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Old 15-09-2018, 12:05 PM   #1
TenaciousTed
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Pressure Washer - "Bypass mode" limit

Hi folks,

I've bought a Clarke Tiger 1800 pressure washer. It's a petrol driven unit, which has the same flow rate as my previous electric washer. Basically it was purchased to free me up from the need for an electrical socket, so I can wash my car in my building's car park rather than in a shared driveway.

In its manual it says not to run the unit in "bypass mode" (i.e leave it ticking over without the trigger in and water flowing) for more than two minutes.

Is this one of those warnings people can routinely ignore? Or do I really have to switch off my power washer, then fire the engine back up every time I wait for snow foam or do the hand wash? Sounds a little excessive.

Ed
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Old 15-09-2018, 04:05 PM   #2
Croques
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If the motor is running all its horsepower has to go somewhere. Normally it pumps water through a restriction (nozzle). The restriction will get hot but cold water keeps arriving to cool the nozzle so it only gets warm. If you run the pump in by-pass mode all of that work available from all those horses can only work on pumping the water endlessly around the by-pass circuit. Doing work on anything causes heat. Eventually the water will boil and burst the seals.

PS. I suppose you could experiment. Run in by-pass whilst pointing an infrared thermometer at the pump. See how long you can run before getting to say 90 C. But your results will vary according to ambient conditions.

Last edited by Croques; 15-09-2018 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 20-09-2018, 12:11 PM   #3
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Thank you for this. This makes a lot of sense.
Ill also try reducing the throttle to the lowest possibility and see if that delays overheating.
If nothing else I can just do what it says and stop/start it each time. Not the end of the world, and worth it to be able to wash around the back in the car park out of everyone's way
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