A Simple Guide to Cleaning Calcium Buildup in Your Pressure Washer
What is calcium buildup?
impacts of calcium buildup
1. Restriction of water flow
This buildup accumulates over time and starts restricting water flow through the machine. After a while, it results in metal corrosion, ultimately reducing your pressure washer's life. Limescale is also a poor heat conductor, and when it covers the heat source of the coil, it insulates it.
As a pressure washing contractor, you definitely understand the cost-effectiveness of hot water. It enhances the soap's effectiveness and breaks down the contaminants you're trying to remove, ultimately saving time.
Calcium buildup, however, reduces the machine's effectiveness and its ability to maintain hot water. The restriction of water also impacts the flow rate, placing a strain on the pump's motor. The end result is early wear and tear and, in some cases, complete failure of the pressure washer.
2. Reduced effectiveness of soap and detergents
Another common effect of calcium buildup is that it reduces the effectiveness of soaps and detergents. When the soap is dissolved in water, its molecules react with the minerals in limescale, reducing lather formation and eventually forming scum. These precipitates then render the soap ineffective, which means you have to use more detergent to get the desired results.
Other impacts include:
- Loss of water pressure.
- Blockages in the washer's pump.
- It can cause the premature failure of heating elements.
- Reduction of energy efficiency by reducing the rate at which heat is transferred from the burner to the water.
how to prevent calcium buildup in your pressure washer
There are 2 main ways of reducing calcium buildup in pressure washers:
1. Allow the washer's heat coil to cool down completely after every session
2. Use water softeners
The main cause of calcium buildup is hard water, and if you can avoid using it, your pressure washer will be safe. If you only have access to hard water, you should use water softeners to eliminate magnesium and calcium from hard water, reducing the scale buildup. They also save you money in the long run by reducing the amount of detergent needed to achieve a better finish.
how to clean calcium buildup in your pressure washer
Here are 3 main options you should pursue if your pressure washer already has calcium buildup:
1. Remove parts and accessories
Remove some parts and accessories from your pressure washer, and then clean them with an anti-limescale product like white vinegar. Since these products are usually acidic, they will 'eat through' the limescale, reducing the amount of calcium buildup in your pressure washer. Ensure you carefully dismantle the machine to avoid breaking the seals or damaging any parts.
2. Use vinegar
Clear the pressure washer of water and run anti-limescale products and/or vinegar through it.
It's important to note that for the above 2 methods, you have to use a lot of white vinegar and leave it in the washer or soak the parts for at least 24 hours. This will give it enough time to react with the calcium buildup and dissolve the minerals.
Since there are various brands of pressure washers in the market, it's difficult to identify a singular method that you should use to dismantle the machine. This is because even though they all have the same function, their assembly varies, so be careful when you're removing the scaled components.
3. Professional maintenance
We'll Help keep your pressure washer in great condition
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