USA in the Morning

Mr Mike's Musings

What NOT to do with a Pressure Washer

Mr. Mishaps is my middle name. Believe it! Not when I am teaching or directing the band. There I have a solid reputation. Not when I am in the midst of any activity at school. I am a trusted employee. I am so designated at home doing certain chores that test my mettle. One such is using a pressure washer.

In spite of issues that arise, I wash the patio or garage floor if needed. I touch up the driveway and sidewalks. I address accumulated grime on walls, fences, the shed, and anywhere dirt shows its ugly face. But…I have been known to have my troubles.

For one thing, I bought a deluxe model that is heavier than I expected. Oh, my aching back. Plus, it has an extra-long hose in which I can get easily entangled. On top of that, my favorite nozzle is a hell of a spray if you don’t control it, making you thoroughly drenched right out of the box.

Playing even a tuba was never this hard. In spite of the testimonials of the thing that promised it was user friendly, it is a bit of a challenge. Sure, I read the manual and did a test run, but it didn’t help when it came down to the matters at hand. After a perpetual battle with the brawny monster, I finally get results.

So the things NOT to do with a pressure washer are as follows:

  • Do not ignore the instructions
  • Do not use the machine when you are tired
  • Do not expect people to help you
  • Do not give up and call a professional
  • Do not buy the biggest one in the store
  • Do not think you know how to fix a gas-powered engine
  • Do not use the wrong kind of detergent or cleaner
  • Do not leave the hose unwound for someone to trip over it
  • Do not expect hot water with all models
  • Do not get a battery-powered version if you neglect to change or recharge them
  • Do not be in a hurry. It will encourage mishaps.

On the other hand, I have some suggestions from the peanut gallery.

  • Do buy a good brand such as Karcher, Campbell Hausfeld, or Cam Spray
  • Do think about electric versus gas power. It makes a difference
  • Do learn what PSI and GPM mean
  • Do consider portable or handheld for smaller jobs
  • Do consider stationary or wall mount
  • Do expect durable inlet and discharge tubes
  • Do opt for a stop system that halts the motor and pump when the spray trigger is released
  • Do your homework always before making a final decision

If you are concerned about water as a resource, the best pressure washers use less gallons per minute than a hose. Just be sure you are getting all the necessary regular features such as an on-board detergent tank, at least a 30 foot power cord, a built-in active hose reel, and sturdy wheels. Make sure your machine can take wear and tear and require little maintenance. Above all, buy one that minimizes problems if you are a Mr. Mishap like me.