How to Use a Pressure Washer

How to Use a Pressure Washer

Pressure washers (aka power washers) are very much fun to use – and show such dramatic and quick results – that you will be begging to clean your neighbors’ siding, automobiles and driveways once you have finished your own. You can rent or even purchase a pressure washer to clean almost any outdoor item. Following the pressure washer tips in this article, you will discover ways to use pressure washers efficiently and safely.

Pressure washers, whether they are powered by electric motors or perhaps gas engines, run a pump that pressurizes the water out of your garden hose to 1,000 lbs. or perhaps more, then force it out through a spray wand. The higher the pressure (measured in pounds per square inch – psi), the tougher the cleaning jobs they could tackle. Both types require a constant, uninterrupted source of water (in gallons per minute – GPM). For occasional use, most homeowners will find that a washer with a pressure range of 1,300 to 2,400 psi works best.

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Electric pressure washers deliver 1,300 to 1,400 psi, require approximately 1 1/2 GPM, and are actually probably the best choice for light-duty cleaning like washing automobiles (Photo three), outdoor grills, and garage floors (Photo four). They typically cost less and are quieter, lighter in weight, and more portable than gas-powered washers. Many have built-in tanks for optional detergent use. Always connect electric washers to power outlets that are actually protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and use 14-gauge or 12- only extension cords.

Most pressure washers that you will find for rent or perhaps sale are gas-powered. This type can deliver higher water pressure than the electric kind, some more than 3,000 psi. But gas-powered washers also require more water: two to three GPM. These washers are actually probably the best choice for bigger jobs like preparing to the side for painting (Photo two), removing aging stains from wood decks (Photo five), and deep cleaning concrete. You can rent one at tool rental stores, along with accessories like chemical injectors (Photo one) or perhaps longer spray wands for reaching high places. Gas-powered washers (noncommercial units) cost $300 to $800 depending on the pressure they deliver, the features of theirs, and the engine and pump quality.

Pressure Washer Tips: Operating procedures

All pressure washers seem intimidating the very first time you use them. Have the rental center or perhaps tool retailer instruct you on the use of its, and follow these pressure washer tips and guidelines:

Water supply Make sure the drinking water supply can deliver the gallons per minute specified for the machine. For instance, if your pressure washer needs 2 1/2 GPM, time how long it takes your garden hose to fill a 5-gallon pail. The garden hose must be fifty ft. long or perhaps less and have a 3/4 in. inside diameter, with standard 3/4 in. hose fittings for connecting to the washer’s inlet. To make sure that water circulates unobstructed through the system, check the water inlet filter or perhaps screen and clean it of debris. Also, be sure the garden and pressure hoses are actually kink-free.

Start-up procedure (Photo one) Before starting the washer, it is imperative that water is actually flowing through the washer and out the spray wand. Follow these steps:

Tighten all hose connections so that no air can enter the lines.
Set the spray wand to a no-pressure or low-setting to prevent recoil, or perhaps kickback, when the washer is actually started. Power washers and gas washers with variable nozzles should be on low pressure, wide fan settings. Gas washers with individual nozzle tips should have their nozzle tip removed at this specific point.
Completely turn on the water faucet at the house. Squeeze the spray wand trigger to prime the pump and purge air from the system.
Start the washer (Photo one). If it is a gas unit, steady it when pulling the starter cord by bracing your foot against a wheel. Let the washer run for a minute to warm up. To avoid damaging the pump: Never run a washer longer than 3 to 5 minutes (depending on the model) while the trigger is actually off.
The washer running and the trigger locked off, adjust pressure and spray settings, or perhaps insert nozzle tips in the spray wand. Now the washer is prepared to work with.

Power cleaning techniques

Pressure washing removes grime and dirt, but it is not intended to strip paint or perhaps kill mildew on decks or siding. For the very best cleaning results without damaging some surfaces, first, test the pressure setting and spray pattern on an inconspicuous spot. When washing house siding, follow these rules:

Lay tarps around the house perimeter to protect plants and collect paint chips blown off during washing. Houses built before 1977 may have lead paint chips that will have to be collected and properly disposed of at a hazardous waste facility.
Do not hold the spray wand head onto the siding. This drives dirt into the surface instead of washing it out. Hold the wand at a 45-degree angle to the siding and at a distance that yields probably the best cleaning results without gouging wood or perhaps denting vinyl or metal.
Work small areas at a time. To prevent streaks, start washing from the bottom and work up. For even cleaning, use long, overlapping strokes. Rinse the siding by working from the top down.
Stay away from driving water up behind the siding by keeping the spray stream level. Use an extension spray wand for reaching higher places. Use caution when making use of a lance extension. The kickback can throw it into contact with power lines.
Do not spray windows. High pressure can break them.

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