip size until you find the “sweet spot” for optimal performance and chemical usage.
Q: My metering tips are lost or damaged. How can I buy replacements?
Q: I need help! What should I do?
A: It’s OK – we’re here to help! Please submit a contact form with as much detail as possible about your chemical and the unit you are using. Or give us a call at 501-291-0007.
Metering Tips – Color Coded$3.82 – $8.69