Pressure washers can be a dangerous tool in the wrong hands. You need to make sure that any extension cord you use with a pressure washer is safe and won’t burn down your house with an electrical fire.
These machines can be so powerful that they can damage extension cords. This is especially true if you have multiple power sources — like a generator and an electric fence charger — plugged in close to each other. If the cord for one of those devices isn’t properly grounded, it might give you a shock if you touch it with the pressure washer’s nozzle.
For easy handling and maintenance, the safest cord for pressure washers is a heavy-duty extension cord rated for at least 20 amps. This cord should be marked as meeting Underwriters Laboratories (UL) safety standards. Safety covers are also helpful, because they reinforce insulation and aid in preventing sparks and heat buildup.
What to Consider for the Right Pressure Washer Cord
The right extension cord can not only save you money, but also your life. It’s important to choose the right cord for your needs. So when buying an extension cord for a pressure washer, here are a few important questions to ask yourself:
- Will I be using my pressure washer outdoors? If so, you should look for a heavy-duty, weatherproof cord that won’t melt or catch fire if it gets wet.
- What’s the maximum length of time I’ll be using my pressure washer? You might want a longer cord that you can use with multiple machines in different locations.
- How much power does my pressure washer generate? You can find this out by reading the owner’s manual. If you don’t know the model number of your pressure washer, call or visit the manufacturer’s website to get the information. When you call, ask them how many amps your machine generates and look up the power rating on their website.
- What type of metal do the prongs in my cord have? This is important because metal can oxidize and cause a spark that could set your house on fire. The best (most resistant) material to use is copper; other good options include aluminum or steel.
Precautions When Handling Pressure Washer Extension Cords
Extra care should be taken when using extension cords, especially when cleaning the exterior of your home. The wall sockets that you can use to plug in your appliances are usually rated for 1,200-1,400 watts. A power washer can put out as much as 1,500 watts.
If you’re working in an area where there’s a chance of electric shock, follow these tips:
- When using an extension cord on a power washer, take extra caution when moving the cord around to avoid tripping and falling.
- Use a heavy-duty, 16-gauge cord that has a built-in circuit breaker (rather than an extension cord with multiple outlets).
- Keep the cord away from water.
- Keep it away from heat sources and strong sunlight.
- Never bend or twist the cord while you’re using it.
- Do not cut or expose any wires to heat sources such as fire or sunlight.
Get to learn more when you make your purchase of a latest model pressure washer from the Giraffetools collections.