In order to properly use your pressure washer, it is best to understand how it works and how to use it in a safe manner. A pressure washer sprays highly pressurized water to be applied onto exterior surfaces. A residential washer has four parts – a motor (run by electricity or gas), a water pump, a sprayer, and a high-pressure hose. Many washers have a connector where a garden hose can be attached; this makes it easier to obtain water. The washer’s internal pump provides a steady amount of water and while the pressure inside of the internal pump can’t be changed, you can alter the valve located in the sprayer.
The spray pattern of your washer will depend upon the type of area you are cleaning and the type of material as well. Loose stream water is better for roofs and sidings, flat fan sprays are better for concrete power washing, and pinpoint jet sprays are better for corners and hard to reach areas. Pinpoint is also great for spot cleaning. While there are different types of spray nozzles, it is easy to injure the skin if you aren’t careful. Washers that run on gas are more powerful than those that run on electricity, as they exert as much as 4,000 pounds per square inch (electrical units operate at only half the pressure). Special units use a small heater that provides hot water, which is great for removing grease and dirt.
While operating your washer, use at a safe distance from the area that needs to be cleaned. If the nozzle is too close, it will strip paint off of the wall, deform your car, or break up asphalt. Use care when cleaning windows, too. Lower your pressure to prevent the windows from breaking or cracking. Never point a washer to anyone or animals. The pressure is strong and can cause harm to any living creature. Make sure all electrical connections are secure before using a washer. Follow the instructions carefully and use the correct chemicals for the units that inject soap or detergent. Check for any cracks or damage in the nozzle head or hose before using.