|The nozzle, or tip, is where it
all happens. The nozzle controls the pressure, direction and
shape of the flow water from the pump. Without a nozzle you have
nothing more that water flowing out the end of the hose, like a garden
However, when you shut that flow down horsepower takes over.
When you have a positive displacement pump ,
the pressure builds up the more you
restrict the flow. When you continue to restrict the flow the
pressure continues to build until either the engine runs out of
horsepower and stalls, something blows or the unloader valve kick in.
The size of a nozzle is critical to your machine operating at it's
capacity. It's all in the hole size. Too big a hole lets out too
much water and reduces pressure. Too small a hole and the pressure
rises to the point the unloader valve starts to dump water through the
bypass, reducing flow. If you are working on a sensitive area and want
to reduce pressure the best way is to install an oversize nozzle.
This reduces pressure while maintaining flow. To choose the proper
nozzle look at our nozzle
sizing chart or use this formula to
work out the size.......
Always round up if your calculation falls in between
It is important to keep your nozzle clean. A small
speck of debris can reduce your flow and increase the machine work load.
Many contractors carry a set of welding tip cleaners to make cleaning
There are many different types of nozzles out there, both
for the professional pressure wash contractor and the homeowner:
MEG AND WEG
MEG Nozzles (female pipe thread) and WEG Nozzles (male pipe
thread) come in a myriad of shapes, spray patterns, styles and
sizes. The most common you are likely to find on a pressure washer
wand is 1/4 inch MEG. Because MEG and WEG nozzles need to be screwed
onto the end of the wand they are generally limited to one
application. For instance, if you are cleaning the same thing all
the time in a wash bay
fixed system then chances are you only need one size
nozzle...use a MEG. If you are a homeowner or contractor, cleaning
many different types of surfaces then you need lower pressure for wood decks and
higher pressure for concrete sidewalks. You would not use a MEG nozzle,
considering the time it takes to get out the wrenches and change it.
Quick Connect, or
QC, nozzles are very convenient. They give
the operator the ability to change pressures and spray patterns in a few
seconds without a wrench. QC nozzles come in a variety of sizes and
spray patterns, which are color coded for ease of identification.
With a QC nozzle you need a QC fitting, which you fit to the end of your
wand. The QC nozzle then fits into the QC fitting.
Occasionally the o-ring in the fitting needs to be changed.
The above are the basic nozzles available for the pressure
washer. However here is a list of other nozzles to make the the go
easier and faster:
This nozzle allows you to adjust the spray pattern by simply
turning the housing clockwise or counterclockwise. Most allow the
patter to be changed from 0 degree to a flat spray. This works by
squeezing together, or pulling apart two plates which interrupts the flow
of pressurized water.
Also known as HI-LOW nozzle. The variable nozzle works the
same way as the adjustable nozzle to change the spray pattern plus you can
change the pressure, from high to low, with a push-pull action. These
nozzles work well for lowering pressure to activate a high pressure soap
One of the most effective nozzles you can use. The rotary is
basically a zero degree nozzle that spins in a circle and is very
aggressive. It needs to be used with caution. It can rip apart
unstable concrete, remove paint that you don't want removed and drill
holes in soft wood decks or fences. However, used in the right circumstances,
these nozzles will save you lots of time and do a great cleaning
job. Usually, on quality models, the internal moving parts are made
of ceramic. While ceramics are very hard and resist wear from the fast
moving parts, the are brittle. Always point the nozzle down before
pulling the trigger. That way the ceramic pieces are together when
the pressure hits, saving the pieces from slamming together.
Replacement ceramic parts are usually available but can be expensive.
Rotary nozzles come in a variety of styles to fit the job. Some just spin but others are adjustable and/or variable (see above).
SAND BLAST NOZZLES
These nozzles pick up sand from a bag or bucket, using the venturi-effect,
and mix that sand with the high pressure water. If you want to strip paint
or rust from a metal object, this is the way to do it. Not
recommended for wood or any soft substrate unless you want it to go
away! To work properly the sand needs to be dry and sifted to an
even size. Quartz or silica sand works great. Play sand is cheap but
sometimes the sizing is a problem. There are two models
that are generally available. One is cheaper but has no sand flow
adjustment and limited life. The more expensive unit has adjustable
sand flow plus the exposed internal parts are made from hard wearing
DRAIN CLEANING NOZZLES
These specialty nozzles are made to be put on the end of a drain
hose and shoved into a plugged drain. The principle is to break up a
blocked drain with one stream shooting forward and two or three streams
shooting back. As the stream shooting forward breaks up the blockage
the streams shooting back flush the loosened debris from the line.
Some are made to spin inside the pipe. Drain nozzles range from very small
to quite large to fit into various diameter pipes. It is important to size
the nozzle for the job. Too large a nozzle will jam in the pipe or not be
able to follow the bends. Too small a nozzle and it will not do an
effective job on the sides of the pipe. A hot water pressure washer
is extremely effective If cleaning grease filled drains.
Soap nozzles work in a few ways to inject soap or chemicals into the wash
water stream. Most pressure washers come with a soap
There are two basic type of soap injectors. High pressure and low
pressure. The low pressure injector works with virtually any type of
nozzle. It injects soap at the low pressure side of the pump making
for continuous flow of soap laden water to the nozzle. A low
pressure soap injector works by injecting soap on the high pressure side
of the pump. However, the pressure in the line needs to be lowered
for this soap injector to work. To lower the pressure click a soap
nozzle on the wand. Now you have low pressure soap. Variable nozzles
allow you to lower pressure without changing anything.
Other nozzles produce foam at the end of the wand, drawing
soap from a small jug attached to the nozzle. These can be very
effective by producing a thick foam, like shaving cream, which will stick
to almost any surface. This increases dwell time, making good use of