Pressure Washer Words to Know

Pressure Washer Words to Know

In the power-tool community, there are a series of important words to know when discussing the powerful and efficient clean you get from using a pressure washer. By having a thorough knowledge of these words, you can get a heads-up on what to buy, what to look for, how to use a pressure washer, and how to completely understand its manual. These words are often used by both commercial and noncommercial people in the pressure washer industry.

Bypass Mode: This is similar to a car running idle. If your machine is on, but the trigger is not released (to spray water), the water in the machine goes into bypass mode. If you leave a machine in bypass mode for longer than a minute or so, you can cause damage to your pressure washer (explained in details by because the engine and pump are heating up the water, and then the water can no longer do its job as the coolant for these components.

Chemical Injector – This is a component of your pressure washer that allows a soap, detergent, or chemical to be injected into the water stream to assist with cleaning particularly tough surfaces, stains, or oily messes.

CU (Cleaning Units) – This is one way to measure the cleaning power of a pressure washer, and it is found by measuring the GPM (see below) times the PSI (also see below). In short, it's formula is GPM x PSI = CU.

GPM (Gallons Per Minute) – This is the measurement of how much water is flowing through the pump. A higher GPM can result in faster cleaning.

PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) – This is the measurement for the unit of pressure; in other words, it determines how much pressure is being applied to the surface where the water is sprayed.

Pressure Gauge – This device informs the user the current pressure and the peak pressure of the machine.

Spray Nozzle/Tip – This component can be changed to adjust the exact pressure of the water as it comes out by changing the angle of the water.

Unloader – This component relieves any water that remains in the pump if there is a problem with spray flow.