We’re starting to get a few waterblasters listed on for hire on Flack and we thought we might be able to provide some tips and tricks about choosin’ and usin’ a waterblaster. I’ve been doing a bit myself and it’s actually really satisfying as you see the cleansed strip of surface from each sweep of the nozzle. I’ve also made a handful of mistakes, which I won’t admit to, but it did get me to thinking, perhaps I should learn what not to do when using a waterblaster, and share it with you fine folk. There are a number of different types, with different features, different pressure and therefore not all waterblasters are suitable for all types of use. The main types include:
Electric corded, These water basters run from a powerpoint and have enough power for everyday domestic jobs and shorter run times.
Petrol, These units are heavier and more expensive, but are usually more powerful and suited for all-day industrial cleaning. You’re only limited by the length of the hose.
Electric battery, Battery-electric models generally only run for 15-20 minutes before needing to recharge but give you a bit more flexibility than the corded versions.
Choosing the right water blaster for the right job Now how would one hire the right water blaster for one’s job? Great question and most people would fly blind on this, so here’s a little guide I’ve put together for your perusal:
General Building Wash Down - Choose a waterblaster up to 3000 PSI. Be careful around the eves as this could lead to leaks.
Fencing Decking and Furniture - Choose a waterblaster with no more than 2000 PSI and no more than 11 Litres per minute. Be careful with wood and even try a test run beforehand.
Paving and Concrete - 2000 – 3000 PSI is fine or a between 15 and 20 Litres per minute.
Vehicle and Boats - No more than 1800 PSI for these jobs as any more could strip away paintwork or damage the exterior - not really want you want.
Some tips and tricks for using your hired waterblaster
Always start with a small area and lower pressure, then work your way up until you find the right approach that doesn’t cause damage.
Entry-level to mid-range waterblasters usually have pumps which are air cooled. These will overheat if left running for more than an hour. The ideal cadence for use is to do 40 minute spells with 20 minute stand down period to let it cool.
Extension cords should carry over 7 amps of electrical current and should be suitable for outdoor use. Look for a waterblaster with a water cooled pump If you need to water blast for a long time.
Cladding - Be vigilant when waterblasting cladding like stucco. The high pressure water can penetrate more delicate cladding types. As long as the nozzle isn’t too close to the surface (less than 500mm) and the spray isn’t directed closely. Timber deck's are all good to use your waterblaster, however, lower pressure settings are the best place to start. This will still remove dirt and don't let the nozzle get too close in order to avoid penetrating the timber.
Where is that nozzle pointing? High pressure water can cause serious injury if it is directed at people or animals.
Don the right kit: non-slip footwear, wrap-around safety glasses, gloves. Save the jandles for the beach
If your water blaster has a 2-stroke motor, you could burn yourself - let it cool down and watch when handling.
Blasting on the roof? don't do it. A roof cleaning accessory kit lets you clean the roof while staying on the ground. Other accessories are available to help clean gutters and other hard to reach locations.
If working from a ladder, make sure it is securely positioned and fixed in place so that it can’t fall sideways. Maintain 3 points of contact on the ladder at all times.
It's also possible to get pretty creative with the old water blaster
There’s a lot of info here and who knew that waterblasting wasn’t as simple as turning on the water and blasting away. If you can take a couple of snippets of intel from the above then I’d consider that a success. Happy blasting!