Choosing suitable pressure washer accessories is just as important as choosing the pressure washer! These accessories, nozzles and fittings can potentially make your life and job easier and more efficient.
A fitting refers to a type of adapter that connects parts of a pressure washer.There are some situations that require you to use these attachments:
- When You need to add more attachments to your pressure washer, for example, foamer, surface cleaner, pressure gauge, etc.
- Want to use a different high pressure hose (or extend the length of the one you have).
- You want screw fittings to connect quickly.
- You don’t want hose kinks and avoid them by using swivel fittings.
Types of Fittings
Fittings make your pressure washing work easier. Even though there are plenty of them, they are of a few types.
1.Quick Connect Fittings
This type of fittings is used to quickly connect or release the screw connections. If you use a quick-connect fitting, you will find removing the hose or spray gun or pump a lot easier and faster.
Among the quick connect fittings, there are male and female fittings. Female ones come with an O-ring that prevents leakage. Male fittings, on the other hand, go inside of the female ones.
Most pressure washer hose comes with QC fittings of both the types.
Pressure washer gun swivel fitting swivels stop the hose from kinking when in use and help to unkink it when you first walk out the hose.
It works by allowing swivel (spinning) of the hose without you having to twist the spray gun and extension wand in big circles. You can just walk it out and the gun swivel twists out the hose kinks as you walk. It’s one of those fittings you can’t pressure wash without once you try it.
Materials Used in Fittings
Not all the fittings are equally durable. Brass, plastic and stainless steel are the most common material used in pressure washer hose fittings.
Brass is the most widely used material in fittings. These fittings are made of zinc and copper alloy. The alloy is low melting and easy to machine and cast.
This material is corrosion-resistant and durable. Brass fittings are cheaper than stainless steel but more expensive than the plastic ones.
Pros – Strong. Corrosion resistant. Easy to machine to different shapes. More affordable than stainless steel.
Stainless steel fittings are coated with chromium. It’s rust and corrosion-resistant as well. These fittings are durable and expensive as well.
Pros – Best for corrosion resistance. Chemical resistant. High strength.
Cons – Expensive.
Plastic fittings will only be used for lighter-duty electric pressure washers.
Pros – Cheap. Light.
Cons – Prone to cracking and damage.
You cannot categorize the rubber O-ring to any pressure washer hose connector types that are mentioned above. However, know that these rings are for preventing leaks of female fittings. The male quick-connects fits inside the female socket and the ring seals the leak.
Pressure Washer Quick Connect Sizes
This is the part where most people end up taking the wrong decision. People mostly get confused about the size of fittings; whether they should consider the inside or outside diameter and how precise the fitting needs to be?
You will find fittings that are of 3/8”, 22mm, 14mm from the inside. There are both British and American pipe thread standards to make you even more confused. No matter which one you are confused with, this section will make things clear to you.
To figure out the actual size, you will need calipers. Taking a measuring tape will not do any help as 1mm of difference matters as well. But before discussing the measurements, let’s get familiar with the British and American Standard pipe thread.
NPT (National Pipe Thread) is known U.S. standard for screw threads.
BSP (British Standard Pipe) is known as British standard for screw threads.
The reason why you need to consider both NPT and BSP is that you will come across fittings having the diameters either in NPT or BSP. A fitting with 3/8” NPT size will not be the same in size of another 3/8” fitting of BSP size.
As a result, you will not be able to put a male BSP fitting into a female NPT connection correctly. Got it?
M22 Adapter Size
Furthermore, you need to consider both the internal and external diameters of the connectors. Take m22 adapter for example, which is very common on hoses, spray guns, and pumps. It has a diameter of 22m from the outside and 14mm from the inside. Also, a female m22 has an inner plug about 14mm.
Furthermore, the thread has 14mm internal diameter on a gas pressure washer, but on the other hand, the same adapter has 15mm diameter on an electric pressure washer.
BSP Thread Size
Whenever you see the fitting of 3/8”, know that the numbers don’t tell you about the size; rather, it’s the name of the fitting which may sound weird. A 3/8” fitting has a diameter of around 16.66mm which means it’s actually of 2/3-inch.
QC Plug and Socket Size
All the quick connects are of 3/8”, so here, you don’t need a caliper to measure the sizes of quick connects.
Practical Examples of Using Fittings
Now let’s demonstrate on some of the uses of fittings on a pressure washer hose connector.
Pressure Washer Quick Connect Fittings
1.) Quick Connect Fittings to Make Connecting High Pressure Hose to Pump Quick and Easy
In this example you can see how a M22 style hose connection pressure washer hose can be made into a quick connect with a single fitting – a M22 male thread to female 3/8″ quick connect socket. Then you attach a fitting with a male quick connect plug to the pump outlet and you’re set.
2.) Dual M22 Male Coupling to Extend Length of Two High Pressure Hoses
Use this simple coupling to connect two M22 female connection hose ends. It make it so you don’t have to move your pressure washer all the time as you have more leeway with the longer hose.
3.) Make Hose to Spray Gun Quick Connect
This is the same two fittings used in example #1 except at the spray gun end. The 3/8 inch QC couplings allow for much quicker install and exit of the spray wand from the hose when needed.
4.) Multiple Fittings to Insert Pressure Gauge Between Spray Gun and Hose
We test the pressures on the pressure washers so we need a pressure gauge inserted into the assembly. The pressure gauge has quick connect fittings so the proper adapters are required to make the spray gun and hose quick connect.It’s a beefy setup and usually insert it at the pump to decrease the weight at the spray gun.
Pressure washer fittings are an excellent choice for reducing the hassle of the work. Wisely choose which type you need and it’s material. Also, consider the sizes according to both the British and U.S. standard as well to prevent leakage and breaking connectors.