What Water Blaster Do You Need For Your Cleaning Job? : Hirepool

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What Water Blaster Do You Need For Your Cleaning Job?

Have you ever spent ages scrubbing mould, dirt or moss from your footpaths, steps or deck? Outdoor maintenance sure can be a time suck in the weekend, but it doesn’t have to be! Say goodbye to the outdoor broom and garden hose combo, and say gidday to a water blaster to clean your outdoor surfaces! 

Water blasting or pressure washing is the use of high-pressure water to remove loose paint, mould, grime, dust, mud and dirt from surfaces and objects such as buildings, vehicles and concrete surfaces. To put it plainly: a water blaster does the hard work for you, saving you from having to scrub these surfaces yourself. Which leaves you more time for a beer.

What a lot of Kiwis don’t realise is that water blasters offered through your local hardware store, whilst budget friendly, aren’t nearly as effective as the more expensive commercial grade water blasters. Commercial water blasters can operate for longer, offer greater power and use less water. Making for a faster and more effective job. 

And here’s the great news - all of Hirepool’s water blasters are commercial grade and suitable for all types of pressure washing jobs. They do a better job and get it done faster - leaving more time for the things you would rather be doing.

What are water blasters useful for?

Essentially, a water blaster is a really powerful hose. But don’t get confused, high pressure water blasters will do a much better job than your typical garden hose! 

Water blasters are used by homeowners and businesses to eliminate or minimise hazards (such as moss buildup which could cause slips), improve the appearance of buildings, and help protect and maintain valuable assets like your house’s exterior. 

Here are some typical jobs that water blasters are useful for

At home DIY jobs

  • External building walls, gutters, decks, barbeque areas, swimming pool surrounds and tennis courts

  • Driveways, fences, paths and garage floors

  • Garden furniture and tools. Things like concrete covered spades are cleaned quickly and easily with a water blaster

  • Trucks, cars, boats, caravans, trailers and motorbikes

Commercial jobs

  • Builders - cleaning up building sites prior to handing over to new owners

  • Construction - cleaning construction equipment and vehicles such as trucks, prior to going on roads to meet strict city and regional council standards around the transfer of dirt from sites to roads 

  • Cleaning workshops and other large commercial spaces

So, it’s pretty clear that water blasters have a lot of uses! But bear in mind water blasters can remove paint and force water into areas it shouldn’t go when not used properly.  

Top tip: When using a water blaster on surfaces such as stucco, monolithic cladding and weatherboards, it’s important to use lower pressure and stand back, keeping the nozzle tip a metre or more from your walls. Make your movements swift and in a horizontal sweeping motion while spraying so that the action is more pressure washing than blasting. To minimise water getting in through the tops of window frames and any gaps in weatherboards, it also helps to keep the spray from the nozzle in a vertical line across the house. This is enough to clean these surfaces and won’t force water through any surface cracks, as once water has penetrated it can’t get out!

If you are stuck or unsure, your local Hirepool representative will be able to help  you find the best water blaster for your job and show you how to operate it.

How to work out what water blaster is right for your DIY job

To work out the best water blaster for your pressure washing job, the first step is to ask yourself these three questions:

1. What will you be using it for? 

The job(s) you need to get done will determine the type of water blaster you need to hire. Your local Hirepool representative can help get you sorted with this.

Are you just looking to tidy up around the house or do you have a bigger job in mind? Or are you a commercial operator looking to adhere to specific regulations or cleaning difficult materials such as grease? The larger the area or the tougher the substance you want to remove then likely the more power you will need to get the job done. 

If you’re removing stubborn substances such as grease you might also want to consider hiring a hot water blaster.

2. How will you be powering it?

Water blasters can be powered either by electricity or petrol, so it’s a pretty easy decision to make. There are several things to consider though:

Do you have access to a power supply? 

If you’re working on a site with no access to power such as a building site or a rental property, then you will need a petrol powered water blaster.

If you’re cleaning a large area or you aren’t located close to a power supply, you’d probably be better to opt for a petrol powered water blaster.  This is because long extension leads reduce power to the water blaster as power is lost as it travels along the cord.

Do you have access to a good water supply?

For remote or rural areas where water supply is not as guaranteed as town supply, you might want to consider a trailer mounted water blaster as these come with built in water tanks that you can fill before you get to site.

Do you need a large amount of pressure for your cleaning job?

If you need very high pressure to undertake your cleaning job, for example stripping paint or removing graffiti, you might want to consider petrol powered water blaster as this offers greater output than an electrically powered one. 

Do you have a large area you need to clean?

If you have a large area or multiple areas to clean, you might want to consider a trailer mounted water blaster for ease and speed of movement.

Do you have noise restrictions?

If you’ll be working in an area where you need to keep the noise down, an electric water blaster is your best option as they’re quieter than petrol ones. 

3. What pressure do you need?

Once you know what you’ll be using it for and your power source, you can figure out your ideal pressure range. 

Water blasters take water and pressurise it. High pressure cleaning can be extremely dangerous to both people and property, so this decision is really important. Using too high a pressure on surfaces like wood, stucco or plaster can cause costly damage by eating the surface and allowing water to penetrate it. On the flip side, using too low a pressure where heavy duty cleaning is required can waste time and money and result in a poor quality result. Therefore, it’s essential that you select a water blaster that has a pressure and flow combination that will meet your cleaning needs.

Here’s a general guide on the pressure required for different levels of clean up:

Cleaning Job Grade

Recommended psi

Type of Job

Options from Hirepool

Light-duty

Up to 1700 psi

Ideal for smaller washdown jobs around the house and workplace.

1400 psi 11 lpm Single Phase Electric

Hot 1500 psi Single Phase Electric

Medium-duty

1700 psi – 2800 psi

Most popular pressure level for residential pressure washing. These are particularly great for front stairs, back deck, patio furniture, vehicles, driveways etc.

Cold 2000 psi Petrol

2000 psi 15 lpm Petrol Towable

Cold 2500 psi Dual Petrol

 

Heavy-duty

2800 psi +

*For really hard jobs a psi of 3000-5000 is generally required.

Ideal for larger size washdown jobs around the house and workplace e.g. paint stripping and surface preparation, graffiti removal, construction site cleaning jobs, fleet maintenance. 

Cold 3000 psi Petrol

Cold 3000 psi Petrol Towable

Cold 3000 psi 30 lpm Diesel/Petrol Towable

3000 psi 1000L with spray bar Towable

Cold 4000 psi Dual Petrol

Your Hirepool representative can advise which water blaster is best based on the job you’re looking at using it for.

Domestic grade water blasters vs Commercial grade water blasters 

A commercial water blaster is designed to be used all day, everyday. They are made to run longer, clean faster, more thoroughly, and not break down. 

Domestic grade models are generally unable to be used continuously. Typically, you can get an hour or two of work in before the water blaster overheats. You then you need to let them cool down before continuing with your cleaning. 

Water blasters are normally marketed by their pressure or psi rating. Psi stands for “pounds per square inch” and essentially measures how much force the water has. This can be misleading as it’s the water flow rate that determines the effectiveness of the cleaning - a high water flow rate is what actually does the cleaning. 

Hardware store brands often offer the same psi rating as commercial brands at a much lower cost. This is because they offer lower water flow rates.

To establish a true indication of power, you need to multiply the water pressure (psi) by the water flow (litres per minute or lpm). For example:

An 1800 psi domestic water blaster: 1800 psi x 6.3 lpm = 11,340
vs
A 1400 psi commercial water blaster: 1400 psi x 11 lpm = 15,400

Whilst you’re getting less psi with the commercial model, you’re getting more litres of water per minute, which is both where the cleaning effectiveness and water efficiency comes from. Effectively giving you about 25% more cleaning power, making you 25% faster, and with less water than the hardware store model. Pretty cool right! 

Types of water blasters you can hire from Hirepool

Hirepool offers a range of commercial grade water blasters, making it easy for you to find the right option for your pressure washing job.

Petrol water blasters

Petrol water blasters are great for bigger areas like driveways as they are more powerful than electric models. They’re also suitable when access to power is an issue, such as remote areas, property maintenance jobs or cleaning up of building sites. 

Hirepool offers a range of petrol powered options:

Type of Water Blaster

psi x litres per minute

Ideal Use

Dual - water blaster & whirlaway

Two Options:

1000 – 2500 psi x 11  lpm

1000 - 4000 psi x 15  lpm 

High pressure water blaster and whirlaway combo for cleaning around the house and workplace. 

Water blaster

Two Options:

2000 psi x 15 lpm


For the medium sized washdown jobs around the house and workplace.

 

3000 psi x 15 lpm

For the larger sized washdown jobs around the house and workplace.

Electric water blasters

Electric water blasters are ideal for the smaller clean up jobs around the house or workplace where the area is close to a power source. They’re also much quieter and easier to start than petrol powered water blasters.

Whilst they don’t have as much power as petrol water blasters, being a commercial unit, Hirepool’s electric water blasters are still a lot  more efficient than hardware store equivalents.

Type of Water Blaster

psi/litres per minute

Ideal Use

Single Phase Electric

1200-1400 psi/9-11 lpm

Smaller clean up jobs around the house or workplace.

It’s important to note the following before selecting an electric water blaster:

  • All power leads need to be kept dry. Never ever spray energy sockets, plugs or machines with water or use/leave in the rain.

  • Extension leads, if required (highly likely in most cases), need to be heavy duty. Extension leads also need to be kept as short as possible. The longer the lead the less power you have as you lose electricity on its journey along the power cord(s). For maximum power you would ideally plug the water blaster straight into a power socket. 

  • It’s also important to uncoil the water blaster’s power cord and extension lead (if used) as if left coiled it will also result in reduced power - same as a hose left coiled on a hose reel just power loss rather than water flow.

If you think you might have issues keeping the machine and cords dry or need to use a lengthy extension cord, then it’s probably best to consider a petrol powered water blaster instead. 

Hot water blasters

Hot water blasters are great for breaking down grease and fat on surfaces. 

Type of Water Blaster

psi x litres per minute

Ideal Use

Single Phase Electric Hot Water Blaster

1750 psi x 11 lpm 

Getting rid of grease and fat e.g. domestic bbqs, car engines, and areas like commercial factories, workshops and restaurants.

Towable water blasters

Towable water blasters offer the most speed and easy access to more difficult areas. 

Type of Water Blaster

psi 

Ideal Use

Petrol

2000 psi x 15 lpm

For larger sized washdown jobs around the house and workplace.

 

Cold 3000 psi x 22 lpm

For medium sized washdown jobs around the house and workplace.

Dual Diesel/Petrol

Cold 3000 psi x 30 lpm

For larger sized washdown jobs around the house and workplace.

 

1000L Heavy Duty Water Blaster with a spray bar 3000 psi x 17.5 lpm

 

Dust suppression and clean up jobs on work sites, car parks and large areas.

Safety tips when using a water blaster

As with a lot of  DIY equipment, water blasters are powerful tools and can cause harm to people and objects if used incorrectly or thoughtlessly. Here’s some of our safety advice when using a water blaster: 

Wear protective gear 

As with any job, it’s important to wear appropriate safety gear to protect yourself from possible injury. 

  • Always wear eye protection

  • Wear covered footwear all year round

  • Wet weather gear is optional but provides an extra level of protection and comfort

  • If using a petrol powered water blaster, ear muffs are important as they are noisy

  • Refer to the relevant Hirepool instruction for use sheet provided with your water blaster for any other protective gear recommendations

How to safely use a water blaster

When using a water blaster, always be aware of other people around you and potential work area hazards. You’ll be working outdoors most likely, and in some cases, with electrical wiring - so make sure you understand the hazards that come with using electricity outdoors

  • Beware of hazards such as live power leads and never spray live electrical wiring

  • With domestic use make sure pets and children are kept well away from the work area 

  • Don’t spray directly at people or animals 

  • Never put a finger or hand over the nozzle

All Hirepool water blasters come with a comprehensive, easy to follow instructions for use sheet. Any questions on safety or using your water blaster, just give your local Hirepool branch a call.


So there you have it! Our top tips on hiring and using water blasters. We’re equipment hire experts and would love to help you out with any of your DIY tasks. Get in touch with your local Hirepool branch to hire a water blaster to fit your needs and make your DIY job a piece of cake!