Power Washers Pressure Washer Safety

Published on March 13th, 2015 | by Jacks


Pressure Washer Safety

Is your house covered in mold and dirt? Is your car just screaming to be washed?

Maybe your outdoor patio needs a good cleaning? Before you run for your pressure washer, there are a few things to think about.

You’re garden hose offers approximately 50 PSI. A Pressure Washer can easily generate 1000-4000 PSI compared to a typical garden hose. That is some serious power. But serious power comes with serious safety precautions.

Following simple pressure washer safety procedures can prevent and eliminate any accidental pressure washer related injuries.

Before You Clean

Preventative maintenance is always key to keeping power equipment safe. A few minutes of maintenance every time you use your pressure washer can eliminate your equipment from malfunctioning and causing accidents. Check out our Pressure Washer Maintenance article for a complete guide to keeping your Pressure Washer up-to-date!

Weather Precautions

If you think you can operate your gas or electric powered pressure washer in the rain or if the ground is wet, you’re wrong. Even though water is coming from your pressure washer, rain or wet ground could damage the engine. Or in the case of an electric pressure washer, it could cause electrocution.

Is Your Working Area Clear?

Toys, rocks, and sticks. Obstructions in your working area could cause a hazardous accident. Always clear your working area of obstacles that you could trip and fall over or that your pressure washer hose could get stuck on. Make sure people, children, and pets are at safe distance away from your working area.

High pressure spray can move objects or cause them to ricochet off the surface you are cleaning, injuring you or anyone surrounding you. 50 feet is a good recommended distance for anyone around you.

That Dirt is Ready to Go

Stay 3-4 ft. away from spray.
Stay 3-4 feet from the surface you’re spraying.

  • Always wear protective glasses to protect your body and face from the high powered spray and any objects that could be moved.
  • Never spray people or animals with your pressure washer. High pressure spray can cut through skin and cause serious injuries.
  • Keep any power cords out of standing water; this could cause shock or electrocution.
  • Always connect to water supply before turning on water supply. Not doing this will damage the pump.
  • Test the GFCI before getting started.
  • Always adjust spray tip and spray pattern while pressure washer is off.
  • Never try to mend the high pressure hose if it is damaged or worn, it is safer to just replace it.
  • Small engines produce an odorless, tasteless, clear, deadly gas known as Carbon Monoxide. Never operate or work on your pressure washer inside or in a closed in area where Carbon Monoxide can accumulate.
  • Start using your pressure washer 3-4 feet from your surface. Remember that objects and water can ricochet off the surface you are cleaning and injure you.
  • Always wear closed toed-non slip shoes when operating your pressure washer. The area you are working in could get wet and slippery, allowing an easy situation for you to slip and fall.
  • Never spray people or animals with high pressure water. High pressure water can cut skin causing major injury.
  • It is not recommended to use your Pressure Washer form a ladder or other unstable surface. A slip or fall could result from the initial back lash of the spray, pressure striking the wall or your surface getting wet.

Final Thoughts

A pressure washer is a time efficient, easy, and sometimes fun way to clean your house exterior, porch, patio furniture or even your car! Following safety recommendations can save you and anyone else serious injury and allow you to get back to enjoying your summer.

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About the Author

Jack's Small Engines has been providing parts for outdoor power equipment online since 1997. We also run a service center for outdoor power equipment like riding mowers, snow blowers, generators, chainsaws, and just about anything else.

3 Responses to Pressure Washer Safety

  1. Jason Strong says:

    My brother and I are helping my ant get some cleaning done for her big part coming up this weekend. We are going to need to do some power washing, but we aren’t sure how to do that exactly. This helped though and I hope that we can find something that will help us out.

  2. Delores Lyon says:

    Thanks for sharing this advice on keeping safe while using your pressure washer. I definitely think that your tip on only using the machine outdoors is great– many people probably forget that engines produce carbon monoxide. However, I didn’t know that it is recommended to get protective glasses– I better get some of those while I am out looking for a pressure washer for my home.

  3. Fred Still says:

    My gasoline power washer accidentally got caught outside in a huge rainstorm. I dried it off, but I am concerned if there could be damage to the engine. Is it safe to start? Should I take it into shop to have it checked before cranking? I’m very concerned as the power washing belongs to my neighbor. Please advise at your earliest convenience.

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