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Frequently Asked Questions

First, disconnect the high-pressure hose from the pump and the spray gun. Allow the water to drain from the hose or use high-pressure air to force the water out. After the water is removed, coil the hose onto the hose wrap. Hold the spray gun and wand in a vertical position and squeeze the trigger to remove any stored water then place the spray gun back into the gun holder. Winterize the pump using SIMPSON / POWERWASHER Pump Guard as per your instruction manual. Consult your engine owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation dealing with long-term storage of the engine. You can also check out our post regarding winterizing your pressure washer.

It is recommended to use SIMPSON / POWERWASHER Pump Guard or equivalent when storing the unit for more than 30 days or when freezing temperatures are expected. Using pump guard helps provide proper lubricant to the internal seals of the pump regardless of temperature while also removing water from the pump that could cause damage due to freezing. Follow the instructions in your manual on how to properly winterize the pump. You can also check out our post regarding winterizing your pressure washer.

The washer should be stored in a dry, ventilated location when not in use. Do not store a gasoline engine powered pressure washer near open flames or where sparking may happen. Learn how to winterize and store your pressure washer with this post.

An electric pressure washer can be stored in a warm basement, however you still need to use SIMPSON / POWERWASHER Pump Guard to keep the seals lubricated. Never store a gasoline powered pressure washer in an unventilated location or near open flames and/or where sparking may occur. Check out our post regarding winterizing your pressure washer.

A surface scrubber (also referred to as a surface cleaner) is a circular attachment (sizes vary) containing a spinning spray bar. Surface scrubbers are recommended when you need to clean large areas such as concrete sidewalks, decks, patios or porches. The benefits of using a surface scrubber include a faster cleaning time, a more even clean, and stain removal.

Always use fresh, unleaded gasoline with an octane level of 86 or higher and an ethanol percentage of 10% or lower. Never use an ethanol percentage over 10%. Damage to your engine will result and the warranty will be voided.

The nozzle is what creates the pressure and also the spray pattern of your pressure washer. If you have the incorrect nozzle you may not get the full potential out of the machine. Always make sure that your pressure washer nozzle is clean and free of debris.

There are up to five different quick connect nozzle spray tips; four high pressure and one low pressure “Soap” nozzle. The operator can select a high pressure nozzle spray pattern which best suits the cleaning application. Note: Cleaning solutions cannot be applied with high pressure spray tips (Red, Yellow, Green or White). Our article about Choosing the Proper Nozzle for the Task at Hand will give you more information about how to choose the correct nozzle.

RED Nozzle @ 0°
Provides a concentrated spot of high pressure water allowing you to be further from the surface being cleaned and to blast off stubborn material. USE CAUTION with this nozzle as the force available will actually penetrate soft materials or surfaces. Use for reaching high areas such as under eaves or cleaning tar, chewing gum, etc. from sidewalks. This nozzle is useful for breaking up large areas of loose paint to strip a surface. This nozzle can assist in moving excess mortar from brick construction and rust flakes from steel.

YELLOW Nozzle @ 15°
Provides a narrow fan of concentrated water pressure for removing paint, mildew, etc. By testing several angles between the spray and the surface being worked, the best angle may quickly be identified. The yellow nozzle is also used to remove loose paint from wood, masonry, metal, etc. You will be able to remove heavy oxidation, mildew and marine growth from boats or clean heavy equipment.

GREEN Nozzle @ 25°
Provides a wider fan for pressure cleaning and rinsing. Used for removing mildew, light to medium oxidation and dirt from aluminum siding, rinsing stripped areas or general light cleaning in preparation for painting.

WHITE Nozzle @ 40°
Provides a wide fan for cleaning and rinsing. This nozzle is used for general wash-down, light cleaning, rinsing off chemicals used in building restoration and sweeping driveways or parking areas.

BLACK Soap Nozzle
A low pressure nozzle used to apply cleaning solutions. Note: Cleaning solutions cannot be applied with high pressure spray tips (Red, Yellow, Green or White)

Pressure washers are great for cleaning siding, but as with all cleaning projects, you need to make sure you have the proper tools for the job. For most siding materials, use the white nozzle (40o nozzle). Always start further away from and slowly approach the wall; make sure that only dirt and grime are being removed. Our article about Choosing the Proper Nozzle for the Task at Hand will give you more information about how to choose the correct nozzle.

There are three questions you should ask yourself when determining what kind of pressure washer is right for you.

The first question is “Where do I intend to use the pressure washer? At home or at work?” Typically, you don’t need as powerful of a pressure washer for your personal use at home as you might on a job site. Household jobs for example, shouldn’t need a machine larger than 3000 PSI, whereas 3100 PSI would be minimal for job site usage.

Another helpful question to ask yourself is, “What do I want to clean?” If you are expecting to use your pressure washer for basic household jobs such as driveways, decks, patio furniture, etc. you can get by with a unit that offers relatively low pressure. If your plans are a little bit more daring such as blasting mold or mildew off of concrete or prepping the house for painting you should consider a unit with higher pressure.

Lastly, how much cleaning will you be doing? Will you be cleaning large surface spaces? If the answer is yes, you should consider a unit offering a higher GPM. More water means more cleaning power! A higher GPM will get the job done quicker.

Choosing a gas or electric pressure washer comes down to the type of cleaning and frequency of use. For smaller jobs or when you may only use the washer once or twice per year, an electric-powered pressure washer may be for you. For larger jobs, more frequent usage during the year, or for greater range (ability to use the pressure washer just about anywhere there is a proper water source), the gas-powered pressure washer may be worth looking into.

The answer is both. PSI and GPM work together and the right combination is important depending on your pressure washing needs.

PSI stands for “Pounds per Square Inch” and refers to the amount of pressure that the respective machine can produce.
GPM stands for “Gallons per Minute” and refers to the amount of water coming from the unit.
To clean productively, a pressure washer should be doing two things: stripping or scrubbing and rinsing. This is what sets a pressure washer apart from a regular garden hose.

PSI exerts the pressure to “strip” or scrub off the dirt while GPM is the rinsing power that washes the dirt away.

The combination of PSI and GPM results in “Cleaning Units” or CU. This is a way for you to measure the overall performance of the machine and compare efficiency of one to another. Cleaning units is calculated by multiplying PSI and GPM.

For more information, refer to our blog post: PSI vs. GPM: What Matters Most?

For water usage, yes, it is. By pumping the water into a high-pressure stream, you greatly increase its cleaning power. Using a pressure washer greatly reduces the time you will need to run the water when cleaning your car, boat, siding, or anything else. Beyond pressure, the Gallons Per Minute (GPM) of a typical pressure washer at 2.5 to 3.5 gallons per minute is much less than an open garden hose, which averages 5 GPM.  This means less water is used for a given cleaning application versus using just a garden hose.

Maintenance-free pumps contain long-wear components submerged in a high-grade synthetic oil designed to last the life of the pump. Since the pump does not require regular oil changes, they are called maintenance-free. Note: winterizing your maintenance-free pump is still necessary. Our axial cam pumps are maintenance-free.

If you see water spraying from a valve on your pressure washer pump it is most likely coming from the thermal relief valve (TRV). Most pressure washer pumps are equipped with a thermal relief valve (TRV) to protect the pump if the water inside gets too hot. The water inside your pump can get too hot if you leave the pump running for too long without using the spray gun to pressure wash, or by allowing hot water to enter the pump from a garden hose that has been in the sun. To prevent the water inside the pump from getting too hot and opening the TRV, only use cold water in your pressure washer, turn off the machine if you will not be using the spray gun for more than two minutes, and keep the supply hose out of direct sunlight.

Our pumps are equipped with a thermal relief valve. This is a safety feature that keeps the pump from overheating while in bypass mode. The thermal relief valve opens if the water temperature inside the pump gets too high. This will cause the valve to open, allowing the hot water to exit and cooler water to enter the pump. To avoid overheating your pressure washer pump, turn the motor or engine off if you will not be using pressure washer for more than two minutes.

When you release the spray gun trigger, the engine or motor continues to power the pump creating water pressure. To prevent the pressure from becoming too high and potentially damaging the pump, the unloader valve goes into bypass mode allowing the water to recirculate through the pump keeping the pressure level safe. However, recirculating the water too long can also cause it to heat up possibly causing the thermal relief valve (TRV) to open. To avoid overheating your pressure washer pump, turn the motor or engine off if you will not be using pressure washer for more than two minutes.

No, you must apply soap with the black, low-pressure nozzle. High-pressure nozzles will not allow the soap injection valve to open. Once the soap is applied then you can switch to a higher pressure nozzle to clean and rinse the surface. Our article about Choosing the Proper Nozzle for the Task at Hand will give you more information about how to choose the correct nozzle.

If your pressure washer has soap injection capability but is not fitted with a soap tank, there should be a barbed fitting for a soap injection siphon hose located near the high-pressure hose connector. Gently slip the siphon hose onto the barbed fitting and place the filter end into the soap container/bucket. Only use cleaning agents approved for use with pressure washers. DO NOT USE BLEACH.

Only detergents that are listed by the chemical manufacturer to be designed and safe for use in pressure washers, specifically, all-purpose detergent and non-caustic detergent.

Yes. Use the white, 40o nozzle and keep a good distance from the window.  However, before you pressure wash, you should inspect the window frame for cracked calking / glazing, peeling paint, and areas where water may leak inside the house before you use the pressure washer.  Correct these issues before you pressure wash the windows. Our article about Choosing the Proper Nozzle for the Task at Hand will give you more information about how to choose the correct nozzle.

OHV means overhead valve. OHV pertains to the engines created for pressure washers.

The pump on a direct-drive pressure washer is bolted to, and directly powered by, the engine or motor. The pump on a belt-drive pressure washer is driven by a belt that is connected to the engine or motor.

Both drive styles offer different advantages. Direct drive machines are usually smaller, have fewer moving parts, and require less maintenance. Belt drive machines separate the engine and pump, which can reduce heat transfer and vibration; some belt drives run at slower speeds to reduce the wear and tear on the pump, however, required a belt replacement from time to time.

Belt driven pressure washers are generally for commercial use because a belt driven pump is ideal for cleaning applications that are over 20 hours per week. On a belt drive unit, the high pressure pump has less RPM than a direct drive, reducing heat and vibration, which in turn minimizes internal wear and tear.

If you are using your pressure washer less than 20 hours per week, you may be better suited for a direct drive machine. These machines are typically more cost effective, lighter in comparison and easier to transport.

A limited warranty means that there are limitations to what is covered and under what conditions the warranty would not apply as stated in the Limited Warranty for each product.

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