Water contains minerals, including calcium and magnesium, and their quantities can be measured to determine water hardness. Calcium and magnesium may be essential elements for human health but are no good for household appliances—including boilers, washing machines and irons— or power tools such as high-pressure washers. Hard water causes the formation of limescale deposits which lower the efficiency and durability of such machines, as well as increasing their power consumption.
In this article we will find out how to remove limescale from high-pressure washers and prevent deposits from forming. This helps to prevent annoying problems such as pipe blockages and corrosion, leakage caused by damaged seals and, specifically with regard to hot water high-pressure washers, accumulation of electrically insulating limescale on the resistor surface.
Maintaining high-pressure washers to eliminate limescale
For high-pressure washers, limescale deposits cause low or fluctuating water pressure, clogged nozzles that prevent water from flowing, vibration and excessive noise, among other issues. Let's see how to avoid them. Before removing limescale from your high-pressure washer, make sure that it can't start accidentally by unplugging it from the socket, if it's electric as in the case of Efco high-pressure washers, or by removing the spark plug cap if it’s petrol-driven.
Here are the steps you should follow to protect your high-pressure washer from limescale:
If it is equipped with a water inlet filter, disassemble it and clean with an anti-limescale product. In the worst case scenario it will need replacing: buy original replacement parts from your nearest dealer and service centre.
If you have a detergent tank, fill it with descaler diluted with water and run the high-pressure washer to descale the internal parts of the high-pressure hose, gun and lance.
Among Efco hot water high-pressure washers, the IP 2500 model can be fitted with an ionic anti-limescale device, which is a kind of softener that doesn’t descale the water, but instead generates a magnetic field that stops limescale buildup.
To prevent limescale from forming, when you are not using the high-pressure washer, completely empty the internal circuit: once you’ve finished a job, disconnect the washer from the water source and run it for a few seconds, pressing the gun trigger until water stops coming out of the lance. This step is essential before winter storage.
How to prevent limescale buildup in high-pressure washers
To avoid limescale, the water should not be excessively hard, i.e. contain high amounts of calcium and magnesium. Whether it is groundwater or mains water, the hardness depends on the source. If it's hard in your area, to prevent limescale deposits the only solution is to install a water softener, which is a device that lowers the hardness of water by removing some of the calcium and magnesium. In addition to high-pressure washers, your household plumbing and appliances will also benefit from such a device.
High-pressure washers are versatile and useful in the garden, home and for DIY. They can be used not just for cleaning, but also for unclogging pipes, stripping paint and more besides: discover all the uses of a high-pressure washer.
Don't have one yet? What factors should you consider when choosing one? Find out in our guide to selecting a high-pressure washer. Last but not least, here is a video with all the steps for using one correctly.