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Understanding the Vocabulary of Pressure Washers


If you are looking at pressure washers, but are new to the market, some of the terminology may also be new to you. Understanding what those terms mean can make shopping around a whole lot easier, then you know what you are looking at instead of reading a box and wondering. Let's take a look at some common terms that are used in identifying different features of pressure washers.

Adjustable pressure regulator - this regulator allows the user to vary the pressure of the spray.

Adjustable spray / multi-reg nozzle - a multi-reg nozzle allows you to adjust the angle of the spray with a turn of the tip. These nozzles also allow for the low pressure application of chemical and cleaning solutions.

Axial cam - these types of pressure washers uses a cam to transform the rotary motion of the motor into the reciprocating motion of the pump's pistons. An axial cam system has fewer parts than other systems so are normally less expensive.

Belt drive system - a belt driven system uses pulleys and belts to slow the speed of the pump. This type of system allows for a longer pump life, but some efficiency is lost due to the additional friction caused by the belts and pulleys. There is also additional maintenance in keeping them belts adjusted.

Ceramic vs. non-ceramic plungers - the plunger is a primary part that moves back and forth between the rubber seals to create the flow and pressure of the system. Industrial grade pressure washers use ceramic plungers because they are very smooth, extending the life of the seals so they do not wear out.

Chemical injector - this allows chemicals or soap to be injected into the water stream, resulting in faster and easier cleaning. Without a chemical injector, the user must switch to a special soap nozzle.

Direct drive - in these types of pressure washers, the pump is connected directly to the engine. The pump and engine spin at the same speed. This system is very simple, having few moving parts which makes it less expensive. However, the disadvantage is that the bearings get more wear and tear which reduces the life span of the pump.

EZ start adjustable unloader - this eliminates the pressure in the pump when you start it up, it makes pressure washers easier to start and causes less damage to the starter motor.

Gearbox pumps - these types of pressure washers have a gear reduction box between the motor and the pump, so they run at about half the speed of direct drive pumps. WIth less need to replace the seals and valve as often, there are less maintenance expenses.

GFCI - this only applies to electric pressure washers, it stands for Ground Fault Current Interrupter which protects the user from accidental electrocution.

GPM - stands for Gallons Per Minute which is part of the measure of the power of the washer. The great the GPM, the faster and more powerful the cleaning capacity of the unit.

This is just the first part of the helpful vocabulary when shopping for a pressure washer. There are many other terms about pressure washers, and we will take a look at more of them next time.

 


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