The World of Pressure Washer Accessories Explained
A pressure washer can be one of the most versatile power tools in your arsenal with the proper accessories. Concentration, shape, reach, and power can all be adjusted to fit your needs. This flexibility vastly expands the range of materials and objects you can blast clean in the blink of an eye. Here you will get a brief overview of what’s available so you can make the best decisions for your toolkit.
The Parts of Your Pressure Washer
A pressure washer is essentially a water pump powered by a motor, which can be gas or electric. It requires a water source, so it will have a water inlet for connecting to an outside water supply or a tank reservoir. To use the pressurized water, there is a high-pressure hose connecting the pump to a cleaning attachment of your choice. This is usually a handheld gun with a trigger, which acts as a valve for releasing or stopping water flow.
This explanation is very simple and does not cover the finer points of electric vs. gas motors, but hopefully gives you a rough outline of what you are working with. There are many different pressure washer parts & accessories that can be added to your pressure washer spray gun or cleaning attachment to customize this tool’s capabilities.
Nozzles are an essential place to start with your accessory collection. Also known as spray tips, nozzles give you a lot more control over the pressure and shape of the spray by restricting the flow of water in the same way that you can put your finger over the end of your hose to give you more power. The amount of water restriction in a given nozzle is measured in degrees. Typical examples are the 15-degree, 25-degree, and 40-degree options, which are color-coded for your convenience. You can buy these in sets or individually.
Once you’ve got a basic set of nozzles, you can start looking at more specialized types, such as a turbo nozzle for pressure washer option. Turbo nozzles fire a jet of water at 0 degrees out of the gun, giving you a concentrated point of power. This can be useful for difficult stains or spot cleaning.
A sewer nozzle is designed specifically for clearing out pipes and drains. It puts the water into an appropriate pressure range and spray pattern, which works well with the shape and material of most sewer systems. There are a few variations, for example, some that work better with bends and elbows.
A wand extends the spray tip further from the trigger on the gun. This can improve your reach, allowing you to clean things high up off of the ground or far away. Telescoping wands provide the most length, sometimes getting up to more than 25 feet. It should be noted that the longer the wand, the less pressure you will have, although not too significantly.
One excellent application for a wand is to create a pressure washer gutter cleaner, saving you a lot of time up on the ladder. An appropriately lengthed wand can also save your back by keeping you upright while pressure washing a long driveway or area of a sidewalk.
One limiting factor for any pressure washer is how far you can wander from the motor and pump. Some come on wheels, but toting that around behind you can be a pain. The hose connects the gun to the motor and pump, so the longer the hose length the more freedom and mobility you have.
A long hose can be a pain to store and keep untangled, so there are various hose reel attachments you can purchase, as well. Most attach right to the frame of the machine itself, with convenient handles for reeling the hose in after a long day’s work.
Be careful not to replace a high-pressure hose with a regular garden hose. Pressure washer hoses are designed with high-density plastic and wire mesh to withstand the pressure of the water.
The goal of most cleaner attachments is to help give you coverage over more surface area at a time. They are usually most beneficial for cleaning surfaces like pavement or garage floors. Surface cleaner heads look like large discs at the end of your wand that spread out the spray of water between multiple nozzles. Another variation is the water broom, which looks more like a vacuum head with wheels and brushes in addition to the spray nozzles.
Connections and Compatibility
It’s easiest to find accessories that already match the connections on your unit. So, you will need to know what kind of connections you have before you go shopping. It is possible to use adapters to get around this, but this is only advisable in certain situations. The differences start with your motor; are you working with gas or electric?
Gas pressure washers tend to have more universal connections, with three main types: M22, ⅜” threaded, or quick connects. Quick connect couplings have one adapter end that needs to fit either an M22 or ⅜” connection, while the “quick connect” ends are designed to snap together for quick and easy attachments. If you have a pressure washer with an M22 connection, but an accessory with a ⅜” threaded connection, it is possible to find an adapter to make them compatible.
Electric pressure washers are usually only compatible with brand-specific accessories. It is sometimes possible to use adapters to get around this, but due to extreme variability, this can lead to leaks or a loss of pressure.
As long as you’re using it safely, both commercial pressure washers and residential pressure washers can be your friend. Purchasing one can be a worthy investment for home and commercial maintenance tasks, especially with the added flexibility that accessories can lend. You’ll find yourself turning to this machine for almost everything. Whatever you can do manually, a pressure washer can get done in half the time with a better result. Be sure to do your research before assembling the perfect pressure washer companion for your lifestyle.