No doubt about it, the humble hose is key to your pressure-washing operation. If you have a worn or defective hose, you will have trouble taking care of business. You can save yourself a lot of grief by selecting the right hose, knowing the limitations of your washer, and taking the time to maintain it. Just follow these common-sense guidleines.
* Select a hose that operates within the temperature range of your pressure washer. If a hose runs with water that is too hot, the hose core can become brittle and crack.
* The same holds true for the external walls. A hose should never be dragged over a hot surface or allowed to lay on a surface that is above its temperature rating.
* If cleaning by chemical injection, use a chemical-resistant hose.
* Choose an appropriate length of hose and allow for "pulse shortening" or sufficient slack to accommodate the change in hose length when operating at full pressure.
* If coupling more then one hose, consider spring guards to protect the hose from bursting where coupling and flexing can weaken the hose.
* Follow manufacturer's specifications on hose selection, and never substitute a hose that is intended for another purpose.
* Make a visual inspection of the hose, checking the whole length for abrasions, cuts and damage that could be caused by improper storage, chemical deterioration or extreme temperature exposures. Pay close attention to coupled joints or damage from kinks.
* If the inspection reveals any damage, replacing the hose is the surest way to avoid potential failure and injury. Destroy worn out or damaged hoses so they won't be used by mistake.
* Drain hoses after each use and flush hoses that have been used for chemical cleaning thoroughly.
* Wind hoses carefully and loosely. Careless or tight winding of hoses can cause kinks or flat spots.
* Leave nails, pegs and hooks for tasks other than hanging your hose. Always store your hose on a reel to avoid cuts or flat spots.
* Avoid storing your hoses in temperatures below freezing. To avoid possible cracking or bursting, always let a cold hose warm up before using it.
Pressure washers are designed to run at specific pressures. Use a hose that has a rating above the maximum operating pressure of the washer. Never override the safety controls on a pressure washer. Overriding the flow, temperature, vacuum or pressure switches can create a hazardous situation. Following manufacturer's guidelines and paying close attention to proper storage and maintenance will let you start your next pressure washing task without fear of getting "hosed."
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