Most people don’t realize it, but pressure washing equipment can cause serious injury. A pressure washer’s powerful spray can cause skin lacerations, bruises, or punctures. It can also cause eye damage, sometimes as serious as blindness. Should you be using a pressure washer, it’s important that you use the following ten power washing safety tips:
- Read the Owner’s Manual Before Operating
The most important safety tip is to become familiar with your pressure washer before ever even turning it on. This is done by reading the pressure washer’s owner’s manual. Learn how your power washer works and what special and safety features it has.
- Use the Proper Hose Diameter, Flow Rate, and Nozzle
You should always use the hose diameter, flow rate, and nozzle that your owner’s manual recommends. Don’t try to get fancy and change any of these, as doing so can result in injury or pressure washer malfunction.
- Maintain a Safe Distance When Spraying
It’s recommended that you start spraying at a distance far from the surface you’re power washing and then work your way towards it until you find the optimal distance that’s both safe and effective. You want to make sure that the spray isn’t hitting the surface and then bouncing back and hitting you.
- Wear Proper Clothing and Eye Protection
Power washing should always be done wearing heavy-duty pants, long sleeve shirts, and eye protection.
- Stay Grounded
A pressure washer should only be operated while your standing on the ground. Never use a pressure washer while on a ladder or roof.
- Use the Correct Pressure
Use the correct pressure for the surface your cleaning. A pressure rating of 3000 psi is recommended for concrete. Soft woods call for a pressure rating of around 500 psi. Hard woods call for a rating around 1,200 psi.
- Check Safety Features
All pressure washers come with built in safety features that should be routinely checked to ensure they’re working properly. Most of these features are very important because they prevent the temperature and pressure of the water from reaching levels that might cause injury.
- Use the Right Cleaning Chemicals
The owner’s manual should have a list of approved detergents to use with the power washer. Do not use any other detergents. Also, match the correct detergent with the surface you are cleaning. Be especially careful if you are spraying a roof because high pressure can damage the shingles.
- Use Precaution when Using Gas Units
If you’re using a gas unit, it’s imperative that you always use it outside, stay clear of flammable objects like paint thinners, and regularly check for gas leaks.
- Avoid Electrical Hazards
Power lines, circuit boxes, telephone junction boxes, and outdoor fixtures are all electrical hazards you should avoid when pressure washing. If any of these are damaged by a pressure washer, they can seriously injure you or another person. Contact a handyman quickly if you do any damage. Now you have ten tips to use when operating your pressure washer. Remember, reading and understanding your owner’s manual is the most important. Follow it and use proper clothing, and eye protection to minimize the risk of injuries such as lacerations, bruises or punctures.