Used to concentrate or disperse the jet of pressurized water generated by the pump, a pressure washer nozzle is an integral component of any pressure washing system. Usually included in a set with the pressure washer itself, nozzles create a specific pattern of water, ideal for a wide variety of applications. Most sets feature 5 nozzles, color coded for easy identification. Whether removing hardened debris, cleaning or rinsing surfaces, it is important to use the right nozzle for the task. Otherwise, there is the risk of damage or ineffectiveness.
There are essentially 5 types of nozzles included in a basic set. Specialty turbo and rotating nozzles are available separately. For most residential uses, the set will suffice. Found in a set are red, yellow, green, white and black-tipped nozzles. The red nozzle is a zero degree fixture that produces a fully concentrated jet of water about the diameter of a pencil. The yellow, green and white nozzles produce angled fans of water at 15, 25 and 40 degrees, respectively. The black nozzle is a lower-pressure attachment used with downstream chemical injectors.
Nozzle Shape and Attachment
The orifice is the opening at the tip of a nozzle which determines the spray pattern. The red nozzle features a compact, circular orifice, while the fan nozzles have racetrack-shaped orifices with internal diverters to produce the angled, dispersed stream of water. The largest orifice is found on the black nozzle for low-pressure chemical/water mixture application. Nozzles commonly attach to the spray gun or lance with a quick-connect coupler, although threaded MEG nozzles are sometimes used as well.
The red nozzle is best used when a full-force blast is needed to clear out old grout, remove moss or clean up a muddy tractor. Due to its force, it can damage wood and other materials, so it should not be used for washing. The yellow nozzle is good for chiseling under surface grime or removing flaking paint. The green and white nozzles are ideal for washing and rinsing walls, fences and gutters while still providing adequate impact pressure.