Car pressure washers are a goldmine of ingenuity when it comes to providing thorough cleanings, and it is important to differentiate them between a standard flow of water and discover why they are so efficient.
Pump Vs. Valve
Any time you fire up the garden hose to wash your vehicle, in most cases you are simply opening up a valve that regulates the amount of water you can use at a given time. This is why usually the flow itself leaves a lot to be desired and is not the most effective way to distribute water. Pressure washers on the other hand, are essentially a pump that is compartmentalized in a transportable chamber. An electric motor powers the pump, which gives it the ability to generate a massive amount of force and speed, depending on the model and brand being utilized. Power washers use acceleration and pressure to their advantage by moving the liquid within the chamber at a higher rate than normal. If you have ever had the misfortune of having your hand in front of a pressure washer you know that it is a lot stronger than someone spraying you with the hose. The water inside the washer is typically sent through a thin rod and nozzle which allows it to distribute liquid so swiftly.
“Power washers use acceleration and pressure to their advantage by moving the liquid within the chamber at a higher rate than normal…. If you have ever had the misfortune of having your hand in front of a pressure washer you know that it is a lot stronger than someone spraying you with the hose”
Though a fairly simple device, knowing the parts of a pressure washer will help better illustrate its function. The water inlet is what connects the unit to where it will be receiving its liquid. Almost always there is a filter installed here to cut down on foreign elements and debris from entering the cleaning attachment. If your washer is clogged the filter is the first place to check for problems. It should be noted that not every pressure washer has the capability of handling detergents. While most are water based, some foams and certain ingredients in cleaners can cause the nozzle to be stuffed up and ineffective. This is particularly true of older pressure washers. Washers of yesteryear used gas, however most incorporate an electric component these days due to its ease. Put simply, the juice provided to the washer powers the pump to work its magic.
The water pump is the heart and soul of every pressure washer, and does all the heavy lifting in its application. The easiest way to understand how it works is to picture it both sucking and pushing repeatedly. Water is sucked in by the source, and then energy is transferred to pushing it out of the nozzle. Washers utilizing an electric power source is what allows this process to repeat quickly and effectively over and over. Most pressure washers can handle almost 2 gallons a minute, so use sparingly unless you want a gigantic bill.
The hose attaches to the gun, rod, or whatever is dispersing the water. This hose can handle high pressures by having multiple layers and usually being reinforced by wire mesh. If you were to use a generic piece of tubing it would either fly off immediately or deteriorate in no time. Pressure washer hoses should be able to take around 6,000 PSI with relative ease.
The rod or gun you use to spray the liquid is basically a valve you open every time you pull the trigger. Because so much energy is stored when it is resting, upon releasing it, water shoots out at high speeds. This allows for terrific force in clearing off your vehicle.
Pressure washers are a nice addition to any car cleaning lineup, but they should be controlled by specialists in auto detailing to guarantee they only retain its positive effects, and does not damage your car’s exterior.