Pressure Washer Filtration: protecting your pump
Choosing the proper inlet water filter is the first step in protecting your pump from potential damage and your tips from getting clogged. The choice of filter will vary, in order to choose the best one you need to determine the application.
First, let's discuss the filtration level. Each filter will be equipped with a screen designed to remove particulates from the water. These screens are rated in mesh sizes such as 40 mesh or 60 mesh. The mesh count refers to the number of crossing elements in a particular area so the larger the mesh count the greater the filtration will be. In most cases the higher level of filtration would be preferred; however, this is not always true. A high mesh count can cause flow restrictions and may clog up fast if the water quality is poor. When working from a tank a lower mesh count may be preferred to prevent starving your pump of water.
The second step in choosing the correct filter is to determine the application. When dealing with a direct feed application the use of a direct mount type filter may be preferred. The direct mount filters are typically made of a metal to help support the additional stress of the garden hose hanging from it. These filters are smaller in size and have a low debris capacity. Since they are hooked directly to the water supply the potential for contaminates low so this does not usually pose a problem. When working from a tank the use of a canister type filter is preferred. These filters are designed to capture higher levels of debris that may enter your tank. When working from a tank it is a good idea to choose a large filter to help in reducing the inlet flow restrictions of water to the pump.
It is best to feed you pump with a large hose as the water flows more freely to the pump which allows it to not have to work as hard thus saving wear on the pump packings or water seals. At a minimum, the recommended size would be 3/4" hose and filter for pumps 4gpm or less and 1" for pumps with higher flows. For flows over 10 gpm we recommend a larger filter or feeding the pump on both inlets for best performance. Remember, larger is better when feeding your pump. Since the purpose of the filter is to capture debris that is what it does, so it is important to remember to check and clean your filter on a regular basis for optimal performance.
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