Types of Pressure Washer and Their Uses

The concept of a machine that employs a powerful water jet to clean cars and courtyards might seem relatively new. In practice, however, the original idea was conceived by a bootleg whiskey maker and producer of gas-fired water heaters and boilers back in 1926. While tending his still, Frank W. Ofeldt II realised that one could adapt its principle for cleaning purposes. Although his so-called “Hypressure Vapour Spray Generator” utilised steam, his prototype design would later serve as the basis for the modern pressure washer.

Most of the cleaning power of those early devices can be attributed to the heat from the steam rather than the power behind the jet. It was only during the early ‘60s when Cat Pumps introduced a new piston pump capable of generating 1 000 pounds per square inch that today’s multi-billion-dollar global industry began to take shape. Development continued to be determined by advances in pump technology. By 1975, Cat Pumps had trebled the performance of its piston pumps, opening many new applications for the various types of pressure washers in everyday use today.

A jet of cold water can often be as effective as steam when accelerated sufficiently. This fact has led to a form of cleaning technology that is more economical and eco-friendly than alternatives such as harsh chemical agents. Even more significantly, it is a technology that has proved to be highly versatile, providing numerous applications for the home user, in commerce and across a wide range of industries. The most common type of this device favoured for domestic use is the cold water pressure washer.

This device is the perfect tool to strip the mud from the kids’ trail bikes or the family 4×4 after a weekend of bundu bashing. It also offers the fastest and most effective way to lift the ingrained dirt from driveways, patios, and rendered walls or clean the moss and leaves from gutters. Models that are adjustable between around 300 and 500 psi should prove adequate for all light to heavy outdoor cleaning tasks around the home. Furthermore, you could consume 75 per cent less water and save on your monthly bills by using a domestic pressure washer for those jobs you would have normally tackled with the garden hose.

However, shifting old oil stains from a workshop floor can pose rather more of a challenge for garages and engineering works where spillages are common. Hot water machines can deliver a jet of superheated water to cut through the oil and grease. A commercial car wash will often employ hot water during the cleaning phase, albeit at more modest temperatures.

pressure washer may be driven by an electric motor or a petrol engine. The former is convenient for the models used at home, where there is generally easy access to a source of mains power. However, being tethered by a cable is not always practical in many commercial and industrial situations. The solution is a mobile unit with an onboard petrol engine that can operate anywhere.

At the heart of each of these machines is a powerful high-pressure pump. Bestline Manufacturing is South Africa’s sole distributor of world-acclaimed Cat Pumps and a go-to destination for more information about various types of pressure washers.

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