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Snow Ex Junk - VSS-3000

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by GTMN, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. GTMN

    GTMN Member
    Messages: 41

    I purchased a VSS-3000 sprayer after visiting Snow Ex's website and researching a little. I found very few reviews but it looked like a decent unit and quick turn key solution to what I wanted to do. Here is what I have found out.

    - Upon taking delivery the large top tank cap was missing. That only took 2 weeks to get so we made a wood cap in the mean time.

    - My first 100 gallons went ok. So I was anti-icing a ramp with an expensive non-chloride deicer and I can see 1 of the five tips not spraying in the light amount of snow that was accumulating. This is where my problems started.

    - The pressure to the tips progressively started dropping as the level of fluid in the tank was going down. This lead me to that the sprayer could not handle thick fluids. That made me feel less than impressed.

    - Then I went to spray the parking ramp again and I only had 200 gallons in the tank. I started spraying and within 30 gallons I was starting to lose the spraying tips one by one as the pressure seemed to have dropped. So I tried priming the pump a couple of times because there seemed to be air in the system. Well I figured out after messing around with things that because the liquid distribution manifold is set at the height of the middle of the tank it has troubles when the level of fluid in the tank drops below the distribution manifold. There are air leaks all over this setup and they expose themselves when the fluid is not higher than the parts. This was all figured out at my expense and time.

    - At this point I was very unhappy. I wanted nothing to do with a NEW piece of equipment that I have to troubleshoot and fix. Do you think Snow Ex wanted their machine back? Nope, it took a week to reach the conclusion that they will have my distributor try and fix the unit. I lost the profits from 3 missed applications of product and my time in trouble shooting this machine. Has anyone else ever bought new piece of equipment that you have had to wrench on? This is not my first time having this happen with new equipment but it is the first time I have complained and to not have them take back their product drives me nuts. I felt like I was the tester of their equipment. Now my truck gets to spend a day at the distributors shop to fix Snow Ex's problems. As far as I know they might get reimbursed and I am left time and money down for buying a Snow Ex product. Not impressed Snow Ex! What happened to making a good product and standing behind it? So in summation, if your looking for a sprayer look else where.

  2. concreteguy

    concreteguy Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    Sorry to hear the trouble you're having with a new piece of equipment. I've been thinking on buying one of those and now with you're experience, have to wait and see if yours gets resolved. Keep up on the details if you would. Seemed to be a good concept is why I would have bought it, probably you too.
  3. Mike S

    Mike S PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    The experience you have had is the only one i have ever had with snow ex.
  4. GTMN

    GTMN Member
    Messages: 41

    Pretty pathetic, some speedy customer service would have made me happy but they messed that up! Concrete guy, after talking to the distributors about my problem I have found out that Monroe and Vari-tech have some nice skid options for the back of you truck. They just don't seem to have the marketing that SnowEx has and its a lesson that sometime flash is not always the best. Try them out before you jump in the ring with a SnowEx product...

  5. concreteguy

    concreteguy Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    Thanks for the info
  6. todddude

    todddude Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    I sell alot of salt & liquid to many contractors, some with expensive units and some with homemade units. Not very impressed with most of the snowex products from the feedback I hear (bitching) when people pick up product.

    As always I recommend to do full research online first to see what is working for people. This is also a great forum I refer people to. I also try to inform people of the proper use of the equipment since, as you know, everyone usually tries to do more with what they have or push the limits of the designed uses or try to put products in that the unit just isn't designed for. Proper nozzel & tube design is important because some of the chlorides have organic additives that may clog internal filters &/or nozzels. Some contractors have tried to use fetillizer sprayers for deicing and have had poor results. So just be sure to research all the equipment available & also the type of products you intend to put through it.

    I would assume that Snow Ex had already completed testing for the system with multiple products and also tested the unit prior to sending it out.....then again maybe not. Good luck hope it works out well for you once all the kinks are out.
  7. deicepro

    deicepro PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,124

    I would have gladly built you a custom unit for 2/3rds the cost of the SnowEx!!
  8. GTMN

    GTMN Member
    Messages: 41

    Update: The expensive hand sprayer and we are having much better luck keeping air out of the system.
  9. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    So they gave you a hand sprayer and resolved your issues?
  10. GTMN

    GTMN Member
    Messages: 41

    Oh no, I mean the hose real and hand spray was causing a lot of the air to get in the system. At this point we just deleted that out of the system until we can find the air leaks in that setup. No remorse from SnowEx! Thank God the distributor is willing to help me!
  11. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,559

    I got my anti-ice sprayer from Dultmeier Sales. I run thousands and thousands of gallons through it every year and have not had one issue.
  12. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    sno-ex aint cheap either . their replacement parts are astronomical and shipping is nothing short of a joke . seems like they're pricing themselves out of the market .

    good luck with yours , try fabbing one up , relatively simple .
  13. Peterbilt

    Peterbilt Senior Member
    from IA.
    Messages: 745

    I have had many Snow Ex products, and every single one has been a let down. Its usually right after the warranty goes out on most items. I just couldn't count on them working storm after storm.

    IMO, the Snow Ex stuff is WAY over priced for what it is, and Snow Ex support isn't all that great. Almost like they call you a lier for their product not working, like its our fault that we spent TOP DOLLAR, and expect TOP DOLLAR equipment.

    I switched over to Buyers, and havn't had any of the same problems, spent far less, and have had WAY better support.

  14. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    saltdogg has been putting out some reliable spreaders , i know that for a fact . pricing is very competitive . yes dittos Thumbs Up
  15. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    I've had good luck

    I own a new vss-200 gallon sprayer and have had excellent results. Not blaming the material you are spraying, but it could be the additives or simply the product itself having impurities in it and not clearing the spray head.

    We've sprayed Apex Meltdown and Magic Ice-proof and both have sprayed with no problem.
    We do leave our handgun powered up even if we are not constantly spraying.

    Sorry to hear you have had bad luck but mine has worked fine.
  16. GTMN

    GTMN Member
    Messages: 41

    Wayne, this thing is far from a finished product for me. Nothing but problems. Disconnecting the over priced hose reel helped with the air leak issues but not to my surprise more problems this morning. I couldn't get the system to prime and was lucky enough to shoot the goo all over myself in the process. Very Very disappointed still. I'm looking for the Snow Ex to help this customer out of a defective unit.

    Problems So Far
    - Air Leaks Everywhere
    - Funny Electrical Noise in Switch Box, Ever turn a light switch half way and hear the electricity trying to make a connection?
    - Thick product causes system issues. I ran it this morning and the pumps were bouncing on and off because of the pressure. I think it was causing an air leak. This was on a full tank so there was at least 150 gallons over the distribution manifold pushing fluid to the backside of the pumps.

  17. GTMN

    GTMN Member
    Messages: 41

    Woops sorry, we disconnected the spray wand. We just have not used it because it was causing air leak problems.
  18. GTMN

    GTMN Member
    Messages: 41

    Wayne, it is not clogging the tips for sure. There are some very expensive pumps on this unit and they should push any deicer liquid on the market.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  19. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    Sorry to hear about your unit

    Sorry to hear about your issues with the spray unit. Ours works really well. We do leave the hose wand on if we are going to spray walks from one job to the next so it does not need to be primed at every job.

    As far as the boom needing priming all the time, that has not been an issue for us. The only time we have had to prime the boom was when we ran it all the way out. But so does anything that gets sprayed all the way out.

    I would think as long as you are spraying a good brine, (not something homemade) your pumps and nozzles should spray fine. I would check with SnowEx if I were you. I have a friend that has a VSS3000 and his works great as well.

    Good luck.
  20. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    That pic says a thousand words. I like the 2 thumbs up! :laughing:

    A buddy of mine bought a elecric v box from them about 10 years ago. I was out with him one night salting and was amazed that he had to have a guy (me) ride in the bed with a broom handel and help feed the salt down to the auger while the vibrator was running.

    He sold the unit the next year. I have heard they are better now, but still dont think they are worth that kind of money.

    Good luck and keep us posted on how this works out for you.