pressure washer faqs.

How do I know if I need a hot water pressure washer or a cold water pressure washer?
If the surfaces you are cleaning have any kind of grease or oil, you will need a hot water pressure washer to cut through the grease. If you’re tackling caked-on dirt or mud, cold water pressure washer will do the job. If you’re still unsure about the type of pressure cleaning machine you need, call Hotsy of Oklahoma to speak with a power washing expert.

What’s more important in a pressure washer: PSI or GPM?
The answer depends on your pressure cleaning application. When you have heavy soils to wash, GPM (gallons per minute) can be most important. When you have stuck-on grime, PSI (pounds per square inch of pressure) can be most important. Despite what you see in advertisements or on a product label, volume is the deciding factor and a quality pressure cleaning system will provide the proper balance of volume and pressure.

What makes a Hotsy hot water pressure washer better than other brands?
The biggest difference is the style of heating coil. (The coil is hundreds of feet of superior Schedule 80 ASTM pipe rolled in a cylindrical shape). While Hotsy uses Schedule 80 pipe, it’s important to note not all manufacturers do. Some choose to use tubing or Schedule 40 coil. The coil is heated by a burner using oil, natural gas, or liquid propane for fuel. The burner heats the coil and the heated coil heats the water as it flows through the coil.

Your options are to buy a power washing machine with a horizontal lay-down coil, or buy one with an upright coil. The horizontal coil design typically is more compact because the coil is lying down, so the height of the pressure washer can be less (although the machine may be longer). An upright coil has the burner at the bottom of the coil instead of at the side as with a horizontal coil. Since heat rises, it rises up from the bottom of the vertical coil past all the coils and out the top. This is the most efficient coil for heating and energy usage, and produces hotter water, which cleans better.

Hotsy industrial pressure cleaning systems use vertical coils exclusively, both for energy efficiency and for higher water temperature. In addition, Hotsy has 11 different size coils for our 80 models of hot water pressure washers. Many manufacturers have just one or two coil sizes. Hotsy coils can be matched to the amount of water to be pumped through them, for maximum temperature while using the least amount of fuel possible.

How hot is the water from a Hotsy hot water pressure washer?
Hotsy manufactures hot water washers to heat the high pressure water up to 120°F or more above ambient inlet water temperature. So if your water temperature is 70°, the water after running through the heating coil would raise the temperature 120° or more to around 190° – 200°F.

What type of pressure cleaning accessories do I really need?

Pressure cleaning accessories are a relatively minor cost that can have a huge impact on making your cleaning faster and less expensive, while also saving wear-and-tear on your hot & cold water pressure washers.

 For example, the vast majority of pressure washers use far too much detergent. The detergent valve is usually opened all the way because the operators like to see lots of suds. A fixed orifice system can be installed to release the concentration of detergent needed to achieve maximum cleaning results while using the minimum amount of detergent.

A hose reel is another advantageous power washing accessory because it helps keep your pressure hose from lying on the ground where it can absorb oil and grease or be damaged by vehicles driving over the hose. A longer pressure hose makes it faster and easier to clean larger areas.

Why would I need a stationary Hotsy hot or cold water pressure washer?
A permanently installed stationary pressure cleaning system can be an even better value than a portable model in many applications. First, the cost is often the same or less than for a portable machine. If there’s natural gas available, a stationary pressure washer can run on natural gas, which is more cost effective and doesn’t require refueling the burner system. Cold or hot water pressure washers can be located in a shed or room, with piping or hose out to the wash area, which protects it from weather, damage, and from operator abuse. Additionally, a stationary pressure cleaning machine can be mounted on an equipment stand, with the detergent barrels or totes placed under the stand to conserve floor space.

What is the difference between a belt-drive pump and a direct-drive pump?
A high-pressure pump does not turn on its own; rather it is driven by an engine or motor. Pumps driven by motor generally turn at 1100-1500 RPM while gasoline engines turn at a rate of 3000-3600 RPM (1450-3450 RPM for electric motors). There are two predominant ways to connect the pump to an engine or motor: directly (direct-drive) or with a pulley and belt (belt-drive).

Direct-drive pumps are more compact, helping to keep the weight and cost down. Today’s direct-drive pumps have been engineered to hold up very well, even under constant use. The weakness, of course, is that a pump turning at 3600 RPM will wear out faster than a pump that turns at 1500 RPM.

On the other hand, a belt-drive pump, configured with a pulley and belt, allows the pump to turn at the slower rate (usually 1500 RPM). The belt also dissipates the build up of heat and absorbs vibration from the engine. The ultimate benefit, of course, is that downtime is minimized and the pump’s life is extended saving you money in the long run.

How can I convert my existing cold water pressure washer into a hot water pressure washer?

Hotsy offers a heating module – the 9400 Series – which gives customers the flexibility to “convert” cold water pressure washers into hot water pressure washers. By attaching the heating module to a cold water pressure washer, the pressurized water is now heated to produce all the benefits of hot water power washing machine.

Will it harm the pressure washer if you leave it running without spraying and releasing the pressure?
Pressure washers equipped with trigger guns utilize an unloader valve. When the trigger is released (closed) the machine’s unloader valve opens and redirects the water from the pressure hose, trigger gun and wand to circulate through the head of the pump or commonly referred to as in by-pass. Depending on the style of unloader that the machine is equipped with (i.e. head or remote mounted) the distance the water travels in the by-pass loop is minimal. As the water rushes through the by-pass loop it creates friction and friction creates heat. Once the temperature in the by-pass loop starts to rise for every second the machine is left in by-pass, the temperature continues to increase and much more rapidly potentially causing seals and packings to fail requiring the pump to be rebuilt.

A good rule of thumb is to never allow the machine to be in by-pass longer than 1-3 minutes maximum! If you need to take a phone call, move implements around or anything that may take longer than 2 minutes you are better off to shut the machine down, do what needs to be done and restart the machine when you’re ready to get back to washing.

Should I consider a maintenance program for my cold and hot water pressure washer?
Pressure cleaning machines move water under intense pressure, which creates wear and tear on equipment. Coupled with the challenging environmental conditions these machines often operate in, regular maintenance is recommended. Regular oil changes are required on the engine and the pump. And parts that wear, such as belts, nozzles and hoses, need replacement when worn down. Failure to maintain your pressure cleaning systems can become a safety hazard. If you use your pressure washer regularly it will need minor maintenance two to three times per year.

What kind of warranty comes with a Hotsy?
Hotsy offers one of the best warranty programs in the industry, including a 7-year guarantee on the Hotsy pump and a 5-year guarantee on the heating coil.