Pressure Washer FAQs
Pressure washing or power washing is the growing practice of cleaning using high pressure water spraying. The high pressure water spraying is achieved by specially designed pumps. This type of cleaning is many times more powerful than the pressure that comes out of a typical garden hose. If you choose to use on concrete it removes mold and mildew, bubble gum, and other dirt stains. Also, pressure washing can make wooden decks look like new. Pressure washers are also commonly used by homeowners to improve the appearance of aluminum or vinyl siding by removing pollution, mildew, and other signs of neglect.
When choosing a pressure washer, your application will play a major factor in whether you need a hot or cold water pressure washer. Cold water pressure washers are ideal for removing dirt on most any surface. Additional accessories like, high pressure nozzles or rotating brushes, work with cold water pressure washers to increase the cleaning power and decrease your cleaning time.
There are important advantages and disadvantages to both. In a nutshell, portable machines cost more to purchase and require much higher maintenance as long as you own the equipment. You gain portability, but it comes with a cost.
A stationary machine requires that you bring the dirty material to be cleaned to the pressure washer. A stationary wash requires that the necessary utilities are available and hooked up and in many cases, requires the exhaust to be vented. However, once it is installed, you can normally expect years of low operating cost and minimal maintenance.
Both stationary and portable washers have their purpose. Ask your Georgia Chemical sales consultant to explain the differences.
Belt driven pressure washers are most commonly found on commercial/industrial style pressure washers. A belt driven pump is ideal for cleaning applications that require more than 20+ hours per week. On a belt driven unit, the high-pressure pump spins at a less RPM reducing the heat and vibration, which in turn, minimizes the wear and tear on the internal parts of the pump and leads to longer life.
If you will be using your pressure washer less than 20 hours a week, a direct drive may be better suited for your application. Direct drive units turn about twice the RPM as a belt driven unit. These units are usually more compact and easier to transport. They are also typically more cost effective.
Gas or electric is completely up to the consumer. There are pros and cons to both.
Electric is safe to use indoors because you don't have harmful fumes. Electric motors are usually quieter and require less maintenance than a gas engine. Also, with an electric motor you do not have to have gas on hand and you do not need to fight the rising cost of fuel prices.
With a gas pressure washer you have a couple of different choices when selecting an engine. Also, gas engines don't require a power cord which in turn allows more portability.
The following are established guidelines to consider:
- There is a formula to determine how much horsepower is required to drive a pump at a given volume and pressure. Various manufacturers have slightly different versions, but generally volume is GPM x PSI/1456 = brake horsepower. Now that may be just enough information to be dangerous.
- As a general rule, 130 volt service cannot offer more than 2 horsepower. That means 3 GPM at 1,000 PSI is tops for a 130 VAC.
- Moving on up, the next general rule is that 10 horsepower is maximum horsepower for single phase. Roughly 4.5 GPM x 3,000 PSI is about maximum for a 10 horsepower.
- Motors larger than 10 horsepower generally require three phase power.
If you operate a pressure washer for less than five hours per week, you can probably get away with a less expensive model found in do-it-yourself stores. But beware, you certainly won't get the service, support or warranty coverage that so many people expect from Georgia Chemicals.
If you operate pressure washers for less than 20 hours per week, you can find some mid-range models that are typically identified by a direct-drive pump and a bare-bones design. However, these are usually mediocre options.
Trust the experts at Georgia Chemicals to help you select the best models and solutions for all your applications.
Rotary Surface Cleaners
Clean large, flat surfaces faster and easier than with a standard cleaning nozzle. The Georgia Chemical rotary surface cleaners come in three different diameters, 18", 20" and 28". Each is equipped with a heavy duty nylon brush to eliminate overspray and maintain the distance between the nozzles and the cleaning surface. This combination ensures a balanced and even cleaning pattern.
Rotating nozzles increase your cleaning power and decrease your cleaning time. Rotating nozzles offer 0° spray impact with 25° coverage. Georgia Chemical Nozzles include a filter, to protect the nozzle from becoming clogged with debris, a quick connect and heavy-duty components for long life and reliability. Rotating nozzles can be used on sidewalks, driveways, track vehicles, muddy areas, old peeling paints and concrete surfaces.
Georgia Chemical Detergents are environmentally friendly, can be used indoors, and are biodegradable. We offer 3 types of detergents: Deck & House Wash, All Purpose Cleaner, and Heavy-Duty Degreaser. All are available in 1 gallon, 5 gallon, and 55 gallon drums.
Hose reels are convenient for the storage of hoses and can be mounted directly on pressure washer frames or attached to a wall bracket. Several sizes are available.
Extended Reach Wands
Clean hard to reach places such as home exterior and gutters, farm equipment and multi-story buildings by using telescopic extended reach wands. Georgia Chemical has several lengths to choose from.
Wet sand blasting is an efficient and dust free method in removing coatings from steel and concrete surfaces such as rust, paint, and graffiti.
YES! If you plan to pull water from a regular garden hose connection you can use a direct drive pressure washer with a standard filter that comes with your pressure washer. If you plan to pull water from a tank we recommend that you use a belt driven pressure washer. The pump on a belt driven pressure washer has better suction capabilities than a direct drive pressure washer.
YES! Georgia Chemical custom builds trailers to suit the needs of our customers in either single or dual axle models. Add reliable Georgia Chemical equipment to suit your application and you are ready for the next job! Trailer units are used by heavy construction contractors, factories, well drillers, mines, military bases, road builders, contract cleaners, shipyards, municipalities and food services.
At Georgia Chemical, we have experienced many problems with “off road” diesel. Because it’s so inconsistent, we simply are not confident it will work in pressure washer burners. Use of off-road fuel (red diesel) will result in additional charges to remove the off-road fuel, clean out the fuel system, refill the fuel, recalibrate the burner, repair the damage, loss of use, and other charges.
Compression combustion engines and oil-fired burners are very different. The pressure for atomization in internal combustion engines is many times higher than those in oil burners. Engines utilize compression to ignite fuel in a diesel engine whereas an oil burner utilizes an electrical arc. The only similarities are that both burn some of the same fuels. However, the compression combustion engine will tolerate fuels that simply will not burn at acceptable parameters for an oil burner.
Therefore, we recommend “road” fuel. We cannot dictate to a customer where you purchase your fuel and what grade you purchase. However, our experience shows the quality and consistency of road fuel meets the parameters required for pressure washer/steam cleaner burners to operate satisfactorily more than 99 percent of the time.
UL 1776 is a set of safety standards written by Underwriters Laboratories for the Cleaning Equipment Trade Association (CETA). CETA— and its predecessor Cleaning Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA)—paid Underwriters Laboratories to establish safety standards for the American Pressure Washer Industry by developing UL-1776.
Until the UL-1776 standards were established, each manufacturer determined their own safety standards and they could vary widely from one manufacturer to another. By developing UL-1776 standards, consumers are now assured of a safety standard that is generally accepted and adhered to by most American and foreign pressure washer manufacturers marketed in the USA.
Underwriters Laboratories is a well-known testing agency that is unbiased toward any pressure washer manufacturer in the industry. Their standards do not favor any specific brand or manufacturer.
No, it is not unlawful to build or operate a pressure washer without meeting UL-1776 standards. However, if there is an accident involving a pressure washer that is not certified, there is very little defense. Even though there are several agencies that certify to UL-1776 standards, UL-1776 is the only current safety standard generally recognized in the pressure washer industry.
The first option is to store your pressure washer in a heated area and not let it freeze. If the unit cannot be stored in a heated area you will need to run RV Anti- Freeze through the pump. To do this, take a short piece of garden hose with a male garden hose connector and attach to the pump. Attach a funnel to the other end of the hose and fill the funnel with the RV anti- freeze fluid and pull the engine over until you see the colored fluid exiting the pump. It is also very important to drain the high pressure hose and the gun/wand.
If you are unable to store your pressure washer in a heated area you can purchase a 6 oz container of Georgia Chemical pump saver, which comes equipped with a male garden hose connector. Thread the connector onto the pump inlet, remove the pressure washer high pressure outlet hose, and spray the contents by pressing the center cap of the canister. By allowing the entire contents into the pump, the water should be pushed out through the discharge quick connect. The pump saver provides longer pump life, prevents harmful build up of hard water mineral deposits, preserves seals, pistons and protects against freezing.