The can of Great Stuff foam sealer is clogged at the tip after
one use. In order to unclog it, I will face the can tip down on
a concrete surface and push down on the can with my full
weight. This breaks the seal and the can is reusable. I have
used a paper clip to clean foam off the can's nozzle, but it
doesn't work and doesn't seem safe.
I have a feeling that this can will get stuck forever. Is there
a practical way to prevent it from clogging in the future?
I have a can that I've used at least three different times. I had no
trouble pulling the cured foam out. After each use I remove the nozzle
and let everything cure. I clean out the nozzle with with a coat
hanger and the can opening with a paper clip.
This foam doesn't adhere well to the plastic so once it is cured it
should not be difficult to clean out.
Hilti makes a competing product that restarts easier, although I found that
after 3 restarts the propellant ran out, leaving the can about maybe 33%
I'm not sure it was even a "savings", since I could have waited until I had
a full can's worth of sealing to do and used it all up at once; this way I
ended up using more than 1 can for less than a can's work.
I think Hilti also makes a more "industrial" version with a metal/reusable
nozzle that screws on to the can, making it even more reusable, although I
suspect that version would suffer from the same propellant/contents problem.
The best bet overall is probably to buy the "small jobs" size, although I
haven't measured cost/oz; it may end up being more worthwhile to just throw
away unused quantities.
If you back to when Great Stuff first came out, each can used to come with an
instruction book, several tubes, and a set of disposable gloves. They had
instructions for how to restart the foam.
But first of all, acetone dissolves the uncured stuff instantly, so I usually
just use a squirt bottle of acetone to clean the tube and adapter, and another
squirt back into the nozzle. Works great, takes a few seconds.
But the official method is to dampen several toothpicks. Remove the tube from
the adapter, and the adapter from the can. Insert one toothpick into each end
of the tube, one into each each end of the adapter and another into the nozzle
on the can. When it cures, the toothpicks will easily slide the plug of cured
foam right out, slick as a whistle.
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