What is a Pressure Washer?
A power washer (also known as a pressure washer), is a high pressure water spray that’s used to clean, remove, and wash off a variety of hard to remove debris from surfaces.
Pressure washers use very high pressure of water streams to clean off:
Power washers can be both gas and electric powered, although gas is more popular and powerful. The only downside is gas powered pressure washers will cost you more.
Each power washer will be rated by 2 variables. PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) and GPM (Gallons Per Minute.)
PSI rates the power of the pressure washer. The higher the psi, the more material and debris will be removed. Some gas powered pressure washers can reach up to 5,000 psi, although most only go up to around 3,000.
GPM tells you the flow rate, or how much water each power washer is pumping out every single minute. Do not underestimate GPM. If your pressure washer has a low GPM, say around 1 gallon a minute, you will not have much overall pressure to clean.
Pressure washers can also use cleaning solution such as soap to help remove off more debris.
Hot pressure washers (also known as steam pressure washers) which use hot water to help clean materials such as grease, oil, and other sticky materials left on machinery and construction equipment.
What Jobs Can a Power Washer Perform?
A power washer is versatile in it’s ability to clean. The pressure rating and nozzle attachments will need to change depending on the job and material you’re working on.
If you have sensitive or light material, it’s probably best to use a lighter psi pressure washer with a special nozzle. If you’re working on a hard surface like concrete or a driveway, you can really push the psi to high levels and not worry about damaging anything!
Here are a list of jobs that you might want to use a pressure washer for cleaning:
Outdoor Patio and Furniture
Over time, patios turn from a fresh and new looking color to brown and dark from all the debris being blown and sent its way. Pressure washers will help clean your patio floor and all the furniture as well. Chairs, tables, couches, will look brand new!
Filled with leaves and other particles that fall down from trees, clogged gutters can be a real pain and actually risk damaging the foundation of your home. Gutters are suppose to prevent water from seeping inside. Using a power washer to just blast away leaves, sticks, stones, and everything in between is your best bet.
Similar to gutters, roofs become dirty with all types of unwanted crap. No matter the type and material roofing, a power washer can be used. They are one of the more popular tools for cleaning roofs for this reason.
Cars, trucks, RV’s, and boats all need a scrubbing once in a while. Vehicle tires are difficult to clean. Dirt and crusted mud will not come off without some serious high pressure spray. The undersides of boats can also become home to barnacles, algae, and other sea life. Blast it away!
These get gunked up with oil, dirt, leaves, sand, and everything in between. Wherever your car journeys will surely be brought back to your driveway. Make dirty driveways a thing of the past! You can use really high pressure on the hard pavement to clean off anything.
Imagine cleaning a long fence with a brush or sponge? It would take forever! A normal water hose doesn’t have enough power and will just make the fence wet. Pressure washers will completely remove any dirt and debris!
Machinery and Construction Equipment
Not much gets dirtier than equipment working in the dirty, gravel, grass, and mud. Safely clean off every part of the machine without damaging it’s components.
How Do you Use a Pressure Washer?
Here’s a list of steps to get you started with utilizing your new tool!
Inspect your Equipment
Before operating any equipment, inspect and examine to make sure your power washer is free from any debris and material. This isn’t just for maintenance but for safety reasons as well.
Select a Nozzle
A simple nozzle attachment can completely change the way you clean a surface. You can use a laser like super higher pressure water beam or a flat head to clean a larger surface area. You can even use a rinsing attachment to wash off any remaining debris.
Attach the Hose
Pressure washers will have an area where you can attach your own hose to supply the water. From there, as long as the water from your hose is running, your pressure washer will work.
If the job requires, you may want to use some cleaning solution to leave the surface extra sparkly clean. Either spray down the area with solution before or dispense it with the actual power washer.
You’re ready to go! Get cleaning! Start up the pressure washer whether it’s gas or electric. Give it a test stream. Once you’re good to go, thoroughly blast away any contaminants and cover the entire surface. You may have to pass the power washer over a 2-3 times to get a perfect clean.
Power washers aren’t toys. The pressure pumped out is serious and can even cut skin. DO NOT point or spray anybody with a pressure washer.