1. Water, Fuel, and Oil Levels
Oil: Use a dipstick to check oil levels; if low, add some oil to reach the calibrated level. Check its color for milkiness or dark coloration. These are indicators of a need to change the oil. If you haven't changed the oil recently, it's important to consider changing it.
Water: Ensure the water reservoir has clean and adequate water levels. Check and remove any debris at the inlet valve; if you're using a floating tank, fill it up to confirm the self-shutting function.
Fuel: Always fill up the fuel reservoir to mitigate downtime associated with low-fuel midway through an operation.
2. High-Pressure Hose and Nozzle
Check the high-pressure hose for possible cuts, breakages, or weak lines. If you notice a defective hose, use the manufacturer's manual to acquire a suitable replacement. It's advisable to keep an extra hose on standby to avoid downtime.
Examine the nozzle for possible damage or clogging. A damaged nozzle reduces the pressure and your productivity. You can start the pressure washer with low pressure and without the nozzle to unclog any stuck debris.
3. Drive Belt
Turn off the machine to check the drive belt tension and its wear and tear. Check the belt tension by applying force at the top and midway on the pulley system. The ideal deflection (Belt length * 0.016) should be between ¼ — ½. If it's greater than that, consider tightening the belt.
4. Scale Deposits
The formation of scale deposits is a common problem in areas that have hard water. It affects pipe heads, valves, and heat exchange systems which makes the coil overheat. Scaling creates deposits of impurities such as calcium, chloride, and silicate in the coils. These impurities restrict the normal flow of liquid and pressure, thereby reducing the effectiveness of your pressure washer. You can disassemble the coil system and descale using white vinegar or any available descaling product.
5. Power Cord
A defective power cord can expose an operator to electric shock or a possible fire incident. As such, it's crucial to check the physical condition before you start operating the machine. Check for any potential damage including cuts, exposed wires, or a defective part. The fundamental consideration is safety, so it's ill-advised to operate a pressure washer with defective cords or signs that pose a danger.
6. Surrounding Area
You should not operate a pressure washer on untested grounds — use a multimeter to assess continuity. Alternatively, ensure the electric cords have appropriate ground fault interrupters. In addition, a circuit breaker marked 20 amps or more is ideal for managing intermittent power effectively.