To better understand the intention of the different types of nozzles we look at the impact power against a surface, even though the psi (pressure per square inch) and gpm (gallons per minute) are the same the way in which the water is projected towards the surface is different. With the nozzle 8 inches from the surface you can see the impact power that each nozzle has against the surface.
1. Pencil Jet: Other known as the 0 degree fan spray is the most agressive spray which can penetrate into a surface 10 times more than what a regular fan spray nozzle. Being the most aggressive this nozzle should only be used for specific pressure washing applications, the most used to clean in areas that are beyond the reach of a standard fan spray, for example: the high eves of a house where you can’t reach with a ladder.
2. Fan Spray: This is the most common nozzle used for pressure washing, this nozzle is most effective for general cleaning, such as siding, decks or other soft to medium hardness materials. This nozzle also allows for a much faster cleaning due to the fact that it spreads the water out in wide fan at less impact power. The downside is that this nozzle doesn’t have the impact power that the other nozzles offer
3. Rotary Nozzle: Other known as the Dirtblaster Nozzle, the spray that this nozzle creates takes the impact power that you would get out of the pencil jet spray along with the wider spray that you would get out of a fan nozzle. Though this nozzle is not the most aggressive it allows the water to penetrate 7 times as much than the fan spray nozzle. This nozzle can also clean at a much faster rate due to the surface area and the impact power. Though the Rotary Nozzle is very beneficial in cleaning it should only be used on hard surfaces such as, steel, concrete, brick, etc.
Now that you understand the difference between each of the nozzles and what they offer you can choose what one might be ideal given your cleaning application. Keep in mind to use caution with each of the types of nozzles and to decrease the risk of damage always test them on a small area before tackling an entire job.
If you are having an issue with your chemical injection working the first thing to look at is the nozzle that you are using. There are many different styles of nozzles but two of the most popular are illustrated above, the chemical or detergent nozzle has to be on the end of the wand in order for the injection system to work if any other nozzle is on the wand the machine will not pull chemical. (left side) Quick connect nozzle, plastic is always black in color and your machine may have come with 4 other quick connects that attach at the end of the wand. (right side) This nozzle is known as a vario nozzle or variable fan spray nozzle, you have to make sure that this nozzle is on the right position for the soap to work, it is as simple as turning the end of the tip until you are on the detergent setting.
If your chemical injection system still continues not to work you will have to continue with working on the chemical valve assembly that is on the pump.
Do you have a problem with your Karcher pressure washer losing pressure? There is a good chance that you have a sticky unloader valve inside of your pump. We know that it can be frustratingtrying to deal with this issue but really can be an easy fix. There could also be some other symptoms that can indicate a sticky unloader, these might be:
1. Complete loss of pressure
2. Pressure on machine is cycling on and off
3. Machine only has the pressure the garden hose puts out
4. You have to take the nozzle off the machine and run the machine in order for the high pressure to kick back in
If you have a problem removing the unloader from the cylinder you are going to have to hook the machine up to a water supply and try to force the unloader out. Sometimes it might require that you fire the engine up to remove the unloader, if you have to do so make sure to have something to catch the unloader over top of the pump (rag, towel, bag, piece of wood). If the unloader continues to be stuck we recommend pouring vinegar into the cylinder and letting it sit for 3 or 4 hours with the garden hose and high pressure hose hooked up to the machine and then try the removal process again.
Many people just wash their homes in the spring season to remove dirt, grime, tree droppings and other elements from their siding. What many people don’t know is that using their pressure washer in the fall is essential to maintaining many areas of your home. One of the most important areas of a home to keep clean is your roof, keeping your roof clean doesn’t only add to the appeal of your home but can prevent moisture damage in the future.
Throughout the summer months with the heat and humidity there is an increased amount of mold and mildew that can not only start to grow on siding but we see even more on the north side of roofs. Mold and mildew can trap water and moisture in the shingles on a roof, which causes the asphalt in the shingle to lose its integrity in half of the expected lifespan. Effectively cleaning the build-up off the shingles in the fall season will allow for your roof to properly vent throughout the winter and into the spring and keep the moisture that can become trapped from freezing and cracking the shingle.
Large build-up of moss can also occur from the moisture that is trapped in the shingles, you might see this more often in areas that are covered by trees where the roof isn’t able to properly dry out after a heavy rain or snowfall. The large build-up of moss not only destroys the integrity of the shingles but can also create snow dams which will keep the snow and water from moving down the roof.
It is very easy to pressure wash a roof and can be a much more enjoyable task to do in the fall rather than in the blistering heat of the summer months. Make sure that you are fully prepared for the job with enough hose to reach the highest area that you are looking to clean. We advise you to keep the pressure washer on the ground level or on a deck that is at a higher level, if you have to bring the pressure washer to the roof make sure that you have assistance to get the unit onto the roof and make sure that it is properly secured once you get it up there.
You are going to want to use either a 25 or 40 degree spray nozzle, to aggressive of a spray nozzle or getting to close can damage the shingle (we recommend 6 to 9 inches away). Always start at the peak of the roof and work your way down, never spray water up into the shingle as this can cause water to go under the shingle and cause damage. After completing the roof make sure to remove any debris from the gutter that could stop the flow of water to your down spout.
Once again it’s that time of year to get your pressure washer prepared for the cold months ahead. Proper winterization will protect your pump from the freezing of excess water in the pump over the winter. There are many ways to winterize your pump; we like to classify it as the good, better and best.
Good: (Gasoline powered) Leaving your machine in the off position with the high pressure hose disconnected pull the recoil rope 4 to 5 times or until you don’t see any more water coming out of the high pressure end of the pump. (Electric powered) Disconnect your high pressure hose, turn the machine on for 5 to 10 seconds or until you don’t see any more water coming from the high pressure end of the pump.
Better: If you have a air compressor around the house, hook the air line to the garden hose end of the pump and blow the water out until you don’t see any more water coming out of the high pressure end of the pump.
Best: Purchase Karcher’s Pump Guard, follow the simple directions that come with the product. This product is specially formulated to keep your pump from freezing, corrosion, premature wear, adds lubricant to the valves and seals to prevent sticking in the spring. You can usually get 2 or 3 uses from one bottle of Karcher’s Pump Guard. Click here for more information
(Gasoline engines) We also recommend dumping gas stabilizer into the gas tank and running the machine for 2 or 3 minutes or until the engine starts to die out while the machine is hooked up to a water supply and under load. If you don’t plan to use the machine for a longer period of time (10 months or more) then we recommend draining the engine completely of gas.
The fall season is also a great time to change your engine and/or pump oil in your pressure washer to have it prepared for the spring when you are ready to use it again.
Are you making MORE work for yourself by buying an inexpensive vacuum? Cheaper vacuums do not have the HEPA or redundant filtration that a quality vacuum possesses. Therefore, the vacuum releases a LOT of dust back into the air, which not only is unhealthy but covers all of your furniture, walls, windows, etc. with a layer of dust. The Karcher line of commercial grade vacuums will not only pick up what your old vacuum has left behind, but their commercial grade motors will last many times longer than a consumer duty unit. They are also VERY light weight and easy to use!
To find a machine that best suits your application the two things you must consider is the gallons per minute (GPM) and the pressure per square inch (PSI). Factoring in both of these will ensure that you will get the best cleaning performance from a machine that you purchase. PSI is the number that most people look at when purchasing a pressure washer but GPM is just as important and is often overlooked.
The GPM is other known as the amount of water being projected towards a surface. The GPM can also be referred to as the flushing power used to clean a surface. This flushing power is used to get rid of heavy solids that might consist of dirt, clay, manure or any other large particles. An easy way to think of GPM is the water that comes out of your garden hose; there is a lot of flow but not a great deal of pressure.
Then there is the PSI that a pump can produce, the PSI is the pressure that is forced on or into a surface when cleaning. The more PSI you have the more aggressive your spray against a surface will be. Without PSI water would just fall onto a surface and not cut any dirt or grime but if you have too much pressure and it is not used correctly you can cause damage to the surface being cleaned. For instance many metal cutting companies will use machines that produce 10,000 psi at low amount of GPM to seamlessly cut through 2 inches of metal. If you were to use too much pressure on a surface such as concrete it will take off what we call the skim coat that give concrete its smoothness on the surface. If you use too much pressure on a wooden deck it will cause the water to cut into the surface and the wood would splinter.
In most situations the more PSI and GPM you have will determine how fast your cleaning project will go. If you are a commercial cleaner that uses the machine everyday and all day long you would want as much PSI and GPM that you could get that won’t exceed what your water supply puts out. On the other hand, if you are a residential user that only uses a power washer a couple times a year then a larger machine wouldn’t be needed unless you want to get your cleaning projects completed fast or want to have a little bit bigger then that pesky neighbor that has every tool imaginable.
Make sure when choosing a power washer you look into both the GPM and PSI. Many brands will solely advertise the PSI that a power washer has and 9 times out of 10 is going to be over rated to the actual pressure that it produces. In addition, when you see a machine that is rated with higher psi then more than likely they reduced the GPM of the pump to produce more PSI. Like stated before the GPM of a machine is just as important as the PSI, a machine that produces 4 GPM will clean two or more times faster than a machine that produces 2 GPM. So if you still don’t know what the best machine for you might be see chart below.
|1000-1800||2.0-2.4||Homeowner/light duty||Cars, boats, patios, gutters|
|1900-3000||2.2-3.0||Homeowner/heavy duty||Houses, farm equipment, pools, sidewalks, truck fleets, steel buildings, driveways|
|3100-5000||3.0-5.0||Commercial Use||Industrial, heavy grease, large particles, stubborn stains in concrete, removing algae, stripping paint|
For many commercial and industrial users it may also be necessary to use a machine that creates its own hot water in order to breakdown the bond that greases, oils and road films make to a surface.
If you feel that your power washer is not doing the best job on a given application there is a good possibility that it isn’t the right machine to use for your cleaning job. Before you go out and purchase a new machine consider the fact that using a cleaning detergent or a specific accessory can not only speed up the cleaning process but also provide for a better result in the end.