One of the best ways to clean and rejuvenate all types of surfaces throughout your home’s exterior is pressure washing. With the help of a pressure washer, you’ll be able to clean different kinds of hard surfaces and large areas instantly and more efficiently.
You can use the best of the best pressure washer to take care of your patio, wooden deck, car, driveway, siding, and walkway. It can rid of gum, grease, wax, tar, rust, and other soils that are tough to deal with.
Nevertheless, there are still some basics you need to learn when hooking up your unit, which is not as complicated as most people think. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and your unit will be set up in no time. Also, we will provide you information on how you can easily hook up your pressure washer. Here’s everything you need to know to get started.
Difference Between The Two Types Of Pressure Washer
Before we go through the basics of how to hook up and start your pressure washer, you must first know the difference between its types. Generally, you have two main kinds to choose from, gas and electric-powered. Out of these two, the more powerful one is the gas-powered washer. Most experts highly recommend it as well.
An electric pressure washer is excellent at cleaning as well. However, the pressure it produces is less in comparison to its gas counterpart. Hence, it works well at lighter tasks around the home, such as washing your car, tile or concrete patio, walkway, driveway, garage floors, fence, and so on.
On the other hand, a gas pressure washer can provide you with higher water pressure. But that extra power comes with some drawbacks since this type is more costly to operate and tends to make a lot of noise. When deciding which one to buy, make sure to consider their pros and cons, as well as your cleaning needs.
Importance of Inspecting The Hose And Water Supply
It’s crucial to check and ensure that your hose has no cuts, leaks, and holes that have developed over time. The last thing you want is to work with a leaking hose since this will prevent it from producing the right amount of pressure to effectively clean.
Your water source is another thing you want to check. Make sure that it will be able to provide a continuous and steady supply to your equipment. Also, determine the type of pressure your unit requires and ensure that your water source can generate the water volume needed.
Most users often overlook the holes and cuts of the hose they’re using, which makes doing a simple job take longer to accomplish. For this reason, it is important to inspect your hose thoroughly. Check to see if there are areas where water may be spilling out of it or leaks.
You’ve seen many videos on YouTube showing you how useful a pressure washer is in cleaning homes and you want to try it yourself. But should you, or should you not? To answer this question, you first need to look into the possible dangers of using a pressure washer.
In 2014, around 6,000 people were hospitalized because of water pressure accidents. From this number, 14% needs to return to the hospital due to the complications from their initial injury.
With this figure, you might ask yourself what makes water pressure dangerous. To be clear, not all users who purchased this machine had a problem dealing with it. In most cases, the cluelessness and the carelessness of the user are the main culprits for the mishaps.
To understand why you need to take a pressure washer seriously, here are some risks that you should be aware of:
High-Pressure Water Causes Damage
Imagine a regular hose with a standard pressure of water coming out of its nozzle. Now, multiply that pressure 30-80 times, and that’s how strong the pressure coming from water pressure. That pressure is enough to destroy the bark of a tree, damage your skin, or knock-off your balance. Even if the pressure only causes minimal skin break, the water can penetrate deep into the tissue, causing skin infections.
Risk of Electric Shock
Water is a conductor of electricity. When water gets in the way of electric current, the result can be dangerous for anyone.
Many pressure washers come with 20 to 30 feet of power cable. With this length, the cord is susceptible to cork kinking and crackling. If you’re not careful, the water can get inside the cracks of the power cords. This can cause electrocution or fire. To reduce the risk of electric shock, you can use a grounded power source.
Damage to Property
The most common use of a pressure washer is to remove deep-seated dirt and stains in different parts of the house. It is a valuable tool when at the right hands. But when the machine is misused, it can damage the surface it intends to clean.
High-pressure can damage various surfaces it comes in contact with. It can chip away paint, destroy wood, or break a mortar. Also, if the nozzle is pointed aimlessly in the wrong direction, the water can hit and damage insulation and wiring.
Older windows and shingles may no longer withstand the water pressure coming from the machine. If you have old windows, it’s better if you use a regular hose to clean them rather than completely obliterating them using a pressure washer.
If you use lead paint for your house, the pressure washer can easily break down the paint and distribute the lead particles in many parts of the house. Inhaling or ingesting lead is a potential health hazard.
A power washer also uses cleaning chemicals. When these chemicals penetrate a cut or a wound, they can cause health problems. The chemical can invite bacteria to thrive into the wound, which can lead to infections. There is also a possibility that the solution can get directly into the bloodstream, posing a serious health risk.
Tips to Avoid the Dangers of Pressure Washer
After reading the dangers of pressure, it’s easy to understand why many people are scared to use it by themselves.
If you need to use a pressure washer by yourself, you should know how it works. You have to handle the equipment with extreme caution. Do not treat it like any other cleaning machines. Never play with it or underestimate its destructive power. It’s advisable that you read power washers buying guide 2020 to understand how they work.
Here are some tips to minimize the risks in using a pressure washer:
Make sure to read the product manual before doing anything else. Familiarize yourself with the parts of the machine, how to operate them, and proper maintenance. If you need an actual demo, you can go to the manufacturer’s website or social media to watch a how-to video.
Always wear proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as long pants, working shoes, face shield, and gloves. All of these gears must be made from high-quality materials. Wear shoes with closed toe and made from leather with a metal sheet underneath.
Always use a ground fault breaker for an electric washer.
For a gas-powered machine, make sure you do the refueling outside with the engine turned off.
DO NOT USE the ladder while pressure washing! You can’t hold the hose with one hand while your other hand is on the ladder. The pressure can off-balance you and make you fall from the ladder.
Don’t leave the pressure unattended. Ask someone to look after it while you focus on aiming the trigger at the right spot. This is important so that in case you need to turn off the machine immediately, someone will be readily available to do it.
Always engage the safety latches on the trigger when the machine is not in use.
Determine the right pressure you need to apply on a specific surface. As much as possible, don’t set the regulator of the nozzle less than 15 degrees. The water pressure that comes less than this angle is extremely strong and can be very dangerous. If the nozzle has a zero-degree option, DO NOT use it.
Pressure washing is one of the most reliable methods to give your property a thorough cleaning. It’s convenient, quick, and remarkably effective at eradicating tough gunk and filth, including grease, algae, oil stains, and a whole lot more.
Throughout the years, the quality and cleaning ability of pressure washers have greatly progressed. Nevertheless, they’ve become more budget-friendly. The cleaning equipment can dramatically improve your ability to clean and manage your home while reducing the time you need to spend doing so.
A power washer is a particularly good investment if you don’t always have enough time in your hands for upkeep. However, if you end up with the wrong one, you may see yourself getting disappointed. What’s more, you may very well have just wasted your budget and time.
So in this comprehensive buying guide, we’ll provide you with essential information about these machines, including how they work. Furthermore, we’ll take a look at some of the top-rated pressure washers on the market today to help you find the most suitable unit for your necessities.
How Exactly Does A Pressure Washer Work?
Contrary to popular belief, a pressure washer is a relatively straightforward cleaning device. It has either an engine or motor that powers its pump, which pushes the water at high pressure through an orifice or nozzle.
This valuable tool increases the power of an ordinary garden hose. It utilizes water to swiftly blat away all the dirt that has built up on your patio, driveaway, and other surfaces. Likewise, you can use your pressure washer to your outdoor furniture, grill, home’s siding, vehicles, and more instead of manually scrubbing them.
So how does it perform these chores easily? Once you connect a power washer to a hose, it’ll use either electricity or gas to power its pump, which, in turn, intensifies water pressure. As a result, it’ll force water out that’s up 80 times more powerful than that from a regular garden hose.
That extreme power can loosen paints, stubborn dirt, etc. from various surfaces, streamlining a lot of your cleaning chores. Some pressure washer models even feature a built-in detergent tank along with a spray to provide you with an even thorough cleaning.
Pressure Washer Types
A pressure wash has two main varieties, which are gas and electric. Both types come with benefits and drawbacks that will depend on your individual cleaning needs.
One of the most important things you need to consider when looking for the appropriate washer is the power you need. The average PSI of an electric unit is between 1200 to 1700.
Aside from this, make sure to purchase from a reliable brand that offers a good warranty. Some of the tried and tested companies are Sun Joe, Ryobi, and Karcher, to name a few. Doing so will give you peace of mind that your machine will not only provide you with top performance but will serve you for many years as well.
Generally, an electric pressure washer is enough to handle all the cleaning around your property. However, it may be better to opt for its gas equivalent if you plan to clean a massive surface area without any electrical source nearby.
A simple online search will provide you with PSI, GPM, and CP ratings. But these numbers will not cut it. There are other key factors that make an electric washer reliable. One of those is its engineering, specifically on how its power is applied.
Moreover, its cleaning potential and end results will depend on other things aside from its raw power. These include a unit’s pressure hose, quality of spray gun, and power adjustment options.
Although electric pressure washers are not as powerful as the gas models, they can provide you with a solid enough performance that can get rid of most grime. Additionally, they are more portable, easier to operate, and are less likely to damage your surfaces.
Furthermore, this type is perfect for small cleaning projects and occasional larger tasks. You can wash your patio, driveway, cars, lawn equipment, deck, and so much more with ease.
It’s a lot less quiet in comparison to its gas cousin
It gives off zero-emission
Portable and easy to store
Requires minimal upkeep
A more affordable option
It is less powerful than gas pressure washers
Less durable since most of its components are made of plastic
You always need to be close to a power source
The surface area you can clean is limited to the length of your unit’s power cable
Best Electric Pressure Washers
It’s very tempting to just get whichever brand or model that crosses your way. An electric pressure washer is suitable for most homeowners. However, you still need to understand that not all are created equally or will work well for each purpose.
So to help narrow down your choices, we searched long and hard for the best electric pressure washers that can meet your specific needs:
AR Blue Clean AR390SS
AR Blue Clean AR390SS is a heavy-duty electric pressure washer that has excellent features and will deliver fantastic results. It’s super easy to assemble and operate that you may not even go through its owner’s manual.
This power washer offers 2000 PSI of cleaning ability and 30 ft high-pressure hose that can eradicate hardcore filth. Additionally, it is made from long-lasting materials and even comes with a professional-grade gun.
Even more, it sports a water-saving technology specifically designed by AR Blue Clean to make the unit eco-friendly. At 36 pounds, it’s heavier than others on this list, but you won’t have trouble handling it.
Simpson Cleaning 61016
SIMPSON® Pressure Washers are known for their reliability and efficient performance, and the Simpson Cleaning 61016 lives up to expectation. This electric pressure washer has a sturdy construction and delivers solid cleaning skills.
It is jam-packed with great features, including a pressure of 2300 PSI combined with good water flow at 1.2 GPM. This means that the machine can help you take care of a wide array of light to medium and a handful of heavy-duty power washing sessions.
Moreover, it comes with 3 spray nozzles, including the turbo type for quick cleanups. The Simpson Cleaning is a little heavy. However, its never-flat plastic wheels make it hassle-free to maneuver.
Pressure washers are very powerful cleaning tools. Hence, these machines can deep clean your property swiftly and efficiently. Nonetheless, their extreme pressure can cause serious injuries and even death.
Every year, hundreds of people get hurt while pressure washing. Hence, you should take power washer safety seriously. Fortunately, injuries related to pressure washers are 100% preventable.
By simply following the list of precautions we have here, you and everyone around you will be safe during your cleaning sessions.
Learn More About Your Machine
Not all pressure washers are the same. Every model varies. That’s why you must read the user’s manual of your unit to learn how to properly operate it, as well as its accessories.
Likewise, you have to know the right way to turn it off if you’re in a hurry. If you have an electric pressure washer, check if it’ll work well with an extension cable. Lastly, learn the right troubleshooting steps if in case you encounter a problem with your unit.
Here are some safety tips to remember before using your pressure washer:
Before each use, check the oil level of the engine.
Do not overfill the engine with oil. Doing so can damage the components of your equipment, such as the spark plug. Also, the oil may overflow into the air filter, which can destroy your washer.
Turn your water supply first before your machine to avoid damaging its pump.
If you need to refuel, wait for the engine to cool down first. Never refuel when the engine is running hot.
One of the most vital parts of your washer is the high-pressure hose. Do not try to repair it yourself if it’s damaged. It’s highly advisable to buy a new one instead.
Do not change your spraying tip or pattern while you’re spraying or you’ll injure anyone around you and the washer.
Ensure that your position and balance is stable while pressure washing.
Wear Safety Gear
Pressure washers let out highly pressurized water. If you aim it accidentally aim it at your foot, it can easily lacerate your toes. For this reason, always wear a non-slip pair of closed-toe shoes. Or better yet, wear work boots.
Moreover, you must protect your eyes and body from flying dirt and debris by wearing safety goggles and full-length pants. Wearing work gloves is also recommended. Aside from protecting your hands, these will also provide you with a better grip on your equipment’s handle.
Additionally, if you have a gas-powered unit, you may want to consider wearing ear protection. These machines are quite loud in comparison to their electric counterpart.
One of the questions people usually ask when shopping around for a pressure washer is the amount of pressure they truly need.
The measurement of a pressure washer pressure is pounds per square inch or PSI. And the level of PSI you need will depend on your intended purpose or what you plan to wash.
For instance, removing salt, dust, and other particles from your vehicle will require less pressure. Meanwhile, you want a more powerful pressure to get rid of the oil stains on your driveway.
Moreover, you also need to consider the GPM or gallons per minute of a washer. This factor is just as crucial, but most buyers tend to overlook it. GPM is the measurement of the amount of water your unit puts out per minute. Keep in mind that the more water, the quicker the cleaning process will be.
So if you’re in the market for a pressure washer but have no idea of how to choose the right PSI, then this article is for you.
It’s All About The Right Pressure
You’ll be able to determine the most applicable size of pressure washer you to buy by knowing the amount of pressure required to clean various items, materials, and surfaces.
Electric pressure washers with 1,500 PSI. These light-duty machines are specifically created to clean cars, scooters, bikes, and barbecue grills. This much pressure will ensure that you won’t have problems with paint chipping.
Gas or electric pressure washers with 2,600 PSI.Medium-duty models with this amount of PSI can do everything that light-duty ones. However, they’re also effective at ensuring the cleanliness of your patio furniture, fence, and deck or patio.
Gas pressure washers with 3,000 PSI. Gas units with this amount of pressure or more will work great for your boat, siding, and asphalt driveway. These mean machines can take care of them effectively and much faster.
Gas pressure washers with 4,000 PSI.Powerful units like these should be used with extreme caution. The last thing you want is to end up in the emergency room. These washers are ideal for eliminating old graffiti and paint prep. They’re mostly utilized by the pros and may not be the best option for residential use.
The water volume flushes the stains and filth that the water pressure has broken up. Similar to PSI, a pressure washer’s GPM rating varies depending on the model. An electric-powered washer usually uses a max of 2GPM. On the other hand, gas units can consume up to 5GPM.
Basically, you’ll be able to finish your chores much faster the more water you have moving through the washer’s nozzle per minute. A higher GPM means there’s plenty of flowing water to remove dirt and stains, resulting in quicker cleanups.
Think of it this way, you have a powerful squirt gun in hand shooting away at clumps of dirt on your driveways. Although it’ll be able to break and lift the filth, it’ll remain there. However, it’ll wash away once you pour a five-gallon bucket of water on it. So when you combine the gun’s powerful pressure and the bucket’s volume, you’ll be presented with a superb cleaning device.
Pressure washers are just that. It’s a combination of high pressure and high volume, allowing you to wash surfaces efficiently in as little time as possible. So when you’re out shopping for a unit, make sure to check out its GPM since its role is just as crucial as PSI.