Pressure Washer Operating FAQs
Below you will find the answers to some typical questions people have about their pressure washers. We hope you find the information useful and invite your input. If you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

When the Pressure Washer Arrives
If your One Cilinder pressure washer arrives upside down by motor freight what should you do?

Refuse to accept delivery. Notify Water Cannon so we can arrange for a replacement. If you choose to accept a delivery without inspection and you want instructions how to get your single cylinder pressure washer operational click here.

What are the basics when it comes to operating a pressure washer?
A. Act With Caution:
High pressure spray can cause serious injury. Never point or aim the gun/wand at yourself or anyone else. Never put your hand, fingers or body directly in front of the spray nozzle.

B. Know Your Pressure Washing Equipment:
Read your owner’s manual carefully. Do not operate your power washer until you completely understand and can follow all operating instructions, precautions and safety rules. Restrict the use of your power washer to users who have read, understand and can follow all operating instructions, precautions and safety rules.

C. Plan Ahead
1. Always wear ear protection to cut noise and eye protection and / or face shield to prevent debris from flying or ricocheting into eyes and face, which could result in serious injury.
2. Dress safely in long pants and wear boots or shoes. Other protective equipment is advisable when using chemicals, cleaning detergents or other corrosive or abrasive substances.
3. Do not operate pressure washing equipment if you have consumed alcohol or taken medication.
4. Keep pets, children and bystanders a safe distance away from your work area. A minimum of 50 feet is recommended.
5. Do not spray directly at glass or fragile objects.
6. Caution: After turning off your pressure washer and water supply, there is still high pressure water trapped in the system. You must release the pressure by triggering the gun after the engine/motor has completely stopped.
7. Know what chemicals you are using and read precautions.

What precautions should I take with my pressure washer’s gasoline engine or electric motor?
Precautions For Gasoline Engines/Electric Motors
Follow all safety precautions, operating procedures and maintenance listed in your engine operator’s manual which came with the pressure cleaner. When engaging your pressure washer’s gas engine, please remember the following safety measures.

Avoid The Following Engine Operating Risks
• Risk of fire: Do not fill the engine with gasoline when the engine is running, hot or near an open flame.
• Risk of explosion: Do not spray flammable liquids. Do not smoke when using your pressure washer.
• Risk of electrical shock: Hazardous voltage can shock, burn or cause death. Ground your pressure washing system before connecting to a power supply.
• Risk of asphyxiation: Use pressure washing equipment only in well ventilated areas. Do not run power washers in enclosed areas. Exhaust fumes contain poisonous carbon monoxide gas. Breathing exhaust gases can cause serious illness or death.

Take These Additional Precautions
• Do not touch or come in contact with hot mufflers, cylinders, cooling fins or hot exhaust gases as this may result in severe burns.
• Never tamper with governor spring, governor links or other components which may increase the speed (RPMs) of the engine.
• Do not operate pressure cleaners in the presence of flammable vapors or gases. When servicing pressure cleaning equipment, be sure to properly dispose of any flammable materials.
• Do not make adjustments to your equipment without first removing the spark plug. When transporting pressure cleaners, the fuel shut-off valve must be in the closed position to prevent fuel from spilling out.
• A circuit dedicated only to the electric pressure washer is recommended. This circuit should be installed by a licensed electrician and checked to supply adequate voltage under load. If the distance from the panel is too long, the wire size is too small or the voltage is initially too low, this will cause the GFCI or thermal overload to trip. If this happens, consult your pressure washer supplier.
• Do not use an extension cord! Use only the factory supplied power cord.

What do I need to do before I operate my new power washer?

Inspect For Freight Damage
When you receive your commercial pressure washer be sure you check for concealed freight damage. Any damage should be noted with the delivering carrier. If you have any further questions related to freight on a pressure washer or pump you purchased from Water Cannon, call us at 1-800-333-WASH (9274).

Inspect Oil Levels
Check all oil levels in the pump or engine if applicable. Failure to check all levels could result in pressure washer damage. Most pumps are shipped with oil from factory and the crankcases are sealed. You may have to remove a shipping plug and install a dipstick in the pump. Oil type is stated on the pump breakdown and in the engine manual.

Check Water Supply
Your water supply must provide water to the equipment that exceeds the Gallons Per Minute (GPM) rate of your machine. You can check your GPM by using a 5 gallon bucket and a timer. If your machine is 5 GPM or less and the bucket fills in less than a minute, you have adequate supply. Some water supply systems are affected by things like washing machines, livestock watering systems and flushing of toilets.

Be sure the supply is still adequate when these operations are taking place. The water temperature cannot exceed 145 Degrees Fahrenheit on standard pressure washer models and 180 degrees Fahrenheit on the high temperature models. Additionally the pressure should not exceed 60 PSI. Failure to secure an adequate water supply to your commercial pressure washer will result in pump damage. Do not run your pump dry.

Confirm Water Quality
Your water should not contain particles larger than 80 microns. Although there are small filters installed on power washers that filter the water, they can only filter poor quality water for a short period of time before they clog. This would result in damage to the machine. Therefore you should ensure no large sand or scale particles are present in the water supply.

Supply Hose
Hook a garden hose or one of the high quality pressure washer hoses Water Cannon sells from the faucet to the machine, and when doing this be sure to check the inlet water filter or screen. This hose should be a least 5/8" diameter and have a length of at least 15 feet. This 15' length helps isolate the water supply from pulsations from the pump. Many states require a Vacuum Break or back flow preventer be installed at the faucet before the garden hose to ensure the water source cannot be contaminated. Be sure to check local and state regulations upon installation.

Purge Air
Turn on the water supply and open the trigger gun, as this will purge all the air from the system. Look for water leaks and stop any leaks found. Leaks can cause erratic pump behavior.

Check Pump
Prior to turning on the power switch or starting engine, check the oil level in the pump. The pump oil should be changed after the first 50 hours of operation, then every 3 months or 300 hours of operation thereafter for average service or more frequently for extensive use or hostile environments, for example environments that are dusty or have high moisture.

Turn On Power
Turn on the power switch. Pull the trigger gun and check for adequate pressure.

Check Filters
Water filters, hoses and fittings should be checked prior to every operation for cleanliness, leaks and repair needs. Repair or replace as needed.

Check the Unloader Valve
Pressure cleaners are built with one of two types of unloaders: The trapped pressure unloader or the flow actuated unloader. After the pump is filled with water, the direction of water flow must be controlled with the unloader or regulating valve. A positive displacement pump is always delivering a specific volume of water whether the spray gun is open or closed; therefore a device is needed to control the direction of flow, either to the open spray gun or redirecting the flow back to the inlet side of the pump when the spray gun is closed. Without an unloader valve, dangerously high pressure will be produced when the spray gun is closed because the water being forced out of the pump has no place to go. The unloader is used as a safety device to guard against failure of component parts and the development of dangerously high pressures.

Check Hoses and Couplers
Factory supplied hoses are sized in length and diameter for best operational performance and size within the pressure capabilities. Additional hose added to the machine may change the performance of the machine. Consult Water Cannon if you have any questions. When replacing or disconnecting the quick couplers, be sure the machine is shut off and relieve the pressure from all hoses.

Remember During Operation
The pressure was set at the factory during the testing procedure, so no adjustments to the machine should be required for operation. During operation do not leave the machine running for more than 2 minutes without the trigger gun being pulled. Although your machine has a by-pass valve on it and may have a thermal relief system, this can cause extensive pump damage. If the machine will not be discharging water for more than 2 minutes, shut the machine off.