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How a Pressure Washer Works

Some of us may use our pressure washers, regularly washing our cars, patios and the front of your home or shed. However a question for you, do you know how it works? No? well don't worry, read on to find out more about how your pressure washer works.

Standard Designed Pressure Washers

The principle of an electric pressure washer is to force water at high speed through a fine nozzle. The strong jet of water produced is to dislodge dirt, most models of washers can allow you to add detergent to the water - therefore increasing the cleaning power of the jet.

The Water Supply

Fitting a cold water feed hose provides your pressure washer with water from a domestic water supply.

The Motor

Once the machine is switched on and engaged; the electric motor drives the pump which pressurises the water.

Raising the Pressure

Once the water reaches the optimal pressure -  usually around 110-120 bar. A pressure switch inside the pump is then activated, this turns off the electric motor leaving water under pressure in the pump.

Making Adjustments

Engaging the trigger on the handgun opens a valve causing the water to flow through the pressure hose and into the spray lance. The lance on your pressure washer will be fitted with an adjustable nozzle; this can be regulated to provide you with a variety of water jet styles.

  • Widening the nozzle head will give you a more reduced pressured water stream.
  • Narrowing the nozzle will increase the pressure, this can lead you to dirt blasting the toughest of grime.

With each trigger press, you'll engage the motor, which then will continue to pressurise the water as it enters from the main water supply until the trigger is released.

Alternative Designs

With some designs of pressure washers the electric motor will continue to run, this allows the water to re-circulate within the pump, even when the trigger is closed. To help prevent the washer from overheating, the machine will be fitted with a thermal switch - if the temperature exceeds the optimal safe levels the switch will activate and turn off the washer.

Pressure Washer Usage

Pressure washers have a whole variety of usage, mainly used for domestic cleaning jobs - with the addition of pressure washer accessories you can make any of your cleaning tasks that much less of a chore.

  • Cars, motorbikes, caravans, boats and bicycles.
  • Patios, fences, garden walls, pathways, driveways, house facades
  • Removal of Algae and moss from roofs, brickworks and guttering
  • Garden tool and machinery, outdoor furniture and barbecues
  • Hygienic cleaning of animal pens and surroundings

Understanding how your pressure washer works could help you in the long run diagnose and repair your pressure washer when it may fail. For any replacement part you may need for your pressure washer don’t forget to browse our extensive range of pressure washer spares here.


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