Using an air compressor instead of a pressure washer can seem like an effective way to save money while ensuring your projects correctly get the job done. With a few simple alterations, you can transform your air compressor into a pressure washer, allowing you to take on those tougher jobs with nothing more than what you have in your workshop.
Before you get started on this transformation, however, some important safety considerations and modifications should be made before using your air compressor as a pressure washer. This guide will explore the key factors and steps necessary to safely convert an air compressor into a powerful pressure washer.
What is a Pressure Washer?
A pressure washer is a practical outdoor cleaning tool that uses pressurized water to deep-clean siding, paved surfaces, decks, and other outdoor structures. Modern pressure washers often deliver up to 4,000 pounds per square inch (psi) of water pressure combined with flows of up to four gallons a minute (GPM). This much power can quickly break down caked-on mud, clean decks and patio furniture, and even remove paint or graffiti.
The primary components of any traditional power washing system include a gasoline or electric motor, a pump, hoses, and a trigger wand with interchangeable nozzles. The engine powers the pump on gas models or the motor on electric models, which helps create the necessary high water pressures for efficient cleaning.
The hoses transport an adequate water supply from an attached faucet or tank to the pressure washer’s special nozzle head, containing several outlet ports to spray powerful jets of water at various angles over large surface areas. The interchangeable nozzles help create various streams of water ranging from wide fan spray patterns to precision pencil points for more detailed work such as window cleaning and graffiti removal.
Can You Convert an Air Compressor into a Pressure Washer?
It’s not uncommon for people to want to turn their air compressor into a pressure washer. After all, air compressors are versatile and can be used for various purposes. However, converting an air compressor into a pressure washer is not as easy as it might seem. This article will discuss the pros and cons of turning an air compressor into a pressure washer and how to go about it.
Choose the Right Air Compressor
The most important consideration when converting an air compressor into a pressure washer is the air compressor you use. You’ll want an air compressor with high CFM (cubic feet per minute) and PSI (pounds per square inch) ratings. These two measurements will tell you how much air the unit can move and how much pressure it can produce.
The higher the CFM rating, the more efficient your air compressor will deliver a large amount of compressed air over a short time. The higher the PSI rating, the more powerful jets of wet steam and water your converted pressure washer will produce.
Once you have chosen a suitable air compressor with high CFM and PSI ratings, it’s time to convert it into a pressure washer by ensuring that all necessary parts are included in your conversion kit or purchased separately to get your machine up and running. Here are some essential components for conversions:
-Pressure Washer Attachment
-Pressure Washer Gun Kit
-Spray Nozzle Tip Set
-Chemical Injector Kit (optional)
Choose the Right Pressure Washer Attachment
If you’re considering using an air compressor to power a pressure washer, choosing the right pressure washer attachment is important. Most air compressor systems are not powerful enough to generate a true pressure washer-like cleaning experience, so the right attachment can help you get the job done.
The key factor when considering which attachment to use is the size of your air compressor. An average home air compressor will have a maximum PSI (pounds per square inch) rating, usually limited to seventy or eighty PSI. While this is good for many tasks, it is usually not enough for heavier jobs like cleaning brick or masonry surfaces or removing rust from tools and large machinery parts.
To gain additional power for these jobs, consider purchasing a cordless electric pressure washer attachment that can be plugged directly into your existing air compressor hose. ‘
Most electric attachments will boost the power from 80 PSI to 1500 PSI, which delivers the equivalent of a powerful professional-grade cold water unit and can be used on nearly any surface that needs cleaning, indoors or outdoors.
When using your electric attachment with an air compressor, ensure you check all connections after each use and take special care when hosing off hard surfaces, as moving bristles at high speeds can damage them quickly if not handled properly.
Remember that while powerful electric pressure washer attachments are available, they can still limit the available flow rate because they generally require larger hoses than most compressed air tank configurations provide, which could diminish overall cleaning ability.
Assemble the Parts
If you create a pressure washer from an air compressor, you will need to assemble the components of your setup. The most important tool in this process is a pressure washer wand. This wand is a “gun” to direct the concentrated water stream. Be sure you choose one that is designed for use with an air compressor; other choices won’t be able to handle the compressed air power generated by the machine.
Next, ensure you have enough length of high-pressure hose to make it from the air compressor outlet to the wand. Use clamps or tie wraps when connecting hoses — don’t simply knot them together, as they can come apart under pressure and cause injury or damage.
Attach any nozzles or spray tips according to the instructions on their packages; most should be easy steps as long as you get all your parts in one purchase or location.
If your hose or attachments require cleaning or maintenance, always disconnect them before engaging in such activity — never attempt repairs while anything is still powered! Finally, check all connections once more when starting up your machine and inspect any potential leaks frequently while operating it.
Test the Pressure Washer
Before converting a standard air compressor into a pressure washer, it’s important to test its maximum pressure output first. A common mistake is to overlook this crucial step and attempt the conversion without accounting for the requirements. Without the right pressure, you’ll be unable to effectively clean with a pressure washer.
To test your air compressor, ensure all the seals are secure and in working condition. Then use a gauge or handheld instrument designed for measuring air pressure and connect it to the outlet valve on your machine. Run an appropriate amount of current through your system so that it can reach its maximum potential – usually 150 psi or higher.
If you’re satisfied with the readings, you can use your air compressor as a pressure washer – as long as it’s capable of running at least 100 psi and certified safe by an expert technician beforehand. When making any adjustments or conversions, always wear protective gear such as gloves and eye protection too!
In conclusion, turning an air compressor into a pressure washer is possible, but there are some important considerations to keep in mind. First, the air compressor must be able to handle the pressure generated by the water being sprayed.
A pressure washer pump must be purchased and attached to the air compressor before it can be used. Lastly, safety should always be a priority when using an air compressor or steam-powered pressure washer. Following safety and assembly instructions is essential for successfully converting an air compressor into a pressure washer.