Five things to know before getting a pressure washer
Choosing a pressure washer may be a confusing process for those who have not used or bought one before.
Using the right type of pressure washer can be a great time-saver for pesky mould and grime; here are five tips for choosing the right type of pressure washer for your needs:
1. Gas or electric?
Pressure washers can be either gas-powered or electric-powered, both of which are capable of cleaning accumulated grime on surfaces such as decks, driveways and patios. However, gas engines can produce more power, which means that the pump can generate considerably more PSI (Pounds Per Inch) and GPM (Gallons Per Minute) so that they can clean faster and deeper.
2. PSI and GPM
PSI and GPM are both equally important when choosing a pressure washer. PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) refers to the amount of cleaning pressure that the unit can produce. GPM (Gallons per Minute) is the amount of water that is coming from the unit.
To clean effectively, a pressure washer must provide a "stripping" action to scrub off the dirt and "flow" to move the dirt away. Think of the pressure (PSI) as the stripping force that is applied to the surface you are cleaning and the flow (GPM) as the rinsing power that carries the dirt away.
3. Cleaning Power Unit
Cleaning units gives the customer a measure of unit performance (efficiency) to compare one unit to another. It is calculated by multiplying the PSI by GPM - the higher the CPU, the greater the ability the machine has for cleaning deeply and effectively. Although customers generally focus on PSI, greater attention should be placed on the machine’s CPS as it can assist with determining which pressure washer is better.
For example, a pressure washer may have a rating of 2,600 PSI and 2.2 GPM, giving it a CPU of 5,720. Another pressure washer is rated for 2,400 PSI and 4 GPM with a CPU of 9,600. In this example, the lower PSI machine has more than 40% greater cleaning power than the higher PSI machine which means that the 2,400 PSI machine will be able to clean an area 40% faster than the 2,600 PSI machine.
Each pressure washer comes with a nozzle which channels the angle or type of pressure to fit one’s cleaning needs.
The wider the spray, the less cleaning power. The narrower the spray, the more cleaning power.
Below is a simple guide to pressure washer tip colours:
The red-coloured nozzle (0 degrees): used for removing tough stains and debris from concrete and metal.
The yellow-coloured nozzle (15-degrees): used for surface preparation such as removing dirt, mildew or paint, and can be used on most surfaces.
The green-coloured nozzle (25-degrees): best used to sweep away dirt, mud and leaves from decks, driveways and sidewalks.
The white-coloured nozzle (40-degrees): perfect for siding, windows and vehicles
The black-coloured nozzle (60 degrees) is a low-pressure detergent nozzle for your cleaning projects
5. Safety precautions
Pressure washers can be incredibly powerful and safety measures must always be adhered to.
- Always wear safety goggles and closed-toe shoes, and protect yourself from the possibility of direct spray.
- When using your pressure washer, never point the gun at any person or pet.
- It is always a good idea to test wash a small hidden area first.
- Always find a flat area for the pressure washer to be placed before starting your project.
- After turning off the pressure washer, always release any pressure by squeezing the trigger before disconnecting the hoses and nozzles.
- The engine and motor of a pressure washer can get very hot after extended use, so use caution when moving the washer.
For more information on pressure washers, visit Ft Farfan on Facebook or give them a call at 612-4FTF (4383).
FT Farfan is currently offering a promotion from October 19 to November 13, where customers get a free cleaning kit valued at $500 with every purchase of any Mi-T-M gasoline pressure washer. Customers can also receive a pair of free Edge Safety Glasses with the purchase of any STIHL electric pressure washer.
Offer valid while stocks last so hurry down to your nearest FT Farfan Retail Outlet today.