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How to Choose a Pressure Washer?
A pressure washer is a versatile tool to have in your arsenal for several reasons. For starters, it can be used to efficiently, easily and quickly clean a wide range of home and commercial spaces, and several other locations such as sidewalks, patios and residential home interiors.
In fact, many realtors highly recommended pressure washing a respective property before putting it up for sale in an effort to boost its appeal and listing price. Investing in the best pressure washer can also make conventional cleaning tasks a joy such as cleaning vehicle, which typically requires a lot of time, energy and elbow grease.
Plus, a pressure washing tool can be used by just about anyone, even those suffering from back ailments, given that it lets you maintain a strong, upright posture. Adding to this, setting up a pressure washing tool is literally a no-brainer, where you simply attach a water hose to the tool to the washer, either add fuel or plug it in, and start blasting the dirt and grime away.
When choosing the best pressure washer for cars and for other tasks, you will come across two common types – gas and electric powered washers, and here’s what sets the two apart.
Types of Pressure Washers
Gas powered pressure washers just as the name would suggest are fitted with engines, and either feature a manual pull start or push-button electric starter. They generally generate the highest water pressure, somewhere in the range of two thousand to three thousand PSI (pounds per square inch) water pressure.
Another great benefit to using gas powered washing tools is that there are no pesky cords to plug in, making it easy to tackle larger cleaning jobs. Electric pressure washers contrarily are less powerful and don’t offer the same mobility as their gas counterparts, but on a brighter note weigh less, cost less and are ideal for light duty jobs.
Things to Consider
Given that pressure washers can be had in an assortment of different types and pressure levels, it is wise to first determine the tasks you will use it for to get the right one for your needs. The pressure output also referred to as power of a washer is measured in PSI (pounds per square inch) or GPM (gallons per minute).
And just as you might’ve guessed, more units equal to more cleaning power, making it easy to get rid of even stubborn stains and in less time. On the downside however, pressure washing tools with a higher PSI and GPM often cost more than lower rated models, but are generally worth the extra few dollars owing to their superior performance.
To ease your buying decision, if you’re going to be tackling small jobs around your home, then a light-duty machine with 1300 to 1900 PSI at 2 GPM is an ideal choice. Some of the tasks you can take on with this range of lightweight and compact toolss include cleaning, grills, patio furniture, vehicles, small decks and patios.
If you’re looking for a washer for both home and shop use, then you’re going to have to step it up a couple notches with a medium-duty gas powered pressure washing machine. Medium-duty pressure machines generate between 2000 and 2800 PSI at 2 to 3 GPM, and are equipped with premium components that collectively provide increased power to clean things such as fences, exterior siding, driveways and walkways.
For a pressure washing tool for everyday commercial use, you should consider a model that offers 2800 PSI and higher at 3 to 4 GPM. These are suitable for dauting cleaning jobs such as paint stripping, graffiti removal, washing a two-story home and large scale cleaning jobs.
If you aren’t over the fence about what tasks you will be using the pressure washer for whether light or medium, then check out models that allow you to adjust the pressure and water flow as and when needed. Other types of washer tools worth mentioning are cold water pressure washers (great for cleaning cars, removing loose paint, dirt buildup, etc.) and hot water pressure washers (great for industrial and farm use.
Things to Consider
Whether you choose the best gas or the best electric pressure washer, the underlying functionality remains the same. When water enters the machine at low pressure, the integrated electric motor or gar engine pumps the water out through a hose and then a connected spray nozzle.
Speaking of which, the best small pressure washers and even big models come with either a set of interchangeable nozzles or an all-in-one variable spray wand. While the latter allows you to adjust the water pressure with a twist or two, nozzle sizes vary and include 0 degrees (most powerful), 15 degrees (for heavy duty cleaning), 25 degrees (general cleaning tasks) and 65 degrees (low pressure nozzle).
Most, if not all of the best pressure washers come with an assortment of accessories, so you can use the machine for your specific needs right out of the box rather than buying each accessory separately. Pressure washer accessories include power gun and lance, hose and hose reel, nozzles, and some even come with detergent.
Pressure washers for the most part are heavy machines, hence may be challenging to lift and carry places. This makes it important to buy the best price pressure washer that is fitted with a robust set of wheels for easy maneuverability.
Fact is that more than 6000 people end up in the emergency room each year with injuries related to pressure water use. The high pressure from pressure washers can actually tear through your skin, sometimes leaving you with irreparable damage.
Regardless of what machine or tool you use, first most important thing to learn is to use it the right way and without causing any injury to yourself and others around you. Apart from reading pressure washer safety tips, it is highly recommended that you read the manufacturer’s user guide on how to properly operate the machine.
Pressure Washer FAQ’s
Question 1 – Waterflow or pressure? Which is more important?
Both are equally important, and in fact work in sync with each other! For example, if you’re looking to clean stubborn dirt and stains, you will need both a high surge in pressure and high water flow to quickly wash the dirt away.
Question 2 – Should I buy a pressure washer?
Just because your neighbor owns a pressure washer, doesn’t mean that it will offer the same usability for your needs. However, if you’re going to be cleaning your RV, car, caravan or washing your patio, then you shouldn’t think twice about buying the best pressure washer for home use.
Question 3 – What detergent to use?
This completely depends on what your cleaning, as some tasks will require strong detergents while lighter tasks can be done with conventional household detergents. On that note, it is worth mentioning that most of the best commercial pressure water manufacturers do offer advice in the included user guide on what detergent works best with their appliances.
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