Pressure washers need to get cleaner
Emissions are a real problem in cities, not only in the UK but around the world, with places like London and Amsterdam tightening up legislation and beginning to phase out both petrol and diesel engines. But self-powered deck kit – like pressure washers – may even benefit from a different approach.
“A lot of people soon won’t be able to use standard engines – they won’t be able to function within the set limits,” said David Walke of Demon Pressure Washers. “It’s a tremendous issue” he added; “one that will hit the hire businesses particularly hard”.
More, fuel transportation is also becoming a headache; he explained: “At the moment in the UK you can only carry 20 litres of petrol in a steel can.” There are, however, much fewer restrictions on the movement of Calor gas: the limit is 100kg and as even a small, 3.6l bulb will keep a washer running for quite a while, it’s not likely to be an issue.
In response, Demon is developing a range of washers that perform to the same standard as the older petrol versions. These have the GX120 and GX200 Honda engines at their heart, and Mr Walke explained these have been designed “from the ground up” to use LPG. “Converting engines yourself from petrol to diesel is problematic,” he said. It’s not just the practical, necessary hardening of the cylinder liner and the valves, “it’s just as much that you invalidate the warranty” he explained.
For the environmentalists, it’s worth noting that “not only do you reduce your carbon monoxide by 60%, you are also reducing the hydrocarbons significantly, including nitrous oxides”. And, he said, there’s no potential water pollution from spillage.
For those that are less concerned about the environment than effectiveness, it’s worth noting that although there is a 10% increase in fuel throughput, LPG sets work more efficiently. These engines tend to be smoother running, partly due to LPG’s higher octane number, they are quieter and perform better in low temperatures. Further, because it’s a gas, LPG doesn’t wash out the engine’s lubricant, extending the unit’s lifetime considerably.
Finally, LPG stays fresh even given long-term storage – avoiding the problems associated with entraining moisture from damp air in the fuel reservoir.
By Stevie Knight
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