Can You Run Hot Water Through An Electric Pressure Washer? - Pressure Washer
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Can You Run Hot Water Through An Electric Pressure Washer?

Can You Run Hot Water Through An Electric Pressure Washer?

People often think using hot or warm water in their electric pressure washer will improve cleaning performance. However, extreme caution is required! Let’s take a closer look at whether and how hot water can be used safely with electric pressure washers.

How Do Pressure Washers Work?

First, let’s quickly cover how pressure washers function. They use an electric motor or gasoline engine to power a water pump. This pump takes water from a hose or onboard tank and intensifies the pressure dramatically, up to over 4,000 PSI. This high-pressure water gets forced out a nozzle to “blast” surfaces clean.

Can Hot Water Damage The Equipment?

Electric pressure washers are designed and tested for use with regular cold water. Here’s a big concern – pressure washers rely on seals, o-rings, hoses, and other components that may not withstand exposure to hot fluid. The intense heat can degrade plastics and rubbers over time. This could lead to leaks, loss of pressure, or total failure.

Is There A Risk Of Injury With Hot Water Discharge?

Absolutely – caution is mandatory here! The high-pressure discharge from a pressure washer poses quite enough risk of injury on its own. Introduce scalding hot water or steam into the mix, and the hazards increase exponentially. Severe burns are highly possible if hot water makes contact with skin.

What Do Manufacturers Recommend?

The majority of electric pressure washer owner’s manuals explicitly prohibit the use of anything except cold tap water. This serves both to safeguard the devices themselves and avoid liability for associated injuries. That said, some portable electric models do specify you can carefully add warm water up to about 125°F.

Can You Ever Use Hot Water Successfully?

While it’s risky business, some users report having luck using mildly hot water in their electric washers. However, they stress closely monitoring the pressure washer’s condition and making adjustments if need be. Any sign of new leaks, odd noises, or changes in performance means stopping hot water use immediately.

Dangers of Hot Pressurized Water Discharge

Beyond equipment damage, discharging ultra-hot water at possibly over 4,000 PSI carries significant dangers:

  • Skin contact at such pressures and temps causes almost instant severe burning.
  • At over 200°F, pressurized water discharge essentially produces steam jets.
  • Risk of injecting scalding water deep into skin tissue at high pressures.

These risks alone are reason enough for manufacturers to prohibit hot water usage. However, user error and equipment abuse still occur regularly in practice.

What Are Some Alternatives If You Need Heat?

Steam-generating pressure washers provide excellent heated cleaning while remaining safe for the device and user. Traditional power washers using gas engines tend to tolerate hot water better than electric models too. And you can always pre-treat grimy areas with straight hot water first, then follow up with a standard cold water pressure washing.

The Bottom Line

It’s possible but not advisable to use hot water with most electric pressure washers. Doing so risks damaging components and causing injury. Extra vigilance helps mitigate problems, but alternatives like steam washers are best for high-temp applications. Always exercise extreme caution and check manufacturer guidance for your specific model.

I hope this overview gives you a good understanding of the risks and considerations around using hot water with electric pressure washers! Let me know if you have any other questions.