Pressure washers are never the same, yes you can have pressure cleaners that do the same pressure, water flow and are either hot water or cold water but that doesn’t make them the same. Unfortunately pressure cleaners can be quiet confusing to some when they unfortunately don’t know the ins and outs of a pressure cleaner and what makes them last, safe and durable. I have done a little check list below for those of you that would like to use it, to help determine what pressure washer is best suited to your cleaning application and what pressure washer is going to last and be durable and safe enough for you and your operators.
We are going to start with the electrically operated pressure cleaners, both cold water and hot water.
What speed does the motor do? – If the electric motor of the machine runs at or above 2800rpm then the pressure washer isn’t an industrial machine, meaning it is not meant to be used all day, every day, only a few days for a few hours as week. If the electric motor runs at 1450rpm or 1750rpm then the pressure washer is an industrial machine and can be used all day, every day when and if required.
What sort of pump is on the pressure washer? – Majority of machines have ceramic pistons which is a good thing as this makes them easy to repair and service, but is always best to ask this question just to be sure. Also ensure that parts are available to service the pump of this pressure washer and they ARE available in Australia.
What sort of heating coil does the pressure washer have? – Majority of pressure washers come standard with Mild Steel heating coils but can be upgraded to Stainless Steel heating coils at a price. For a good Mild Steel heating coil you would want the coil to be made out of Sched 80 to ensure it isn’t going to get a hole in it quickly. If the unit has a Stainless Steel heating coil, for a good quality heating coil you would want the coil made out of sched 40 304 to ensure a long life span. A lot of my clients prefer the stainless steel heating coils over the mild steel heating coils due to the longevity of the this type of coil, as long as it is made out of the correct material.
What sort of burner safeties does the pressure washer have? – There are a few safeties that burners should have on pressure cleaners but have found that the most important one is a PE or photo electric cell, this reads the flame for the burner, so once the burner runs out of diesel the burner doesn’t kick in. Having this device helps increase the life span of the burner as with out this the fuel pump and burner motor keep running, even though there isn’t any fuel and they seize up.
What sort of bypass / unloader valve does the pressure washer have? – The 2 different bypass valves that a pressure washer can have is a high pressure bypass valve and a low pressure bypass valve. All machines around 3600psi and below are recommended to have a low pressure bypass valve as it is safer for the machine and the operator. Instead of having a kick back of pressure when the trigger is pulled, you get a slow build up of pressure. Also if the pressure washer has an automatic stop/start function on it, using a high pressure bypass valve and you have a leak on the accessories, the pressure washer will constantly think that due to the release in pressure it is time to start up but that isn’t the case and this wrecks the seals, valves and bypass of the pressure washer very quickly. Machines above 3600psi will usually have a high pressure bypass.
What sort of shut down future does the pressure washer have? – Some machines don’t come with any shut down feature built into the pressure washer and they have to be shut down after each use, such as petrol pressure cleaners. To help increase the life of an electric pressure washer it is best to either have an automatic stop/start function or a total stop function. This stops the mistake of leaving the pressure washer running without being used, which in turn over heats the pumps internals and can become costly to repair. If the pressure washer doesn’t come with this function you can always ask for it at a price.
And for the last part – always ensure you get a pressure washer that is built and is meant for your cleaning application. If you are needing a machine for an industrial application and may be required to be used all day and possibly every day then PLEASE purchase an industrial pressure washer otherwise it will cost you more money repairing or replacing the unit than it would spending a bit more and getting an industrial pressure washer