Pressure washers are handy tools. They can clean up almost anything and make a house or deck look brand new. And electrically powered ones are among the only tools that mix water and electricity during use — an otherwise deadly combination.
Pressure washers can be safe to use if you read the manual carefully — and entirely — before operating the device. Keep children and even other adults far away during use as the power of the water stream could cause serious injury.
Before you point that nozzle:
- Plug the pressure washer into a properly grounded receptacle.
- Stay grounded yourself. Don’t try to operate the tool from a ladder.
- If you must use an extension cord, choose a heavy-duty outdoor power cord that is double-insulated. Do not let the connection point sit in water. Keep all cords far away from the area being washed and from water runoff.
- Wear rubber-soled footwear while using the washer.
- Never use a gas-powered pressure washer indoors because of the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Cold climates can cause leftover water in the machine to freeze and expand, making the tool unsafe to use. Store your pressure washer in a warm place and use compressed air to purge any remaining liquid before you pack it up.
- Use only washing chemicals approved by the manufacturer. Other cleaning agents can damage parts.