Nozzles or tips are one of the main determinants of effective power cleaning. It is the tip or nozzle that ejects water with the right amount of pressure and movement. Selecting the wrong nozzle not only can make your cleaning ineffective but can also ruin the surface; giving you the impression that even your top-notch pressure washer is not effective as a result. Here we have explained each type of pressure washer nozzles available on the market with a comprehensive guideline, attaching a pressure washer tips chart with it.
How Does a Power Washer Nozzle Work?
Did you ever take part in a water fight with your siblings or friends in your childhood? Or discovered yourself in a garden with a water hose but the hose fell short to deliver water to the plants. What did you do? Certainly, you covered the ½ or ¾ orifice of the hose, whether you understood the science behind it or not. Covering the orifice of the water hose helps increase the water pressure since the area decreases. Thus, the velocity of the water rises as well as the distance it covers.
Pressure washer nozzles work the same way. It is a device designed to control the direction and velocity of the fluid flow as it exits from an enclosed pipe or tunnel. In the pressure washer cleaning process, the pressure washer machine delivers the water force with its designated PSI (pounds per square inch) and GPM (gallons per minute). But water force is ultimately controlled by the nozzles you are using. It is the nozzles where the water pressure develops. Using the right kind of pressure washer tips you can increase the velocity. Restrict the flow, increase the velocity – this is the main principle of pressure washer tips. However, if you use the wrong type of power washer tips, you won’t get your desired cleaning service since it will be affected by the following factors:
- If the nozzle size is too small, it can cause severe damage to the equipment
- If the nozzle size is large, it will decrease the cleaning ability and water will be drained quickly
- If the nozzle fan (angle) is too narrow, it will damage the surface by peeling off or making a hole
- If the nozzle fan (angle) is too wide, it will be unable to clean stubborn grimes or stains.
7 Types of Pressure Washer Nozzles
The nozzle is the last part which water touches on its way to the cleaning surface from the pressure washer. There are different types of nozzles available with varied fan angles and other features. Each nozzle comes with various sizes that range from 2 to 60. Seven types of pressure washer nozzles widely used in the pressure washing process are explained below:
- Red Tip 0° Nozzle – Maximum Blast
Red tip nozzle covers a very little area with full force. It puts direct pressure on the surface with a zero degree angle. Using a red tip nozzle on soft objects can damage the surface. It is the pressure washer tip for concrete or similar type of hard surfaces. It is dangerous to use a red tip nozzle on humans or pets since it can cut into any soft surface. This is why 0° nozzles are coded red. Red tip nozzles generally are not used in usual power washing. However, it is best to remove any stubborn grimes and tough muds from hard objects like concrete.
- Yellow Tip 15° Nozzle – Medium Stripping
Yellow tip nozzles are often called chiseling nozzles. They release the water with a 15° angle and cover a little bit wider area than red nozzles. Yellow Tip 15° nozzles are best for peeling off old paints, and cleaning greases and rusts from surfaces. From an appropriate distance, you can remove any stubborn specks of dirt from the surface with a 15° nozzle.
- Green Tip 25° Nozzle – Gentle Lifting and Cleaning
Green Tip 25° Nozzle is the most popular and widely used power washer tips. It covers a wide area since its angle is greater than a red tip or yellow nozzle. You can clean your boat, patio furniture, or car very quickly with a Green Tip 25 degree pressure washer nozzle.
- White Tip 40° Nozzle – Minimum Spraying
For situations where minimum spraying is needed, White Tip 40° Nozzles are perfect. It covers a larger area with a reduced water force. For sensitive surface like glasses, thin wood boards a White Tip 40° Nozzle is best for cleaning.
- Black Tip 60° Nozzle – Soaping
Black Tip 60° Nozzle is another type of pressure washer tip. It releases the water on the surface with a wide 60° angle. Often black tip nozzle comes with a large orifice. It goes best with detergents and other soaping agents. The wide-angle reduces the water force of blacktip nozzles. Black Tip 60° Nozzle is best appropriate for situations where little water force is needed.
- Turbo/Rotary Nozzle
Turbo nozzle or rotary nozzle is a hybrid of red tip nozzle and green tip nozzle. Like a red tip nozzle. Turbo tip for pressure washer releases the water with direct force on the surface. But it also keeps rotating with a 25° spray area. It is a perfect substitute for 0° nozzles since it offers the same force with a wider spray area.
- Chemical Nozzle
Chemical nozzles are used for cases where any cleaning chemical is mixed with the water. They come with both quick connect and threaded connect system. The orifice of chemical nozzles is larger since larger orifices are useful to decrease the water pressure. The fan or angle of chemical nozzles is also made wide to ensure an even mixture of the cleaning chemical.
Nozzle Selection Guide
If you are using a power washer machine for the first time, you can quickly realize that it is an intuitive skill. You will automatically understand the perfect distance with the basic motor cortex function of your brain. However, not all things will come automatically and you have to take care of certain things before commencing the cleaning process.
- Choose the Appropriate Nozzle Size
Choosing the appropriate nozzle size is a very crucial part of the power washing process. There is a wide range of power washer tips in between 2 to 60. Selecting a larger size than what is required would reduce the effectiveness of your power cleaning by weakening the water force and draining the water quickly. On the other hand, selecting a smaller tip than what is required would severely damage your pressure washer machine since it will put the water force back into the machine through the water hose.
You can easily determine the appropriate pressure washer nozzle tips size, with the help of a pressure washer nozzle chart. The method of selecting the right nozzle size with a pressure washer tips chart is provided below:
Image: Pressure washer tips chart
At first, check the PSI and GPM of your power washer machine. You can easily check that from the manual or the body of your power washer. Select the correspondent PSI column of your machine from the pressure washer psi chart. For example, I am currently using the SIMPSON MSH3125-S Gas Pressure Washer with a max 3000 PSI. The numbers below the PSI numbers are representing different GPM numbers. Match the GPM number with your machine’s GPM number. My pressure washer’s GPM number is 2.6. Now, get the nozzle size from the corresponding cell of your machine’s PSI and GPM. With 3000 PSI and 2.6 GPM, the correct nozzle size for my machine would be #3.
With this pressure washer tips chart, you can easily find the answer to this question “what size pressure washer do I need to clean concrete?”
- Start The Right Angle Nozzle
Selecting the right angle size is another important part of the power washing process. Usually, the Green Tip 25° Nozzle or White Tip 40° Nozzle is perfect for gentle cleaning. If you are preparing your surface for painting then a yellow tip nozzle would be the most suitable option. You can read the size and angle number from the nozzle’s body. For example, if a nozzle is engraved with 1506, it means that the nozzle’s angle is 15 degree and its size is #6.
- Test on A Small Area of the Surface First
Before commencing the power washing process, test it on a small area of the intended surface. Check whether the power washing leaves any marks on the object.
- Start from a Safe Distance
Always start your washing from a safe distance. If you feel the need for a greater force (in case of stubborn muds or grimes) then slowly move forward to the object. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
To sum up, understanding the functions and importance of different nozzle sizes is essential for pressure or power washing. No matter what type of pressure washer you’re using, without the right type of nozzle with the right size, you won’t get your desired results.