ELEMENTS OF A PRESSURE WASHER
Pressure washers are known for their incredible cleaning power. This power can be utilized over a wide range of applications from residential, to contractors and heavy industry. Understanding how a pressure washer operates will help determine which one is the best for you.
THREE ACTIVE CLEANING FACTORS
The impact force of pressurized water hitting a surface breaks-up dirt particles and washes them away. In many cases, water and pressure is all that is required, especially for residential use.
NEED MORE CLEANING POWER?
If pressurized water isn’t enough to get the job done alone, then adding soap will increase your cleaning power. This is especially true when trying to clean grease or oils. Soaps will chemically break the bonds between grease and grime allowing them to get flushed away more effectively.
MOST POWERFUL CLEANING
Adding heat to your cleaning process is essential for oil and grease clean- up especially in industrial, automotive and agriculture industries. Hot water penetrates and melts grease molecules by lowering the water’s surface tension, greatly reducing cleaning time.
(Note: do not run hot water into your pump unless your pressure washer is specifically capable of doing this).
MEASURING THE CLEANING PERFORMANCE
When comparing pressure washers, it is important to look at how their performance is measured, this will determine the type of unit you require:
PSI (Pounds per Square Inch):
Measures the pressure or force of the water coming out of the tip. Can be viewed as the speed of the water, or the stripping power. This will help determine how powerful the water stream will be.
GPM (Gallons per Minute):
Measures the volume of water flowing out of the tip. Can be viewed as the weight of water, or the rinsing power. This will help determine how fast you can clean a surface.
Combined together, PSI and GPM dictate the cleaning power of the machine
BENEFITS OF USING A HOT WATER PRESSURE WASHER
Hot water pressure washers deliver the best cleaning results. They are the most efficient and effective at removing grease, oil and grime.
THE POWER OF HEAT
The cleaning of a surface depends on agitation, soap and heat. With heat being a cleaning power multiplier. A hot water pressure washer has an unsurpassed ability to clean the toughest grease and grime from heavy equipment, garages, parking lots and buildings.
WHEN TO USE HOT WATER UNIT
For many jobs, such as cleaning off dirt, algae, or stripping off paint, a cold water machine will do the job. However, if you are planning to clean machinery, engine parts or anything else with grease and oil then a hot water machine will be needed.
HOW THE WATER IS HEATED
Like all pressure washers, water is fed into the pump. The pump then pressurizes the water and forces it through the heating coil. Diesel is sprayed and then ignited, creating a fire that burns in the middle of the coil. The design of the system rapidly brings the temperature of the water up to 200°F/93°C before exiting through the wand.
It is important to understand that cold water is fed into the pump, and it is heated afterwards. Unless specifically told otherwise by the manufacturer, never send hot water into a pressure pump because this will cause it to overheat and cause premature failures.
MARKETS WHERE HOT WATER PRESSURE WASHERS EXCEL
Every piece of machinery in this industry is working in the fields rain or shine. After a season of hard work these machines need to be cleaned as part of their maintenance schedule. Hot water pressure washers rapidly and effectively remove layers of dirt, grease and grime.
Ideal for cleaning buildings and large surface areas quickly and efficiently. A hot water pressure washer mounted on a truck or trailer provides a mobile service that will handle this job quickly and effectively. For large surface areas like parking lots, specialized accessories such as Whirl-A-Ways and Rotary Nozzles will make the job faster.
Big Rigs come back to the truck yards covered in dirt, tar, and road salt. A hot water pressure washer is the best way to clean your trucks.
Garbage and recycling trucks have to pick up the worst of the worst. These trucks have to be maintained on a regular basis and a hot water pressure washer is needed for sterilizing surfaces.
Restaurants and wineries must meet high standards to pass inspection. A hot water pressure washer can be used to thoroughly clean and disinfect critical surfaces such as floors, kitchen hoods, ducts, and waste areas. Hot water cleaning also requires less detergent which saves you money and helps protect the environment.
Bull dozers, excavators and similar heavy machinery are working in dirt all day. It is important to keep all the moving parts free from build-up of dirt and grease. A hot water pressure washer will quickly cut through and wash away the grime to keep your heavy machines operating effectively.
Mobile Washing Services
For businesses that provide mobile pressure washing services, having a machine that cleans quickly and effectively is critical when time is money. A hot water pressure washer makes the best use of time to get the job done.
Industrial machines and hardware need regular cleaning that a hot water pressure washer will efficiently accomplish.
WHEN BUYING A PRESSURE WASHER YOU WANT TO BUY ONE THAT SUITS YOUR APPLICATIONS
The below chart should be used as a guideline, though consider the below when making your choice;
- Pressure on the surface depends heavily on the distance of the pressure washer nozzle. Standing 20 feet away with a 4000PSI/4GPM pressure washer is a lot safer than putting a 1500 PSI/ 1.5 GPM pressure washer nozzle right up against the surface.
- The angle of the spray will directly relate to the impact force of the water on the surface. Coming straight at a 90° angle has a lot more power than coming at a shallow angle.
- What you are trying to clean off determines how powerful of a machine is needed. It is comparatively easy to wash off loose algae compared to surface oil stains.
- Some of the lower power machines may be able to handle bigger jobs depending what is being cleaned off, but it will take more time.
- A powerful machine in the right hands can do any small job, but greater care is needed when cleaning fragile surfaces.
- Generally speaking, the more area you intend to pressure wash, the more powerful of a machine you should get because the work will be done faster.
- Even in the optimum range you need to be careful. Start spraying at a safe distance and work your way closer to the surface.
GPM UNDER 2.0
GPM BETWEEN 2.0 and 3.0
GPM of 3.0 OR HIGHER
SURFACE TO BE CLEANED
|1500 PSI||2000 PSI||2500 PSI||3000 PSI||3500 PSI||2500 PSI||3500 PSI||4000 PSI|
|SEMI - TRUCKS|
|ROAD BLACK TOP|
SPRAY TIP NOZZLES
The small tip at the end of the wand is a critical part to the performance of the machine. Each tip is specifically sized to create a certain PSI and spray pattern. The tips must match the ratings of the machine, otherwise the machine will underperform.
RED NOZZLE - 0°
Produces a single highly concentrated stream that has the highest impact force. This stream will cut through and break apart caked-on mud and dirt. The more powerful the pressure washer, the more care is needed to avoid damaging or destroying surfaces.
YELLOW NOZZLE - 15°
Excellent for heavy-duty cleaning against hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt. The concentrated spray pattern delivers a significant amount of force.
GREEN NOZZLE - 25°
Suited for cleaning decks, walkways, brick and similar items. It has a balanced combination of PSI and GPM.
WHITE NOZZLE - 40°
Effective at cleaning off algae and mud. Wide spray pattern, allows it to quickly clean large area without much impact force.
BLACK NOZZLE - 65°
Largest orifice for use with soap injector which requires high volume of water to create the siphon action. Also effective for rinsing away loose debris and dirt.
ROTARY NOZZLE - 0°
Unique nozzle that spins a 0° tip in a cone shape. It excels at deep cleaning of hard surfaces such as driveways.
Spray nozzles will wear out and need to be replaced.
It is important to match what your pressure washer came with to keep it running at peak performance. The spray nozzle size will be stamped into the metal base of the nozzle.
The first two numbers are the spray pattern angle, and the last three numbers is the orifice size.
If you no longer have the original spray nozzles use the chart below to cross reference the PSI and GPM of your pressure washer to find the correct orifice size.
Example: Pressure washer rated at 1,500 PSI and 4.0 GPM will need a 065 orifice size.