A good pressure washer can be a fantastic tool, so long as you know how to use it correctly. That’s why we at TEH are so avid about electric pressure washers If you’ve never owned a pressure washer, you might want to take a minute to learn how to properly set up and machine and how to use it in the most effective manner. Below are the steps that you should follow the ensure that you get the most out of your pressure washer and the most out of your cleaning experience.
Prepare the Area
One of the most important steps you’ll take when using a pressure washer is to clear out the area that you want to clean. If you’ve never used a pressure washer before, you might not understand exactly how strong a stream of water it can put out. You don’t just want to move the things you think might break if they get knocked over – move anything that you don’t want to be exposed to a stream of high-pressure water.
Prepare the Gun and Nozzle
Your next step is to prepare the spray attachment, often referred to as a gun or spray gun, to the washer. If the spray gun is not already permanently attached to the unit, you should be able to do this by simply screwing it on to an attached hose. You absolutely want to make sure that it attached tightly, so put some muscle into the attachment. Once you’ve got it attached, you can move on to dealing with the nozzle.
Most pressure washers have a number of different spray attachments. Though there are certainly some very interesting attachments out there, the vast majority of spray attachments are going to vary by the width of the stream they allow through. A standard, straight attachment is generally going to be the one that provides the most pressure, while those with spray patterns above thirty-five degrees are going to be a bit safer to use with glass or delicate siding.
It’s generally a good idea to think about the job you want to do before you choose a nozzle attachment. The tougher the stain or the material, the smaller the spray pattern you want. Note that there are also pressure washer attachments that are meant to work with soap solutions or to provide a mist, so check those out if your main goal is a gentle clean.
Attach the Hose and Start the Unit
Your next step is also fairly simple, though every unit does work a bit differently. You’ll need access to a water hose in order to provide the water for your pressure washer – it’s rare to see any type of unit that has a mobile water supply. Run a standard water hose from your outdoor spigot to the unit, making sure to attach it tightly so that water is fed directly into the device.
It’s usually a good idea to let the water run for about a minute before you move on. This will help to push air out of the machine and stop it from making the burps and short bursts that can mess up your cleaning patterns.
Once you’ve let the machine run for about a minute, it’s time to turn on your pressure washer. This process is really going to vary depending on the type of pressure washer you use. If you’re using an electric washer, for example, this might be as easy as pressing a button or flipping a switch. If you are using a gas model, though, you will almost certainly need to start it like a lawnmower. Try to let the machine run for a few minutes before you start working.
Test Out the Sprayer
While you can technically get started cleaning right away, this isn’t a good idea for those who have never used a pressure washer before or who have never used that particular unit in the past. You’re going to want to take a moment to test out the washer on a small, out of the way area to make sure that you’re getting the water pressure you need and that you understand the impact that it’s going to have on the material that you are trying to clean.
It’s usually a good idea to try to test the device on something that’s not going to matter too much. If you’re just trying to get a feel for the pressure or see how the unit works, spray it on your driveway for a moment. If you’re wondering how it will react with a specific material, give that material a quick spray low to the ground or out of sight. Once you’ve tested it, you can make adjustments and start cleaning.
Clean in a Controlled Manner
Finally, you’re going to start cleaning. Most people recommend standing about four to six inches back from the surface that you’d like to clean, but going a little farther away isn’t going to hurt if your pressure is high enough. You always want to start your job from the top and work your way down – this will give you a better ability to see what needs to be cleaned and should help you to avoid tiring yourself out as you work through the project.
It’s always a good idea to go slow and steady through your project. If you’re really looking to go fast, though, make sure to use a wider spray nozzle. This won’t clean as thoroughly as a narrow spray, but it will allow you to move a bit more quickly while still ensuring that you won’t miss a spot as you’re cleaning. Still, patience is a virtue when using a pressure washer.
Using a pressure washer isn’t that tough, so long as you know the basics. Make sure to follow each step in order and don’t try to rush through set-up. If you’re able to pick out the right nozzle attachment and stay patient while cleaning, your pressure washer will help you to deal with bigger jobs than you might imagine.