- Do you repair pressure washers purchased from the big department, home, or auto stores?
- There is no pressure or water flow coming out of the nozzle. Is there anything I can check myself before calling you to repair my equipment?
- How much pressure do I need?
- How much flow do I need?
- Why is nozzle size so important?
- Why is regular maintenance so important?
- Why is the inlet size and supply so critical?
- Whats wrong with a leaking / dripping trigger gun or other leaking high pressure fitting?
No. However on the larger units, we occasionally replace certain stocking components such as hoses, guns, wands, and complete pumps. Typically industrial pressure washers require water seal changes after 2,000 hours of service. Light residential pumps life is not designed for 1,000’s of hours of use. Repairs by a technician will usually exceed 50 percent the cost of the inexpensive pressure washer before the repair is even completed. That is why it is so important to make sure you inexpensive residential unit never freezes, always has enough water feeding it, and does not over heat. It is not uncommon for it to be cost effective to replace it.
- Is there enough water feeding the pump? Check to see you have more water going to your pump than you are using. An easy check is to remove the hose supplying your pump and time how many seconds it takes to fill a 20 litre pail (5 gallons). If you have a 4 GPM pressure washer, you must fill that pail in less than 60 seconds.
- Is the nozzle plugged or not the correct size. Pressure washers must have the correct nozzle and size to operate correctly.
- Is the pump turning? Can you hear or feel the pump being driven by the motor?
Generally the pressure required is based on the cleaning requirements. Think of pressure or the PSI (pounds per square inch) as the cutting of the dirt or material off the surface you are trying to clean. You want to remove the dirt or material but 99.9% of the time you do not want to damage the surface you are cleaning. When you wash your car at the self serve car washes they typically run between 800 and 1100 PSI. You do not want to damage decals or tires and the dirt is typically light or not “stuck” on the vehicle. You sometimes have to take a little longer to get the “stuck” on dirt off at this pressure. Call us to narrow down the pressure requirements for your specific application.
Generally the flow required is based on the cleaning requirements. Think of the flow or GPM (gallons per minute) as the flushing of dirt or material away from the area you are trying to clean. Typically light dirt materials can be flushed away with 2 to 4 GPM, while “chunks” of dirt or material can require 6 to 8 GPM. The typical self serve car wash is 3 to 4 GPM. If you were to wash your car with a 2 GPM unit, it would take you twice as much time to clean.
To be as cost effective as possible, correct water volume for your application is also important if you are heating your wash water. Call us to narrow down the pressure requirements for your specific application.
Positive displacement pumps are not the creators of the pressure. The restriction or nozzle is the source of trying to limit the water flow thus causing the pump to develop the pressure in the system. Think of watering your lawn with your garden hose with nothing on the end of the hose. You want to water further away from you, so you put your thumb over the end of the hose. The pressure builds up in the hose and you can water the grass further from you. It’s the same idea. NEVER PUT YOUR HAND OR BODY PARTS IN FRONT OF THE SPRAY OF THE PRESSURE WASHER. SEVERE INJURY OR DEATH MAY OCCUR. If you do not correctly size the restriction or nozzle to the unit one of two things will occur. The unit will not operate correctly or component life will be severely shortened.
Small leaks, pumping vibration, small oil leaks, and pumps not shutting down are all small problems and usually inexpensive at first. If these small problems are not addressed and repaired in a timely manner they usually develop into costly and unnecessary failures. Preventative maintenance is cheaper in the long run.
In positive displacement pumps, a certain amount is required to fill the pump. If the amount is less than required or restricted from entering the pump, a vacuum is created. If this vacuum is sufficient enough to allow air bubbles to break out then, an air and water mixture is created in the pump. When the pump expels the water at a higher pressure the air bubbles are forced back into the water. This forcing or “cavitation” is the implosion of air which not only sends shock waves into the components of the pump but can actually remove material from the pump. It is a highly destructive force and should be corrected at the first sign. Signs can be as subtle as a rattle or as obvious as the complete unit shaking.
If you have a pressure trapped regulator/unloader (which most systems have), the leaks on the high pressure side of your pressure washer can cause:
- The regulator/unloader valve to “cycle”. If this occurs you will hear or notice the motor suddenly go under load and then idle again. This “cycling” causes premature wear on you regulating system. If this condition is left long enough, the unloader can completely fail causing over pressurization. This over pressurization can causing severe damage or harm.
- The automatic shut down controls may not work properly. This can cause overheating of the water in the pump. This overheating (depending upon your system) may cause premature seal failure, complete shutdown, or leaks from the safety thermal relief.