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Are you placing a pressure washer hose order? There are a variety of details to remember, but some are more important than the rest. Do you use steam or seam injection in your pressure pump cleaning jobs? Look closely at the type of hose you are about to buy. If the words "not rated for steam" make a difference in your purchase, double check to make sure your high pressure hose selection is rated to handle steam or steam injection applications. Running steam through a high pressure hose not rated to handle the heat creates a hazard. The excessive heat can damage the hose until it begins to leak, putting you at risk for steam burns. You can also get a hot water burn from the same leak point.
High pressure hoses, water pumps and other pressure washer parts are all manufactured for specific purposes, with temperature and pressure ratings and other task-specific data. Never use a "cold water" high pressure hose for a steam application. That sort of product safety information is clearly spelled out on most product packaging or owner manuals, but what's not so obvious (at first) is the issue of using hot water. If you are new to pressure pumps and power washing, don't make the mistake of assuming you can use a hot water source with a pressure washer. If you read the fine print on any owner's manual, you will learn that doing so immediately voids your warranty. The only approved way to get hot water from a pressure pump is to purchase a pressure washer with hot water capability or to buy an approved heating system for the pressure washer. Be sure to ask the vendor if your system is compatible with hot water applications before investing.
Preventive maintenance for your pressure washer pump includes monitoring water levels. A pressure pump will run for around a half hour before it burns out completely once the tank goes empty. Check and tighten all pressure washer hoses, and keep an eye peeled for any leaks. A drip can cost you as much as 150 PSI. You should also inspect and change your check valves every 300-500 hours. There are six large bolts on the exterior of the pump. The check valves are inside the holes. Unscrew the bolts, the remove the old valves, and insert the replacements. Make sure that you have placed them evenly and then fasten the bolts by hand. Check to make sure that the O-ring on the bolt is secure, and then finish the job by tightening up using a wrench.
If you don't know the difference between saturated steam and superheated steam in a hot water pressure washer application, you may find yourself in need of some new high pressure hoses. If you use a Karcher high pressure hose, for example, at the recommended PSI and water temperature, under some conditions you may encounter a sudden decrease in pressure. That decrease allows the steam to become superheated. Superheated steam can degrade or compromise a high pressure hose, resulting in what's commonly called "hose failure." That means a hole in your hose, or worse. To avoid creating superheated steam in your high pressure hoses, avoid opening valves on your pressure washer suddenly. Gradually opening the valves will maintain the pressure and keep the steam in a saturated state.
Have you considered maintenance and repairs while shopping around for a pressure washer to suit your needs? Though the focus during pressure washer selection is often on the product itself, making sure your unit continues to operate in good shape is important too. Check with your supplier to see if the company can obtain replacement parts for your unit should you ever need them. Expect to be able to get your unit repaired in a time frame suitable to your needs. Also make sure maintenance costs are reasonable based on the costs of purchasing rebuild kits like valves and unloaders because they can add up.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|