After a while, patio stones start to look dirty, even after they have been scrubbed with a brush and washed down with a hose. With dirty shoes grinding dirt particles into the pores of the stones and everyday grime accumulating on the surface, traditional methods of cleaning won’t restore the original appearance, and a pressure washer is needed to blast away the dirt.
Power Washer Basics
A pressure washer is a tool that takes the water from the source via a regular garden hose and passes it through a tank filled with high-pressure air. The air has been squeezed into the tank by a compressor and the resulting pressurised water is released with a trigger type nozzle that directs the stream of water to the intended target to be cleaned.
Types of Pressure Washers
Buyers can choose from pressure washers that are powered by petrol or electricity.
Electric Powered Pressure Washer
The most common type of pressure washer for use around the home is the electric-powered pressure washer. It uses an electric motor that runs off the house current and powers a compressor to pressurise the holding tank. A standard garden hose is used to get the water to the machine, and a power wand directs the released pressurised water to the surface being cleaned.
Petrol-Powered Pressure Washer
Instead of using an electric motor, a petrol powered pressure washer uses a small engine to drive the compressor. The operation is the same but with improved portability. Since a source of electric power is not required, it can be used in remote locations.
A pressure washer is rated by the pressure of the water output, usually in Pascals or bar. The higher the number, the more force is exerted by the discharged water. For a patio, a bar rating of 110 to 130 is sufficient.
When purchasing a power washer, it’s important to think about the safety, amount of pressure exerted and nozzle attachments of the tool.
Any time water and electricity are working together, extra caution must be exercised. A proper outdoor extension cord must be used (for electric pressure washers) to make sure that water will not penetrate the wiring. The pressure of the discharge is sufficient to remove skin in some cases, so it must never be directed at people. As with most power equipment, it is not to be used by children.
Level of Power (Pressure)
If the output pressure is too high, it can cause damage to any loose fitting tiles, resulting in extra repair work and cost. Generally, the higher the pressure output, the higher the cost of the unit.
There is a variety of nozzles available to alter the capabilities of the pressure washer. The discharge shape of the water can range from triangular shape, to cone shape, to a thin, powerful jet. Each spray type has a benefit for its use, and may be suitable for cleaning the patio. Another consideration is the pressure of the spray from different nozzles as the nozzle can assist in decreasing or increasing the pressure.
Some models, both petrol and electric, allow detergent to be mixed with the pressurised water to improve the cleaning ability of the unit. There are a number of specialised detergents available to accomplish the task.
What Pressure Washer to Buy?
Here are a few questions buyers should as themselves before making the final purchase.
Will the pressure washer be used just for cleaning the patio, or are there other tasks that need to be done?
Is there a source of hydro nearby, or will the unit need its own power source?
Where will it be stored when not in use? Is there enough space for the unit, or will it constantly be in the way?
How close is the source of water, or will extra lengths of garden hose be needed?
Shopping on eBay for a Pressure Washer
Most automotive stores, and large chain stores will have a selection of pressure washers and accessories for sale. However, eBay’s diverse range of sellers will give the buyer a great selection, the convenience of shopping at home, and the opportunity to acquire the power washer as a lower price through online auction.
To find a suitable unit, buyers should type in "patio pressure washers" in the search bar at the top of the home page. The next page that comes up will be a display of all the different pressure washers that are available. After checking out the various models, some new and some used, the buyer can then purchase the unit of choice by clicking on the buy it now button or by placing a bid for a unit in an auction. If the bid is successful, the unit will be shipped to the purchaser after payment has been made.