Guide to Pressure Washer Nozzles

 


So what's the big deal about pressure washer nozzles?
Ok, you've got a power source coupled to a high pressure pump with an unloader valve, these are mounted securely to a frame. Connected to the unloader outlet port is a high pressure hose trigger gun and wand or lance. Is this a pressure washer?

No it is not yet a pressure washer but it's a great start. It is not a pressure washer until you add high pressure tips (pressure washer nozzles). These simple seemingly insignificant components are what makes the whole high pressure system work. Pressure washer nozzles contain a small orifice which is sized to create the desired pressure at a specific flow. This orifice is a restriction in the water flow. When the flow from the pump is forced through this restriction pressure is created. It is only now that you have a pressure washing system.Pressure washer nozzles with an orifice that is most closely sized to the specs of your pump will give you the optimum performance.

pressure washer nozzles



The basic types of pressure washer nozzles

The two basic types of pressure washer nozzles are the quick disconnect type and NPT threaded MEG type pressure washer nozzles.

Quick disconnect pressure washer nozzles

Quick disconnect pressure washer nozzles

These are constructed with a 1/4" male plug that snaps into a 1/4" quick disconnect female coupler on the end of the wand. This coupler contains an o-ring to facilitate a tight seal. All quick disconnect female couplers in a pressure washing system contain these o-rings. It's important that pressure washer nozzles snap tightly into the female coupler. An improperly seated nozzle can become a projectile causing damage or injury, at the very least it can result in a lost nozzle.

These pressure washer nozzles are color coded to indicate what pattern (degree) of fan spray they produce.

Fan patterns of pressure washer nozzles

The red tip is the zero degree nozzle - these pressure washer nozzles produce a pencil point pattern, there is no fan created so this is not the tip to use when cleaning coverage is desired. The red tip does deliver the highest impact as it concentrates the pressure into the smallest area. Avoid damaging wood or other fragile surfaces. This is an ideal tool for cleaning under the deck of a lawnmower, removing caked on mud from equipment, cleaning stains from concrete, masonry, steel and aluminum even removing the grass from cracks in the sidewalk.

The yellow tip creates a 15 degree fan pattern.These pressure washer nozzles are referred to as chiseling tips. Held at a 45 degree angle you can use it like a scraper to remove peeling paint or mildew. It is also used for other tasks where breaking the bond is harder than average. Of your different pressure washer nozzles You will find yourself using this one the most often when the task is tough. This is the only situation I know where you'll find that when the going gets tough the tough gets yellow.

The green tip produces a 25 degree fan pattern. This is a wash tip. These pressure washer nozzles are the ones to use when breaking the bond between the grime and substrate is reasonably easy. These can also be used for sweeping leaves or debris from flat surfaces or curbing. These pressure washer nozzles have the widest variety of applications as the fan degree allows for good impact pressure and cleaning coverage.

The white tip is rhe 40 degree fan tip. The wider dispersion of the impact pressure limits these pressure washer nozzles to rinsing and delicate washing. These are the tips to use for washing/rinsing glass or washing vehicles. These are great tips for wooden decks and all delicate substrates.

pressure washer nozzle,chemical type



The black tip is for chemical application. These pressure washer nozzles are used with downstream chemical injectors. Downstream means that the chemical is introduced to the water stream AFTER it leaves the pump. In this way chemicals that may damage the pump are never introduced to the interior of the pump. This is not a high pressure tip. These pressure washer nozzles have the largest orifice. These tips apply the chemical/water mixture in a wide low pressure spray. These nozzles create a siphoning action which allows the chemical injector to siphon chemical and introduce it to the water flow. The biggest complaint about chemical injectors is when they won't siphon the chemical. This can almost always be traced back to using high pressure washer nozzles instead of the black pressure washer nozzles

Meg type pressure washer nozzles



Meg tips

Meg tips are threaded tips and not used on quick disconnect setups. These pressure washer nozzles are 1/8" or 1/4" NPT threaded. These are used with threaded nozzle holders designed for meg tips or on dual lances. The most common uses are on accessories. These are the pressure washer nozzles used on surface cleaners,spinning duct cleaners and sandblast heads.

General Info and the Importance of Sizing the Orifice of pressure washer nozzles

Impact pressure is highest immediately on exiting the tip. Impact pressure decreases the further pressure washer nozzles are from the surface being cleaned. The most efeective cleaning distance is from 4"-12".

Increasing the size of a nozzle orifice effectively lowers the pressure produced while maintainig the flow output of the pump. This is the desired method to adjust your pressure down without having to adjust an unloader.
Frequent adjustments to unloader valves can reduce their useful life substantially.

Decreasing the size orifice can increase pressure but it does reduce flow. With a pressure type of unloader this is not too much of a problem as the excess flow is bypassed to the inlet of the pump. The downside is that the inevitable spike of pressure will increase causing more stress to the system.
If you use a flow type of unloader, downsizing the nozzle orifice will only cause the unloader to sense the reduction in flow, it will then bypass all the flow which will cause it to repeatedly cycle in bypass mode.

Pressure washer nozzles are wear items

Remember a constant flow of water can wear away anything. As water flows through pressure washer nozzles even the hardened steel of the nozzle can evwntually wear away increasing the size of the nozzle's orifice. Keep in mind that a larger orifice reduces pressure. It is a good idea to invest in a $20-$30.00 pressure gauge to help identify that the loss in pressure is nothing more than an inexpensive worn nozzle and not a reason for pump repairs.

Properly sizing the nozzle orifice to the rated output of your pump (PSI and GPM) will yield the best results for an average users needs. In my time, I have seen unsrupulous repair dealers sell unloader valves and even new pumps to an unwitting customer who wasn't aware he was using tips not properly sized for his system. Substituting nozzles with various orifice sizes falls mostly to the realm of the Contract Cleaner who many times use high flow machines in a very wide range of applications.

How to Read a Nozzle Sizing Chart

Learning to read a nozzle sizing chart will allow you to properly match an orifice size to the rated PSI and gallon per minute flow of your system.

When reading a nozzle chart the orifice size is listed vertically on the far left. The PSI rating is listed on top horizontally left to right. Under each PSI rating the gallons per minute allowed by the orifice will be listed vertically. To match the nozzle orifice to your systems requirements begin by finding the PSI rating on top. Follow this column down until you find the gallons per minute rating of your pump. Now look all the way to the left and find the orifice size required by your system.

Click here to view a sizing chart for pressure washer nozzles

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fgsdfgsfdgsdfg The Turbo Nozzle is the most unique of all pressure washer nozzles

The turbo nozzle invented by Joseph Krantzle is a brilliant solution to the limitations of the zero degree tip. If you remember, the zero degree tip creates the most impact pressure but is so concentrated that cleaning coverage cannot be achieved.

The turbo nozzle takes this zero degree stream of water and spins it in a circle of either 15 or 25 degrees. The upside is you now have the best of both worlds high impact and good cleaning coverage. It is commonly stated that turbo nozzles double cleaning efficiency.

Do Silver Linings Have Down Sides?

As great as this solution is there are a couple of downsides to consider. Due to the fact turbo type pressure washer nozzles have moving parts they will wear out far quicker than standard pressure washer nozzles. Fortunately they are relatively simple to rebuild. It is a good idea to check availability and price of a rebuild kit prior to investing in this type of nozzle. And an investment it is, you can expect these pressure washer nozzles to cost anywhere from 10-30 times a standard nozzle. Another consideration is to always use a water inlet filter on this type of nozzle. Some will come with one installed, most will not. You can expect to pay $10-$15.00 for this filter.

The last consideration is the fragility of a turbo nozzle. It is important not to bang or drop a turbo nozzle. It contains ceramic which can crack, effectively rendering it useless.

If you can deal with these considerations a turbo nozzle can be one of the most effective tools in your bag of tricks.

Sample Repair Kit gfsdfgsdf

In Conclusion

Experiment with a full set of standard pressure washer nozzles. Try them all, varying distance and applications. In a short time you will learn a lot about the capabilities of your system and you will soon realize if you should invest in a turbo nozzle or not.



pressure washer nozzles sizing chart
Click Here to Return to Page
Nozzle size
Orifice Diameter
40 PSI
100 PSI
250 PSI
500 PSI
600 PSI
700 PSI
800 PSI
1000 PSI
1200 PSI
1500 PSI
2000 PSI
2500 PSI
3000 PSI
3500 PSI
4000 PSI
5000 PSI
2.0
0.034
0.20
0.32
0.50
0.71
0.77
0.84
0.89
1.00
1.10
1.22
1.41
1.58
1.73
1.87
2.00
2.40
2.25
?
0.23
0.36
0.56
0.80
0.87
0.94
1.01
1.13
1.23
1.38
1.59
1.78
1.95
2.10
2.25
2.52
2.5
0.039
0.25
0.40
0.63
0.88
0.97
1.05
1.12
1.25
1.37
1.53
1.77
1.98
2.17
2.34
2.50
2.80
2.75
?
0.28
0.44
0.69
0.97
1.07
1.15
1.23
1.38
1.51
1.68
1.94
2.17
2.38
2.57
2.75
3.07
3.0
0.043
0.30
0.47
0.75
1.06
1.16
1.25
1.34
1.50
1.64
1.84
2.12
2.37
2.60
2.81
3.00
3.35
3.25
?
0.33
0.51
0.81
1.15
1.26
1.36
1.45
1.63
1.78
1.99
2.30
2.57
2.81
3.04
3.25
3.63
3.5
0.048
0.35
0.55
0.88
1.24
1.36
1.46
1.57
1.75
1.92
2.14
2.47
2.77
3.03
3.27
3.50
3.91
4.0
0.052
0.40
0.63
1.00
1.41
1.55
1.67
1.79
2.00
2.19
2.45
2.83
3.16
3.46
3.74
4.00
4.47
4.5
0.055
0.45
0.71
1.13
1.59
1.74
1.88
2.01
2.25
2.46
2.76
3.18
3.56
3.90
4.21
4.50
5.03
5.0
0.057
0.50
0.79
1.25
1.77
1.94
2.09
2.24
2.50
2.74
3.06
3.54
3.95
4.33
4.68
5.00
5.59
5.5
0.060
0.55
0.87
1.38
1.94
2.13
2.30
2.46
2.75
3.01
3.37
3.89
4.35
4.76
5.14
5.50
6.15
6.0
0.062
0.60
0.95
1.50
2.12
2.32
2.51
2.68
3.00
3.29
3.67
4.24
4.74
5.20
5.61
6.00
6.71
6.5
0.064
0.65
1.03
1.63
2.30
2.52
2.72
2.91
3.25
3.56
3.98
4.60
5.14
5.63
6.08
6.50
7.27
7.0
0.067
0.70
1.11
1.75
2.47
2.71
2.93
3.13
3.50
3.83
4.29
4.95
5.53
6.06
6.55
7.00
7.83
7.5
0.070
0.75
1.19
1.88
2.65
2.90
3.14
3.35
3.75
4.11
4.59
5.30
5.93
6.50
7.02
7.50
8.39
8.0
0.072
0.80
1.26
2.00
2.83
3.10
3.35
3.58
4.00
4.38
4.90
5.66
6.32
6.93
7.48
8.00
8.94
8.5
0.074
0.85
1.34
2.13
3.01
3.29
3.56
3.80
4.25
4.66
5.21
6.01
6.72
7.36
7.95
8.50
9.50
9.0
0.076
0.90
1.42
2.25
3.18
3.49
3.76
4.02
4.50
4.93
5.51
6.36
7.12
7.79
8.42
9.00
10.06
9.5
0.078
0.95
1.50
2.38
3.36
3.68
3.97
4.25
4.75
5.20
5.82
6.72
7.51
8.23
8.89
9.50
10.62
10.0
0.080
1.00
1.58
2.50
3.54
3.87
4.18
4.47
5.00
5.48
6.12
7.07
7.91
8.66
9.35
10.00
11.18
11.0
0.083
1.10
1.74
2.75
3.89
4.26
4.60
4.92
5.50
6.02
6.74
7.78
8.70
9.53
10.29
11.00
12.30
12.0
0.087
1.20
1.90
3.00
4.24
4.65
5.02
5.37
6.00
6.57
7.35
8.49
9.49
10.39
11.22
12.00
13.42
12.5
0.089
1.25
1.98
3.13
4.42
4.84
5.23
5.59
6.25
6.85
7.65
8.84
9.88
10.83
11.69
12.50
13.98
13.0
0.091
1.30
2.06
3.25
4.60
5.03
5.44
5.81
6.50
7.12
7.96
9.19
10.28
11.26
12.16
13.00
14.53
14.0
0.093
1.40
2.21
3.50
4.95
5.42
5.86
6.26
7.00
7.67
8.57
9.90
11.07
12.12
13.10
14.00
15.65
15.0
0.096
1.50
2.37
3.75
5.30
5.81
6.27
6.71
7.50
8.22
9.19
10.61
11.86
12.99
14.03
15.00
16.77
20.0
0.109
2.00
3.16
5.00
7.07
7.75
8.37
8.94
10.00
10.95
12.25
14.14
15.81
17.32
18.71
20.00
22.36
25.0
0.125
2.50
3.95
6.25
8.84
9.68
10.46
11.18
12.50
13.69
15.31
17.68
19.76
21.65
23.39
25.00
27.95
30.0
0.141
3.00
4.74
7.50
10.61
11.62
12.55
13.42
15.00
16.43
18.37
21.21
23.72
25.98
28.06
30.00
33.54
40.0
0.156
4.00
6.32
10.00
14.14
15.49
16.73
17.89
20.00
21.91
24.49
28.28
31.62
34.64
37.42
40.00
44.72
50.0
0.172
5.00
7.91
12.50
17.68
19.36
20.92
22.36
25.00
27.39
30.62
35.36
39.53
43.30
46.77
50.00
55.90
60.0
0.188
6.00
9.49
15.00
21.21
23.24
25.10
26.83
30.00
32.86
36.74
42.43
47.43
51.96
56.12
60.00
67.08

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