A pressure washer, either home or professional, can achieve unparalleled levels of cleanliness, but to do so it must always be at its best.
Sometimes, in fact, the pressure washer may not reach pressure, leak water or have problems preventing it from producing the pressure and water jet necessary to adequately clean surfaces, environments, vehicles and machinery.
All this happens because the precautions and measures necessary for proper care and maintenance that such a complex and powerful machine as a high pressure washer needs are not complied with. The direct outcome can be an inefficient result or, even worse, accidents to operators and damage to the machine or materials on which the pressure washer is used.
Let's see, then, what are the basic indications to use and maintain a pressure washer correctly and to be able to use it effectively and safely.
GENERAL PRECAUTIONS FOR PRESSURE WASHER CARE
First of all, before using the machine, read the instruction manual carefully. Then, in general terms, follow the safety rules and, even before that, common sense:
- Do not direct the pressure washer jet on people or animals
- Do not wash electrically live objects with the pressure washer
- Do not use the pressure washer on delicate objects and surfaces that could be damaged by the power of the water jet
- Do not use the pressure washer if you are under the influence of medicines, drugs or alcohol and do not let children or people with reduced physical or mental capacity use it
- For electric motor models, do not use the pressure washer if the power cord is damaged and the machine has apparent water leaks
- For internal combustion engine models, do not fuel the pressure washer with inappropriate fuels and do not use it indoors or in spaces where exhaust fumes are close to people, animals or vents
- For hot water models, do not let the pressure washer reach higher temperatures than those indicated in the instruction manual, in order to avoid damaging seals and the machine components; moreover, do not touch the boiler and other hot components to avoid the risk of burns and scalds, always remembering, after use, to run cold water for a few minutes in order to let the pressure washer cool down; finally, do not use hot water with accessories that do not withstand high temperatures
HOW TO MAINTAIN THE PRESSURE WASHER
The best way to get the utmost results from a pressure washer and to extend its life is to carry out regular and specific maintenance, according to precise times and ways.
At each use, check if the hose, gun, filter, lances, fittings and power cords are sound, replace damaged parts immediately or contact a specialized service centre for any repairs.
In case of frequent use, monthly check if the filters are well cleaned with water and anti-scale detergent. The same must be done with the nozzles, taking care to clean them from scale with the special pins provided, or to replace them. Equally important is to check the correct oil level inside the pump, providing for any topping up.
Every 3 months, or every 200 hours of operation, have the following important operations performed by a qualified technician:
- Checking the hydraulic circuit
- Checking the pump oil level
- Checking the pump fixing
- Checking filters and nozzles
Every 6 months, or every 500 hours of operation, have the following important operations performed by a qualified technician:
- Checking the suction and delivery valves
- Checking the regulating valve
- Replacing the pump oil
- Replacing filters and nozzles
PRESSURE WASHER TROUBLESHOOTING
Even if all precautions are taken, the pressure washer may have problems and malfunctions. Some of these, often the result of simple forgetfulness, can easily be solved without a technician intervention, while to fix more serious troubles it is essential to turn to specialized and authorized service centres.
Let's see what the main problems are and how to deal with them.
The pressure washer does not start > the motor may fail to start: simply switch it on, possibly by plugging in the power supply plug or make sure that the socket and the mains supply are working properly.
The pressure washer vibrates excessively and is too much noisy > the water inlet filter may be responsible for it: if dirty, simply clean it. As an alternative, it may be due to faulty air intake: in this case, check the soundness of the suction circuit and make sure that the ventilation is not obstructed by dust or small debris. Finally, the cause may be an insufficient water supply: therefore, check if the tap is fully open and the water mains flow rate complies with the instructions in the pressure washer’s instruction manual.
The pressure washer stops suddenly during operation > operate on the motor protection device, carefully following the instructions in the operating manual and complying with the specified operating conditions.
The motor produces an unpleasant buzz > for electrically powered models, this may be due to the inadequate conditions of the electrical system or the extensions used to connect to the power supply: check the instructions for electrical connection in the user and maintenance manual and comply with them carefully.
The pressure washer does not deliver hot water > (for hot water models) make sure that the boiler tank is well supplied with diesel or that the filter is well cleaned (if necessary, clean or replace it). As an alternative, operate on the boiler safety thermostat, but only after the pressure washer has cooled down for a few minutes to allow the device to be reset.
The pressure washer does not suck enough detergent > (for models featuring it), first check if the regulating knob is fully open and the nozzle holder head is in the correct position, then clean the detergent suction filter of any clogs. In any case, avoid using a viscous detergent, but follow the manufacturer's instructions.
No water jet from the nozzle of the pressure washer > check if the nozzle itself is not clogged - if this is the case, clean or replace it. Also check if the water mains tap is correctly opened and that there is no problem in the flow of the suction hose.
WHAT TO DO IF THE PRESSURE WASHER DOESN'T REACH PRESSURE
One of the most common problems is the pressure washer’s failure to reach the maximum pressure. The causes, in this case, may be different: let us see what they are and the solutions.
- The pressure regulator is set at a lower pressure value than the wanted one:
- Set the regulator to the maximum pressure position
- The nozzle holder head is in the low pressure position:
- Place the detergent regulator to the correct position
- The nozzle is clogged or damaged:
- Clean the nozzle from obstructions or replace it
- The water supply is insufficient:
- Check if the water tap is fully open and the water mains’ flow rate complies with the instruction manual.
Now you know all the malfunctions/troubles that a pressure washer may encounter and you know how to solve them: all you have to do is follow all the precautions and learn the methods to troubleshoot them, and cleaning with your pressure washer will no longer have any limits.