You just bought a new surface cleaner, but it isn't living up to your expectations. Hold on a minute - did you set it up for success?

The first thing to check whenever you get a new surface cleaner is the nozzles. Their are two things to look for - size and position.

Almost every reader knows the importance of properly sizing nozzles for your equipment. There are nozzle charts available almost everywhere you look - even on the Sun Brite Supply of Maryland web store. A nozzle too big will not give you the pressure you want and a nozzle too small will create back pressure on your pump and cause premature failure.

You should understand that the flow (GPM) of your equipment is divided by the number of orifices the water escapes through. The pressure (PSI) stays the same throughout the system. That means that if you have a 2-nozzle surface cleaner and your pressure washer puts out 4000 PSI and 4 GPM, you need to look on a nozzle chart under 4000 PSI AND 2 GPM when setting up your two-nozzle surface cleaner.

Therefore, that 4000 PSI, 4 GPM pressure washer needs a 4.0 nozzle for the wand and a pair of 2.0 nozzles in the surface cleaner.

(Note: Don't make the common mistake that your GPM is your nozzle size. Just because you have a 5 GPM pressure washer does not mean you use a 5.0 nozzle in your wand. Actually, that only works at 4000 PSI. At 3000 PSI, your nozzle size for 5 GPM should be a 6.0 nozzle - two sizes bigger!)

It is a matter of preference and performance as to what degree nozzle you want to use in your surface cleaner. Most folks opt for either 15-degree nozzles or 25 degree nozzles.

Finally, look at the position of the nozzles. They should be on an approximate 15-degree angle to the floor, which is what propels the bar to spin around.

Having the right size nozzles mounted at the right angle will maximize the efficiency of your surface cleaner.

Hint:If you can see black stripes after your surface cleaner moves over an area, you are moving too fast. Slow down.

Hint:If you can see white in the runoff as you clean, you are taking the cream right off the concrete. Speed up your movement a little - or better yet apply a cleaner to the concrete and move a lot faster.

Happy Flatwork!