top of page

The Ultimate Pressure Washer Dictionary

Do pressure washer terms have you scratching your head?


We get it. With lots of specialised parts and equipment, keeping all the terms straight can be a challenge.


Check out our glossary of pressure washer terms below and never get your pressure switch and unloader valve mixed up again.

Screen Shot 2018-02-17 at 16.30.48.png

Pressure Washer Term Glossary

AC – alternating current. An electric current that reverses direction at regular intervals and continuously and regularly varies in magnitude. (See alternating current).

Acidizing – Use of an inhibited acid solution to remove hard water or chemical scale from the heat exchanger coil.

Accumulator – a pulsation dampening device relying on a diaphragm and gas-filled cylinder to lessen the effect of pump pulsation on the system. A shock absorber for water.


Adjustable Nozzle – a nozzle which may be adjusted for higher or lower pressure output or wider or narrower spray pattern. An adjustable nozzle may allow either variable pressure or spray pattern or both.


Air Band – adjusts or regulates the air intake on a gun-type burner to provide the right amount of air to mix with atomized fuel oil for proper combustion. The air band controls the amount of excess air introduced into the combustion chamber.


Air-Cooled Boiler – a boiler design which uses air being forced into the combustion chamber to insulate the heat exchanger. The air passes around the outside of the boiler but inside the wrapper and is preheated before it reaches the combustion chamber, contributing to more efficient combustion.


Air-Cooled Engine – a gasoline or diesel engine which is cooled by air forced around cooling fins on the cylinders. The air is moved by a fly-wheel-mounted fan and directed by the cooling shroud enclosing the fan.


Air Cone – insert in air tube of gun-type burner to restrict and direct flow of air for proper combustion.


Air Filter – filters air supplied for combustion in gasoline or diesel engines. May use a paper filter element or an oil saturated foam element or a combination of both.


Air Tube – tube at end of gun-type burner in which electrodes and fuel nozzle are mounted.


Air Valve – air valve on coil to allow purging water from coil with compressed air to help prevent freezing in cold weather.


Alkaline – substance with a pH below seven. Also called a base or basic solution. The opposite of an acid.


Alternating Current – AC. An electric current that reverses direction at regular intervals and continuously and regularly varies in magnitude. Type of current as supplied by electric utilities or generators. The reversal of direction is measured in cycles per second or hertz. (See AC, DC, Direct Current).


Aluminum Brightener – hydrofluoric acid. a hazardous chemical used to clean aluminum. Must be neutralized or it can attack the surface being cleaned.


Amp Draw – The demand for electric current flow by a specific application such as an electric motor.


Ampere – amp. Equal to the current that passes in a resistance of one ohm when a potential difference of one volt is applied. Refers to the quantity of current flowing or volume of current flow.


ASME – American Society of Mechanical engineers – sets standards for boilers and pressure vessels.

bottom of page