Using a pressure washer makes cleaning more effective.
It’s highly recommended to use a pressure washer with appropriate fittings, swivel fittings, adapters, etc. to enhance the cleaning experience. These connectors and adapters allow the users to add more additional parts and accessories as well.
But the issue is, there are plenty of these fittings and adapters to choose from and this is where most of the beginners get confused. Similarly, some people know which one they need, but they are confused regarding the sizes.
In this article, you are going to learn pretty much everything about pressure washer hose fittings, connectors, adapter, and couplers. Also, you will know which one will suit your cleaning unit the most.
Table of Contents
- 1 What are Pressure Washer Fittings and Why Do You Need That?
- 2 Materials Used in Fittings
- 3 Key Consideration While Choosing a Fitting
- 4 Pressure Washer Quick Connect Sizes
- 5 Practical Examples of Using Fittings
- 6 Do Electric Pressure Washers have Different Size of Fittings?
- 7 Which Connector is a Must Having one?
- 8 Final Words
What are Pressure Washer Fittings and Why Do You Need That?
A fitting refers to a type of adapter that connects parts of a pressure washer. You need to fit it between the pressure hose and trigger gun. Similarly, it connects the pressure hose with the pump as well.
Although most of the pressure hose packages include fittings, adapters, and couplers, and you don’t need them always. But there are some situations that require you to use these attachments.
- You need to add more attachments to your pressure washer, for example, foamer, surface cleaner, pressure gauge, etc.
- The situation demands you to use higher pressure hose or extend the current 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.
- 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.
- Swivel Fittings
When you walk while holding the pressure washer hose, the wire kinks and you have to manually unkink it every time which is quite disturbing. The swivel doesn’t let the hose kink even when you walk further away from the machine.
The hose cannot unkink itself as it doesn’t spin by its own. But when you connect a swivel to the hose, the swivel allows the hose to spin. You don’t need to twist the gun or extend wand; the swivel will ensure the hose is unkinked all the way.
So, if you need to walk away from the pressure washer machine to clean, this is something you must have. It will both save your time and get you rid of unwanted disturbance.
Materials Used in Fittings
Not all the fittings are equally durable. There are 3 types of materials that are most commonly used for making 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.
- 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.
Plastic fittings are not as durable as brass and stainless steel ones. They are ideal for light electric pressure washers.
Compared to the other two, plastic fittings are cheaper and lightweight. But highly prone to damage or crack.
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.
Key Consideration While Choosing a Fitting
To make your purchase worth, be sure to keep these things in mind before ordering fittings.
- The fittings need to be tough enough to endure 1000 to 4000 psi over.
- It should be able to connect pressure washer parts firmly.
- No matter how hard you tug, it should have robust construction to be able to bear it.
- There should be no compromise regarding corrosion resistance as it will deal with water.
- For business purpose, the price has to be reasonable enough to add value to your business.
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
You can turn an m22 pressure washer hose connection into a QC using a single fitting. Insert an m22 male thread into a 3/8″ female QC socket. After that, attach the male QC plug to your pump outlet. In this way, you will be able to connect a high-pressure hose with a pump very easily.
- Dual M22
If you need to extend the length of your pressure hose, then consider getting an m22 pressure washer hose coupler. Simply connect the m22 coupler with the hose ends of both the female connection. Once you are all set, there is no need to move the entire unit.
- Spray Gun Quick Connect
Previously in example 1, I explained how you can turn an m22 hose connection into a quick connect and attach it to a pump. Now, this one is the same process, but here you will deal with spray gun instead of the pump hose.
You will be able to quickly attach and remove the spray gun from the hose using a 3/8″ quick connect male plug.
The female socket needs to connect with the male m22, which should be attached to the gun. On the other hand, the QC male plug will go inside the female socket of 3/8″ QC. And finally, the m22 male connector will connect to the m22 female which is attached to the hose.
- Multiple Fittings
If you need to test the pressure supplied by the pressure washer, then you will need a pressure gauge. So, here you have to connect both the pressure gauge, spray gun, and hose with quick connects.
Note that, pressure gauge comes with quick connect fittings; therefore, you require appropriate adapters to make it connect with the spray gun and hose.
At first, connect the m22 male with the female one. Then 3/8” quick connect needs to connect with the 3/8” QC male plug. Connect the pressure gauge with a 3/8” QC male plug at the top, and 3/8” QC female at the bottom.
Now, connect the QC male plug to 3/8” QC female connection which is connected with the pressure gauge, and finally, m22 female hose connection to the m22 male.
Do Electric Pressure Washers have Different Size of Fittings?
Fittings and screw connections on electric pressure washers and gas pressure washers aren’t the same. They slightly differ from each other in terms of internal sizes.
On a gas pressure washer, the internal diameter of an m22 screw connection is about 14mm. Where, on the other hand, the diameter of the same type of screw connection is about 15mm on an electric pressure washer.
So, if you use the hose from your gas pressure washer and try to connect it to the female hose of an electric machine, there will be a lack of about 1mm. Because you are trying to fit a 14mm hose from the gas machine to a 15mm female hose of an electric machine.
Which Connector is a Must Having one?
In my opinion, there are two fittings that every pressure washer machine owner must-have.
- Quick Connect Couplers
When it comes to attach and release the pressure hose from the pump or spray gun, nothing can beat quick connects. These are very easy and convenient to use.
If you choose a screw to connect instead, it will take 15 seconds longer to attach and detach. Furthermore, you cannot deal with such screw connects with one hand. So, without a doubt, a quick-connect coupler can make your pressure washing experience even better.
- Gun Swivel Fittings
No one would disagree with the fact that working with a pressure washer becomes annoying when you have to move away from the machine holding the spray gun, and it kinks. The situation would require you to twist and unkink it manually.
If you have a gun swivel fitting attached to the spray gun, it will unkink by its own and make things less hassle while saving your precious time.
The examples that are mentioned above are the most practiced way of using the machine effectively. Dealing with the connectors, couplers, fittings, and swivels seem complicated at first. But as soon as you know about their types and how they work, you will be able to handle the pressure washer machine like a pro.
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.