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Do I Need Auto Shut Off On My Pressure Washer?

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

If you are using your pressure washer by yourself and want to leave it running during cleaning time, an automatic shutdown is the best way to go. If you do not have one of these right now on your pressure washer and typically tend to leave your washer running, save yourself money in the long run and invest in one. It is not a good idea to let your pump run without pulling the trigger because water will stay inside the pump and cause pump cavitation.


There are several options for timers. You may decide to go with an auto shutdown, complete shutdown, or smart timer.


1. Auto Shutdown

A common timer used on stationary gas fired units with a remote shutoff is

the automatic shutdown. Beco Equipment uses the Omron timer. It can be activated by either a vacuum switch, pressure switch on the head of the pump, or a flow switch. When the switch is open, the timer will begin to count down. Time is usually set for 3 minutes. If the timer counts down completely before the switch closes, the machine will shut down and will not restart without opening the trigger gun. If the switch closes before the timer has counted down, this will reset the timer back to 3 minutes.


2. Complete Shutdown

A common timer used on portable machines where the operator is in close proximity to the pressure washer. This shutdown uses a 30 second non adjustable

timer. It can be activated by an unloader switch, two pressure switches, or a vacuum switch and a pressure switch. When the trigger gun is closed, the unloader switch, pressure switch on the head of the pump, or vacuum switch activates the timer to start counting down. If the timer counts down all the way the machine will shut off. The machine can be restarted by opening the trigger gun to relieve trapped pressure. If the gun is opened before the timer counts down, it is reset back to 30 seconds.


3. Smart Timer

The smart timer is similar to the complete shutdown but has a lockout timer feature. It is adjustable from 5-90 minutes. This timer will start timing as soon as power is applied to the timer or the machine is turned on. It will continue to countdown unless the machine is used continuously for 20 seconds. When the lockout timer has shut down the machine, it can only be reset by turning the main switch off and turning the machine back on again. These can be used on any machine where the cycling of the unloader is a concern to prevent timer shutdown.


The three timers mentioned above are common auto timers to put on a pressure washer. If you are considering adding one to your washer this season, please let us know and we would love to help you out.

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