Before you decide which pressure washer to purchase, you have to know a little about them so you can make an informed decision. There are gas-powered and electric pressure washers as well as those that run on batteries and can be recharged. Some use light force while others use heavy-duty force, and they each have their own advantages.
Washers with lower pressures work well in most instances, but may not be enough to get out tough stains, whereas the ones with more pressure can actually damage some materials if the materials are light and not very sturdy. You’ll need to decide beforehand how you will be using the pressure washer to determine which pressure washer is best for you home and other products.
Why Get a Pressure Washer?
Pressure washers are great cleaning tools and can clean everything from driveways to other outdoor areas, and they can even be used to super-clean your roof and rid it of debris. They are easy to use and can clean everything from concrete to wood and asphalt to cinder blocks and bricks. In fact, if you really put your mind to it, you can easily think of many other items you can clean with a good pressure washer.
Indeed, most types of outdoor cleaning can be accommodated with a pressure washer, including siding, grills, lawnmowers, and even outdoor furniture and some tools. Most of these power washers create water pressure that is cold, although they do now make hot-water pressure washers as well.
What to Look for When Researching Pressure Washers
To get the right pressure washer, you need to learn a bit of terminology associated with this tool. Pressure washers always list their maximum pounds per square inch, or PSI, and the gallons per minute (GPM) they offer. These numbers describe both the force and the amount of water that is released on the task at hand. Naturally, the higher these numbers, the more powerful the tool is.
Pressure washers considered moderate in power offer up to 2,000 PSI; for mid-range, the number is 2,000 to 3,200 PSI; and maximum-power pressure washers offer a PSI of 3,200 to 4,200 PSI. You may not need a higher PSI to get the job done, and again, knowing what you’ll be using the tool for before you purchase one will help you find the best one in the end.
How to Use a Pressure Washer
The best way to learn to use a pressure washer is to take it slow and steady. Position the tip so that it is roughly two feet away from the item that needs cleaning. Once you feel comfortable using the tool, you can move closer to the item, but always stay at least one foot away from it. In addition, try to hold the nozzle at a 45-degree angle at all times.
Once you get the hang of it, simply move the pressure washer in a back-and-forth motion without spending too much time on one area of the item you’re cleaning. If you use a cleaning agent such as detergent, let it soak for up to three minutes before you wash it off thoroughly. In other words, never let the detergent get dry on the item because it will be harder to clean in the long run.
Some Issues with Pressure Washers
As with most products, there are occasionally some problems with using pressure washers, and most of them center around pressure problems, leaks, and problems with the nozzle or pump. It is easy to find solutions for these and other problems associated with pressure washers, and of course, the best way to avoid many of these problems is to follow the included instructions closely. If you go against what the instruction manual suggests, it will spell nothing but problems.
Most of the problems associated with pressure washers are easy to fix, and if you can’t find the answer in the instruction manual or online, you can always call the customer service department of the company that made the washer and they should be able to help.
Before You Get Started
If you’re a little nervous about using a pressure washer for the first time, not to worry. Most of them are not that heavy, and all it takes to get good at it is a little practice and a lot of use. Simply put, the more you use a pressure washer, the better you’ll get at it. They are easy to hold onto and easy to maneuver, so it won’t be long before you’re using your pressure washer for a host of household chores for your outdoor areas.