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Old 23-02-2013, 19:33   #1
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Does Anyone Use a Pressure Washer Underwater?

Hi I generally go over the side and scrub the hull underwater every few weeks, and i was wondering whether a pressure washer would do the job better? I imagine operating it from the dinghy and poking it underwater. If so, what pressure, and which models can suck up seawater and not require fresh or mains pressure? I prefer electric - with a ?2000W likely load limit.
Ideas on a soggy postcard please!
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Old 23-02-2013, 19:45   #2
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Re: Does Anyone Use a Pressure Washer Underwater?

Never tried it, but I think the challenge would be to hold the wand steady when using in a water rather than air medium… (Newton)
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Old 23-02-2013, 20:39   #3
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Re: Does Anyone Use a Pressure Washer Underwater?

I'm sure the pressure washer would work under water, but could you control it from a floating dinghy?Would it take off too much antifoul ? Perhaps you could try it with the wand running on wheels(I've seen this done with an Oxy cutter)
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Old 24-02-2013, 07:59   #4
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Re: Does Anyone Use a Pressure Washer Underwater?

Be careful if you use that pressure washer up on the deck !!! My dock neighbor was so pleased how his was cleaning dirt from under the stantions, hand rails,ports, etc until he saw how many leaks you could make with them!
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Old 24-02-2013, 08:05   #5
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Re: Does Anyone Use a Pressure Washer Underwater?

A pressure washer should never be used on a painted surface underwater. You are very likely to damage the paint and even the fiberglass hull itself.
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Old 24-02-2013, 10:10   #6
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Re: Does Anyone Use a Pressure Washer Underwater?

I use a 1500 psi pressure washer on my decks all the time with no adverse effects and have pondered the same question. At one time we were allowed to use pressure washers on the tide grids to clean bottom paint for repainting on the Commercial fishing boats. This practice is no longer allowed. I believe that now if one could use a pressure washer underwater you would still have a legal problem. If the ablative bottom paint starts to come off in the water you would soon have the environment police paying you a visit. I know that in normal cruising this is what happens anyway but the environment people frown upon water that has been turned red or blue because you are cleaning your boat. The yards have to use special systems to recover and filter all water used in hull cleaning before it is allowed to be discharged. Up here anyways.
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Old 24-02-2013, 10:31   #7
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Re: Does Anyone Use a Pressure Washer Underwater?

Here's the problem- when bottoms are pressure washed in the yard, you'll notice that the operator keeps the tip several feet from the hull. When using a pressure washer underwater, in order to overcome the ambient water pressure, the spray tip must be kept extremely close to the surface being cleaned. At the distances we're talking about, the pressure is very high and will tend to blast paint off the surface and even gouge the hull.
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Old 26-02-2013, 19:44   #8
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Re: Does Anyone Use a Pressure Washer Underwater?

If you try it let us know how it goes but ....don't let anyone see you and deny it till you die.
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