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Pressure washers

Pressure washersAnother name for a pressure washer would be a water blaster. A pressure washer literally blasts water at a high pressure to remove dirt or other matter off surfaces.

Pressure washers can be used for anything from cleaning your car, to cleaning your patio, to removing dirt and paint from ironwork as preparation for re-painting.

With so many varying models, which can either be petrol pressure washers or electric pressure washers, choosing the right one for your needs is important.



Things to think about before you decide on your pressure washer

The main consideration of your pressure washer choice will be what you are going to use it for.

The two main uses of pressure washers are cleaning (everything from patios to cars to garden tools to driveways) and paint preparation (assisting in removing old paint from iron and wood work).

What you will use your pressure washer for will drive:

  • What specification you look for (refer to the listing below for an indication of what specification is required to carry out different jobs).
  • How portable you need your pressure washer to be. While most models do come with built in handles, high specification models can get heavy. Look for those pressure washer with wheels.
  • How flexible you need your pressure washer to be. If you are going to use your pressure washer for a variety of uses, being able to adjust the pressure will allow you to get more out of your pressure washer. Look for those machines which allow you to do this.
  • What accessories you will need. Different accessories come with different pressure washers.

Which is the right pressure washer for me?

Which is the right pressure washer for me?The pressure delivered from a pressure washer can be very powerful. It is important to consider what you are going to use your pressure washer for, as the very high-powered pressure washer may cause damage to items if they are not suited to that use. Having said this though, many models let you change or set the intensity of pressure used. And higher pressure will mean you get the job done quicker.

Below is a guide of the right water pressure required to undertake which jobs.

LIGHT DUTY (100 bar)

  • Garden furniture – including barbecues and outdoor toys
  • Garden tools
  • Motorbikes
  • Bicycles
  • Rubbish bins

LIGHT TO MEDIUM DUTY (100-110 bar)

  • Guttering
  • Cars and lorries
  • Boats
  • Lawnmowers
  • Wooden fences
  • Spa pools and hot tubs

MEDIUM TO HEAVY DUTY (110-130 bar)

  • Brickwork
  • Decking
  • Patios
  • Concrete driveways
  • Farm equipment

Jargon Buster

Bar: This Is a measure of pressure.

Bar - maximum pressure: This is the maximum amount of water pressure you will get from your pressure washer. However, this pressure is usually only achieved when the machine is first turned on – it is not possible to maintain this pressure consistently.

Bar-rated pressure:  This is the average water pressure of the machine.  This is a more accurate measure of the pressure, as the maximum cannot be sustained.

Motor size: Motor size is measured in watts, and is indicative of how powerful the machine is. The bigger the watts, the more power the model has.

Safety relief valve: A feature that releases system pressure safely should pressure ever build up to dangerous levels.

Water delivery / flow rate: The amount of water that is delivered over an hour period.

Universal Motor: This is a brush type motor that is light enough to allow easy movement whilst still retaining high bar pressure.

Induction Motor: This is a piston motor that is quieter than a universal one, and allows a higher pressure rating as well as being more economical with the water used.

Now you have decided on which pressure washer

  • When using your pressure washer for cleaning, there are specially formulated detergents that can be used, depending on what job you are carrying out. For example, if you are cleaning your car, use the detergent with wax for extra shine.
  • Given the pressure of the water coming from the pressure washer, safety is important. Wear protective goggles and shoes – matter may bounce into eyes and spray will hurt if it hits your feet. For the same reason never point the spray at anyone. As with any electrical equipment, take care when near water.
  • Always fully read the manufacturer’s instructions before using your pressure washer.