Sunday, October 1, 2023

10 things you need to know about pressure washers

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When we talk about pressure washers we refer to the portable machine that allows water to be pressurized between 10 and 50 times more than atmospheric pressure and that uses the atomization of this liquid to achieve its mission: cleaning different surfaces thanks to the impact of small drops.

But that is not the only advantage that this tool indispensable when thoroughly washing the walls of a house, the tiles of a path or the exterior of a car; There are other features that are worth knowing to get the most out of them.

1. They save on water consumption

Intuitively one would think that by pressurizing the water, the consumption rises drastically, emptying a water tank in a few minutes. Nothing further from the truth! Pressure washers, on the other hand, allow saving in water consumption thanks to the atomization of the liquid in the nozzle – something essential for its correct operation – so that although the outlet pressure can be 50 times higher that the atmospheric, being mixed with air, the water disperses in small drops that impact with great force against the surfaces to be cleaned.

In the table that we see above we have the appropriate pressure parameters for each type of surface.

2. It is a multipurpose tool

pressure washer

Not only the facades of a house or building, or the exterior of a car can be thoroughly cleaned with the pressure washers; It is also possible to clean fences, garden furniture, clogged pipes, garbage cans, chicken coops, garages, workshops and much more.

3. There are two types of pressure washer

The best known is the electric pressure washer, which is used in homes, shops and workshops for cleaning in general. But there are also models that operate with an internal combustion engine, which is what turns the pressurizing pump.

4. Hot water or cold water?

Pressure washer

The pressure washers they may have a small internal boiler that allows pressurized hot water to be ejected. They are generally in a higher price range than those of the pressure washers They are common, but they allow more efficient removal of fats and oils from surfaces, and they achieve lather more quickly than with cold water.

5. Power

Einhell Pressure Washer - Cleaning of slab or concrete paths

It is important to understand that it is not always desirable to obtain a pressure washer with the highest power available on the market; In addition to being bulkier, it can have counterproductive results.

The power of the pressure washer determines the maximum pressure available at the nozzle, but also the water consumption. For most home applications (general cleaning, garage, workshop, automobile) a single pressure washer 2 or 3 HP (horsepower).

6. The power also determines the maximum time of continuous use

Pressure washer

If the pressure washer It must be used for long periods of time, then it is advisable to acquire a model that has more power; This is especially true for hot water equipment, which can overheat or shut off if used for longer than recommended.

A 2 HP equipment for cold water will be able to work for about an hour and a half continuously. Along the same lines, a 9 HP team will yield approximately 10 hours.

For hot water, the maximum times of continuous use are reduced due to the presence of the heater. A pressure washer 9 HP will be able to operate continuously for a maximum of five hours.

7. There are various accessories for specific tasks

Pressure washer - accessories

The pressure washer allows the connection of different accessories to facilitate some specific tasks. Of these accessories the most abundant and diverse are the nozzles; They can define the geometry of the water jet, which can be linear, fan, shower, rotating linear, and so on. Each allows a different result to be obtained, and it is important to consult the documentation to find out if the nozzles will be appropriate for the surface where you plan to use them.

There are also other accessories such as brushes that, as in vacuum cleaners, allow to loosen the dirt that is strongly adhered, helped by the effect of the water inside.

Other accessories are the foamer (which injects detergent into the water), extensions and tubes to connect wet vacuum cleaners.

8. Portability and size

Wheel pressure washer

Wheel pressure washer

Not all models have wheels, but those models that have them usually also have a reel to wind the cable or hose, so that they do not cause accidents. This is particularly important if you plan to work in a hazardous location such as a tile roof on a house.

Beyond risky sites, it is desirable that they have wheels if they are going to be used to clean the tiled paths of a garden of lichen or moss. Here it is important that the tool have a cable long enough to carry it to distances of ten meters (for greater distances an extension can be used) and a reel that allows it to be wound so that no one trips over it.

9. Type of pressurizing pump

Gasoline pressure washer parts

Schematic of a gasoline pressure washer

The pressure washers They make use of different technologies to pressurize the water, according to the type of work to which they will be assigned. Most equipment uses piston pumps, but within this category there are different materials for the piston head.

If the pressure washer It will be used for intensive work (every day for days of several hours). It is very important to check that the head of the pistons is made of a ceramic material, to avoid wear due to oxidation.

10. Necessary care

Like any electrical or explosion tool – with moving parts – it is important to always carry out correct preventive maintenance, to avoid later breakages or malfunctions.

It is very important to check the oil levels in the engine and in the pump, if it is a fuel equipment. In the case of electric pressure washers, the cable should be checked periodically for peeling or cracking in the insulating sheath.

Another very important check is to prevent the pressure washer work dry, that is, without water. This can seriously damage the booster pump. It is also important that the water is at atmospheric pressure at the inlet; In any case, the maximum pressure specified in the manual must never be exceeded.

Filters should be cleaned after each use, and nozzles should be washed with a pin and vinegar or other mild solvent for hard water use.

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