You may be wondering why I wrote an article about pressure washers. Well, I’m working as an executive assistant for a CEO of a company that provides pressure washing services. I want to share what I’ve learned to anyone who can’t live in cluttered, dirty spaces. Perhaps you also love your vehicle very much and would like to keep it as clean as can be. You’ll love the tips below!
Pressure Washers 101
Both electric and gas pressure washers are handy tools to clean outdoor grime and dirt. These machines can be intimidating, but with proper instruction homeowners can safely operate pressure washers, and have a lot of fun while cleaning! Below are the types and how they work:
All pressure washers work by pressurizing a continuous water flow (from a garden hose, for example) so that the water sprays through a wand with a force of at least 1,000 lbs. The water supply is measured in gallons per minute (gpm) and must be uninterrupted for the pressure washer to work. The water pressure is measured in pounds per inch per square (psi) and the higher the psi, the more powerful the pressure washer’s stream. A pressure range of 1300-2400 lbs is suitable for occasional cleaning projects.
Electric pressure washers are generally the best choice for homeowners. They run on 1-1/2 gpm and have a pressure range of 1300-1400 psi, which makes them optimal for cleaning outdoor grills, washing cars and cleaning garage floors. Electric pressure washers are usually affordable and portable, and many come with built-in detergent tanks. With electric washers it is important to use outlets with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and a 12-14 gauge extension cord.
Gas pressure washers can provide a higher psi, sometimes as much as 3000 lbs of water pressure, but to achieve this pressure they require 2-3 gpm. These washers work best for tougher cleaning jobs such as deep-cleaning concrete, siding prep before painting and wooden deck stain removal. Depending on the water pressure, non-commercial units can cost between $300 and $800 and can be rented along with longer spray wands and chemical injectors. Learn more from these gas pressure washer reviews.
Starting a Gas Washer
When tackling a cleaning project with a gas pressure washer, follow these steps to start the machine:
- Clear the inlet filter of debris.
- Connect all washer accessories.
- Run water through the washer for one minute to remove air bubbles.
- Squeeze the wand trigger to prime the pressure.
- Pull the starter cord to start the pressure washer.
Anyone who wants to make a smart decision when shopping for a pressure washing machine should view this.
It is necessary to check that your water supply can provide the gallons per minutes that your pressure washer requires before beginning any cleaning projects. Time how long it takes to fill a five gallon bucket to get an estimate of how many gallons per minute your hose can provide. A three quarter inch diameter hose of 50 ft. or less should be able to connect to your washer’s inlet. Be sure to remove all kinks from the hose and clean the washer’s filter prior to starting the machine. Remember, it is important to test out the washer’s pressure and spray pattern before starting any cleaning projects.
Power Cleaning Techniques for Siding
If your intent is to use a pressure washer to clean the siding of a house, follow these helpful steps:
- Lay tarps around your work area to protect anything you do not want to subject to water damage. Any lead paint chips that break loose of the siding will need to be collected and safely disposed of as hazardous waste.
- Position the spray wand at a 45 degree angle to the siding to prevent damaging the surface of the house.
- Clean small areas at a time with overlapping strokes of the spray wand.
- Work from the bottom up to prevent streaks, and then spray from the top down for a final clean sweep. This will remove any remaining grime while avoiding damage.
- Avoid spraying windows as the water pressure can shatter the glass.
- Keep the stream level to prevent water from spraying behind the siding and damaging the material.
Pressure washer accessories and detergents work to reduce project time while providing a better clean. It is recommended that you inquire about detergents when buying or renting a pressure washer to avoid filling the machine with improper fluids. When using a detergent, the washer’s spray must be set to a wide pattern. Be sure to follow the instructions on your pressure washer for detergent use, detergent dilution, and connecting the chemical injector.
Keep your pressure washer indoors when not in use. This will protect the spray wand, pump, and hoses from any possible damage. For gas pressure washers, it is important to either add gas preservation to the fuel tank or drain the tank completely until further use.
When using a pressure washer, be sure to follow these cautionary tips in order to have a safe and successful cleaning project:
- Do not aim the pressure washer at people or animals as the water pressure can cause serious injury.
- Always wear safety goggles when operating the pressure washer.
- Avoid operating the pressure washer while on a ladder as the high pressure can knock you off balance. To clean hard to reach areas, use a lance extension.
4. Keep at least 6 ft. away from outlets, power lines, and electrical masts.