What is a pressure washer?

A pressure washer or a power washer contains a powerful hose that blasts powerful jets of water around 1500 to 3000 psi to the targeted surface to clean them or any grease, mold, paint or slime. Pressure washers are best to clean anything from a barbecue grill to lawn furniture and your lawn patios and drive ways.

Parts of a pressure washer:

Pressure water is consisted to 3 to 4 parts that are assembled in a simple way. Firstly, there is an electric motor that powers the water pump. The pump gets normal tap/ faucet water and accelerates it to high pressure. The water is then squirted from a hose at high speed through a trigger gun. The front part consists of a hose that can be connected to variable nozzles that you can attach or detach according to your cleaning needs.

The main parts inside a pressure washer are as following:

  1. Water inlet:

This is a water hose that is connected with the main supply of water. The other end of the hose is connected to the washer. The hose takes the water from the main supply and fills the hose from where the water is supplied further.

There is a filter inside this water inlet that prevents any sand particle or any other debris to fill the hose. This keeps the machine safe from clogging and damaging and also protects the surface you are washing from any damage.

  1. Electric motor / gas engine:

Small sized pressure washers work on an electric motor while the bigger models that are used for heavy duty work, run on gasoline engines. These engines are similar to the heavy duty engines in lawnmowers. Gas engines are best option to use when there is no electric supply nearby or where a long electric cable can be dangerous as the electricity can induce uncontrollable current in water.

  1. Water pump:

This is the main part of a pressure washer. It resembles a hand operated water pump, only it works on high speed operated by gas engine or electricity motor  instead of hands.

Firstly, the engine pushes the pump to one way, so that the pump sucks the water from the tap/faucet and then the engine pushes the pump the other way, which results in the water squirting out in a high-pressure jet.

As the process is continuous and fast, the water speeds through the pump at a high pressure in large amount. The pump is designed to handle 1-2 gallons of water flow per minute.

  1. High pressure hose:

This tube connects the washer with the water spraying nozzle which attaches at the end of this hose. This tube consists of many layers of high density plastic and is reinforced with wire mesh, as an ordinary tube will not be able to handle the flow of high speed water coursing through it, the high pressure tube is designed in this way to be able to work efficiently.

Mostly pressure washers come with their own hose, but if you have to purchase one separately, be sure to get the hose which has high pressure rating than the pump in the hose. As the safety margin on these high pressure hoses is around 300 pounds per square inches, if your pressure washer pump is rated to 2000 psi, its best to get a hose that can withstand pressure of 6000 psi.

  1. Cleaning attachment:

You can use a number of cleaning attachments and nozzles at the front of the hose. Different cleaning nozzles are used to clean different objects and surfaces. You can switch from a simple handheld trigger gun to a scrubbing brush according to the thing you are cleaning. Power washers are driven by the force of flowing water, but the engine accelerates the speed of the water resulting in a full blast of the water on any surface.

Some pressure washers come with additional features such as ground fault circuit breakers. These are also called residual current devices. These devices work to disconnect the power supply ifn case of a potential hazard as the electricity and water can be dangerous when mingled.

The working of a pressure washer:

The process of how a pressure washer functions is described below;

  1. One hose sucks the cold water from the faucet and filters it on its way to the main pipe. the other hose takes the detergent from a bottle or a container.
  2. The washer is powered by an electric motor or gasoline engine.
  3. A water pump that is being powered by the engine or the motor, draws in the water and detergent and mixes them together.
  4. The water is heated to a temperature of 50 to 70 degrees by most washers.
  5. The soapy hot water is squirted out of the pump through a high pressure, reinforced exit host and the nozzle at the end of the hose.
  6. The narrow opening of the nozzle increases the pressure of the water jet. The high-pressure jet cleans any surface very efficiently and decrease the water wastage to a minimum level.

How it actually cleans things?

Even though the pressure washer uses high pressure water to clean hard to clean surfaces and remove stains, grease, mold and slime off any thing, the real reason why it happens is behind the science here.

Water is the main ingredient here. The electrical polarity of water molecules makes it able to clean these things perfectly. The positive and negative charged ions stick to anything and the detergent breaks down the gunge and grease, helping water to do its work more easily, allowing it to flush away the grease after removing it easily. This process cleans any surface even without pressure washing.

the dirt and grease which will not clean out with normal washing, will be cleaned in a matter of minutes with the help of pressure washing. The fast traveling jet of water will act as a hammer making constant blows on the water surface and will result in removal of any hard grease and dirt from the targeted surface. As it is water, it wont harm most surfaces, yet you should test before performing pressure washing as it can vary for different surfaces.

Leave a Comment