Pressure washers can be very useful in the garden. They can be used to eliminate dirt, weeds and moss from paved areas and flags or for cleaning fences or sheds. They are also great for things like rounding up litter into one spot for collection and disposal, for cleaning up pet mess and bird droppings, for lifting leaves and branches and their results are immediate and impressive.
Things to Consider When Buying a Pressure Washer
Some people who have never bought a pressure washer previously have little idea of what considerations they should take when choosing one. Therefore, they often buy one that’s the most powerful but this sort of approach isn’t recommended. Some pressure washers can actually break glass and can carve your name in wood so care should be taken in choosing the correct tool which is right for the job.
For someone who wants to use a pressure washer for simply washing the car, for example, you should buy a tool that has a relatively low pressure, say, 1000 to 1300 psi which stands for ‘pound force per square inch’. On the other hand, if you’re mainly going to use it for cleaning a patio, decking or removal of weeds from paving, you may want to look at one with around 2400 psi or more. Some pressure washers also allow the user to vary the pressure but for most household tasks, a pressure unit between 1300 and 2600 psi is usually quite adequate.
Electric v Gas
For most people using them in the garden and on the path, electric powered pressured washers are quieter. Although gas powered ones can be even more powerful, they are only really suited to heavy industrial applications so, in general, electric ones are sufficiently adequate for the usual ‘around the garden’ tasks.
Their efficiency doesn’t just lie in the amount of psi, but the type of detergent used. There are different chemical cleaners available for different jobs and the general rule is that the more expensive the cleaner, the better it will perform. Most pressure washers also come with an assortment of tips to attach onto the end that deliver different spray patterns and you should simply pick the least aggressive tip that will get the job done.
It’s important to remember that a pressure washer is a power tool and you should take great care when operating one.
Seek advice from your garden centre and make sure that you read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before use. Always wear proper eye, face and hand protection when operating a pressure washer. Wear non-slip shoes and wet weather outer clothing if you don’t want to get wet.
Used carelessly, pressure washers can inflict serious injury so you should never point the washer at a person or animal. You should also never try to wash your hands or feet with a pressure washer as the force of the spray will peel your skin off. Like other electrical power tools, if you’re using an electric power washer, you need to beware of shock hazards and if it’s gas, you should be familiar with and have access to fire extinguishing equipment, as you would at any time where you’d be manipulating fuel.