Using the right type of pressure washer and the right attachments will ensure that your cleaning job is successful. Otherwise, if you use the wrong devices, you risk causing damage to the surface you’re cleaning. One thing that you should keep in mind when it comes to using a pressure washer is choosing the right nozzle. After all, a nozzle is a crucial part of the pressure washing process. With a suitable nozzle, you will be able to clean a surface without worrying that you’ll destroy it.
Although you can just test all the nozzles and see for yourself how they work, having an idea about each type of nozzle will save you the trouble, as well as the surface you’re cleaning. In this article, we’re going to explore the different types of nozzles and tell you how you can choose the right one and why it’s such an important matter.
Why Is It So Important to Choose the Right Nozzle when You’re Pressure Washing?
You cannot afford to choose the wrong nozzle – not when you want to ensure that the surface you’re about to clean is safe and won’t be completely destroyed after this task.
Every type of nozzle works differently. There are two key parts in the way they operate: flow and velocity. When there is less flow, there will be more velocity. With increased velocity, you will get more pressure and thus, better cleaning power.
For example, picture yourself using a garden hose. You’re washing your car, and you want to maintain your distance while washing off the foam from your vehicle. Your hose doesn’t have enough pressure to reach from a certain distance, so you use your finger to partially block the opening of the hose. As a result, the water sprays with a higher force and reaches a larger distance than before.
Nozzles work with a similar principle. Less flow means higher velocity, and with more velocity, the cleaning power and the pressure washer force is increased as well. This is why you should choose the right nozzle when you are using a pressure washer. The proper one will have enough flow and velocity and will also do the job from the right distance. Moreover, it can be handled in such a way that it doesn’t damage the area you’re cleaning.
What Happens If You Choose the Wrong Nozzle?
You might think that using a bigger or smaller nozzle will not have an effect on the surface you’re washing. Well, think again. If the pressure is higher than necessary, it can do more bad than good, and you want to avoid that.
If you pick the wrong nozzle, here are some of the possible scenarios:
- You might damage the wood deck
- You might peel the paint off your car
- You might punch through the brick driveway mortar
Nobody wants to spend extra money on reparations afterward, that’s for sure. So, by choosing the right nozzle, you will avoid an unpleasant scenario, and you’ll be able to maintain the good condition of the surfaces you’re cleaning.
The Color Combinations of Pressure Washer Nozzles
Even though it may seem difficult at first, you will find it easy to attach the right nozzle once you learn the color-coding behind them. Those colors are not just for design purposes – instead, they ensure you can tell them apart and not pick the user manual every time you’re starting the machine. Here are the color-coded nozzle tips that you’ll get with your pressure washer.
This is the red nozzle and is the smallest one. It has a direct jet of water that is shot onto the surface you’re cleaning. The area it hits will be the size of a quarter coin. Also, it’s important to note that this nozzle doesn’t sheet or fan out the water spray.
Next, we have the 15-degree yellow nozzle, which has a wider spray in comparison to the previous one. Since there is more water, there will be less pressure as the force will be spread over a much larger area compared to the 0-degree nozzle force.
Then, we have the 25-degree nozzle, which is green and has an even larger spray. The fan or sheet of water is larger, and when it reaches the surface, there is less pressure.
Out of all spray nozzles, the 40-degree one is the gentlest. It is white and has the least amount of pressure spread over a wider surface. As such, it is suitable for window-cleaning, particularly if you hold it at the right distance.
What Are the Different Types of Pressure Washer Nozzles?
Each type of nozzle will be suitable for certain surfaces. Let’s take a look at each nozzle and see what it does.
1. 0-Degree Red Tip Nozzle
This nozzle is the one with the smallest area coverage, but with the highest pressure. The water is sprayed with a lot of force, as the flow is reduced, and velocity is increased. Because of that, it is not used that often, as it could lead to damage to different areas. On top of that, it would also take longer to wash something when using this nozzle.
This one is suitable when there is something very tough stuck on a surface. This might be rust, tough mud, and other similar things. In order for it to work, it should be kept at the right distance. It should also be used with the right extension wand that handles the pressure.
2. 15-Degree Yellow Tip Nozzle
While less powerful than its 0-degree counterpart, the 15-degree nozzle can also be used to remove tough stains such as dirt and mud. Just like with the other nozzle, it has to be held at a precise distance, or else it will not have the desired effect. The nozzle also works to prepare various surfaces for painting.
3. 25-Degree Green Tip Nozzle
In most cases, the 25-degree nozzle is used around the house, because it’s very gentle, although not the gentlest one. It works for cleaning driveways, patio furniture, cars, and even boats. The pressure is not that high, and the area coverage is pretty good, which is why it’s preferred for cleaning larger surfaces.
4. 40-Degree White Tip Nozzle
This nozzle has very small pressure, which is what makes it great for surfaces that are more fragile, including blinds and windows.
5. Adjustable/Variable Nozzle
A variable nozzle contains 5 nozzles in one. The great thing about it is that it can be adjusted in real-time.
6. Turbo/Rotary Nozzle
What makes this nozzle so popular is the fact that it can combine the area of the 25-degree nozzle with the pressure of the 0-degree nozzle. Not to mention that it also includes a pulsing action as it rotates the water jet at 1800-3000 rpm. As such, it creates a round cone shape when it hits the surface.
7. Soaping Black Top Nozzle
With a larger orifice, this nozzle also has the widest degree. The larger orifice manages to decrease velocity, which makes the hose pressure higher. As a result, the detergent will be pulled into the line, which means you will be able to apply soap on the surface you want to clean.
Selecting a Nozzle When You’re Unsure
Despite everything you’ve learned about nozzles, you might still be unsure what to pick. So, you could try the following tips in order to choose the right nozzle for you:
- Keep the Distance – You can start around 24 inches away from the surface and slowly get closer until you see the results you’re looking for. However, don’t get closer than 6 inches.
- Perform a Test – Test the nozzle on a small area, like the corner of the deck. You’ll see if there is any damage or not.
- Use Common Sense – When cleaning a wooden deck, just know that you will not need 0-degree or 15-degree nozzles, not unless there is some tough dirt that should be removed.
- Start Wide – Start the process with the widest angle, more specifically with the 40-degree nozzle.
Things to Consider when Choosing the Nozzle
If you want to make sure you’re picking the right nozzle, here are some things to take into account.
Know the Nozzles by Colors
When you are testing the nozzles, make sure to learn their colors and sizes. It will be easier to tell them apart from each other and use the right one whenever you need to pressure wash a surface.
Consider the Surface You’re Cleaning
Before you attach any nozzle, think about the surface. Is it a sensitive area, or a tougher one? Sensitive areas will require a gentler nozzle, whereas areas that are stronger and have tough mud or dirt on them will need a nozzle with a higher pressure.
Windows, blinds, and painted areas should be cleaned with a 40-degree nozzle. Meanwhile, the 0-degree and 15-degree nozzles can be used on areas that can resist a maximum blast, especially when you have some stubborn dirt to remove.
Don’t Forget the Spray Angle
Depending on what you’re trying to achieve with the pressure washer, you should also consider the nozzle’s spray angle. For instance, a 0-degree angle will not be able to cover a wide area during the cleaning process. On the other hand, a 65-degree angle will cover a very wide surface but won’t deep clean it. So, always think about the size of the area you want to clean when choosing the angle.
How to Clean Your Nozzles?
Caring for your nozzles is crucial if you want them to function properly for longer. Pressure washer nozzles tend to get clogged from erosion and corrosion as a result of mixing cleaning water with the wrong detergent, but also from dirty water and caking. Debris build-up is also a very common cause.
Therefore, you should unclog every nozzle using a pin. Bear in mind that each nozzle may have more or less build-up on it depending on the size – so, some will require a more thorough clean than others.
Choosing the right pressure washer nozzle is essential if you want to clean a surface thoroughly and not damage it during the process. We hope this article has helped you figure out which nozzle is the right one for your cleaning task.