So you just got a new pressure washer and want to start pressure washing everything and anything you can, or maybe you’re looking for a pressure and want to find out what you can use it for and what you can’t use it for, or how. First you need to learn what’s safe to pressure wash, when, and how. If you use too much pressure you might end up destroying whatever you’re washing. If you don’t take care of your pressure washer, you might end up wearing it out or losing water pressure. These tips will help you make sure you make the most of your pressure water without causing any damage to your washer or your property.

DO use different nozzles for each job

Most consumer grade pressure washers have power between 1,300 and 3,000 PSI. You can change the amount of pressure your washer uses by using different nozzles. Some nozzles and handles offer on the fly adjustment based on your needs, but other nozzles offer a standard pressure. You’ll want to use nozzles with low pressure for cleaning things like windows, blinds, shutters, vinyl, or paint that may be chipping. Stronger nozzles would be great for working with trucks, vehicles, and equipment that have caked on mould, rust, dirt, and scum, while weaker nozzles would be better for things like windows, furniture, decks, and houses. Some nozzles even offer bonuses, such as the ability to use soap or other chemical products in the same stream. While holding the nozzle closer to whatever you’re washing seems like an easy way to increase pressure, this is inadvisable. Always try to find out what the best nozzle is for your job before using your pressure washer, and begin with the widest available nozzle. Do not try to increase the pressure by closing your distance or modifying your hose or nozzle yourself.

DO NOT wash your windows with the screens in

Pressure washers can shred window screens, even at low pressures. Tears that already exist in your window screen might be made worse, or you may create new tears. Remove the screens from your windows before using your pressure washer to clean your windows. They may be screwed in, locked in, or held in by pins. Additionally, when washing windows, use the least possible pressure necessary because you always risk breaking the seal of your window or the windows themselves.

DO practice proper safety procedures

Always familiarise yourself with your hardware. Read your manual, and if you do not have your manual you may be able to find it online through an archive or the manufacturer’s website. Pressure washers are not toys and can cause serious injury. Never leave your nozzle unattended while the pressure washer is running. Always wear protective eye gear when using your pressure washer. Never shoot your pressure washer at someone. If someone has been hurt by the stream of a pressure washer, they should seek immediate medical attention as pressure washer injuries that appear minor may worsen. Do not use a pressure washer indoors. Test your pressure washer over a small area before moving onto the rest of the surface that you’re working with. Check to make sure that there are no clogs in your line.

DO NOT improperly store your pressure washer

Storage methods vary by washer, check your manual to know for sure how to store yours according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Always cycle your pressure washer to make sure that it’s empty of water. When your pressure washer is empty of water, release all excess pressure by holding down the spray trigger away from any person or object.If you use a petrol pressure washer, then do not store it with petrol for too long between uses, or use stabiliser. Flush it of detergent if you used any during the previous cleaning. Always make sure your line, filters, and nozzle are clean and unclogged after use. If you fail to follow these steps, you may damage your washer or have to perform additional maintenance the next time that you use it. By failing to empty the water tank, you risk water evaporating and leaving hard deposits, or causing metal in the pressure washer to become rusted. When storing your pressure washer for 30 days you should winterise it by running antifreeze through the waterline, until it’s empty. If you have a hot water power washer, run a mixture of antifreeze and water through the washer while it’s on, until the water turns the colour of antifreeze. Turn off the engine, and then drain of any remaining fuel.

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