Pressure washers are such a helpful tool for homeowners. They can be used to clean surfaces, strip paint, clean large appliances, and even restore metal or stone features.
How to use a pressure washer and avoid damage
- First, you will want to either use a pressure washer you rented or get your own pressure washer ready to use. For those renting a pressure washer, you want an electric pressure washer for small jobs like cleaning a grill, a small painted area, or a large appliance. You will want a gas pressure washer for larger jobs like cleaning a long driveway or your home’s siding.
- The next step, and one of the most important steps, is to prep your area. If you have plants, furniture, cars, toys, children, or animals around, make sure to remove them. Anything you can’t remove should be covered or protected. Then you will want to note any external electrical outlets, windows, vents, or other areas that are off-limits with the pressure washer. Lastly, sweep away anything on the area you’ll be pressure washing that could turn into a projectile. This includes small rocks, toys, and debris.
- Then, once the area is ready, select the right nozzle for the appropriate job. Each nozzle is created for a specific type of job and will only allow a certain degree of spray. For example, if you are trying to remove oil from a driveway, you might want a 0-degree spray which will be a more direct spray. If you are spraying near a window, you may prefer a 40-degree or 65-degree spray instead. A wider spray helps you clean faster, but a tighter spray cleans more deeply.
- Now it’s time to attach the garden hose. Ensure your hose is connected to your home’s water supply and that all connections are tight.
- Turn on the water supply and start on the lowest setting. Slowly increase pressure if you need it. When you increase pressure, you may feel some kickback, so be sure to have a firm hold on the machine.
Top 10 tips for how to use a pressure washer for the first time
- Make sure there are no people or animals (even wildlife) around you when your pressure washing. The pressure washer can cut through skin, slice toes off, and kill small animals or children.
- Make sure there are no plants around that you would like to keep because the pressure washer will likely kill them.
- Before connecting your garden hose, ensure your home’s water source has enough pressure. If it doesn’t, it could cause damage. To test the pressure, fill a 5-gallon bucket with water. If it takes less than two minutes to fill the bucket, you’re probably good to go. If it takes longer, you may need repairs before starting to pressure wash.
- Don’t pressure wash windows. Depending on the windows, they might break under high amounts of pressure.
- Keep the pressure washer on a flat surface.
- Never pressure wash any electrical panels, powerlines, or air conditioners. All of these systems have complex electrical components that any amount of water or pressure can ruin.
- Do not strip lead paint with a pressure washer. The lead within the paint could enter the air and be inhaled by people in the surrounding environment.
- When pressure washing anything with a finish or paint, like the siding on your home, stand at least 4 feet away, so you don’t cause damage.
- Always use personal protective equipment like boots and safety goggles.
- Do not use a gas power washer in tight or enclosed spaces because of the gas fumes it emits.
If you are looking to purchase and use a pressure washer stop by and talk to the experts at Chenango Supply in Punta Gorda. When you go to the big box stores you can buy machines in all price ranges. There are many items to consider before buying on. The project you will be completing. You’ll want to compare power and flow. For instance you could get a powerful water pressure but it might only have a fan spray of half an inch! We can match you with the best pressure washer and teach you how use a pressure washer as well!