So you’ve decided you need a pressure washer, but all you have is a standard garden hose?
This is actually a very common problem, as garden hoses are typically a little more versatile and are able to be used for most garden tasks very effectively, while pressure washers are specialist tools that are used for certain cleaning tasks and aren’t quite as versatile as standard hoses.
Pressure washers are also a little more expensive than a standard hose setup. Renting power washers can also be expensive and isn’t something a lot of people really need. Spending this extra money on a pressure washer that you may only use a few times a year isn’t really a great use of money, particularly if you already have a hose!
This is because you can often improvise and turn your standard, common garden hose into a pressure washer capable of quite impressive cleaning power.
If you’re interested in turning up the power on your garden hose, read on as we highlight how to take a standard hose and turn it into a power washing beast!
Why should I do this?
If you’re wondering why you might want to increase the power of your hose or temporarily turn it into a power washer, there are several reasons for this.
- You may wish to clean filth and mildew from the exterior walls of your home
- You might want to deep clean your patio or cement paths to clean away ingrained dirt and wash away the years.
- You may want to clean up your wooden deck, or landscape stones (don’t use pressure washers on or near plants however as the power of these washers can damage the plants or turf)
- Wash your car or windows very effectively
STEP 1 – Check your hose!
The first thing to do is check your hose and make a note of the adapter you need to convert the hose into a pressure washer.
Check all the fittings of the hose, from the attachment point at your tap to the attachment point of the tip, and all moving parts of the hose stand and wheel if you use one.
Ensure that there are no leaks that could result in loss of pressure, and make sure all the fitments are secure so that they don’t loosen or pop off under the increased pressure of a power washing conversion.
It’s also important to be aware at this point that these conversions may not give you access to the same power as a dedicated or gas-powered specialist pressure washer, but it will dramatically increase the performance and power of your hose and get you much closer to pressure washing capabilities without the associated costs.
STEP 2 – Attach High Pressure Nozzle
There are many high pressure hose nozzles available, so choose one that suits your needs and budget. They are often very affordable and can be bought at most home improvement or gardening stores and are widely available online also.
The best nozzles are capable of producing amazing results and huge pressure while also using less water, which can result in monetary savings as well as being better for the environment, so these are well worth the extra cost.
Some nozzles, particularly the firefighter-style attachments, are capable of delivering around 250 psi of power, which is much more powerful than the standard pressure your hose is capable of providing.
There are also wand-style nozzles that can boost water pressure enough to clean most surfaces quickly and are quite simple to fit and use.
There are also squeeze handle nozzles that can reach around 150 psi which delivers excellent pressure for cleaning off dirty surfaces such as your car, patio, or walls without being too powerful to create a lot of splashback and additional mess.
STEP 3 – Shorten the distance
To ensure that the water pressure remains high, keep the hose as short as possible!
The longer the hose, the further the water needs to travel and the less quickly it will travel, which reduces psi levels significantly. This little trick can help you even if you don’t want high pressure and just need a little more distance on your hose!
Step 4 – Adjust the Nozzle appropriately
Many high pressure nozzles and fittings have various adjustable settings and tools that can improve the flow of the water and help you control and direct the water more effectively.
This is great as it allows you to adjust your water pressure depending on the task you’re currently using the hose for, allowing you to swap easily from patios to cars, walls, or watering the plants all with the click of a button or the twist of a nozzle.
To make sure you don’t damage your plants or property, it’s best to test the different settings against something strong to get used to the increased pressure your hose will now be providing, and check each setting individually to ensure you have a good understanding of what each setting can be used for.
For hardy surfaces a more direct and pinpoint spray pattern should be used, while for some surfaces or plants a wider spray pattern should be used to avoid damaging the plants or knocking loose masonry apart, or weakening anything.