The pressure washer is one of the most useful pieces of equipment in your garage. It can be used for cleaning cars, driveways, patios and even houses. However, there are certain things that you should know about each category of pressure washers before you use them.
A standard pump-driven pressure washer works by taking in water from the garden hose, pressurizing it using a gas or electric-powered pump, and then releasing it through the trigger gun. The force of the water coming out of the gun is directly related to how much pressure is in the system, which is controlled by the pump when it's running. This can be thought of like an oil pipeline — as long as there's a steady flow of oil going into the pipeline, you'll have oil coming out of it until you shut off the supply.
When you pull the trigger on a pressure washer gun, you're simply opening up a valve that lets some of that pressurized water escape. Depending on the type of valve used (normally called an unloader valve), this can either open up a completely separate passageway for the water to flow through, or it can simply open up an additional hole in your main spray line, which allows more pressurized water to escape. Either way, pulling the trigger does not affect your pump.
Bypass Mode in Pressure Washers
Bypass mode is an optional feature on some pressure washers. When the bypass mode is enabled, water is diverted from the pump back to the inlet of the pressure washer. This allows you to use the pressure washer to draw warm water from a source and heat it with the engine's cooling system.
How Long Can a Pressure Washer Run in Bypass?
The best answer is it depends on the type of pump and how often it is used.
The type of pump matters because although all pumps need water, some pumps can handle the heat better than others.
This is why you will see higher quality pumps such as triplex plunger pumps and axial piston pumps that can handle being left in Bypass better than other types of pumps such as wobble or crankshaft style piston pumps.
What does Bypass do in a Pressure Washer?
It redirects water from the pump back to the inlet side of the pump, bypassing the unloader valve and nozzle. This is useful for starting a cold engine because it prevents dry running of the pump, allowing it to lubricate itself. It's also useful for flushing out any dirt that has built up in the pump or unloader valve when you stop using your machine.
However, pressure washer machines vary from one model to another. So, most latest models come with an internal cooling feature that doesn't need the bypass mode. If you left the machine in Bypass in such latest models, the chances are high that you will damage the system. Bypass mode can only be set with experienced professionals who are sure of what they are doing. And even then, they will only bypass the machine for 2-3 minutes only.
You can visit the Giraffetools collection experts to learn more about Bypass and every other setting in your pressure washer.