Pressure Washer Nozzle Colors Explained in Plain English

Both electric and gas washers are potent cleaners. Choosing the right pressure washer attachment for the job is essential to get the cleaning power you desire. Luckily, the industry has made it pretty easy for you. You select the right color to match the best pressure you need for your situation.

The spray nozzle tips are universally color coded to identify the angle degree and pressure released through the washer head.

Most pressure washers have the standard red, yellow, green, and white spray tips as attachments to the wand. The black nozzle will help with soaping a surface, and the turbo nozzle combines pressure and wide water angle hitting your target.

Let’s go over the different pressure washer nozzles and their angle sizes in more detail.

Colorful power washer tip guide infographic

The Different Colors (and Angles) of Powerwasher Tips Explained

Red Nozzle: 0 Degrees

Red = Danger

The red colored pressure washer nozzle gives maximum blast with nearly no cone spray. At 0 degrees the spray is a pinpoint jet stream that can damage and cut through soft surfaces like wood, paint, and sidings. The pressure is so intense it may even scratch metallic surfaces held too close to the object.

The minimum spray covers such a small area at a time that it isn’t feasible to pressure wash large areas; it’s designed to clean a specific spot. The strong blast and small spray, however, is ideal to use on concentrated areas with stubborn stains and caked grime. Grass growing in driveway and sidewalk cracks are cumbersome to remove. The sheer pressure of the red washer tip may solve that dilemma.

Use this nozzle with care and always be mindful of the distance between the nozzle and the surface when pressure washing.

Yellow Tip Nozzle: 15 Degrees

A 15-degree washer tip has a medium jet spray that is ideal for preparing surfaces or removing tough dirt. It’s not as dangerous as the red tip nozzle and can be used on most surfaces. The spray angle covers more surface.

The yellow colored pressure washer nozzle is often used in stripping paint and heavy-duty cleaning like concrete garage floors, drains, and roofs. The fan spray angle is small enough to pressure wash and remove mildew and dirt.

Green Tip Nozzle: 25 Degrees

The green power washer tip is likely the nozzle used for most pressure washing chores. There’s enough pressure but at a wider fan of water that covers more surface than the yellow nozzle does.

It washes away dirt from decks, patios, and vinyl sidings. The water-jet angle is wide and strong enough to wash away leaves from areas around the house like decks, driveways, and paths. The pressure is gentle enough but powerful to clean dirt from cars, boats, trucks, and boats using detergents and chemicals. The yellow tip spray may be too much pressure to apply to a surface for chemical washing.

White Tip Nozzle: 40 Degrees

The white nozzle is at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to the red one. The wide spraying pattern allows for maximum spray at a low pressure that is safe to use on delicate and fragile surfaces. The 40-degree angle also covers larger surfaces faster.

If you’re unsure about using the green tip for washing your car or boat, then the white tip’s gentle spray may be the better option. It cleans gently, but for tougher stains and dirty you’ll need a stronger spraying pressure. The white nozzle is a good tip to use for washing windows, blinds, and to clean large areas quickly.

Black Attachment: 65 Degrees

Red, yellow, green, and white washer nozzles are designed to clean a variety of surfaces. At 65 degrees, the fan spray of the black tip nozzle exerts too low pressure to remove debris, mildew, and dirt.

The black washer tip is also called a detergent nozzle or soaping black tip. It is ideal for wetting surfaces and applying detergents or chemicals. The larger opening decreases velocity and increases the pressure inside the hose which forces detergent or soap into the line. After pre-cleaning, you’ll switch to one of the other tips for a thorough cleaning.

Turbo / Rotary Nozzle

The turbo nozzle is an alternative to the red tip nozzle. It provides the same pressure as the red nozzle but with a spray angle of the green washer tip. The pulsing action rotates the water at 1800-3000 rpm, blasting it so fast it hits the surface as a cone shape.

The 4-8-inch spray circle allows fast cleaning with high pressure. A rotary tip will clean the thick grime and dirt from concrete, remove rust, strip paint, and even detach gum from sidewalks.

Why Do Tips Affect Water Pressure?

Pressure washer tips control the V-shape angle of the spraying wand and how much water exits the opening. Nozzles may affect the water pressure but cannot increase pressure above the pressure washer capacity. The nozzles with smaller orifices, however, will spray with a higher pressure than a wider opening. Less water exits through a smaller opening causing the increased pressure.

The angle of the water leaving the wand controls the spray area. A 40-degree angle results in the water fanning out more than a 0-degree angle that has almost no “spray cone” when leaving the wand.

 

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