It is always difficult and unpleasant to clean dirt. But our life is arranged in a way that we constantly need to clean or wash something. Car owners, for example, know firsthand that the “faithful iron horse” requires washing and care almost every day. The same situation occur in the household sphere – owners of estates, dachas, private houses always have a long list of works on washing and cleaning.
To facilitate unpleasant work, accelerate it and diversify, we often turn to various washing devices and equipment. One such device is a washer or a pressure washer.
High pressure washer is a washing machine that is able to clean a car, garden equipment, tools, facade and steps of the house, windows, paved paths, swimming pool quickly and efficiently, as well as to remove rust and old paint from metal surfaces and to clean the sewer. The first stationary high-pressure car washes appeared in the 30s of the twentieth century, after a car in America from the category of luxury moved into the category of common personal transport. With the development of technology, they started to make high pressure washers in a compact, portable version.
The main components of high-pressure washer are an engine (can be electric or gasoline, rarely – diesel) and high-pressure pump, providing the desired water pressure. In addition, the design involves a hose for water intake, filter, high-pressure hose and spray gun (sprayer), to which a variety of nozzles can be connected. Quite often there is a container for special detergents inside the washer.
During operation, water is supplied to the pump, which with considerable force pushes it into the high-pressure hose. From there it enters the spray gun and breaks out through the nozzle. The shape of the jet varies depending on which nozzle is used. The nozzle is capable of both increasing the output pressure and reducing it. As a rule, the standard configuration of the high pressure washer includes one or two nozzles. In some models, the number of nozzles can reach up to 20. Additional nozzles are not interchangeable, so buying a device of certain company you will need to use accessories from the same manufacturer.
Water heating function
It’s an option that makes the washing process significantly simpler even if it comes for the most contaminated surfaces. A mini-wash with such function is more expensive, but it allows you to save detergents that are not cheap either (hot water easily washes off various oils and fats), and in some cases – not to use them at all. Secondly, the use of hot water reduces the standard cleaning time by about a third, this means, saving water and working time.
It is worth noting that the plastic pump cannot work with hot water. As it was mentioned above, the plastic is very sensitive to overheating, and some models of German mini-washers bring the water temperature to more than 100 °C. Naturally, at this temperature not hot water but a jet of superheated steam comes out of the mini-washer. But even if the water is heated “only” to 50-80 °C, only a pump made of metal can work correctly in such conditions.
Nozzles and accessories
As a rule, the standard device includes a mini-wash jet nozzle and a “mud” nozzle-cutter, twisting a point stream of water in the “shock” harness. But this is the minimum-set. More or less extended sets include a number of nozzles, brushes and foam nozzle (required for washing the machine), as well as at least one corner nozzle (helps to wash away dirt from hard to reach places). In practice, brushes for manual washing of the machine (used for contact washing) and nozzles for cleaning and washing of various pipes and tubes are often added to the package. In addition, a very popular nozzle, which gives a flat jet of water of varying pressure (they allow you to perform various works). The higher the pressure-the better nozzle cleans the surface of dirt, the wider the jet-the more area it captures in one pass.
The main nozzles types:
- Foam generator for effective use of detergents.
- Mud cutter, allowing coping with serious pollution.
- Nozzles for cleaning pipes and for other useful household chores.
Among the most popular additional accessories are sandblasting (sand is drawn through a separate hose) nozzle for rough cleaning, allowing even knock patina from metal, and additional, longer hoses. What is more, buyers often purchase an additional water filter: even small impurities of sand particles or rust significantly reduce the life of the mini-wash. In particularly “running” cases, it can be reduced by half.
On how many and what nozzles will be available, depends on the number of operations that you can perform. That is-the more, the better. But here it is necessary to remember two important points. Firstly, the nozzles will be much more expensive, if you buy them separately from the mini-wash. It is much more profitable to buy devices, which are already equipped with a set of necessary nozzles. Secondly, there are no uniform standards in this segment yet – nozzles of some manufacturers, as a rule, are incompatible with washers of other companies. Therefore, even at the stage of choosing a device, be sure to find out what types and varieties of nozzles are produced by the manufacturer, whose mini-washer you are going to purchase.
As a rule, these are rather cheap devices, single-phase, of low power. They are intended mainly for infrequent, irregular and short-term use. Because of its short operating time, these devices are completely useless in everyday life of small and medium-sized businesses (for example, at servicing stations). Such mini-washes should often be turned off, because if they work without stopping, then overheating is inevitable, and this can lead to a complete breakdown of the unit, even before the end of the warranty period. The pump is made of plastic that is unable to state hot temperature. The advantage of household devices is a low price, lightweight, compact size and easy operation.
Professional and semi-professional mini-washes
This equipment is much more expensive, but it serves longer. Its reliability and resource use is much higher. If the washing process will occur frequently (daily) and for a long time, these washers are indispensable: they are better and act faster than household ones. Performance parameters, pressure, engine power are much higher than that of household devices. The material of the pump is usually better. It can be high temperature resistant plastic or Silumin. Such a pump can work with hot water or has water heating system inside.
This type of washers is used to clean huge trucks and airplanes. They are multi-functional, the main functions that washers of lower class do not have included:
- Working with both hot and cold water;
- Availability of control setting of the desired water temperature;
- Availability water heating system;
- Built-in pressure gauge and many other devices;
- The pump is made of Latten – an expensive, but very solid, almost perpetual metal;
- supply is mainly three-phase.
You should also know that washers are divided into two types by the method of water intake:
- mini-washes with water intake from a tank
- washers that could be connected only to a water supply system.
Washers that are able to take water in the absence of pressure at the inlet (that is, from any container, well, lake, tank, etc.) are called self-priming. They are more convenient because the main water supply is not available everywhere. The price of such washers is higher. The technical characteristics always indicate whether it is possible to produce water intake from the tank.
There are models (the cheaper, of consumer-grade), in which this function is prohibited.
There are washers of semi-professional or professional class with water intake, but with restrictions, for example, in some washers the depth of water intake cannot exceed a meter.
There are models that need the hose to be filled with water before work, and only then it should be put into the container.
Areas of use
High pressure washers are becoming more and more popular, especially among car users, because such a device is an ideal one for washing and cleaning vehicles from dirt traces. The device is mostly used for light motor vehicles washing, that is why many people thing it is field-specific and associated only with passenger cars. But this is a mistaken opinion. There are various spheres of application.
High-pressure devices are universal in use, they are used not only for cleaning cars, other vehicles (bicycles, motorcycles, mopeds, boats, trucks and even airplanes) are also well and quickly washed with mini-washes. In our country, as well as in many others, you can often see the car washes at the service stations. The car is washed by automatic washing, and the station room is cleaned by high pressure washing.
A sufficient number of washers are used in construction sphere, they wash pipes, concrete mixers and many other construction items. At the end of the working day construction vehicles are washed with such equipment.
In agriculture, washes also took their place of honor. They wash equipment for agricultural work, clean stables, pigsties, barns, etc.
High pressure washers are used even in the fishing industry, for example, on boats or motor boats, where there are a lot of fish scales on the deck after fishing, which are very difficult to remove manually. On large ships often appear growths of shellfish, which are easily washed away by washing equipment.
Washers are also used in food production, in the areas of catering, for cleaning dishes and premises.
City utilities are aware of the fact that with the help of a mini-wash it is easily and quickly to cope with cleaning of garbage bins and containers: with such an assistant such an unpleasant procedure will be more convenient.
And, of course, high pressure washers are a good helper in everyday life. They are very convenient when eliminating contamination of furniture, carpets and other household items. Household washing machines are also widely used in cleaning of estates and courtyards of private houses – this device is convenient and quick to clean the walls (both inside and outside the house).
Rules of operation, do not:
- keep the washer pressurized without need, do not turn it on without water;
- bend or pinch the high pressure hose;
- leave the washer in cold;
- direct a stream of water on animals or persons, it can knock them down and injure.
Advantages and disadvantages
The advantages include, first of all, the high versatility of the mini-wash. The number of cleaning and washing works that can be performed with its help is very large. High pressure washers are now actively used by builders (they wash cars and concrete mixers), fishermen (on deck cleaning), dockers (for cleaning the bottom of the ship), cleaning companies (when they wash the facades of buildings), public utilities (for washing sidewalks) and many other organizations and services.
In addition, high-pressure washers consume water very efficiently. Within an hour from the usual garden hose will flow about 3.5 cubic meters of water (that is, about 3500 liters). At the same time, household high-pressure washing will spend, on average, from 0.23 to 0.6 cubic meters of water (230-600 liters). The most powerful models can consume up to a cube (1000 liters) of water per hour, but even in this case, the savings are more than significant. If we take into account the fact that an hour with a mini-wash can wash a much larger surface than with a garden hose, the benefit of its use becomes obvious.
Another notable advantage is that a jet of high-pressure water can effectively clean any, even the most complex surface. What is more, it does it very quickly: the pressure of the jet at the outlet of the nozzle is so strong that water can damage a wooden or polished surface (special, sparing nozzles are used to work with them).That is why you should never try to use a pressure washer to clean a living creature! Water under high pressure cuts no worse than a knife. For the same reason, do not leave the connected washer unattended where there are children.
The advantages of electric mini-washers are that they are easy in maintenance and mobile, they do not need to be filled with fuel. In its turn, the mini-washer, running on gasoline or diesel fuel is not “tied” with a cord to the electrical outlet, it can be freely moved at any distance from home.
Among the relative disadvantages we may highlight that in the cold season a mini-washer should be stored in a warm room. If the remaining water freezes inside the washer – it will fail.
Consider before buying
Prices are different there are both cheap models and very expensive ones. But it is better to think twice, because many of the models vary in price, and the characteristics are almost the same.
The cost of the device is more affected by the type of pump and its life. Inexpensive models have a pump with work in 30-60 hours, and in more expensive this figure is higher. As you can see, in cheaper models resource time is not great, but it depends on the way you think about it. For example, the car owner bought a mini-wash with a 50-hour resource and will only use it to wash his/her car. In cold weather, the device cannot be used, therefore, it is useless in winter, so the year operation will be 4-6 months. It takes 10-15 minutes to wash the car, and it is not an everyday thing. In rainy weather, too, it is not used, because there is no need, what is more it is dangerous because of the current. Logically, the washing will be used three times a week (15 hours per year), this means that a cheap device will serve you for 3.5 years, which is in general quite good.
Expensive models are equipped with pumps made of better material, and the drive has a different type. Pumps with brass body and metal-ceramic pistons are of very high quality.
Pay attention to the selection of nozzles. You really need an ejector nozzle (ballast and sand blasting), milling cutters (for dirt) as well as an angled nozzle and various brushes. To extend the life of the washer, you need to take care of the hoses, and attach the filter for water purification.
Positive feedback from consumers received such manufacturers of washes: Karcher, Oleo-Mac, MAKITA, Bosch et al.
10 tips – what is most important when choosing a washer?
Most car owners ask: “How to choose a car wash?”, similar questions owners of estates, houses and heads of the enterprises ask.
We have prepared for you the top ten characteristics that you need to consider before you choose a high pressure washer:
- Productive capacity – affects the strength of the water supply. This is an indicator of water consumption, the average consumption for household washers is 6-12 liters per minute.
- Pressure limit − the average for washers are boundaries of 70-150 bar. For high-quality cleaning of the car such pressure is more than enough.
- Pump in the electric driven pump – must be made of solid and high quality material. If the pump is made of plastic, then it will not serve for a long time, it is better to choose a washer with a metal pump (brass or silumin), then the service life will increase significantly. It is worth noting that plastic pumps are mainly disassembled and in the event of failure, have you have to change everything (70% of the cost of the washer). Very important − for the pump made of plastic hot water is strictly prohibited.
- The filter serves to protect the water from debris. It is better and more practical to use reusable filters, easily washable and with non-changing cartridges.
- Water heating system-for this function you will have to pay more, but with it you will be independent of the home water supply. What is more, cold water is harmful for car in winter (it destroys the lacquer on the body).
- Total Stop system- saves water and increases the washer lifespan. After all, when washing breaks are very important (washing should not last for more than 20 minutes), the system manages this process.
- A variety of attachments and add-ons expands the capabilities of the washers. There is a standard set, but there is also an optional set of nozzles: foam sprayers, drums for hoses, guns (with pressure setting), jet tubes, etc.
- The dimensions of the hose- the longer, the more convenient. Mobility increases (optimal length 5-7 m.).
- The probability of using a variety of shampoos. In some models, the shampoo is poured into the tank, and in others there is a separate vessel. Also, some models only work with certain brands of shampoos.
- The temperature regime of water at the entrance-improves the quality of washing.
All in all, a high pressure washer is a good helper when it comes to cleaning, especially when we have to deal with hard to get areas or old dirt traces. It saves time and money, makes cleaning easier and quicker. It is very important to take into account various factors before you buy a washer. Most useful information is provided in the article for your consideration. It is a good guide for consumers who know nothing about such kind of equipment as well as for those who have already faced problems related to selecting the best device. We hope that our advice will help you in choosing a mini-wash, and work with it will give you great help and pleasure.