Pressure washers are one of the most commonly used equipment in many households. The advantage of owning one is great since you can keep your surfaces clean. It is absolutely satisfying to watch the water stripping all that dirt from your car or wall. But did you wonder what happens if you touch a pressure washer? Well, most of you may think it’s safe since it’s just water. But the reality is that touching a pressure washer (with standard pressure specs) can indeed hurt you.
Yes, it’s true that it will not kill you right away! but can cause injuries that will be critical if not handled properly. The most common type of injury that occurs during pressure washing is cuts. For penetrating the skin it requires more than 1200 psi pressure. Home pressure washers have ratings between 1000 psi to 4000 psi. So that means a high-rated washer can cut through your skin easily.
Can a pressure washer cut your finger off?
No, Under most circumstances a home pressure washer cannot cut your finger Off. But that being said this is true only in the case of a home pressure washer. It requires more than 8000 psi to cut through the human bone. And most of the home pressure washers have the highest rating up to about 4000 psi. But there are powerful industrial washers that have rated pressure of about 40000 psi and Yes they can even cut off your limbs if not handled properly.
Can a pressure washer kill you?
A home pressure washer if used properly will not cause a fatal wound. They are designed to be a safe-to-use tool. But if you are careless while using a pressure washer there may be a possibility that things can be fatal. For example, while pressure washing surfaces always watch out for any electrical joints. There is a chance of getting an electric shock if you don’t take the necessary precautions.
And as for industrial type pressure/power washers, they are designed to produce very high levels of pressure ( like 40,000 psi ). Some of the are designed to pierce through tough metals. So handling them requires training and expertise. In this case, an injury can be deadly. It is recommended to use proper protective kits in case of using a high-rated pressure washer.
Pressure Washer wounds to the eye
The eyes are one of the most sensitive organs in the body. You have to always wear protective eyeglasses whenever operating a washer. If the water from the pressure washer directly hits your eyes there may be a chance of serious eye injuries. Also, the debris from the cleaning surface can injure your eyes if proper protection was not provided. Always use proper gloves and protective goggles while operating any machinery including pressure washers.
What PSI (Pressure Unit )will break the skin?
Human skin is not that hard. A pressure of over 1200 psi can cause cuts in the bones. But when the pressure reaches over 4000 psi it can cause serious damage to the bone tissues as well. And these types of injuries can often lead to nerve damage which can be permanent in some cases. So even though most injuries may be small they can still cause infections and nerve damage is not attended to properly.
So if you got a cut or laceration during pressure washing, it is advised to stop the process and immediately attend to the injury. Some of the basic first aid procedures are listed below-
- Wash the area with water and remove any dirt
- If the injury is to the eyes, wash thoroughly and seek emergency medical aid.
How to treat a pressure washer wound?
In more than 70 percent of cases, the pressure washer wounds will be minor. Always clean the wound to remove debris or external particles. In case of bleeding apply pressure using cloths to arrest the bleeding. Use band-aids to cover the wound and it’s better to get a tetanus shot if rust particles are involved.
If the injury is due to industrial-grade pressure washers, it can be fatal. So after the initial first aid, try to reach the nearest medical facility to provide proper care.
I accidentally power washed my foot, what to do next?
So even after following all the necessary precautions, you are still injured. What should be your next step? Well, the first and most important step is to call for help. You may not know the depth of injury yet and may require assistance. Call your friends or family and figure out how serious the injury is. If it is a minor cut clean the wound and stop the bleeding. Cover the wound with bandages to prevent further infections.
If you notice any deep damage or bruising, you need to consult medical help soon. But normally home pressure washers do not cause deep damage.
So the final answer to what happens if you touch a pressure washer is that it depends. It depends on the type of the washer, the area that was injured, etc. But in general, most home pressure washers are safe to touch and won’t result in any lasting injuries. But if you plan to use an industrial-grade pressure washer always follow the precautions and use protection kits. Also, there are some other dangers while using electric or gas pressure washers also. So always be careful while operating any machinery.