Pressure washers are have become more popular these days.
They’re an excellent tool that facilitates our cleaning tasks and makes it easier. And also used for removing flaking paints.
Many homeowners are not very conversant with pressure washers. As you read on, you will get more comprehensive knowledge and learn all the vital things you should know about a pressure washer.
This tool is to be used with great caution because the pressure of the water is strong enough to cause injuries and damage to properties. So, it’s important to have a full understanding of how it works, the best time to buy it, the best places to buy one, and how to use it safely.
What Are the Types of Pressure Washers?
Pressure washers are of two types; the electric pressure washers and the gas pressure washers. They are both used for the same purpose but they have some distinguishing features that are worth taking into consideration. Let’s take a close look at the features to help you to choose the one that suits your needs more.
Electric Pressure Washer
Homeowners prefer this because of its low maintenance requirements. Electric pressure washers are portable and lightweight. They are often silent during operation, so you don’t have to bother about disturbing your neighbors.
This type of washer won’t cost you much because it doesn’t need gas or oil to function. It’s a good choice for washing the patio, cars, bikes, and pool area. Electric pressure washers are powerful and may offer about 2000 PSI. They can work well indoors or poorly ventilated areas because there are no exhaust emissions.
A typical electric washer is built for low-price and rated around 1 to 1.5HP, which is equivalent to 3HP gas pressure washer. The water pressure from an electric pressure washer is lower compared with a gas washer. Its nozzles are less durable and it takes longer to complete a task. The electric pressure washer’s hose and unit cords are usually about 25 to 30 feet, which means that your cleaning area is limited.
Gas Pressure Washer
A gas pressure washer delivers higher pressure that makes cleaning faster. It can clean decks, driveways, and sidings without chemicals. It is easier to maneuver because it is better balanced.
Gas pressure washers do not need to be plugged to an electric source, so they are mobile. They are noisy, heavy, and emit exhausts that make them unfit for enclosed or poorly ventilated areas. They also require more maintenance.
There is a higher risk of injury or damage when using a gas pressure washer because it has higher pressure.
What Are the Power Ratings for Pressure Washers?
Electric pressure washers are usually around 1300 to 1700 PSI while gas pressure washers are often around 2000 to 2800 PSI. PSI (pounds per square inch) is used to measure the water pressure of the machine.
- Gallons Per Minute (GPM)- This is the volume of water the unit produces
- Cleaning Power Unit (CPU)- This refers to the cleaning ability of the machine, which can be determined by multiplying PSI with GPM. It reveals the efficiency of the equipment
- Horse Power (HP) – It is the amount of power generated by the engine. It relates to the volume of pressure to expect from the machine
Pressure Washer Accessories You Should Have
Pressure washers come with various accessories. You have to pick according to your needs. Most importantly, your pressure washer is not useful without accessories. Here is a list of common accessories that you will need.
Your hose could be 50ft long to avoid moving your machine too frequently, which is quite stressful. Ensure that you get a quality hose, one with the most appropriate PSI rating, that matches your engine. If your hose is not of good quality, it is susceptible to leaks and becomes harder to work with. And may break down.
Wands and tips
A pressure washer wand is a handle with a trigger valve. It has different lengths and angles for different applications. It has a tip at the end used for changing spray pattern. The pressure washer comes with a selection of tips. Narrow tips help you generate higher pressure than wider tips. Wands and tips have various attachments.
- Dirt blasters – It’s a nozzle attached to the end of your wand. It is very narrow and rapidly spins in a circular motion. Dirt blasters make it easier to clean hard surfaces when used adequately.
- Telescoping wands – They are adjustable and used to clean out-of-reach areas. You don’t have to get a ladder to clean areas that are high above you. You can use a telescoping wand.
- Gutter Cleaner – This is a wand extension hooked to the end of the wand. It is used for cleaning gutters.
Some pressure washers come with different nozzles. This collection of nozzles have different sizes that determine the water pressure they emit. You can swap them easily. They include;
- Red Nozzle (0 degrees) – This type of nozzle is very powerful. It exudes the highest water pressure and can be extremely dangerous. You are advised to use it with utmost caution for your safety.
- Yellow Nozzle (15 degrees) – You can use this for heavier washing.
- Green Nozzle (25 degrees) – It is most suitable for gnarl cleaning.
- White Nozzle (40 degrees) – This is recommended for cleaning outdoor furniture, vehicles, and surfaces that can damage easily.
- Black nozzle (65 degrees) – This is best for applying detergents because it’s low-pressure.
Hot and cold water washer pump
Coldwater washers are less challenging to handle and are most common than hot water washers. But hot water offers the best cleaning results. They require less detergent and are faster.
Hot water washers don’t need extra chemicals and remove dirt more quickly. Make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions before you use the washer. If you pour hot water in a cold water washer pump, you may damage the seals.
Most pressure washers have a venturi tube that draws in detergent from a bottle and adds it to the water. If you are using soap, you should apply it with a low-pressure spray first, so that dirt can breakdown. Then, wash it off with a higher spray. Detergents give your cleaning the best results.
When Is the Best Time to Buy a Pressure Washer?
One of the best times to consider buying a pressure washer is on Black Friday because you’re likely to find it at a very cheap rate. It’s also cheaper when individual stores run promotions and have some percentage cut of the initial price.
Another best time to buy a pressure washer is before you need it. You’ll have enough time to search different stores for the best price. Don’t wait until you need it because you may be compelled to buy it at an expensive price as a result of urgency.
Related: Pressure Washing Pros and Cons
Safety Tips for Using a Pressure Washer
Pressure washers are very helpful and dangerous at the same time. Do not underestimate the ability of high water pressure. Resist the urge to spray your hand or feet because the pressure of the water can tear through your skin and give you a bacterial infection. Ear protection is also recommended when using a gas pressure washer.
The following are some of the do’s and don’ts of handling a pressure washer.
- Read the manufacturer’s manual before use
- Wear goggles to protect your eyes
- Put on long pants and sturdy footwear; flip flops are not recommended. Be extra careful on wet surfaces as they may be slippery
- Start with the widest spray angle and stay 2 feet away from the surface. You can move closer later on as the need arises
- Turn off the engine before replacing spray tips. Press the trigger and drain excess water before changing tips
- It is recommended that you use a garden hose for washing your car as it will be gentle on the paint job
- If using a gas pressure washer, ensure that you press the trigger often to prevent the pump from overheating
- Don’t stay too close to the surface. Try to stay as far back as 6 inches from the surface. The closer you stay the higher the pressure on the surface. It can damage paints, give pockmarks on the asphalt of your driveway, puncture car tires, and gauge holes in wood
- You shouldn’t use a pressure washer on a ladder. You can lose balance when you pull the trigger and fall off the ladder
- Never point the nozzle towards yourself. It can tear through your skin and give you grave injury
- Don’t use an extension cord with an electric pressure washer
Overall, the best time to buy a pressure washer is any of the times outlined earlier in the article. You’ll get a good quality washer at an affordable price.
Pressure washers are handy for cleaning the home and can also be dangerous. It is vital to take precautions when using your washer. Wear goggles, footwear, and long pants. Do not, for any reason, point the nozzle at your hands or feet. Also, avoid using your washer while standing on a ladder.
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