May 16, 2016

Four Basic Safety Tips for Electric Pressure Washers

Who would have ever thought that cleaning could be dangerous?

Sure, the actual act of cleaning itself does not lend itself to danger. But when you add in cleaning machinery like electric pressure washers, some significant concerns can arise. It’s not that the pressure washers are themselves dangerous – it’s that if the user does not take care and precaution, opportunities for danger can definitely come up.

Don’t just go out and think that you hold the wand to the washer like you would a garden hose. Don’t think that you can hold it with one hand and maybe a frosty drink in the other. And finally, don’t think you can just watch TV and loosely pay attention as you let the wand do all the work.

You need to be cognizant, and you need to be present. That’s why we have four basic safety tips for anybody who wants to use an electric pressure washer, a machine that boosts water pressure to enable users to blast away dirt and grime from most any surface.

1. Cover your eyes

Electric Pressure WasherSo you aren’t pointing the pressure washer’s wand straight into your eyes, so it seems like you should be fine, right? Absolutely not.

You don’t want to end up with a beautifully cleaned deck but not have the vision to see it, so make sure that you wear eye protection while using the pressure washer. A standard pair of sunglasses is better than nothing, though clear safety goggles are the best.

The reason to adhere to this safety tip is not so much the water coming out of the wand, but rather the things that the water spray can dislodge. Furthermore, you will likely be spraying into some different types of angles, and that can send debris and water in unexpected directions.

Say you are blasting debris off your deck, maybe some small twigs, acorns and other stuff that has fallen from an oak tree. So you start pushing all that stuff to the edge of the deck with the pressure washer, but an acorn hits a post and ricochets back towards you. Better have those eyes covered.

2. Communicate with others in the immediate area

Whether you are using an industrial electric pressure washer or maybe something a little weaker designed for the home, if anybody gets in the way of the spray they can get hurt. 

When working on an area, it is advised to communicate to others around you (coworkers, family members, neighbors) that you will be using a high-pressured machine and that they could be in harm’s way if they do not pay attention to where you are working.

This is especially important around small children, as they may not realize the danger of getting in the way of the stream of high-pressure water.

3. Spray as wide as possible

The more concentrated the power is on one spot of a wall, deck or floor, the more the power will be dispersed after it hits. And that means a much more powerful ricochet effect. 

It is advisable to take it slow when you are spraying an area with your washer. Start with a weaker pressure and a wide spray, as the force will be laid upon a wide area. If that does not do the trick of getting rid of gunk or debris, then obviously you will want to use more power.

It is much safer to start small and go bigger than it is to start full-blast and then go back down. It’s harder to control a wand that is spraying at its full capacity so making adjustments while it is blasting away will be much more difficult for you.

4. Watch out for lights and appliances

Some situations will have you spraying around areas that also have glass-type hardware, or perhaps objects that are secured by bolts or nails. By putting a strong stream of water into an area that has exposed glass fixtures, you put yourself in danger of getting broken glass shot back at you. Or, the broken glass can fall to the ground and you may not notice, then step in the area barefoot some time in the future.

Also, things that hang or that are affixed to walls can be in danger of falling if you spray them directly. You can either knock something straight down onto your head, or weaken the foundations of something and put it in danger of falling on somebody at a future moment.

The bottom line is to think safety. Spraying water sounds like an easy, innocent thing, but if you do not take precautions, using a pressure washer can be very dangerous to you, coworkers, kids and pets.


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