In part 2 of “Professional Pressure Washing Equipment & Accessories” I’m going to talk about some of the items that get connected to the end of the high pressure hose.
One of the most obvious items would be a wand and the spray tips that get connected to the end of it but before I discuss those items there’s one important object that should come between the wand & high pressure hose and that’s a matching pressure rated ball valve. The high pressure ball valve should be rated close to equal to or above what your power washing machines pump output is. Most people in the profession use the 3000 psi valves because they are less expensive, smaller and lighter than the 7200 psi valves.
The reason why we need these valves is simple.. they allow us to change between output accessories without having to shut our machines down. Without being able to turn off a valve at the end of the high pressure hose while running it would be impossible to disconnect from an accessory such as a wand, in order to switch to another accessory such as a rotary surface washer (used to quickly pressure wash patios and pressure wash driveways). Being able to stop that water from coming out for just a few seconds buys just enough time to make the switch before opening the line of pressure back up again to continue working in a slightly different manner.
The wands we use are somewhat self explanatory so I wont say much about them except that they do make some that have what they call EZ-Triggers on them as opposed to the run-of-the-mill triggers that are slightly more difficult to pull on. The only other difference I can think of what be that some triggers are made to handle higher temperatures associated with using hot water set-ups. Of course the rod or lance extending from all triggers can be cut to what ever length the operator wants them to be. Some guys like to have a few wands on hand that are at different lengths in order to make specific tasks easier to reach which does bring me to our next accessory before I get into the spray tips.
Spray tips can go directly onto the wands lance or they can be attached to the end of an extension rod. An extension rod is exactly as it implies.. it’s basically a lance that can get added onto a wand to make it longer. There’s many applications that require an operator to reach to more distant objects such as to the top of an aluminum pool cage (as they span up & across a pool surface) or up to the overhang of the gable end of a house.. pressure washing pool cages and pressure washing houses are just a few examples.
Now onto spray tips. The tips originally come as a set with the machines but they can also be purchased later on either separately or again as a full set. Besides the fact that they can be left or lost on a job, they also become worn from usage as time goes on and should be replaced as needed. When I say they become worn, it’s the actual nozzle or orifice of the spray tip that wears down becoming larger than it’s original diameter. When the orifice becomes larger than intended for a specific pumps output volume, it will start to diminish cleaning effectiveness.
What the operator feels when a tip is very worn is that the machines output will seem like it isn’t producing as much pressure as it used to. It will seem like someone reached over and turn his un-loader valve down on him (but un-loader valves are a whole other story that I wont be getting into on these basic posts.. just know that their sole purpose is to limit a pumps output pressure without decreasing its water volume).
So as I was saying before.. the tips come in a set.. five tips and each of them are a different color. The colors helps distinguish between the nozzle angles they are produced in. The black tip is special by comparison to the four others because it always has a very large opening. The reason for such a large opening is that it’s made for spraying soap or chemicals at a drastically lower pressure than the normal high pressure tips. It’s basically spraying at around 60 psi which is just enough to distribute diluted soap or chemical onto objects.
The other four tips are: 0 degree, 15 degree, 25 degree & 40 degree (red, yellow, green & white). These tips are suited for different high pressure cleaning purposes. The degree of angle represents the width at which the spray pattern comes out. The higher the number, the wider the spray pattern. The white tip (40 degree) covers more area than the other three tips but in doing so it will also concentrated less water in one particular area. It’s power will be less focused but as long as it’s still able to clean effectively, using a tip that covers a larger area would be like a bonus. Of course there will be a few instances that operators will need a more focused spray pattern and therefore opt for a green or yellow tip but I usually never find the need to use anything but my (40 degree & soap) white & black tips.
Hopefully I didn’t confuse anyone while discussing spray tips.. you just need to experience using the different tips on a commercial grade machine in order to get a feel for what they can do. Just remember this: you will never need to use your red tip (that’s the 0 degree tip). Just know that it’s dangerous and will damage just about anything it’s pointed at while in spray mode. I have a feeling they made it red because it shoots like a laser.. lol
And on that note I think we’ll stop right here. In part three of the post I’ll talk about: rotary surface washers, high pressure hose reels and anything else that comes to mind.
If you’re in the Port St Lucie Area and you’re interested in having Bill’s Pressure Cleaning PLUS Barrel & Flat-Tile Roof Cleaning take care of your Pressure Washing needs, please visit my homepage for more info and general pricing by clicking on the link below. Thank You