Pressure Washer Safety Tips

Pressure washer safety should be everyone's concern when it comes to the use of these high pressure equipment. In as much as pressure washers are handy tools that we use at home and at industrial sites for professional and commercial purposes, they can also be dangerous when mishandled.

Pressure Washer SafetyThere are essentially two levels of pressure washer safety to be considered namely user safety and equipment or property safety. These two levels will be considered in turn below. Overall when thinking about safety in pressure washer use it is best to start with the equipment itself. This means we must consider purchasing well made and packaged equipment to reduce the risk of injury and damage to property.

In North America it is possible to find and is strongly recommended to purchase equipment that has been certified for safe usage. The Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) is an important institution that ensures that industry pressure washers are made to a certain standard for safety.

The certification includes consideration things such as clear labels on washer models, clear and easy to follow user manuals, technical design of washers such as trigger release guns, and GFCI certified power cords for electric pressure washers. When shopping for a washer it is therefore important to consider if the model your are settling for has been certified one way or the other for safety.

Pressure Washer Safety - Personal safety

This is the most important level of safety concern when using a pressure washer. The amount of pressure washer output known as pressure washer psi is an important consideration. The higher the output the more likely it is for a washer to cause serious personal injury when misused. An electric pressure washer of 1500psi can not be compared to the gas powered high pressure washer with an output of 4000psi when it comes to the damage it can cause.

The following are safety precautions pressure washer users must remember when handling the machines;

  • Never point the high pressure washer jet at self, another person or animal
  • Gas powered pressure washers produce dangerous fumes and mustn't be used indoors. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • High noise level washers must be used wearing ear plugs to avoid permanent damage to ears
  • Children should not be let to operate high pressure washer output models
  • To avoid particles and debris damaging eyes goggles should be worn when power washing
  • Wear protective clothing when using detergents or soaps with your washer unit
  • Never touch hot parts of a washer such as the engine, motor or pump
  • Pressure washer jets should never be used for playing spraying games as the high pressure jet can easily penetrate the skin.
  • When using an electric washer ensure the washer as a GFCI cord to avoid shock
  • Avoid connecting unauthorized extensions to electric cord as this may lead to shock and equipment damage.

Pressure Washer Safety - Equipment and Property safety

After personal pressure washer safety the second level of washer safety to be considered is equipment and property safety. It is not a hard thing to do to damage your washer unit through misuse. One of the most common ways in which washer owners damage their equipment is through poor storage over the winter months. When a washer pump is left with waster over the winter months it freezes rendering the unit useless afterwards.

Another common mistake that leads to property and equipment damage when using a washer is to apply a high pressure washer on delicate surfaces such as wood, glass (windows) and even vehicles.

When unregulated high pressure water is applied to wood furniture, for example, it will easily gouge the wood leaving it expensively damaged. By reading owner's manuals and user guides we avoid costly damages caused by pressure washers on property.

The following are some things to remember in as far as pressure washer safety towards equipment and property is concerned;

  • Do a regular pressure washer pump oil and engine oil change to protect pump and engine from damage.
  • Avoid kinking your high pressure hose as this can damage the pump as well as the hose itself.
  • Spray triggers are designed to protect the pump by requiring pulling of trigger to release high pressure water. Never force the trigger to remain in a pulled back position through use of a Velcro strap,for example, as this damages the pump and also puts you in danger of injury.
  • Most switches on pressure washer requires that it be switched off first. This includes refueling your washer, changing pressure washer nozzles and turbo nozzle amongst other pressure washer accessories. Never change attachements or refuel whilst washer is running.
  • Home do it yourself repairs of pressure washers are not recommended as this may permanently damage equipment and may even cause personal injury.

For some troubleshooting tips see our pressure washer troubleshooting page

To ensure ongoing pressure washer safety at both personal level and equipment and property level ensure, as mentioned, that you only invest in well known brands of washers that have very good reviews.

You may consider to look at our pressure washer reviews within this site for recommended models. Unfortunately, most pressure washers made outside of North America and certain parts of Europe are of a very questionable quality and may result in injury and damage to property.