How to Use a Power Washer

Wielding a power washing gun can be oddly fun and satisfying as you wash away layers of grit and grime from siding, concrete walkways, retaining walls and more. However, if you do it wrong, you can actually do some damage. Here are some tips on how to correctly use a power washer.

Knowing the Difference

First off, there are two kinds of pressure washers: electric and gas. Both operate a pump that works to pressurize the water from your garden hose to at least 1,000 pounds, then forces it out through a spray wand, says the Family Handyman. The more you turn up the pressure, the easier it gets to wash off even the most stubborn stains. For most residential uses, a pressure range of between 1,300 and 2,400 psi is best for electric models and about 3000 psi for gas. Electric versions tend to be quieter and lighter than their gas counterparts. Gas-powered washers require more water to hit the higher psi, and therefore are best for getting deep-set stains out of wood decks or prepping siding for paint.

Firing it Up

Electric washers are fairly simple to start, but gas-powered versions take a few steps. First, clean out any debris from the inlet filter, then hook on any accessories you’ll need such as the chemical injector. Get any air out of the system by letting the water run through for about 60 seconds, then squeeze the trigger to get the water pressure stabilized. Yank on the starter cord to start up the engine.

Turn on Water

Make sure the wand is on low pressure so you don’t get kickback when you turn on the water. Turn on the water faucet and prime the pump, then start up the machine. Give it a minute or two to warm up. Make any necessary adjustments to the pressure and spray and insert the nozzle tip into the wand. You’re ready!

Quick Tips

Follow these tips when pressure washing:

  • Always wear safety goggles
  • Don’t operate the washer from a ladder
  • Rinse the area first with plain water, then use the soap
  • Don’t point the nozzle at people or pets
  • Stay at least six feet away when spraying near power lines and outlets
  • Use the safety lock on the trigger when not in use.

Hiring a Professional

How do you know which power washing companies are the best? You have to do some research. Find out how long they have been in business and ask if they are licensed and insured. Ask what equipment they have and what training their employees have undergone. Get prices and compare them with area companies. Remember, the cheapest prices aren’t always the best. You get what you pay for!

Call Clearview Washing for reputable, courteous and friendly service you can count on. We’ve been in this business for 12 years, so you know you can rely on us to get the job done right.