May 21st, 2020 by
As with any power tool or gadget, the key to getting the best performance and maximum life span from a pressure washer is good maintenance. Just a few simple procedures, before, during, and after using it each time will keep your pressure washer in great condition.
Here is a quick guide to keeping your pressure washer in tip top shape:
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Prior to Use
Before you start using your pressure washer each time, do a visual check over the machine to see whether there is any damage. In particular, assess the following areas:
Remember that water is pumped at high pressure through the machine so any leak in the hose, even a pin prick hole, could produce a high power jet of water in an expected direction that could potentially be very dangerous. Carefully extend the hose and look for any signs of damage. If you do spot anything, don’t try and repair it yourself – a bit of electrical tape wrapped around won’t cut it! Replacement hoses are available for most models.
Check the inlet filter for signs of dirt and debris. This is located where the cold water hose is attached to the machine. Remove the hose and pull the filter out with some long nosed pliers. If it is dirty, you can then clean the filter with water and an old toothbrush. Once clean, replace the inlet filter and hose.
The pressure nozzle can potentially become blocked with dirt. If you use it while blocked, not only will it not work as well as it should but it could overwork the engine and pump. Check this by disconnecting it and flushing through with water from the tap. This may dislodge any dirt in itself but if water flow is not constant, you will need to unblock it. Many models come with a nozzle cleaner but you could also use a paperclip or needle. Always try to remove the blockage in the direction it entered the nozzle.
Check for any damage to the o rings as these can cause leaks. Even if you can’t see any obvious signs of disrepair, keep an eye on the connections once you start using the machine as you may be able to spot leaks then.
Make sure all connections are secure including hose, nozzle, lance and any accessories, otherwise they could leak or even disconnect.
Use sufficient water
Always make sure your pressure water has access to an adequate amount of water. If running from mains water, you don’t have to worry but if using a static source such as a water butt or tank, ensure there is an appropriate supply as insufficient water will cause pressure to increase which may overwork the machine. If using a static source, make sure water is clean.
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Once you have used your pressure washer, disconnect it from the water supply and the mains electricity and allow it to cool. You can then give it a wipe over. Don’t wash with a hose as this could allow water to enter the machine in places it shouldn’t, which can cause damage.
Clean the detergent intake
If using a detergent with the pressure washer, ensure that the intake on the detergent bottle or tank is clear as this can clog up with soap residue over time.
Drain excess water
Water left inside can stagnate and produce bacteria so make sure all water is drained from the machine before putting it away.
Remember that a pressure washer is a power tool and although very safe, can potentially cause harm if not used correctly. If using an electric pressure washer, make sure it is not connected to any power while doing any of the pre or post use checks. Uncoil any extension lead fully before use and use an RCD (residual current device) to reduce the risk of electrocution. Never touch the mains plug or socket with wet hands.
If using a petrol pressure washer, make sure any fuel is stored and handled safely.
Enjoy your pressure washer for a long time
Taking these steps to maintain your pressure washer in this way will really pay dividends in terms of both performance and lifetime, allowing you to keep cleaning for a long time!
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