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A Beginner's Guide On How To Use A Pressure Washer

February 12, 2020 by Straight

Power washing is one of the best and easiest ways to tackle tough cleanup jobs outdoors. There are lots of ways to put a pressure washer to work. Use one to blast dirt, debris and moss from sidewalks or driveways. They’re the best tool for cleaning your home’s exterior siding. If you have wood siding, they can help scrub away old paint before applying a new coat.

Pressure washers are perfect for cleaning cars, lawn mowers and other outdoor equipment. In the spring, they will help you get the grill and all of your patio furniture ready for summer. Power washing is simple, too! Read on and we’ll show you how to use a power washer.

Pressure Washing 101

All pressure washers — whether they’re gas or electric — use a pump  to pressurize water supplied by a garden hose. That’s the first step to using your power washer. Connect a hose to it to supply the machine with water. From there, if you’re using a detergent or cleaner of some type, then fill the power washer’s detergent reservoir or place siphon hose in a bucket to the fill line. Follow the instructions that come with the cleaner if it needs to be diluted. 

The next step is to connect the pressure washer’s hose and the wand. These usually featureM22, which means that all you need to do is slide the collar back on one end of the hose to fit it over the nozzle on either the wand or the pressure washer itself. 

After everything is connected, choose a nozzle. There are many types, all suitable for different tasks: 

  • Fan nozzles are one of the most popular types, and they come in 15-degree to 40-degree spray patterns. The rule of thumb here is that the wider the spray pattern, the lower the pressure. For tough jobs, such as concrete sidewalks and patios, you may want to use a 15-degree nozzle for extra power. If you need low pressure for a more delicate task, choose something like a 45 degree nozzle or soap nozzle.
  • Zero-degree nozzles are meant for blasting tough dirt and debris. These nozzles spray a jet pattern at very high pressure. Avoid using them on wood or surfaces that can be easily gouged. Put these nozzles to work if you need to blast dirt from cracks in a sidewalk or driveway, or if you require extra power to remove particularly tough grime.
  • Turbo nozzles are also high pressure. These nozzles spray in a rotating cone pattern. They’re great for removing moss, mildew, tough stains, paint or oxidation frommany surfaces.. 

After selecting the right nozzle for the job, Follow manufacturer instructions for starting the pressure washer.. Electric pressure washers will need to be plugged in, and they may be started by a switch or button. Most gas power washers require a pull cord.

With the pressure washer running, some PW can further adjust water pressure. Simply locate the pressure adjustment knob to raise or lower pressure, as needed. When you’re ready to start washing, hold the wand at a 45-degree angle from what you’re washing and pull the trigger. Maintain a couple feet of distance between the nozzle and the surface being power washed. Placing the tip of the wand too close to the surface can leave gouges. 

Pressure Washing Safety Tips

Now that you know how to use a power washer, be sure to keep the following safety tips in mind. These tools spray water at extremely high pressures, which means it’s possible to get. Never place your hands or any other body part or animal in front of the nozzle. To prevent injury, it’s best to wear long pants and a closed-toe shoe while power washing — just in case you accidentally spray near your feet or legs. Safety glasses are a must, too, because the pressurized water will often blow back at you, carrying dirt and debris with it. 

Never use ladders while pressure washing. Wands can have powerful kickback when pulling the trigger,. If you need to clean something high, consider an extending wand or second story nozzle so you can reach from the ground. 

Looking for a pressure washer for that long list of outdoor cleanup jobs? SIMPSON has a broad variety of models from which to choose — including pressure washers designed for residential and commercial use. Check out our lineup to find the right power washer for the jobs on your to-do list.

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