FAQ - Pressure Washers
Q: Can I use bleach in my pressure washer?
A: NO! You should never use anything but pressure washer safe cleaning solutions. Use of other chemicals such as bleach will damage seals and o-rings in the gun, wand, hoses and pumps.
Q: How do you adjust the chemical injector?
A: You can, on 3500 psi models, INCREASE the chemical injection rate by turning the valve COUNTERCLOCKWISE. You can DECREASE the rate by turning the valve CLOCKWISE. All other models are non-adjustable and dispense chemicals at a set rate.
Q: What chemicals can be used?
A: Use only chemicals designed for pressure washer use. They will not damage your pressure washer, plus they are biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
Q: Why can't chemical injection be used under high pressure?
A: Applying chemicals in low pressure has two advantages. First, if the chemicals were applied in high pressure, they will splash off, resulting in wasted solution. Secondly, because chemical injection only works in low pressure, you can change from low pressure to high pressure at the wand, instead of going back to the unit to engage chemical injection.
Q: Where can I purchase Powermate solutions?
A: Powermate cleaning solutions are available at several home improvement stores. You can also order pressure washer accessories online via our web site.
Q: What is the chemical injection to water ratio?
A: The ratio that the chemical is diluted varies slightly from unit to unit. The most common ratios fall between 12:1 and 18:1.
Q: Can I use water from a lake or holding tank?
A: NO! The pump is designed to operate at specific gallons per minute, and if that minimum amount of water is not supplied to the pump, the pump can be damaged. Also, water that is drawn from a lake or holding tank may contain debris that will cause the pump not to perform correctly.
Q: How far should I stand from where I'm cleaning?
A: Start 3-4 feet away and slowly move closer. This will give you the ability to judge which distance is appropriate for the job at hand.
Q: How long can hoses be extended?
A: The maximum recommended length is 100 feet. The unit will operate at lengths beyond this, but performance will suffer, and chemical injection may not operate satisfactorily.
Q: What accessories are available for my pressure washer?
A: Powermate offers a complete selection of accessories, including cleaners, hoses, nozzles, wands and brushes. All of these items are available for purchase online or select home improvement centers.
Q: Can I use hot water with my pressure washer?
A: NO! Hot water can cause damage to the o-rings and pump. Once water reaches 140 degrees F, the thermal relief will actuate.
Q: How do I check the oil level in the pump?
A: The 3500 psi pumps come with a dipstick or sight glass window to check the fluid levels. The pumps used on 2400 or 3000 psi have neither the dipstick or sight glass and are shipped by our supplier with oil. The only accurate means of checking is to drain and refill by measurement. It should only be necessary to check for any oil leaks around the pump.
Q: Should I add oil to the pump?
A: The pump is shipped with oil.
Q: What grade of gasoline should I use?
A: Regular unleaded gasoline (at least 85 octane) can be used with your Powermate pressure washer.
Q: Why should I add oil to the engine before starting it?
A: Your pressure washer engine has, in all likelihood, been shipped from the factory without oil in the engine crankcase. However select models may be shipped with a full crankcase. In all cases you should check the oil level prior to starting. Operating the unit without oil will ruin the engine. Remember to check engine oil level before every use.
Q: What kind of oil should I add to the engine?
A: This depends on the engine manufacturer's specifications. Generally, high quality 30 weight detergent is acceptable, but refer to your engine manual for oil recommendations.
Q: What kind of oil should I add to the pump?
A: See your owner's manual for the exact type of oil.
Q: What if my engine doesn't start?
A: Check out our list of Troubleshooting Tips or contact our customer service center at (800) 628-8815.
Q: How do I clean clogged nozzles?
A: 1. Always disconnect your spray wand from the gun before cleaning your nozzles!
2. Clear the nozzle with a small rigid piece of wire such as a paper clip.
3. Flush the nozzle backwards with water.
4. Reconnect the wand to the gun
5. Restart the pressure washer and depress the trigger on the spray gun.
If the nozzle is still plugged or partially plugged, repeat number 1-4. If the previous procedure does not clear the nozzle, replace with a new nozzle.
Q: How do I flush the chemical injector?
A: Set-up the chemical injector as if you were using it. Draw water into the tube instead of the chemical solution. See Chemical Injection tips for more information.
Q: How do I clear debris from the water screen?
A: Remove the screen and backflush any debris and impurities from it. Replace immediately. Do not operate the pressure washer without the screen in place
Q: Why should I keep the water screen clean?
A: If the screen is not kept clean, it will restrict the flow of water to the pressure washer and may cause damage to the pump.
Q: Why should I keep my nozzles clean?
A: Clogged nozzles can increase pump pressure and possibly damage the pump. Immediate attention is required.
Q: How do I add engine oil through the spark plug hole?
A: 1. Remove the spark plug
2. Pour one teaspoon of engine oil through the spark plug hole
3. Pull the recoil starter several times and replace the plug
4. Pull the starter slowly until you feel the increased pressure, indicating the piston is on its compression stroke and the intake and exhaust valves are closed.
Q: How do I drain the water from my pressure washer?
A: Follow steps 2-5 in our Maintenance Tips section.
Q: When should I drain the gasoline from the engine?
A: You should always remove the gasoline from the engine if you plan to store the unit in your basement or transport it in a vehicle. You should never store combustible materials in your home or vehicle.
Q: Why should I use a fuel stabilizer?
A: The use of a fuel additive, such as Powermate's Generator Fuel Additive, or an equivalent, will minimize the formulation of fuel gum deposits during storage. Such an additive may be added to the gasoline in the fuel tank of the engine, or to the gasoline in a store container.
Q: Why should I add engine oil through the spark plug hole?
A: Adding oil inside the cylinder will prevent it from rusting. This should be done if you don't plan to use your pressure washer for a long duration.
Q: Where is the best place to store my pressure washer?
A: Store your pressure washer in a clean, dry place that is well ventilated away from open flames or sparks. If you plan to store your pressure washer in a shed or unheated garage, be sure to winterize before the first frost. If you plan to store it in a basement, you should remove all gasoline from the engine.
Q: Where can I purchase a fuel stabilizer?
A: Fuel stabilizer can be purchased at your local home improvement center. You can also purchase Powermate's Generator Fuel Additive online.
Q: How do I add the anti-freeze and water solution?
A: If you must store your pressure washer in a location where the temperature is below 32 degrees F, you can minimize the chance of damage to your machine by utilizing the following procedure:
1. Shut off the water supply and relieve pressure in the spray gun by depressing the trigger.
2. Disconnect the garden hose from the pressure washer, but the leave the high-pressure hose connected.
3. Tip the unit on its side with the inlet connection pointing up.
4. Insert a small funnel (to prevent spilling) into the inlet and pour in a 50/50 solution of antifreeze* and water.
5. Disconnect spark plug wire.
6. Without connecting the garden hose, pull the recoil several times to circulate the antifreeze in the pump system.
7. Continue to add antifreeze and pull the recoil until the antifreeze is expelled when the trigger is pulled.
8. Turn the unit upright.
*It is recommend to use RV antifreeze (pink in color) which does not have rust inhibitors that can corrode brass and zinc plated components in the pump.
Q: How do I find my nearest Powermate service center?
A: Powermate has more than 3,000 authorized service centers through North America. Just enter your zip code in our "Service Center Finder" to locate your nearest service center.
Q: What is covered under my limited warranty?
A: Powermate pressure washers are protected by a one-year limited warranty against defects in material and workmanship. Replacement parts and labor are typically covered under the limited warranty. Consult the owner's manual for specific limited warranty coverage.
Q: Why does water come out of my pump?
A: If you run your engine for several minutes without spraying the wand, the pump will automatically purge water to protect it from overheating. This is called the automatic cool-down or thermal relief system.
Q: Who do I contact if I have questions?
A: Powermate Product Service Representatives can be contacted Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CST to answer your questions. You can call our toll-free hotline at (800) 628-8815. Always remember to have your Model and Serial numbers available at the time of your call.
Q: Where can I purchase Powermate parts?
A: Most replacement parts for your Powermate can be purchased through our toll-free hotline at (800) 628-8815 Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CST. You can also purchase replacement parts through your local Powermate service center.
Q: How can I obtain a replacement operator's manual?
A: If you misplaced your operator's manual, you can order a replacement copy by calling our toll-free hotline at (800) 628-8815. Be sure to have your model number handy, so we can send you the appropriate copy.
Q: How do I file a warranty claim?
A: Each case requires special attention. Please call our Customer Service Center at (800) 628-8815 for the appropriate procedure.
Q: What is NOT covered under my limited warranty?
A: Powermate's limited warranty does not include:
- Parts such as nozzles, which must be replaced as part of normal maintenance of the equipment, rather than as the result of a defect.
- Transportation charges to Powermate, Inc. for defective products. Transportation charges to consumer for repaired products.
- Damages caused by abuse, accident, improper repair, or failure to perform normal maintenance.
- Use of improper chemicals or non-compliance with the operator manual's instructions.
- Sales outside of the United States or Canada.
- Any other expenses, including damage to property.
- Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitations or exclusions may not apply to you.
In addition, Powermate's limited warranty does not cover damage resulting from failure to observe any of the following conditions:
1. The inlet water pressure must be between 20 and 100 psi.
2. The recommended inlet water temp should not exceed 40 degrees C, or 104 degrees F.
3. The unit should not run for more than five (5) minutes with the gun in the closed position.
4. The unit should not be stored in areas where temperatures may drop below 32 degrees F.