Nozzle Sizing and Spray Patterns for Pressure Washing Blog

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In this blog, we will cover all of the important information you need to know about nozzle pattern and size, also known as the nozzle orifice, for pressure washing. In addition, we will provide helpful examples and an educational video where you can see each nozzle spray pattern in action.

What's the difference between nozzle pattern and nozzle size?

Nozzle patterns refer to the water’s degree of spread as it comes out of the nozzle. The nozzle size, also known as the orifice, is the opening in the nozzle that restricts the water flow from the pressure washer. Think of using your thumb on a garden hose to restrict water flow – the more you cover the hose outlet, the higher the pressure will be, and vice versa.

It’s important to use the proper orifice size. If you use an orifice that is too small, you risk damaging the pressure washer pump due to back pressure.

 

What are the types of nozzle patterns?

There are four universal spray patterns for pressure washing: Red, Yellow, Green, and White. These colors correspond with spray patterns as follows.

Red – 0°

0 degree spray pattern
This nozzle is a laser-focused straight spray pattern, almost like a pencil. This nozzle is great for stripping paint off of concrete and other durable surfaces such as metal and stone. The 0° pattern has the longest reach and must be used carefully, as it can be dangerous when used incorrectly.
Yellow – 15°
15 degree spray pattern
This nozzle is the next size up. With a less focused stream, it has more versatility. The 15° has a narrow spray pattern and slightly less reach than the 0°. It is still great for concrete, but it’s not something you would use on a vehicle or home.
Green – 25°
25 degree spray pattern
This spray pattern is the most versatile of all. It sprays a slightly wider fan blade than the 15°, which means it is powerful enough to be effective on porous surfaces while gentle enough to use on hard woods, siding, and hard painted surfaces like vehicles and mowers.
White – 40°
40 degree spray pattern
The 40 ° is the safest and most common pattern. This nozzle can be used on soft and more fragile surfaces like vehicles, wood, screens, and delicate painted surfaces.

 

Nozzle Sizing/Orifice

Orifice sizes are specific to your pressure washer machine and its capabilities. Each user’s necessary orifice size depends on the machine’s PSI and GPM. We have a handy Nozzle Sizing and Orifice Calculator on our website where you can enter the PSI and GPM, and the correct sizing will populate. It’s important to order the correct orifice size no matter which degree pattern you choose; your nozzles will not perform correctly under the incorrect orifice size.

 

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