FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

This page aims to answer the most frequently asked questions regarding our products and site. We’ve worked hard to provide a great deal of information here and within our site. We’re confident you’ll find the answer to your question here. If you don’t, feel free to contact us and we’ll do our best to help.

What is a metering valve?

A metering valve in a blast cabinet allows you to adjust and control the amount of blast media mixing with the air. Too much or too little blast media can both be an issue. Introduce too little media into the airstream and you’ll get poor blasting performance. When too much blast media is introduced into the air stream you can experience wasted media, blockage of flow and decreased performance. A metering valve setup like the one we sell offers a reliable and economical solution to this issue.

How does it work?

The metering valve completely eliminates and replaces the horrible siphon tube design in your blast cabinet. Simply mount the valve at the bottom of your blast cabinet and run the blast hose from the valve to your gun. Now gravity and the special design of the adjustable valve will vastly improve blasting performance. Adjusting your air pressure and the air inlet opening allows you to finely tune the air and media mixture for optimal performance.

Is it difficult to install your metering valve?

Not at all. Most customers comfortable with basic hand tools can complete installation in 15 to 30 minutes. Your valve ships fully assembled and ready to install. You simply drill or cut a mounting hole in the bottom of your blast cabinet. Then you’ll need to drill a hole for the media hose. After that you simply mount the valve with the mounting nut, connect the blast media hose and tighten a couple hose clamps.

What tools do I need to provide for installation?

Your purchase includes only the items described in the product listing. You’ll need to provide the media chute door off of your blast cabinet and the necessary tools for installation. Installation of our metering valve typically requires the following tools:

  • A 1-1/4″ hole saw or other suitable means of cutting an approximately 1-1/4″ diameter hole in the bottom of your blast cabinet media hopper.
  • A Phillips or Straight blade screwdriver for tightening hose clamps. An appropriately sized nut-driver, socket or wrench would also work depending on the style of the hose clamp.
  • A step drill bit, appropriately sized drill bit or other suitable tool for drilling holes for the blast media hose grommet. If you’re installing a foot pedal, you’ll also need to drill any hole(s) necessary for routing air hose back into the cabinet to your blast gun.

How tight do I need to tighten the mounting nut?

Hand tight is usually good enough. Tighten the nut as tight as you can by hand and that is usually enough. Getting tools down inside the cabinet can be a challenge, but you can use an adjustable wrench or large pliers to gently snug up the fitting if desired. Be careful to avoid over tightening the nut.

If a metering valve works so well, why didn’t the manufacturer include one on my cabinet?

The main reason is cost. It simply adds too much in materials costs and labor to add a metering valve while keeping the sale price low. It is much cheaper to toss in a cheap siphon feed gun with 18-24″ of cheap hose and call it good. All better quality cabinets, even the mid level Cabinets from China, include some sort of metering valve. They do this because they really do work much better than a siphon tube.

Do I need to upgrade my blast gun with the metering valve?

No. Our metering valve upgrade will get you great results, even using the cheap siphon gun found in most economy blast cabinets like those sold at Harbor Freight and other retailers. As long as your existing blast gun is functioning properly and in good condition you don’t need to upgrade. Keep in mind. we highly recommend upgrading your gun if possible. You’ll get even better results with a gun upgrade. Trigger-less guns are typically much less restrictive.

The good news is, a gun upgrade isn’t necessary to enjoy the benefits of adding a basic metering valve to your blasting setup. The ability to take a modular approach to your blast cabinet upgrades is a great benefit to our metering valves.

Do I have to upgrade to a foot pedal to use your valve?

No! You can use our metering valves with or without a foot pedal. A foot pedal can be nice in certain situations, but adding one isn’t necessary. You can always upgrade to a foot pedal controlled blast gun set-up later on down the road.

Does your product come with hose and other accessories?

If you order a valve only, you’ll receive the metering valve, mounting hardware and instructions only. You’ll need to provide blast hose of your choice, hose clamps, grommets and the tools for installation. If you order a metering valve kit it will include the valve, mounting hardware, instructions, hose, hose clamps and a grommet for the media hose tube. Please refer to our individual product listings for complete details.

Does your product only work with Harbor Freight blast cabinets?

Of course not! This product was designed for, and works great with, the 40lb floor standing Harbor Freight blast cabinet (Item #68893.) However, it will work amazing with many others. All you really need is a flat area measuring at least 2″ x 2″ at the lowest point of your media hopper, and enough room under your cabinet to hang the valve. Our products work on many blast cabinets from Harbor Freight, Central Pneumatic, Eastwood, Jegs, Powerfist, Dragway Tools, Princess Auto and countless more. If you’re not sure our product will fit just send us some photos and a description of your cabinet. If possible, provide us with some measurements and we’ll do our best to help determine if our product will work. Nine times out of ten, it will!

I have a bit less than 2″ x 2″ available at the bottom of my cabinet. Will your product work?

It may, with some modification. Our product will work with any siphon feed blast cabinet, assuming you can come up with a way to mount it at the lowest point of the media hopper. The recommended 2″ x 2″ mounting area allows for clearance of the mounting nut and washer we provide for installation. In some situations you can get away with less mounting area. If you’ve got enough area to drill the 1-1/4 hole but not enough room for the washer you can carefully cut or trim the mounting washer or fabricate your own mounting solution. In many cases you can eliminate the washer if need be. If you’ve got a strange cabinet you may just need to get creative. As long as you can mount the valve at the proper vertical orientation at the lowest point, it will work fine.

Will the valve work with benchtop blast cabinets?

In most cases, you can. In fact many customers use our metering valves on benchtop cabinets because it makes emptying them ten times easier.

Whether our product is compatible with a bench style blast cabinet depends on what style you have, but it should work with some modification and creativity. The major obstacle is usually space. Most of the benchtop blast cabinets don’t have enough room below them to install the valve. You’ll likely need to cut a slot or hole in the table or bench top to allow enough room for the valve to hang and for making necessary adjustments. Mounting a benchtop cabinet to a cart or frame is another possibility. With benchtop cabinets you may find it desirable to have the valve hang down lower below the cabinet to provide easier access. We frequently make valves that extend down lower. See the question below!

Do you make custom sized products?

Yes. We frequently make valves of specific sizes for customers. We offer a product that works great for a variety of general setups. With that said, many customers have custom setups they’ve had in place for years and need help from us to accommodate their unique situation. For example, customers with bench style blasters often need our product to hang down lower so they can access it easier. It’s often much cheaper and easier for us to make what you need instead of changing what you have to adapt to our product.

We can use different size fittings, swap hose fitting sizes, use different style pieces and more for customers as needed. Sometimes we need to charge a little more to cover materials and labor, but it usually isn’t significant. Contact us with what you have in mind. Be sure to include any measurements that might be critical and we’ll be happy to provide a quote if we can make it happen.

I don’t use 1/2″ blast hose. Can I still use your product?

Definitely! Our products are set up for 1/2″ ID blast hose because that is by far the most common size. We do realize some users need smaller or larger blast hose. You can always swap the hose fitting after purchase, but we’d be happy to custom make a product to your specifications if you choose. Simply contact us prior to purchase. Let us know what size hose fitting you need and we’ll let you know if we need to charge any more.

What size hose is right for you? It depends on a wide variety of factors. The size and type of blast media, your compressor size and output, and blast nozzle diameter are just a few of the factors that come into play. If you’re unsure, stick with the 1/2″. It provides a great middle ground that should work with your existing gun and works well for 90% of cases.

Why might you need to use different size blast hose? Stepping down to a 3/8 hose might help with a small air compressor setup. Increasing blast hose size may help flow if blasting with large media. Few non industrial hobbyists with siphon blast cabinets are blasting with anything larger than 1/2″ or 5/8″ hose.

Keep in mind when we discuss media hose, the size is referring to the INSIDE DIAMETER of the hose. For example, 1/2″ ID Is a 1/2″ inside diameter. Your hose might measure 5/8 on the outside, but it is 1/2″ ID for example.

What’s the white tape on my valve? Can I remove it?

The white tape or ribbon-like substance is a special thread sealing tape. It isn’t necessary but we install it to ensure a more leak free design. The tape only functions on the threaded portions of fittings inside other fittings. We often wrap the tape well beyond the required threaded areas so customers can verify it is installed as described. If the tape is falling off or coming unraveled from a connection there’s no need to to worry. You can either push it back down or can gently pull it or trim it off if desired. This will leave the threaded connections sealed. You can remove the tape if you choose.

Do I need to re-seal the drain plug or other connections if I’ve removed or disturbed them?

We recommend some sort of thread sealant but it isn’t necessary. Feel free to reapply a thread tape or sealant if desired. Your valve should function normally with our without thread sealant. Removing it shouldn’t affect blasting performance. Likewise, installing thread tape or pipe sealant won’t hurt anything and should ensure no air leaks are present. It also ensures there is little to no chance of blast media dust leaking from the valve if you experience a major clog with the air inlet valve fully closed.

Why isn’t sealing the connections necessary? Won’t blast media leak out?

Our metering valves work via suction or negative pressure. When properly installed and used, the valve is under a slight vacuum and the threaded connections experience little to no outward pressure. Essentially, under normal operating conditions, air is trying to rush into and through the valve much more than it is trying to blow out. A small leak in one of the threaded connections would typically only let in a small amount of additional air into the mixture under normal circumstances. It would be insignificant in terms of affecting blasting performance.

How much blast media do I need?

You need much less blast media with our product compared to the stock siphon tube design. The product will function with a few cups of media. How much media you need for optimal blasting performance depends on many factor. As general rule, you only need to keep enough blast media in the cabinet to keep the valve opening covered at the bottom of the cabinet.

Do you sell replacement parts?

We do offer some replacement parts on our site. Examples include hose clamps, grommets, fittings etc. If you need something not shown in our online catalog contact us and let us know what you need. We may be able to help.

It looks like I can just make this myself. What makes your product so special?

Making your own version of our product with some ingenuity is certainly possible. It just doesn’t make sense from either a time or cost perspective. You’ll usually end up paying more to make a product that performs worse. You’ll end up spending far more time and money than you anticipated in the process.

We routinely have customers tell us they discovered purchasing from us was cheaper than building it themselves. Factor in your time and gas spent running all over town attempting to find all the necessary parts in stock at multiple stores and things get even more expensive.

Manufacturing our product the way we do it requires a couple specialized tools and components not readily available locally to the normal DIYer. Designing a homemade work around involves installing extra fittings that decrease performance, increase costs and result in an inferior product.

Is your product made in America?

Our valves are assembled in the U.S. We proudly hand assemble each of our metering valves in-house right here in the USA.

Do you use imported parts?

Yes. Our valves are made in the U.S.A. using globally sourced materials. In order to maintain our affordable pricing, we use parts imported from other countries. Customers who demand or require an American made product constructed with all domestic parts can contact us. We can accommodate this request with advance notice. Please note pricing is typically much higher since our materials costs are much greater.

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