How to set up a pressure washer.

Setting up a pressure washer could at first be a little bit daunting without any prior knowledge on how to do so. However we’re here to guide you through this process.

Although it may seem daunting, it’s no harder than setting up your lawn mower. First ensure that it’s clean and in a good condition to work in and Check if there’s enough fuel. (fuel specifications should be written on the machine.)

Roll the machine to the area you will be working on and find a source of water such as a garden tap or something similar. Now depending on the type of washer, some of the time, you will find a water tank built on to the machine. Ensure there is enough water in the tank for operation, you might want to consider running the hose directly into the tank and if there isn’t a tank, you will find somewhere to attach the garden hose from the tap into the machine.

After simply attach the lance on to the other end of the machine’s tube and any other attachments such as a whirl away surface cleaner. And you are ready to turn on the engine.

In order to ignite the engine with most washers, first you set the refuel switch and choker to off. Then push the throttle to half way point and at the same time squeeze the trigger of the jet gun to release the air pressure. Lastly while still squeezing the trigger slowly increase the throttle to its maximum setting.

Pressure washing maintanance

Much like a motorist would like to keep their vehicle clean and up to legal road standards, so should someone who owns a pressure washer. After all they’re both powered by fuel and an engine. It’s important to keep in mind that the pressure washer gets dirty very quickly and easily.

In terms of performance in order to keep it to running optimumly, cleaning it is a must as you could find many common issues such as the metals rusting away with time, tubes and pipes being clogged up with particulates, over heating of the engine and just general grogginess of operation.

Keeping all of these facts in mind, you can begin the clean by giving the surface of the washer (including the engine) a wipe down with a damp cloth and a micro fibre. Afterwards you can progress to checking for damage and oxidisation of the fixings such as any nuts, bolts or screws lubricating them or replacing any that are un useable.

After this you should check to see the condition of the wheels and if they’re rolling smoothly. If not, you should attempt to put oil or lubricant on to the bearings or outright replace them. You should also test the oil and perform an oil change if needs be aswell as refuel.

Pressure washing your car

Many ask, is it possible to pressure or jet wash your car without damaging the paint work? And the answer is yes.

However you must make sure to take great care in the way you spray it. This is because too much pressure and too little surface at the nozzle will strip your car like a razor.

A few precautions to take are making sure you stand a good 2 meters or more from the car when spraying and keeping it at a high nozzle aperture.

Here’s a few steps on how to do the job safely:

  1. Prepare the washer making sure it’s in good condition before usage and checking for damages.
  2. Stand 2m or more from the car.
  3. Open the nozzle to the highest setting and keep it at a wide fan.
  4. Gently rinse the car down of any loose dirt or debris.
  5. Apply detergent or cleaning products used.
  6. Close the nozzle a little bit for a bit more pressure to clean the tougher spots of dirt.
  7. Rinse again.
  8. Dry it off with a micro-fibre cloth.

Pressure washing on a budget Pt. 2

Last article we discussed three low cost alternatives to domestic based pressure washers for entry level light use such as car or garden cleaning.

This article we will be discussing a few mid range machines around the 110 bar pressure range, perfect for cleaning light patios, garden grime and moss:

1. Kärcher K4 full control home pressure washer: £230, Amazon. Pressure 130bar.

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This is a well built, powerful and very fast machine that excels at cleaning the likes of large driveways and cars but will also cope with more delicate jobs such as wood and bicycles. The unique trigger gun design helps you to move seamlessly between gentle and more powerful spray settings, with an LED light in the handle showing which level you’re on. We like the plug-in detergent bottle and your neighbours will be pleased to know this high-end all-rounder is surprisingly quiet. But it’s heavy, pricey and there’s no hose reel.

2. Karcher K5 compact home high-pressure washer with home kit: £287.38, Amazon

https://static-independent-co-uk.cdn.ampproject.org/i/s/static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2019/05/09/11/karcher-k5.jpg?w800

Bar pressure: 145

True to its name, this is smaller than most pressure washers. Together with the two carry handles and the fact that it’s very light at 11.5kg (without accessories), this makes it very easy to move around and store. But you don’t have to compromise on oomph as it’s robust, well made and powerful, cleaning everything from bins to really dirty driveways and cars with ease. It’s pretty much good to go out of the box, with standout features including the “quick connect” connection system (for the lance or hose), two types of lance, filtered suction capability and auto stop.

3. Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 high pressure washer: £149.95, Amazon

Bar pressure: 135

This has noticeably more force than the entry-level machines reviewed here, meaning it can cope with bigger cars and outside areas, and yet Bosch has managed to keep it light and compact, as well as being very easy to store thanks to the fold-down handle. It works straight out of the box – no assembly required – and the three-in-one nozzle means you can switch between different types of spray, depending on your needs, while the high-pressure detergent nozzle means you can apply soap quickly. But you’ll need a premium machine to tackle really stubborn grime and we’d like the hose to have been longer.

~Courtesy of INDEPENDENT for reviews of the products

Pressure washing on a budget.

Normally the best purchase for those looking to do a professional surface cleaning job would be to take the highest quality or highest pounds per square inch of pressure washer you could get your hands on. However, that is not always a the cheapest option. Especially for those partaking in a personal domestic job.

If you are not looking to work professionally a good option would be an electric washer or a washer on a budget. Granted it’s always best to pick the highest quality within your budget range so let’s consider a few options.

The first set of washers are for smaller entry level jobs such as cleaning your car and bike:

1.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AGD5J02?tag=pressurewashers00e-21&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1

2.

Kärcher K2 Full Control Home Pressure Washer

3.

Bosch AQT 35-12 High Pressure Washer

These three pressure washers are perfect example of compact, lightweight, manageable and a cost efficient machine perfect for domestic use.

Pressure washing nozzles

In regards to nozzle size there is one universal principle. This is the fact that if you half the size of the nozzle in diameter, the pressure of the jet stream will double, likewise if you double the size of the nozzle, there will be double the pressure.

This principle should help you determine the type of gun you’d want to purchase And there are 4 settings of pressure washing nozzles:

The 0 degree nozzle shoots a straight jet of water directly on to the surface without causing a fan effect. Purely a stream.

The 15 degree nozzle hits the target with a wider surface area, there fore creating a slight sheet of water. Because the force is spread across a larger area.

The 25 creates an even larger sheet or fan due to having less pressure than the 15.

The 40 degree is the most gentle and wisest spread perfect for cleaning down a window.

Buying a pressure washer

There are two ways of acquiring a pressure washer. These are:

RENTING

Renting a pressure washer at first may be a cheaper and more appropriate option if being used for a one off domestic job as you have the choice of being free from the hassle of up-keeping, maintenance and storage. It’s important to keep in mind that high pressure power washers can be cumbersome, heavy and storage consuming. Renting the washer will mean you only need to worry about these factors for a limited amount of time.

BUYING

Buying a unit for professional use can be at first more expensive as you are purchasing the machine out right however in terms of turn-over, the machine will pay for itself in a few months as long as you take care of it much like a motor vehicle, without proper maintenance, cleaning, oil changes etc… the machine can start to break down.

Ofcourse buying a professional grade washer out right for personal use could also be a great option given you have the appropriate storage room and money for up keeping however it may not be necessary, a more affordable option would be to buy an electric or lower power washer for residential jobs as the nature of these jobs around The Berkshire area won’t require Extreme amounts of force.

How pressure washers work

Pressure washers use a petrol powered or electric motor to power a pump that sends concentrated amounts of water through a small Lance nozzle typically a few millimetres wide in diameter creating a thin jet stream with enough pressure to cut through garden debris, dirt and foliage off of the home, drive ways and patios of Berkshire.

History of pressure washing.

The pressure washing industry can trace its roots back to 1926 and the glory days of prohibition. Frank W. Ofeldt II, an employee of a Pennsylvanian producer of gas-fired water heaters and boilers and a maker of whisky stills, is credited as the inventor of pressure washing. However while working on a whisky still, he discovered that steam forced at high pressure through a small hose provided an effective method of cleaning grease off his garage floor.

The Dangers Of pressure washing.

Although it is a fast, highly effective and powerful tool to clean away a grimey drive way or your old patio that hasn’t been washed in a few years or maybe even completely untouched, as with every power tool it must be respected.

As mentioned before these power washers are very powerful with a lot of pressure being jetted out through a small nozzle, this could lead to serious bodily harm if it is handled improperly and carelessly. People can suffer Anything from a small cut to a serious laceration through your body and although rare, it could sever a small body part like a finger or toe.

The pressure levels coming from the wand of the washer can be anywhere from 1300-4000psi. To put that into perspective a regular domestic hose you can find in anyone’s back garden can only push out a maximum of around 50psi. That would mean a pressure wash can squeeze out more than 50x times that of a regular hose in pressure.

Not only will it cut, bruise and scar your body. The dirty water can penetrate into the deeper layers of your skin resulting in a nasty infection over time. In fact in 2014 around 6000 people were reportedly sent to hospital due to a pressure washing related injury.

In conclusion, High pressure power tools are to be taken seriously and must not be used recreationally or used by or anywhere near children as it can cause serious injury.