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Figuring out whether to choose a commercial or home use pressure washer is not very difficult, you just need to take a few things into consideratiom.
If you are planning to use your power washer less than 100 hours per year, you probably can use a household electric pressure washer.
If your need require use of the power washing equipment for more than 100 hours per year, you will need to go for a commercial or industrial power washer, usually starting at 2000 PSI and 3GPM and up, as they are designed to sustain intensive use.
Ask your power washer supplier to recommend a top quality unit that will last over time and give you a good return on your investment.
When it comes to pressure washer selection, quality matters if you want a unit that will be durable. Look for the following to make sure that you're getting a quality product:
• Valves should come in one piece rather than multiple parts. A one-piece valve is easier to replace and more economical.
• A ceramic or stainless steel plunger with ceramic coating ensures the long life of the part.
• Pump heads should be brass to avoid a reaction to water like aluminum heads would. Any moving parts within a pump should be stainless steel for durability reasons.
• Select a continuous duty motor with a service factor of at least 1.0.
Another factor to consider when choosing your power washer equipment is whether you should use an electric pressure washer or a gas pressure washer.
Electric pressure washers are popular for most household applications and for indoor use. They are easy to operate and lightweight.
A gas pressure washer or a diesel and oil powered system produce more horsepower and have added mobility, as they are not restricted to an electric power supply. Most industrial and commercial applications require a high powered pressure washer, like a gas pressure washer.
Choosing a pressure washer can seem confusing at first but it is not that complicated if you take into consideration the basic elements. You need to determine how powerful the power washing equipment needs to be for your particular use.
First consider the two main factors: water pressure and flow.
* Water pressure is measured in PSI (pounds per square inch)
* Water flow is measured in GPM (gallons per minute).
Pressure determines how much force is applied on the surface to break the bond of the dirt or grime and flow determines how much water runs through the system and affects how fast the job can be done.
A reliable supplier can help you with your pressure washer selection by providing you with the usage guides and comparisons in relation to water flow and pressure.
Sometimes you need more power than 'residential' style pressure washers and pressure washer pumps. You want real power in water pumps and longer washing times than the residential models can offer. This is where the heavy duty model pressure washers come in. They offer water pumps with between 2,400 - 3,000 PSI, and other heavy duty features. Those features can include between a 5 HP and 8 HP overhead valve or overhead valve industrial engine. These pressure washers are good for businesses as well as home use. They are great for prep work on surfaces that need a repaint or recoat. It's a very good idea to give such surfaces a good blast of water--make those water pumps work for you! Once the surface is clean, you can recoat knowing that the job will "take" properly the first time around.
For most household jobs, a cold water pressure washer will be sufficient and do a quick and effective cleaning.
For more specific applications, it is important to determine if the job requires higher temperatures to break down the substance to be removed.
Remember, a cold water power washer should not be operated with hot water!
If you need hot water, a hot water pressure washer generates its own hot water and controls the temperature to retain an even level throughout the pressure washing procedure. Oil, grease and fuel cannot be removed with cold water. Hot water pressure washers are heavier because they include additional features such as a burner, thermostat, enclosed motors, electronic ignitions, etc.
Sprayers should play a part in your decision making when choosing a power washer. For instance, airless sprayer models come in several varieties that feature variable psi settings and gpm's depending on the pumps capacity. Both 115VAC or 12VDC models are available. With an airless sprayer you'll be able to handle thicker bodied stains, coatings and strippers. Because you don't have to lug pressure washer a tank around with you everywhere, operating an airless sprayer is a lot less tiring.
Just as important as choosing the right power washer for the job is selecting the appropriate pressure washer attachments.
There is a wide variety of attachments that greatly enhance the efficacy and ease of use for your particular application. There are wand extensions, angle nozzles, spray nozzles, and a wide selection of other time saving accessories.
Using the right attachments will not only make the job easier but it will have an impact on the quality of the finished result and avoid damage to the surfaces you are cleaning.
Another important choice that you will make for your pressure washer is the selection of the right cleaners. Make sure you use an approved pressure washing chemical to avoid damage and prologue the life of your equipment.
Pressure washers come in a few basic sizes and configurations. One of the main differences between them is the output of the pressure washer pump. Many residential pressure washer pumps will feature a high pressure pump with a thermal "relief valve" and can output between 1500 and 2400 PSI. Residential pressure washer pumps are installed in these pressure washers to help blast dirt off a variety of 'home-use' surfaces including lawn furniture, cars, boats and trucks.
There are guides for the kinds of pressure you'll need from water pumps on pressure washers and pressure washer pumps--the right job needs the right kind of water pressure! For car washing, the average is about 700 pounds per square inch (PSI) to 1000 PSI. Cleaning dirt off of decks and siding is a bit tougher, requiring between a thousand PSI and 1500 PSI. To properly clean heavy equipment, try a pressure setting of two to three thousand PSI. If you aren't sure about the settings, consult your owner's manual to see how to properly use pressure washers and how to get the most from water pumps in terms of the task at hand.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|