Frequently Asked Questions
We always offer training and advice with any item of equipment purchased from ourselves, but just in case you forget - here are a few of the main points and more commonly asked questions.
Dos & Don'ts
Cold Pressure Washers
Hot Pressure Washers
Chemicals & Detergents
- Unloader Valve
- Pressure or Flow
- Industrial Vacuums
How Much Water Does the Pressure Washer Need?
This depends on the model, for example, Karcher's pressure washers typically have a flow rate between 1.25 and 2.5 gallons per minute.
Does cleaning quicker save water?
Electric pressure washers are equipped with an electrically powered pump which raises the water pressure by up to 40X. With this pressure, water is conveyed through the high-pressure hose to a lance, where it ejects as a sharp, concentrated jet from a nozzle, creating a robust cleaning power. If the spray isn't activated, the pump switches off automatically. Using a pressure washer allows you to carry out cleaning tasks faster than conventional methods while using less water.
Can Pressure Washers Be Used to Clean Cars?
A simple spray of your vehicle with a pressure washer will remove coarse dirt. We would recommend using a cleaning agent at a low pressure for a more thorough clean. You can also use a wash brush to distribute the cleaning agent more effectively and remove stubborn debris.
What is a Backflow Preventer?
A backflow preventer stops detergent from getting into your water system.
What should I do if my pressure washer isn't building up pressure?
Follow these simple steps to fix this issue -
• Connect the machine to a water supply and turn on the tap
• Remove the filter from the water inlet and have it cleaned
• Turn on the pressure washer on without the steel pipe and allow it to run until there is no air coming from the spray gun
• Check the accessories you are using are correct
• If the pressure and suction valves have started to leak and there is water coming out of the casing, or if the machine is throbbing please get in touch with Britclean and we can arrange an appointment with you to assess the problems.
• If the pressure washers valve is stuck, we would also recommend getting in touch and we can advise the next course of action
What Should I Do if the Machine Sputters or Goes off?
Firstly clean the nozzle insert then check you are using the correct nozzle and if there is enough water coming out.
What Should I do about a clogged nozzle?
Clear it immediately as having a clogged nozzle will make the pressure build up in the pump which can quickly damage it.
How should I transport my pressure washer?
First make sure your fuel shut-off valve is in the off position which prevents fuel from spilling out. Ensure your pressure washer is secure and not tipping everywhere and make sure other things will not fall on it during the journey.
How far from the surface should I hold the nozzle of the pressure washer?
If you are cleaning a more delicate surface (such as a house) you will want to hold the nozzle roughly 3-5 feet from the surface of the house. For more abrasive and hard materials you will want to hold the nozzle around 6 inches from the surface. The further you are away from the surface the lower the impact pressure will be on it.
How do I clean clogged nozzles?
Here is our five step guide to cleaning clogged nozzles -
1. Disconnect your spray wand from the gun before cleaning the nozzles
2. Clear the nozzle with a small rigid piece of wire (perhaps a paper clip)
3. Flush the nozzle backwards using water
4. Reconnect the wand to the gun
5. Finally, restart the pressure washer and depress the trigger on the spray gun
If your nozzle is partially or completely plugged, we recommend repeating steps 1-4.
What detergent should I use?
Depending on the use of the pressure washer there are different detergents to help with your cleaning tasks. There are specialist detergents for car cleaning plus ones especially for patio cleaning too. Browse our Detergents range and find the one for you.
Why is water coming out of my pump?
If your pressure washer engine runs for several minutes without spraying the wand, the pump will automatically purge water to protect it from overheating. This is referred to as the automatic cool-down or thermal relief system.
Can I use lake water for my pressure washer?
No, water drawn from a lake may contain debris that will cause the pump to not perform correctly. This will also shorten the life of the pump as they are not designed to draw water from a stationary source.
Can I use bleach in a pressure washer?
No, you must not use bleach in your pressure washer as it will damage the seals and o-rings in the gun, wand, hoses and pumps.
What is Waterflow?
Water flow is the rate water is pushed out of the lance, with the higher the water flow, the larger the amount of water forced and used. It can be measured in litres per hour and is important for removing and washing away dirt on patios and driveways.
What is bar pressure?
This is the force at which the water is pushed out at, the higher the force easier it is to remove dirt. Lighter jobs including cleaning your car and washing patio furniture don't need much pressure as tasks such as cleaning your driveway. The extra bar pressure makes it easier, quicker and will give you better results with a higher pressure.
What is a lance on a pressure washer?
A lance is the part that is connected to the trigger gun you hold and press to release the water - the lance is a nozzle where the water comes out. You can get different lances or adjustable ones to change the way the water is forced out, which could be as a pencil jet or perhaps a fan depending on the task. Setting it as a pencil jet is perfect for removing stubborn stains on a patio, a fan is better suited for cars where the pressure won't damage the paintwork.
What's the average space needed from the nozzle to the surface?
This depends on the surface being spryaed as if you are cleaning your sidewalk or cement, the industry average is six inches although you can get closer depending on the amount of dirt.
For houses you should stand five feet awat and slowly come closer to the surface and stop at a distance that removes dirt, but not the paint.
How long can I leave a pressure washer on without triggering the gun?
We would recommend no longer than a minute, When the trigger isn't pulled, the water will cycle through the pump, and the heat from the pump causing the water to heat which can burn and melt the internal components of the pressure washer.
I have a hot water supply; can I run it through my pump?
No, hot water pressure washers are designed specifically for hot water use. If you own a cold water machine, running water through the machine at a higher temperature than 140 will damage the pump and can cause serious defects to the pressure washer.
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