adjusting unloader on a pressure washer?

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Nov 29, 2009
I called that hotsy place that another member on here suggested and talked to two different people. One guy said one thing, the other said something else. I want to run a surface cleaner and off my 3.5gpm 4000psi pressure washer and most cleaners are only rated at like 3500psi. I asked if they make a fitting that lowers the pressure similar to how they make bigger nozzles to put out a lower pressure through the wand. It seems they don't make anything like that to hookup a lower rated pressure surface cleaner.

Now to my question: They both say that running a surface cleaner that's rated at a max psi of 3400 would damage the pump since it puts out 4000psi due to too much back pressure. Sounds right to me, but one guy says that since you bought a gauge to hookup to the wand that I can just reduce the pressure with the unloader, but the other guy I talked to says doing that would still create excess backpressure in the pump. So who is right? The first guy said most people say not to mess with the unloader because they do it without a gauge and end up over adjusting it, but he said since I have a gauge and I'm lowering the pressure, it won't hurt anything. Opinions? Will the unloader still work at a lower psi?
You are missing a key point.

Pressure is related to flow.

That is why my [email protected] pressure washer puts out 1600psi with the delicate nozzle that flows around 3gpm.

You need a surface washer that will flow enough.
and the pressure will take care of itself.

That being said having a commercial pressure washer you probably need a commercial surface washer.

something like this

would probably work.. it has bigger jets on it and 18" so its made to flow more water.. than most.
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