how a pressure washer works

How does a pressure washer work?

Maybe you’re looking into starting a pressure washing business, or you simply have frequent cleaning needs at your business and are considering a pressure washer as a solution. Perhaps you’re just curious about the magic behind these machines. Whatever the case, we’re glad you’re here with us today as we explain how a pressure washer works to achieve the most effective, efficient cleaning process. 

Below, we’ll uncover the main components of pressure washers that make them tick. Then, we’ll fully unpack the inner workings of a pressure washer – and why you could benefit from adding one of these powerful systems to your cleaning arsenal. 

Hotsy Equipment Company is the most trusted San Antonio pressure washing store – and we have all the different types of pressure washers, pressure washing soap, and accessories you need to unlock the most productive process possible. If you come away from this article with the realization that you need a pressure washer and you’re in South Texas, we look forward to hearing from you! But for now, let’s get into how a pressure washer works. 

How Does a Pressure Washer Work?

So, how does a pressure washer work? To fully explain how a pressure washer works, we need to begin by breaking down all the little components within your machine that make it tick. So let’s start there:

First, an Explanation of the Main Components of Pressure Washers

There are so many different parts in your pressure washer that unpacking each and every nut, bolt, and mechanism would take days. So we’ll just focus on the main components that make this equipment work so well:

  • Engine or Motor: The engine or motor powers the pump, which generates a high-pressure stream of water. Pressure washers can be powered by gasoline, diesel, or electricity. You can learn more about electric vs gas pressure washers in our blog. Whichever fuel source you go with, one thing is for sure – this is the heart of your machine.
  • Pump: The pump is the heart of the pressure washer, and it’s responsible for creating the high-pressure stream of water. Most pressure washers use a reciprocating piston pump, which has a set of pistons that move back and forth to create pressure. There are also axial and triplex plunger pumps used on pressure washers.
  • Water Inlet: The water inlet is where the pressure washer connects to a hose that brings in water from a source, such as a faucet or a water tank.
  • High-Pressure Hose: The high-pressure hose is the conduit that carries the high-pressure water from the pump to the spray wand.
  • Spray Wand: The spray wand is the tool that you use to aim and control the high-pressure stream of water. Most pressure washers come with interchangeable spray nozzles that allow you to adjust the intensity and angle of the stream.
  • Detergent Tank: Some pressure washers come with a built-in detergent tank that allows you to add cleaning solutions to the water stream. You can learn more about how to use a pressure washer with detergent or the best soap for pressure washers in our blog. 

Now that we’ve introduced the main components of any commercial pressure washing unit, let’s get to what you came here to learn: how does a pressure washer work?

So, How Does a Pressure Washer Work to Clean Quickly and Effectively?

Really, all you need to know to reap the benefits of using a pressure washer is that when you set the machine up, turn it on, and pull the trigger – a powerful jet of water blasts out the nozzle and removes tough messes from any surface. But how does a pressure washer work to actually make this happen?

As mentioned earlier, the motor or engine is the heart of your machine. It’s responsible for turning on the pump, which is where the real magic happens. The pump has an inlet where water enters the machine and an outlet where the pressurized water is sent to the high-pressure hose.

The pump is designed to increase the pressure of the water by compressing it with a piston or plunger. As the piston or plunger moves forward, it compresses the water, thus increasing the pressure. When the piston or plunger moves back, it creates a vacuum that draws water in from the inlet. 

From there, the high-pressure hose carries the pressurized water from the pump to the spray gun. These hoses are typically reinforced with wire mesh or other materials to handle the high pressure of the water and prevent cracks or bursts. When you pull the trigger on the spray gun, it opens a valve that allows the pressurized water to flow through the nozzle. 

The nozzle is designed to create a narrow, high-pressure jet of water. The nozzle is usually made of brass or other materials and is designed to create a specific spray pattern. Different nozzles can be used for different cleaning tasks, such as a narrow stream for tough stains or a wider fan pattern for larger areas. There are even specific soap tips for pressure washers.

Speaking of which, most pressure washers also have a detergent injector. The detergent injector is usually a small tube that is connected to the pump and has a filter to prevent debris from entering the machine. When you add detergent to the machine, it is mixed with the water stream as it flows through the detergent injector – which creates a sudsy spray that offers way more cleaning power and efficiency. 

As you use the pressure washer, the unloader valve monitors the pressure and releases excess water back into the pump. The unloader valve is located inside the machine and is responsible for regulating the pressure of the water. If the pressure gets too high, the unloader valve releases some of the water back into the pump to prevent damage to the machine.

Now That You Know How a Pressure Washer Works, Why Do You Need One? Benefits for Businesses 

Hopefully, you feel more clear on how a pressure washer works. Pretty cool, right? Now the question is – do you really need one for your business? Chances are, you can benefit from the investment in one way or another. 

Think about the cleaning needs you have on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Maybe it’s parking lot power washing or commercial building pressure washing because you want to make good first impressions when clients or customers visit your location. These types of machines can also help with gym cleaning, restaurant pressure washing, pressure washing heavy equipment, cleaning oil rigs, and a whole lot more. 

The use cases are seemingly endless. But the benefits of choosing a pressure washer over some other type of cleaning solution really come down to effectiveness and efficiency.

Think back to how a pressure washer works: the end result is an ultra-powerful, targeted jet of water that can blast through even the toughest muck and grime. This is so much faster than cleaning surfaces with a simple garden hose and scrub brush. Time is money – and you can save a whole lot of time by investing in the best commercial pressure washer

Now – let’s take things even a step further, though. You can use targeted detergents to sanitize equipment much quicker than you’d otherwise be able to. And when you choose a commercial hot water pressure for sale, the heated water takes cleaning efficacy and efficiency even further.

All of this is to say that empowering your crew to clean quicker and better with a pressure washer is a great investment. The only question is – where can you get yours? For that, you can look no further than Hotsy in South Texas.

We offer a wide array of styles to choose from – ranging from hot water vs cold water pressure washers to electric or gas models, and even power washer trailers for sale so you can tackle remote cleaning jobs with ease. And if you aren’t sure it makes sense to buy a pressure washer, you can rent a pressure washer through our commercial pressure washer rental service. 

They say nothing cleans like a Hotsy, and once you have a chance to see these powerhouses in action we’re confident you’ll agree! Reach out today or stop by one of our many South Texas locations to learn more about how our equipment can help you achieve peak productivity in your business. 

Final Thoughts on How a Pressure Washer Works

You came here hoping to learn how a pressure washer works – and we hope to have done a good job in answering all your questions. So, in summary, how does a pressure washer work? The engine or motor activates the pump which creates that power stream of water when you pull the trigger. A lot of little processes go into making a power washer tick, but really, all you need to know is this: these machines are the most efficient, effective cleaning solution for business owners of all types!

And at Hotsy, you can count on us to set you up with the equipment you need for the most powerful cleaning process possible. You can visit us in San Antonio, New Braunfels, Laredo

Rio Grande Valley, or Eagle Ford Shale. Or, give us a call and we’ll talk shop over the phone. With 40 years of experience under belt, you can rest assured you’re in good hands at Hotsy!