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How to Fix RYOBI Paint Sprayer Problems

A collage of different ways to use Paint Sprayer.

RYOBI power tools are known for their affordability and quality, including various types of paint sprayers. RYOBI’s paint sprayer range includes the Airless Paint Sprayer Station and handheld paint sprayers – one cordless and one not. Their sprayers have little to no electrical issues, but problems can arise with the movement of fluid. However, you can quickly solve or prevent them.

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The RYOBI Paint Sprayer Station and their two models of handheld paint sprayers have similar problems:

  1. The motor runs, but no paint sprays out.
  2. The valves are blocked.
  3. The paint comes out in blobs.
  4. The nozzle is clogged.
  5. Spares are not available.
  6. The battery runs out too fast (handheld).

RYOBI Airless Paint Sprayer Station Problems

Different types of paint and spray machines.

The RYOBI Airless Paint Sprayer Station is a convenient tool for large paint jobs. Its airless painting technology allows even paint finishes without air bubbles ruining the finished product. However, while there seem to be little to no electrical issues with the RYOBI Airless Paint Station, there can be problems with the movement of the paint, which is problematic.

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Warning: Due to the pressure buildup in the pump assembly, the motor mustn’t be running when you take apart its components.

1. There Is No Movement of Fluid

You may notice that when you turn on your RYOBI Airless Paint Sprayer Station, you can hear the motor’s hum, but there is no fluid movement. The problem usually lies within the pump assembly or the pipes leading into or out of it.


Detach and check the inlet and outlet pipes for any debris, such as old paint, which might be causing a blockage. Also, check the pipes are not damaged or bent in any way. If they are, it will affect the pressure and ability of the paint to travel through the pipes. If either of the pipes is damaged, you must replace it with a clean, reinforced pipe.

If the pipes are not damaged, you can disconnect and purge them with water to eliminate any blockages. Then, use a hose clamp or jubilee clip to reattach the pipes securely to prevent the pipe from shooting off under pressure.

2. The Inlet Valve Is Blocked

Inlet Valve on white background.

The inlet valve on a RYOBI Airless Paint Sprayer Station is a ball valve. At times, the rotary ball can become stuck in its seating or unable to move because of debris. If the ball cannot move within its seat, paint cannot be sucked into the pump assembly from the paint can.


Before taking apart your paint sprayer, you will notice an orange button close to where the inlet pipe attaches to the pump assembly. This is the pressure relief knob. While the machine is running, press the button a few times to relieve the pressure within the system. Doing this a few times might loosen the blockage in the inlet valve.

If pressing the valve relief button doesn’t help, you must check the inlet valve. First, you would need to detach the inlet pipe from the hose bar to get to the inlet valve. Then, using a wrench or spanner, loosen the nut that secures the valve to the pump assembly. Next, remove the valve and the stainless-steel rotary ball that goes with it. Check the ball for scarring and wipe it clean.

Next, check the valve for any debris. If any foreign matter is inside the valve, remove it and polish it clean. When reattaching the cleaned inlet valve, insert the ball first before screwing the valve in place. Remember to tighten the nut well to prevent the inlet valve from vibrating loose and shooting off under pressure.

3. The Outlet Valve Is Blocked

A man spraying gray paints on metals.

The outlet valve on the RYOBI Airless Paint Sprayer Station is also prone to becoming blocked with debris such as dried paint or other foreign matter. The outlet valve is a cartridge valve that attaches to the outlet pipe with the spray gun. Since the outlet pipe is highly pressurized when painting, the cartridge valve has a much longer thread to secure it better.


To clean the outlet valve, you must first adjust the prime lever to its ‘ON’ position. Next, loosen the nut that attaches the outlet valve to the pump assembly using a wrench or spanner. Once removed, check the cartridge valve for any debris. There may likely be a piece of dry paint blocking the movement of the rotary ball within the cartridge valve.

Clean the cartridge valve carefully using a small, non-abrasive brush and water. It should not be necessary to take apart the cartridge valve. Instead, wipe it clean and securely reattach the valve to the outlet port.

4. The Primer Valve Is Blocked

A sprayer with a tube and pressure meter.

The function of the primer valve is to direct the flow of paint within the pump assembly. When in the ‘ON’ position, the paint will be redirected back to the paint tin, reducing the waste of materials. If the primer valve is in the ‘OFF’ position, the paint will be directed to the outlet pipe and sprayer. If there is a blockage in the primer valve, the paint flow will be hampered.

It would be best to flush or prime your sprayer before painting to check for problems. Additionally, after each use, you should release the pressure buildup in the pipes by turning off the machine, turning it off prime, and pulling the trigger on the nozzle. Doing so will help to lengthen the lifespan of the hoses, seals, and valves.


To clean the primer valve, you will have to remove it. The tools you will need are:

  • A very thin screwdriver or skewer,
  • A wrench – maybe two, and
  • A pair of needle nose pliers.

First, you must ensure the sprayer is positioned to release pressure. Use the small screwdriver to tap the tapered holding pin from the bottom, pushing it upwards. Remove the pin with the needle nose pliers and keep the pin in a safe place. Remove the plastic knob to expose the primer valve.

Loosen the primer valve from the pump assembly using the wrench. You may need two wrenches depending on how many nuts there are. Once you have removed the primer valve, clean out any debris. The debris can range from dried paint to tiny grains of sand or stone. Once cleaned, you can reassemble the primer valve. Make sure to align the holes so that you can reinsert the pin securely.


5. The ProTip Nozzle Is Blocked

Close up view of a paint Nozzle.

RYOBI introduced the ProTip range of nozzles to simplify the removal of buildup in the nozzle tip. The RYOBI ProTip range of nozzles comes on their Paint Sprayer Station and on some of their handheld paint guns. So, if the tip has become clogged, the solution to this problem is a quick fix.


To remove a clog in the tip, you can rotate the tip backward by 180˚ using the lever on the tip. In that way, the clog will be blown out at the back end of the reversible tip. Then, before resuming painting, rotate the tip back into the forward-facing position.

6. Too Much Paint From the Sprayer

If you are painting, the last thing you want is too much paint spraying out the nozzle. It could mess up your paint job, spill on you or the floor, and waste paint.


Reduce the pressure of the paint sprayer by rotating the knob above the pump assembly in a counterclockwise direction. If this does not improve the problem, the O-Ring tip may need to be replaced.

RYOBI Handheld Paint Sprayer Problems

A hand sprayer on a white background.

As convenient as a handheld sprayer might sound, the RYOBI handheld paint sprayers tend to have a few problems which frustrate their users. Most problems are pump or valve-related and occasionally battery related. Thankfully, there are little to no issues with the electrical components of RYOBI’s handheld paint sprayer range.

The RYOBI handheld sprayers come in two versions: the first is the corded one that connects to an electrical outlet. The other is the rechargeable lithium-ion battery-operated version. The RYOBI battery-operated paint sprayers can connect to any of the RYOBI One+ rechargeable battery packs that are interchangeable between RYOBI cordless power tools.

1. No Paint Comes Out of the Sprayer

One of the biggest frustrations with the RYOBI handheld paint sprayer is that no paint comes out even when the machine is on. The issue usually arises from a lack of intricate cleaning after earlier uses or because of solid bits of debris in the paint. Any paint left in the machine will harden and cause a blockage, so it needs to be cleaned thoroughly after every use.


If no paint comes out of your RYOBI handheld paint sprayer, your first go-to is to clean your handheld paint sprayer well. For this, you will need a bucket of warm soapy water, a small, non-abrasive brush (supplied with purchase), lubricating oil, and a cloth or drying towel.

Remember to never immerse your whole handheld unit in water due to its electrical components.


  • Remove and clean the nozzle.
  • Remove and clean the atomizer.
  • Remove and clean the lock-in nut.
  • Remove and clean the piston, ensuring you don’t lose the spring.
  • Remove and clean the paint tubes. Use the small bottlebrush supplied to clean them thoroughly inside.
  • Remove and clean the paint tub.
  • Dry and then lubricate the piston to prevent rust.
  • Reassemble the piston.
  • Reassemble the paint tubes.
  • Reassemble the lock-in nut.
  • Reassemble the atomizer.
  • Reassemble the nozzle.

When storing your RYOBI handheld paint sprayer, it is wise to separate the batteries from the rest of the unit. The reason for this is that there may be leftover water that drips out of the components after cleaning, which can damage the batteries.

2. The Sprayer Doesn’t Spray Properly

A man painting a car using a sprayer.

You may find that your RYOBI handheld paint sprayer sprays out blobs of paint, or the paint sprays in an uneven pattern. Either issue could ruin a paint job, or, at the very least, slow it down. However, if you have ensured your RYOBI handheld sprayer has been cleaned of debris, you can try the following solutions:

Solution 1: Dilute the Paint

Thin your paint with water or thinners and mix it well before decanting it into the paint tub. The dilution ratio should be 1 part water to 10 parts paint. Next, you can measure the viscosity of the paint mixture using a viscosity cup. The paint should take 12 to 18 seconds to drain from the viscosity cup, indicating the correct consistency.

Wood preserver needs no dilution when adding it to the attachable paint bowl.

HomeRight C900205M Viscosity Paint Consistency Measuring Cup, White

Solution 2: Check the Paint Container Is Clicked Into Place

If the paint container is not locked into place, air (or paint) will escape and affect the sprayer’s ability to build pressure. This, in turn, will affect the spray output through the nozzle. Ensure the paint container of your RYOBI handheld paint sprayer is locked into place properly by lining up the markers and clicking it to the locked position.

Some older models of RYOBI handheld paint sprayers do not have the lock and unlock markers on their paint containers. Suppose you have one of the older models. In that case, you can use a permanent marker to draw the indicating lines when the container is locked securely.

Solution 3: Check the Valves for Debris

As with the larger RYOBI Paint Sprayer Station, the valves in the handheld versions can also fall prey to debris that will impede the movement of fluids. Therefore, you need to open your handheld RYOBI paint sprayer to check the valves. The process of checking and cleaning the valves will be discussed next.

3. The Check Valves Are Blocked

Check Valves for sprayers on a white background.

When the valves on your RYOBI handheld paint sprayer stop working, the paint will not flow through the sprayer. The valves could be blocked due to debris, which happens often. Alternatively, there could be an issue with the seating or guide of the valve. If this is the case, the valve’s movement will be restricted, as well as the paint flow.

Note that RYOBI has a range of handheld sprayers that are marketed for different uses. Examples are their airless paint sprayers, their sprayers for disinfectants and herbicides, and their electrostatic sprayers. The latter two sprayers can be used for painting, provided the correct dilutions and nozzles are used, and the sprayers are properly cleaned before and after each use.


You will need to open the sprayer to get to the pump assembly. For this process, you will need the following:

  • A T10 screwdriver,
  • A Phillips screwdriver,
  • Possibly a flat screwdriver,
  • A box cutter or knife, and
  • A 5/32 chainsaw file.


  • Remove all the screws of the sprayer’s casing, keeping them in a safe place to prevent loss.
  • Use the box cutter to slice the label on the seam.
  • Gently pry apart the two sides of the plastic casing.
  • Unscrew the 5 Phillips head screws that secure the top of the pump assembly housing.
  • Do not remove the diaphragm.
  • Gently pull out each valve set, being sure not to lose their springs.
  • You might note that the valves can’t move up and down freely as they get stuck in their seating. If this is the issue, you will need to open up the guide portion (the hole) of the seats.
  • Use the 5/32 chainsaw file to gently file the guide holes a bit bigger.
  • Once done, reinsert the valves in their correct positions and place the top on the pump assembly.
  • Screw in the Phillips head screws.
  • Turn over the sprayer and work on the other side of the pump assembly. If necessary, check the other two valves and open their guide holes with the 5/32 chainsaw file.
  • Note there are two valves on each side of the pump, totaling four valves.
  • Replace the pump assembly housing and screw in the Phillips screws.
  • Reassemble both sides of the plastic casing, ensuring that all the screws are tight but not overly tightened.

4. The Battery Doesn’t Last Long

A portable sprayer with long nozzle.

RYOBI handheld paint sprayers use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. They are compatible with the RYOBI One+ battery system, which is backward compatible. However, some people using the RYOBI handheld paint sprayers complain about the short battery life when painting, lasting 15 minutes maximum. You can understand how frustrating this would be if you have a lot to paint.


Before starting with your paint job, ensure your battery is fully charged. While it may cost you some money, buying an extra or larger RYOBI rechargeable battery may be worthwhile. Then, as one battery depletes, you can put it on charge and reconnect the next battery, allowing you to paint with minimal breaks.

When choosing your rechargeable batteries, you can pick bigger versions from the One+ range. RYOBI offers Slim Pack batteries, Fat Packs, 9 Packs, and more. The larger batteries will last longer and power your other RYOBI power tools.

No matter the size of the battery, it will still deliver 18V. The difference lies in how long it will power your RYOBI handheld paint sprayer. You would also need to be aware of the weight differences and see what you are comfortable holding and for how long.

Battery Size Battery Weight
2Ah 15.5 oz
4Ah 1 lb. 94 oz
6Ah 2 lb. 0.7 oz
9Ah 2 lb. 9.9 oz
Table comparing RYOBI HP One+ Battery Sizes and Weights

5. Paint Leaks From the Paint Sprayer

A man with Paint Sprayer leaking paint.

It’s one problem having an inconsistent paint spray. However, when your RYOBI handheld paint sprayer starts leaking paint where it should not, it can become even more messy and frustrating.


Check the leak area for cracks or holes in the tubing or plastic. Also, check that the seals have not perished and are in place. If parts are broken or perished, you will need to replace them.

Additionally, you can ensure the sprayer valves are free of debris, as this will cause a buildup of pressure, and the paint will escape from weak spots. Finally, carefully clean your RYOBI handheld paint sprayer components methodically after every use to minimize the chances of dry paint causing a blockage.

6. You Can’t Find Spare Parts

Sometimes it isn’t easy to find the parts needed to repair your RYOBI handheld paint sprayer, especially if your model is discontinued. Many of the new models come with a few spare parts, such as an atomizer or different nozzles, but what do you do if you need help finding what you’re looking for?


Since buying some parts for these sprayers is challenging, many DIYers recommend buying secondhand handheld sprayers. You can find them on eBay, Craigslist, or at garage sales and keep them for spare parts. For example, having an extra atomizer and paint container on standby is always handy.

Suppose you really struggle to find parts for your RYOBI handheld paint sprayer. In that case, you can look on Amazon or other sites specializing in power tool replacement parts.


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