A pressure washer is a powerful tool to make your home’s exterior look brand new. Whether you want to clean your vinyl siding, deck, driveway, or walkway, a pressure washer can quickly blast away dirt, grime, and debris. But before spraying, you need to know how to use a pressure washer safely and correctly. Otherwise, you could damage your property or injure yourself severely.
Pressure washers come in different types and sizes, depending on the amount of pressure and water they produce. The pressure is measured in PSI (pounds per square inch), and the water flow is measured in GPM (gallons per minute). The higher these numbers are, the more cleaning power you have.
You don’t need a very high-pressure washer for most home cleaning tasks. A low-end electric model with less than 2,000 PSI and 2 GPM can handle most jobs like washing your car or refreshing your patio. You can find one for around $100 to $300 at your local home store.
If you have tougher stains or more significant areas to clean, like pressure washing your driveway or house’s exterior, you might want a medium-duty gas-powered model with 2,000 to 3,200 PSI and 2 to 3.2 GPM. These machines cost between $200 to $600 and offer more cleaning power.
Washing without inspecting the stucco surface may allow water to enter through the cracks. Mold and mildew can begin to grow as a result of this. As many people know, mold and mildew thrive in moist environments. This fact alone can even cause water damage within your walls in some cases.
You should avoid using a pressure washer with higher specs than these unless you are a professional contractor. Too much pressure can damage your surfaces or cause serious injuries.
Another thing you need to consider is the nozzle or tip of your pressure washer. The nozzle determines the spray pattern and angle of the water. There are six basic types of nozzles: 0°, 15°, 25°, 40°, soap, and turbo.
The 0° nozzle produces a very narrow and powerful stream of water that can reach high places or remove very stubborn dirt. However, it can also cut through wood, concrete, metal, or skin if you are not careful. You should only use this nozzle for specific tasks and keep it far away from any surface or person.
The 15° nozzle creates a yellow fan-shaped spray that removes mold and mildew from fences or siding. It still has a lot of pressure, so don’t stay too long in one spot, or you might damage the surface.
The 25° nozzle makes a green fan-shaped spray ideal for cleaning decks, driveways, or walkways. It has enough pressure to remove dirt and grime without harming the surface.
The 40° nozzle produces a white fan-shaped spray that is gentle enough for washing windows, cars, or boats. It has the lowest pressure and covers the most significant area.
The soap nozzle has a black tip and mixes water with soap or detergent to create a foamy spray to help loosen dirt and grease. Using this nozzle before switching to another one for rinsing would be best.
The turbo nozzle has a rotating tip that combines the power of a 0° nozzle with the coverage of a 25° nozzle. It creates a circular spray that can clean faster and more profoundly than other nozzles. However, it can also cause more damage if misused.
Before using it on the whole surface, you should always test your nozzle on an inconspicuous area. You should also adjust the distance between the nozzle and the surface according to the pressure and the material you are cleaning.
Using a pressure washer can be dangerous if you don’t follow some basic safety rules. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
• Wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, rubber boots, and long pants when using a pressure washer.
• Never point the spray at yourself, other people, animals, or plants. The water can cause severe cuts, bruises, infections, or amputations.
• Cover any nearby plants or electrical outlets with plastic bags or tarps to prevent damage from water or soap.
• Hold the wand firmly with both hands and keep it at least six inches away from any surface.
• Don’t use hot water or bleach in your pressure washer; they can damage the machine or your skin.
• Don’t leave the machine unattended or let children play with it.
• Flush out the pump and hose after each use and store them in a dry place away from direct sunlight.
A pressure washer can make your home look fabulous in a short time. By following these tips and tricks, you can use them safely and effectively for various cleaning projects. Remember to choose the right pressure washer and nozzle for the job, follow the safety precautions, and have fun!
The type of oil you need depends on the model and engine of your pressure washer. You should always check the owner’s manual for the specific recommendations. Generally, you should use a high-quality detergent oil rated with the American Petroleum Institute (API) service class SF, SG, SH, SJ or higher. You should also change the oil regularly according to the maintenance schedule.
If you are not going to use your pressure washer for more than 30 days, you should prepare it for long-term storage. This involves draining the fuel tank, running the engine until it stops, adding fuel stabilizer to the remaining fuel, changing the oil, cleaning the air filter, removing the spark plug and spraying some oil into the cylinder, and covering the machine with a protective cover. You should also winterize your pressure washer by flushing out any water from the pump and hoses and adding antifreeze to prevent freezing and corrosion.
Both GPM and PSI are important factors to consider when choosing a pressure washer. GPM measures the water flow rate, while PSI measures the water pressure. Together, they determine the cleaning power of your machine. The higher the GPM and PSI, the faster and deeper you can clean. However, you also need to match the GPM and PSI to the surface and material you are cleaning. Too much pressure can damage some surfaces, while too little pressure can make the cleaning ineffective.
There are several possible reasons why your pressure washer is not producing enough pressure. Some common causes are:
• A clogged or worn-out nozzle
• A leak in the hose or fittings
• A dirty or damaged water inlet filter
• A low or inconsistent water supply
• A faulty unloader valve or pressure regulator
To fix these issues, you should:
• Clean or replace the nozzle
• Check and tighten all hose connections
• Clean or replace the water inlet filter
• Ensure that you have enough water flow and pressure from your faucet
• Adjust or replace the unloader valve or pressure regulator
The different colored nozzles indicate the spray angle and pattern of the water. The spray angle affects the width and intensity of the spray. The narrower the angle, the more concentrated and powerful the spray is. The wider the angle, the more dispersed and gentle the spray is. The common nozzle colors are:
• Red (0°): Produces a very narrow and strong stream of water that can reach high places or remove very stubborn dirt. Use with caution as it can damage some surfaces or cause injuries.
• Yellow (15°): Creates a yellow fan-shaped spray that is good for removing mold and mildew from fences or siding. It still has a lot of pressure, so don’t stay too long on one spot or you might damage the surface.
• Green (25°): Makes a green fan-shaped spray that is ideal for general cleaning of decks, driveways, or walkways. It has enough pressure to remove dirt and grime without harming the surface.
• White (40°): Produces a white fan-shaped spray that is gentle enough for washing windows, cars, or boats. It has the lowest pressure and covers the largest area.
• Black (soap): Mixes water with soap or detergent to create a sudsy spray that can help loosen dirt and grease. Use this nozzle before switching to another one for rinsing.
• Turbo (rotating): Has a rotating tip that combines the power of a 0° nozzle with the coverage of a 25° nozzle. It creates a circular spray that can clean faster and deeper than other nozzles. However, it can also cause more damage if used incorrectly.
A clogged nozzle can reduce your pressure washer’s performance and cause damage to your pump. To prevent clogging, you should always use clean water and avoid using hard water that contains minerals or sediment. You should also clean your nozzle regularly by following these steps:
If you need to move your pressure washer from one location to another, you should follow some safety precautions. First, you should turn off the engine and disconnect the spark plug wire. Then, you should drain the fuel tank and the pump. Next, you should secure the machine in your vehicle with straps or ropes to prevent it from tipping over or sliding. Finally, you should cover the machine with a tarp or a cloth to protect it from dust and moisture.
A punctured hose can cause water leaks and reduce your pressure washer’s efficiency. It can also be dangerous as it can burst under high pressure and injure you or others. To repair a punctured hose, you will need some hose repair kits that include a hose splice, two hose clamps, and a screwdriver. Here are the steps to follow:
The distance between the nozzle and the surface you are cleaning depends on several factors, such as:
• The type of surface and material you are cleaning
• The amount of dirt and stains on the surface
• The pressure and flow rate of your machine
• The spray angle and pattern of your nozzle
As a general rule, you should start by holding the nozzle at least six inches away from the surface and adjust as needed. You can move closer for more pressure and farther for less pressure. You can also change the nozzle to get a different spray angle and pattern. You should always test your nozzle on an inconspicuous area before using it on the whole surface.
You should only use detergents that are specifically designed for pressure washers. These detergents are biodegradable, non-toxic, and safe for your machine and your surfaces. You should never use bleach, ammonia, or other harsh chemicals in your pressure washer as they can damage your machine or harm your skin. You should also follow the instructions on how to mix and apply the detergent correctly. You should always rinse off any detergent residue with clean water after cleaning.
We won’t be happy until you are happy! When you call us we will listen to your concerns, show up on time and do the best pressure washing job there is! We will address all your concerns and we will not leave until you are absolutely delighted with the result.