How Does A Pressure Washer Work?

How Does A Pressure Washer Work?

Pressure washer work wonders when the regular soaping and scrubbing gives away. They effortlessly clean everything from a muddy doormat to brick walls.

Although pressure washers may look different, the working mechanism remains the same. Regular water used for scrubbing doesn't have the same cleaning tendency as the one coming out from the nozzle of a pressure washer.

The below article clarifies the working mechanism and main components of pressure washers. Whether; you are buying one for vehicle servicing or, remove the grime and grease from a carpet.

 The Specialty of Water Molecules in Cleaning

Water molecules have a slight polarity. One side (the oxygen) has a negative charge, and the other (hydrogen) has a positive charge. The charged molecules stick to the dirt. And, flush them away.

Similarly, the soaped water molecules pair up with the dirt to remove it. Pressure washers use regular water, so it is safe to use. But, it's best to do a surface test before.

The Working Mechanism and the Inlying Components of a Pressure Washer

For understanding how a pressure washer works, it is vital to understand the primary components it includes.

 The Inlet

The inlet connects the main water supply and the pressure washer's tank. A preinstalled water filter clears out the dirt from the tap water before it enters the tank. Dirt deposition inside the tank reduces the washer’s efficiency.

 The Engine

Like standard motored gadgets, pressure washers offer two kinds of engines. Smaller motors use electricity to function, while heavier ones operate on gasoline.

 The Pump

The pressure washer's main component is the pump. It works like a manual water pump. The engine pulls it to one side to intake water and rotates it  to the opposite side to release water through the outlet.

 The Hose

The hose is nothing but the long cylindrical attachment that carries the water to the gun. It uses several high-density plastic and wire mesh layers to sustain the high-pressure water stream.

The Cleaning Gun

The outlet attachments come in various shapes. There are simple trigger guns that contain valves and  some have rotating wands.

The Function

Firstly, the faucet fills the washer's tank with a hose. Then an operator turns the power switch to start. Gasoline engines have a hand-pulled start.

When the operator pulls the rope, the flywheel inside rotates. This rotates the crankshaft and the piston inside. Magnets on the flywheel rotate past the ignition coil, producing magnetic electricity. This sends voltage to the spark plug.

The intake valve opens, and the piston moves down to create a vacuum. The fuel mixture fills this vacuum (the intake stroke). Now the piston moves up, compressing the mixture (compression stroke). Now the spark plug ignites the mixture. The pressure from the ignition pushes the piston down, creating the power stroke. Lastly, the combustion gas exits from the muffler.

The crankshaft connects to the pump outside the crack case. The plungers in the pump move in accordance with the engine’s piston to regulate the water. When the plunger moves up, it allows water into an input check valve. And, its down wards motion moves the water to an output valve.

The pressured water travels up the hose and exits from the nozzle. Water regulation heats it over time. If the washer stays running for a longer period, a discharge valve opens to release the heated water.


Knowing the working of pressure water is essential because buying it isn't hard. However, maintaining it is. Pressure washers have two common issues. Either, it's a defective spark plug or resistance in the carburetor.

Other than that, self-maintenance is risky. For keeping the washer running, using pump-saver lubricants is a good practice.