Knowing how a pressure washer operates is vital if you want to buy or already own one. Some come with booklets or leaflets with information on how to use them. However, some people still don’t understand the concept. You work better with something when you know why it’s behaving as it is and how to care for it for extended use. For example, bike cleaning¬†using a pressure cleaner is a good practice, but it would be best to explain what is happening, especially if the machine is yours. We discuss how pressure washers operate and how to maintain them.

How do pressure washers work?

The machine is usually connected to a water source to let water into it and through the filtration system to remove dust, dirt, and other debris. The water then moves into the pump, driven by an electric engine. The pump is responsible for pumping the water out of the washer in the form of a high-pressurized jet. Before it flows out, it goes through a restricted outlet with a by-pass valve. The valve connects the outlet and the hose to which the water then flows and exits through the nozzle.

At this point, you can add soap to the water if necessary. You can do it upstream or downstream, depending on your preference. The upstream or above pump technique is suitable for pressure washers with an internal water tank. It is commonly known as high-pressure detergent delivery. The hose is connected to the pump, and the soap is sucked in.

One significant benefit of this method is the pressure remains constant. The downstream technique is also known as low-pressure detergent delivery. The pump receives the detergent directly from the water outlet and is sucked into the venturi system. Foam is generated in this method, unlike the latter, but the pressure level of the pump drops. The detergent is then forced out of the pressure washer via the soap nozzle, which is broad and has low pressure for adequate flow.

How can you maintain pressure washers?

Effective maintenance is the key to every machine’s long life. You must do a regular activity to retain the pressure washer’s performing power. A device in good condition also saves you time spent seeking repairs on one part or more and money to pay for the service. Below is a guide on how to carry out the maintenance process.

Inspect the pressure washer after every use. Check whether the cords are okay, the fittings are intact, the hose is good with no cracks, the filter is not dirty, etc. Doing this helps to locate any damages and rectify them before the subsequent use.

Once a month, check the oil level and fill it if it’s low. Clean the filters and nozzles or replace them if they are too dirty.

After 3-4 months, involve a professional and have them check the filters, pump attachment, and hydraulic circuit, to name a few.


A maintenance routine is a never-ending process. It keeps the pressure washer machine in check and ensures it performs well throughout. Pressure washer units are simple machines that you can handle at home or commercially with the proper knowledge. With a better understanding of how they operate, you can now use the devices with ease, but you can always research more information until you get used to them.


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