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Pressure Washers – A Complete Guide

 August 1, 2014  /  Comments Off on Pressure Washers – A Complete Guide

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A lot of us are not very well acquainted with pressure washers. This article will tell you everything you want to know about pressure washers – how they work, the basic terminologies, which one you ought to buy and how to use them.

What is a Pressure Washer and How Does it Work?

Pressure washers are an advance and more effective type of washer for outdoor washing purposes. For instance, it is 10-50 times more powerful, and uses 75% less water, than a garden hose. Now you must be wondering how is that possible. Well, it uses less water and thereby increases the pressure with which the water jet gets sprayed. Thegreater kinetic energy is associated with greater pressure and hence, it helps clean your object with more efficiency and ease. On using hot water and certain chemicals like detergents, you can lose the graffiti far more easily.

Simplified Explanation of the Process:

  • The engine powers the washer’s pump.
  • The water is ejected from the nozzle.
  • Thanks to the shape of the nozzle, the pressure is increased.
  • It is applied directly to the grease/dirt and surface quickly get rids of it.

Pressure Washers - A Complete Guide

Terms Associated to Pressure Washers that you must know:

PSI:  Pounds per square inch – This is basicallyanevaluation of the force with which the water jet hits the object. The greater the PSI, the more powerful is your ability to remove stains and graffiti.

GPM: Gallons per minute –This gives you the volume of water per minute that is ejected out of your nozzle. For a fixed PSI, it is directly proportional to the power of your pressure washer.

CP: Cleaning power – CP is the multiplication product of the PSI and the GPM. It gives you a direct reference to the cleaning capability of your pressure washer. The higher the CP, the more efficiently you can clean.

Other specifications

HP/ Amp (Horsepower/ Amperage) – These measure the power of the gasoline and the motor respectively.

Axial cam and Triplex – These are the types of pumps. The later is preferred due to its longer life and efficiency.

Adjustable and Interchangeable Wands – These deal with the spray types that are available.

Rotating Nozzles – Circular motion allows more efficient cleaning.

Sensors – There are different sensors to tell you about the level of water or oil. It helps you avoid damaging your pump and engine.

Valves – Safety features to avoid heat buildup.

Types of Pressure Washers:

Usage: On the bases of usage, pressure washers can be classified into the following four categories. The main criteria to determine so, is its PSI.

1. Light Duty (within 2000 PSI):

a) Used for four wheelers, pavements, stairs, floor and furniture.

b)  Not recommended for efficient wall and garage cleaning.

2. Medium Duty (2000-3000 PSI):

a) Used for decks, garages, floors, stairs and driveways.

b) Not recommended for wall preparation for paint and second floor cleaning.

3. Heavy Duty (3000-4000 PSI):

a) Used for Decks, garages, efficient wall preparation for paint and second floor cleaning.

b) Not recommended for four wheelers.

4. More Heavy Duty (beyond 4000 PSI) :

a) Used for Wall preparation for paint and all rough surfaces.

b)  Not recommended for four wheelers and furniture.

For a more detailed information of which pressure washer can be used for your desired task, note down its PSI and compare from the detailed table given here: Pressure Washing Buying

Pressure Washers - A Complete Guide

Driving Power: There are two types of pressure washers based on the source of power which helps the pressure washer run .

  1. Electric Powered Pressure Washers: As the name suggests, these pressure washers run on electricity. They are less efficient. However, they are also less expensive. They are more compact and quiet. Another advantage of electric powered pressure washer is that they do not cause pollution. This enables them to be used indoors and places where pressure washers are used for personal use.
  2. Gas Powered Pressure Washers: Gas powered pressure washers run on petrol. They are more costly that electric powered ones, but are also more efficient. However, since petrol is the driving force for it to work, there is a significant amount of pollution. Hence it cannot be used indoors where the ventilation is poor. Unlike electric powered pressure washers, they are noisy and not very compact. They are excellent for outdoor usage.

Uses

  • Quick clean – It takes lesser amount of time compared to garden hose.
  • Deep Clean – Thanks to the high pressure pressure washers are more efficient and provide a deep clean.
  • Save water – It uses less volume of water compared to a garden hose/pipe, enhancing the pressure and hence allowing a better clean up.

How to Use

Remember these four points when you are busy cleaning, using a pressure washer –

  1. Cleaning results are dependent on detergent, distance from the surface, water pressure(PSI) and spray fan angle.
  2. Set the setting of the washer according to your need. Excessive pressure can damage the surfaces.
  3. Ensure the chemical you add to the washer/water is correct for the surface you are dealing with.
  4. Work from the ground rather than using ladders. Also, use accessories, such as spray-arm that extend your reach for a better wash.

Precautions

One must keep in mind that high power pressure washers cannot be used to clean cars and trucks, as it may damage it. In addition to that, they cannot be used on bare wood and masonry. This is because water can percolate into the material, extending the drying period.

The best Pressure Washers in recent times are of Rockford and AR Blue Clean. Karcher also has a wide range of products to suits everyone’s requirement and budget! Among the most popular products, the Generac 2800 PSI 2.5 GPM Pressure Washer is ideal for personal use.

You can check video’s for visual explanation of this article on you tube

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