Tackle the toughest cleaning jobs with a pressure washer!
A pressure washer is far more than a glorified hose. In fact, a pressure washer is a versatile tool that enables you to tackle numerous cleaning tasks quickly and easily. There are three key factors to consider when purchasing a pressure washer: pressure (PSI – pounds per square inch), waterflow (GPM – gallons per minute) and work (HP – horsepower).
Pressure/PSI is especially important when considering applications. Light duty (1000-1900 PSI) is good for cleaning vehicles, boats, bricks, fences and decks. Medium duty (2000-2900 PSI) is ideal for cleaning your house, larger vehicles including airplanes and fleet trucks, pools, sidewalks, driveways, roofs, exhaust vents and garages. Heavy duty (3000-5000 PSI) is best for stripping paint, heavy grease stains, concrete restoration and clogged pipes.
Waterflow helps determine time of cleaning—the higher the GPM, the less time it will take for the dirt to be removed from the surface. The lower the GPM, the longer it will take for the same job.
Work facilitates the pressure and waterflow respectively. In general, the more horsepower an engine has, the better it can facilitate higher pressure and waterflow. More power translates into finishing the job quicker as well as a longer life expectancy of the unit.
Now that you’ve determined the types of jobs you’ll be performing, it’s time to go pressure washer shopping! Next stop—Harbor Freight Tools!
2500 PSI, 2.4 GPM, 4 HP (160cc) Pressure Washer EPA/CARB
This gas-powered pressure washer is designed for tough jobs with up to 2500 PSI, 2.4 GPM and 4 HP of cleaning power. Two heavy-duty pneumatic tires make transport and positioning easy while a long-reach (25 ft.) high pressure hose allows you to clean wide areas. Additional features include an EPA/CARB certified 160cc Predator engine with low oil sensor and recoil start for optimal performance, commercial grade axial pump, five quick-connect tips and chemical/detergent injector on the pump.
3100 PSI, 2.8 GPM, 6.5 HP (212cc) Pressure Washer CARB
When you want even more power, this pressure washer is the ticket! It generates up to 3100 PSI, 2.8 GPM and 6.5 HP. The pressure washer also features two heavy-duty pneumatic tires, 25-ft. pressure hose, commercial grade axial pump, five quick-connect tips, chemical/detergent injector on the pump—and CARB-certified 212cc Predator engine with low oil sensor and recoil start.
1750 PSI 1.3 Electric Pressure Washer
For lighter duty jobs like power-cleaning walls, yard equipment and vehicles, this electric pressure washer delivers up to 1750 PSI. Lightweight and portable, this pressure washer features 4-in. diameter wheels and a 20 ft. pressure hose. When the trigger is released, the flow stops automatically to prolong motor life.
Here a few tips when using a pressure washer:
Wear appropriate safety attire. That means safety googles and protective footwear like rubber boots—might as well make them waterproof. Long pants and a long-sleeved shirt are also advised for protecting your limbs from flying dirt and debris.
Protect plants and breakable objects. It’s easy for items to get damaged if accidentally hit with a high-pressure stream of water. Simply move or cover items to protect them.
Prep the pressure washer for use. Sounds basic but it will save you a lot of hassle! If it’s a gas-powered pressure washer, fill it with the appropriate engine oil and gasoline—do not fill it while it’s on! If it’s a plug-in washer, plug it in to a properly grounded outlet.
Connect the water supply hose (e.g. garden hose) to the inlet. Turn on the water supply before turning on the pressure washer to avoid damaging the pump.
Fill the reservoir with a detergent solution if you want extra cleaning power. Make sure the solution is compatible for use with a pressure washer.
Attach the proper spray tip to the nozzle. Certain tips may be required when using detergent. Be sure to read the user manual carefully.
Position the spray tip at least 2 feet from the surface. When starting to pressure wash, it’s better to start further back and gradually move closer. You may risk damaging the surface if you hold the tip closer than 12 inches.
Move the spray in a side-to-side motion. Don’t spray too long in any one spot.
Apply detergent starting low and moving upwards. Allow the detergent to soak for at least three minutes before rinsing. Don’t let it dry—rinse the surface by spraying water from the top down.
Flush the system if using detergent. When the job is completed, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for flushing the system.
Once you start using a pressure, you’ll truly wonder how you ever got along without one. To view the pressure washers featured above, visit your local Harbor Freight Tools store.