If you have a pressure washer, you know it’s the easy way to clean up almost any surface, whether you’re washing your car, cleaning your driveway or removing graffiti from a building. If you’re thinking about getting one for the first time and wonder if you can pressure wash without water, here is real help to keep somethings in mind.

Pressure washers with a 1,000-psi (pounds per square inch) or more of water pressure can clean any surface. You don’t need water to use your pressure washer — but it certainly helps.

They usually come with a hose and a wand that connects to the nozzle (a hosing device similar to a garden hose). Some come with an electric pump that also supplies the pressure.

The force of the water will do most of the work when you’re cleaning with direct pressure. A little water helps boost the power of your washer, but it’s not necessary for all applications — especially for regular light scrubbing.

However, there’s no such thing as “waterless” pressure washing. If you’re going to pressure wash your home, you need to be sure you use the right kind of equipment and aren’t putting yourself at risk.

If you are going to use your pressure washer indoors, make sure that it can’t create a spark or shoot out hot water like a fire hose. If you’re not sure, ask around in your neighborhood. Home improvement stores and hardware stores should be able to help you identify the right nozzle and safety precautions for your home.

Do You Turn Water On Before Turning the Pressure Washer On?

Many pressure washers have a water inlet connection that must be turned on before pressure can be applied. Without water, the pump can’t get started.

It’s best to check with your manufacturer first before making any assumptions. Some models don’t need water turned on at all — they will start right up as soon as the hoses are connected to the power unit. Others, however, require a bit of water flow to get things started.

When in doubt, consult your manual or contact the manufacturer for specific instructions about whether you should or shouldn’t turn on water first before turning the pressure washer on.

You should also note that Turning on the water with your pressure washer turned on will allow you to get rid of all of the sediment that’s in the hose and reservoir, which will make your job easier. If the pressure washer is already running when you turn on the water, then that might loosen up some deposits that are blocking the nozzle and impeding circulation.

So turning on the water depends on your model of pressure washer. Some pressure washers don’t require you to turn on the water — those use a hydraulic system to connect the nozzles to a motor, which doesn’t require any electricity or water.

There’s also another potential problem with running the water before turning on the pressure washer: If there are any contaminants in your tank (such as oil or fuel), they could damage your pump. So if you’re starting up a new pressure washer and want to check it out before tackling a tough job, start by running clean water through it once so that if anything is wrong, you’ll know immediately.

You can check with the Giraffetools and collections for any further guidance you may need about starting your pressure washer.


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