Setup Guide: Wetblast FLEX™

Watch how to set up and begin operating Clemco's Wetblast FLEX Water-Injection Abrasive-Blast System. The Wetblast FLEX is a portable, rugged, all-in-one wetblast system engineered to provide high-performance wetblasting with maximum dust suppression. Clemco is the world's largest manufacturer of air-powered abrasive blasting equipment, including abrasive blast machines, blast cabinets, blast rooms, safety equipment and blasting accessories.

Welcome to Setup Guide for Clemco’s Wetblast FLEX Water-Injection Abrasive-Blast System


This video outlines how to set up and then begin operating the Wetblast FLEX System. It covers:

    • Preparing the Worksite & Wetblast System
    • Preparing the Blast Hose & Remote Control Lines
    • Preparing the Water Supply & Connecting to the Compressor
    • Starting the System

Note that this video is not a replacement for reading the Wetblast FLEX operations manual, which should be read in full by anyone who uses the machine. Failure to comply with the instructions in the operations manual can result in severe injury or even death.

Wetblast FLEX and an Air Compressor

Preparing the Worksite

  • When setting up the equipment at the worksite, take note of the direction of the wind and be sure to locate the air compressor up wind of the blasting operation. This precaution helps prevent contaminated air from entering the compressor intake.
  • Sometimes the pop-up valve can shift during shipping. Check the alignment of the pop-up valve to ensure that when it is activated, it will be centered on the pop-up seat. If the pop-up valve is not properly aligned, it could prevent the machine from pressurizing.

Preparing the Weblast System

  • Make sure the choke valve is open.
  • Check that the abrasive metering valve is closed.
  • Make sure the safety petcock located on top of the inlet valve is open. This will prevent accidental activation of the blast machine.
  • Install an air-supply hose coupling at the blast machine inlet piping. Make sure it is compatible with the compressed-air supply hose that connects the compressor to the compressed-air filter.
  • Adjust it so that it’s wrench-tight.
  • After applying thread sealant to the connector, install the 5-foot hydraulic starter hose.
  • Fill the injector pump lubricator with approved lubricant, such a Castrol Brayco Micronic 783 or AeroShell Fluid 71. A quality oil specifically manufactured for air tools may be used if the recommended lubricants are not available.
Installing an air-supply hose coupling: Wetblast FLEX
Preparing Blast Hose and Remote Control Lines: Wetblast FLEX

Preparing the Blast Hose & Remote Control Lines

  • Uncoil the blast hose and lay the twinline hose, single-line hose, and hydraulic hose alongside it. Hoses should be equal lengths.
  • Place a nozzle washer in the nozzle holder and then thread the wetblast injector body into the nozzle holder.
  • Band the control handle to the blast hose close to the nozzle holder. Use the two nylon ties provided. After the control handle is firmly attached, clip the tie ends so that they do not snag the operator’s clothing or interfere with the operation of the control handle.
  • Attach the hydraulic hose to the flow-control valve.
  • Match the twinline hose to the two fittings on the back of the control handle. Either side of the hose can be attached to either fitting.
  • Attach the single-line control hose to the fitting on the abrasive-cutoff-system mounted on the control handle.
  • Working from the control handle back, band the twinline and single-line hoses to the blast hose every 4 to 6 feet.
  • Make sure the coupling gaskets are in place and in good condition before connecting the blast hose to the quick coupling on the blast machine.
  • Be sure to also use a safety cable and locking pins when connecting the blast hose to the quick coupling.
  • Attach the hydraulic hose to the 5-foot hydraulic starter hose, and then connect the hoses using the connector.
  • Attach the twinline control hose to the two lower fittings on the blast machine’s cross-panel. Either side of the hose can be attached to either fitting.
  • Attach the single abrasive-cutoff-system line to the upper fitting on the panel.
  • Place a nozzle washer in the injector body and then thread the blast nozzle into the injector body.
  • Uncoil the high-pressure breathing hose between the CPF filter and where you will be blasting.
  • Connect the high-pressure breathing hose to the CPF filter and then connect the other end to your blast hood or climate control device.
  • Remember, OSHA requires that Grade D breathing air be supplied to the CPF filter and a CO monitor be used to monitor the air being supplied to the respirator.

Preparing the Water Supply

Option 1: Using Pressurized Water

  • If pressurized water (water from a faucet) is available, a water hose may be attached directly to the ancillary water connection on the platform. Make sure the water-tank supply valve is closed. A water supply from a pressurized source must not exceed 150 PSI.
  • Pressurized water can pass through the pump when the pump is not running. When water from a pressure source is used, the flow control valve must be turned OFF as soon as the operator stops blasting. Failure to shut off the flow control valve can cause water to enter the blast hose and possibly the blast machine.

Option 2: Without Pressurized Water

  • If pressurized water is unavailable at the worksite or your application requires a rust inhibitor, fill the water tank by unscrewing the lid on the top of it and filling the tank with water.
  • Be sure the ancillary water connection on the platform is closed.
  • After the tank has enough water, remove the hose and twist the lid back on the tank.
Connecting the Wetblast FLEX to a Water Supply
Connecting Compressed Air to the Wetblast FLEX

Connecting to the Compressor

  • Connect an air-supply line from the compressor to the air-hose connector previously installed on the blast machine’s inlet filter.
  • Check that all compressed-air supply hose connections are secured with a safety cable to prevent accidental separation or disconnection.

Starting the System

  • Operators and anyone else who may be exposed to the hazards generated by the abrasive blasting process must wear appropriate protective gear, including abrasive-resistant clothing, leather gloves, eye and hearing protection, and a NIOSH-approved Type-CE supplied-air respirator.
  • Close the air valve on the compressor. Start the compressor following the instructions that came with it. Allow the compressor to warm up to operating temperature and pressure. The pressure must be more than 50 PSI, but no more than the blast machine’s rated pressure.
  • Slowly open the compressor air valve to pressurize the air-supply line. Listen for noise that indicates any open lines or leaks.
  • Load the abrasive into the blast machine by pouring the abrasive into the concave head. Use the screen to prevent foreign objects that may jam the machine from entering the pressure vessel.
  • Keep the abrasive level below the pop-up valve to prevent abrasive from being forced up and out of the machine when it pressurizes.
  • Be sure to place the cover over the machine to help keep moisture out of the pressure vessel.
  • Make sure the remote-control handle lever is in the up (no blast) position.
  • Open the water-tank supply valve.
  • Open the ancillary valve to purge air from the water line. Close the valve as soon as water comes out.
  • All air must be purged from the water supply line for the pump to self-prime.
  • Close the safety petcock. This allows the blast machine to be activated by the remote control handle.
  • Air escaping from the control handle indicates that the blast machine is ready to be activated.
  • Open the ball valve. This supplies air to the CPF filter.
  • Adjust the pressure on the CPF filter according to your supplied-air respirator’s operating instructions.
  • Adjust the metering valve for your application. Begin with the knob set 1-1/2 turns from fully closed and then turn it no more than a quarter turn counterclockwise to increase abrasive flow. Allow 10 to 15 seconds for the flow to stabilize before readjusting.
  • The system is now ready to begin blasting.
Donning protective gear, adding abrasive, adjusting metering valve

Correct operation of Clemco’s Wetblast FLEX System is necessary to protect blast operators and others in the vicinity from blasting and inhalation hazards that can cause severe injury or even death. The purpose of this video has been to familiarize viewers with how to set up and then begin operating the Wetblast FLEX. However, this video is not a replacement for reading the Wetblast FLEX Operations Manual, which should be read in full by anyone who uses the system.