Pressure Washing Delight: My Notes

TLDR: From my recent pressure washing session this Spring, a collection of notes to help anyone else achieve success. And why pressure washing is fun and a form of therapy IMHO.


Pressure washing is fun, productive, and builds confidence.

While a bit manual intensive, the reward or gratification is only three hours away. You must take before and after pictures: for yourself, for reference, and to feed the Internet.

My recent work:

Notes and Tips

  • Rental
    • Research what you need for your job: power washer (high pressure heated water) or pressure washer (no heat)
    • For driveways or brick, you really need 3000 psi or more (gas powered pressure washer)
      • For reference, I used 3600 psi for my brick patio
    • Rent for minimum 4 hours, and you will fit in 90 minutes of actual washing time
    • Buy a gas can, and fill it up the day before. Don’t waste valuable ‘rental’ time
      • Some engines require E10 (ethanol) or lower, here’s a map to find gas stations which sell ethanol free gas
  • Preparation
    • You will get drenched and muddy. Wear the right clothes, and have cleanup plan.
    • Prime the line before starting the engine: connect the hose, turn on the water, and pull the trigger on the pressure washer to ensure the line is full of water.
    • Take mental note which part of the engine gets hot (exhaust). After washing for an hour it’s easy to lose focus and put your hand somewhere where it shouldn’t be.
  • The Engine is Running
    • Let it warm up for a few minutes before turning on full power.
    • Manage the line, any kinks in either the water line or pressurized line will reduce pressure.
  • Now you’re washing!
    • Mind the (pressurized) stream, don’t hit any hosing, machinery, or anything that would not hold up to 3k+ PSI. Plants.
    • Use the distance; get the nozzle head close (like 2″) when it’s tough, otherwise find your normal operating distance and keep consistent
    • Sweep back and forth while walking forward, then do the same area at a different angle.
      • It’s never going to be perfect!, but this technique can help mitigate ‘patterns’ emerging
    • Halfway into your job, you’ll realize how to actually wash. Anticipate going back to the first half to ‘touch it up’.
    • Define ‘done’, otherwise you will get distracted and try to wash anything and everything.
      • “Well, since I have the washer now I’ll just do these 4 other things real quick…”. It won’t be quick, and it will not turn out well.
    • With all the blast of the pressure washer, there will be small bits of dirt. The next rain storm will wash away small patches, don’t chase small stuff.
  • Wrap up
    • Budget for cooldown time, 10 minutes at least so you’re not trying to transport a hot machine back to the rental shop

Centrists for 2020

My home, fireplace, and American flag.

I just voted.

When I was hanging the American flag in our living room this summer, I had a hard time deciding how to center it as we have an irregular fireplace. Do I align it by the brick, mantle, sconces, ceiling beams?… There were many choices I could use to achieve the balance for my display, even though it was at maximum a matter of 6″ horizontal distance.

(At this point I’m sure you are anticipating the political metaphor.)

The US is a very polarizing political scene. Binary. Blue or red. Populism (on both ends of the spectrum) devolves into volume and not enough substance. The level of partisan politics in Congress is very high, as evidenced by the diminishing cross-aisle legislation being passed.

But there’s the center. A whole bunch of us moderates that just want bipartisan efforts in making the Executive + Legislative branches productive to run the country. Professionalism and cooperation among politicians! Maybe one day we’ll have three, four, or even five major presidential candidates that enter the race knowing they will never enjoy the effects of majority politics. But for this election there are two major candidates.

My vote was for the person whom I believe has the best chance of bridging the aisle, and the morality + character to steward four inspiring years of Executive branch leadership.

Being a centrist is not no wo/man’s land. In fact it’s more important than ever. “The center must hold” (Tony Blair).

Context and Perspective for Mindful Professionalism

Almost ten years into IT/software consulting has taught me how to stay mindful, enthusiastic, and maintain perspective. I was in my backyard and happened upon an analogy with some morning glories I’m trying to grow.

“How did I get here? Why am I here?”

Not: “What am I doing here? How did I get myself stuck here, all by myself…”
Rather: “Let me learn all I can about the space I’m in. I’m sure there’s more to learn and I’m sure someone else would find my insights & experience valuable.”

“We’ve come a long, long way together…”

Not: “Look at everything I have to keep track of, all the loose ends I left behind, and the crap I’ll probably have to deal with again at some point.”
Rather: “I made it to where I am not just because of my successes, but also from the failures and having learned from them. I can extract confidence from either type of outcome, and this is my inner portfolio.”

“Where I’m going, I might not need a road…”

Not: “It’s all just one soul-sucking climb that never ends.”
Rather: “The future me may have different goals, let me chew off what I think I can do today, this week, this month, and this quarter. I know people will recognize and respect that I’m trying to build towards a larger goal even if I’m not 100% sure where or what it is.”

(Organic insecticidal soap really helps keep the bugs off.)

Thank you for viewing my morning glories.