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easy question about power washer

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  • easy question about power washer

    I'm considering a power washer for home use. Those I am considering have 2600 to 3000 psi. My question is, can you adjust the psi? I would think the pressure to wash my fence would take the paint off my car if I washed it. Sorry if it's a dumb question but I really don't know.

  • #2
    Re: easy question about power washer

    I can't speak to the newer washers and whether or not they have a pressure adjustment. But, I have a four-year old Husky "upright" that has a non-adjustable pressure rating of 1750 psi. I bought that to clean my old deck. It did a good job of removing the grime and growth. Only you don't want to get the nozzle too close (and I guess that's how you adjust the pressure hitting whatever surface), as at even that pressure it will tear up the wood pretty bad. Even with care there was a lot of "feathering" and I had to sand the deck and rails afterward.

    I used it on the vinyl siding with fair to good results, but there were marks that the washer couldn't remove and for that I cleaned them by hand.

    It seemed to do a good job on cement and masonry, and I could see where greater pressure could be used there. I think by today's standards, 1750 is probably fairly on the low end.

    But, I wouldn't use even my washer on a vehicle... at least not one that I cared about. For cars, I think there is nothing better than than a good soaking and maybe a little pressure from the lawn hose. Then a good clean wrag/manual wash. I won't even use a sponge, as they are too likely to pick up some grit and unlike with a wrag, the grit can be imbedded in the sponge.

    I think too many of us live with the idea that "power" is the "end-all, be-all" to most tools. Perhaps for some mansonry and other such hardened surfaced a 2600 to 3000 PSI washer may be just the thing. But I can't imagine what it would do to a wood deck, or dirty, grit surfaced paint job. I just don't think such high pressure isn't needed there. So, if that is all there is, then you either spray from some distance or hopefully it is adjustable.



    • #3
      Re: easy question about power washer

      I really do not know if mine is adjustable or not, (my guess is it is in some form) but the easiest thing to do is adjust the distance, even with a 0 degree nozzle the power demishing very fast, and if you want less hitting power, use a different fan of or degree of nozzle, one with a few degrees of spread has much less hitting force than a 0 degree (IMO),

      for the most part I have wished for more psi, many a time but less only a hand full of times in 20 years of using pressure washers, washing anything from grease encrusted machinery and tractors to washing buildings for painting, and concrete floors,

      the rotary 0 degree nozzles seem to really help on stubborn things,
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
      attributed to Samuel Johnson
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      • #4
        Re: easy question about power washer

        I've also found that using various tips with wider/narrower dispersions allows you to regulate the psi. But I had too many tips to keep up with, and I lost a lot of them. My solution was to buy one of those little turrets that contains several tips. You snap the turret onto the bottom of your wand, and then just dial in the tip you need. That allows me to quickly move from wood siding to concrete to patio furniture.



        • #5
          Re: easy question about power washer

          You can adjust the unloader on most pumps, but it's not a good idea to unless you have a good gauge and know what you're doing. You can vary outlet pressure by stepping up the orifice size of the nozzles. On the typical homeowner pressure washer (around 2700 @ 2.5) a 25 degree (green) tip with a #35 orifice delivers somewhere just south of 2000 PSI at the nozzle. Step up to a #42 or 45 green and you'll drop the pressure to the sub-1500 range, still at 25 degrees.
          "HONK if you've never seen a gun fired from a moving Harley"