Apex Unlimited.com: Blog Posts
How Do I Figure Out Which Nozzle Size or Orifice Size I Need?
For many nozzles and other products on our site, you'll see in the drop down menus the option to select your nozzle's orifice size. What is this, why is it important and how do you figure this out. Its quite straightforward, actually:
What the pressure washer nozzle/orifice size?
The nozzle or orifice size is the size of the opening in the nozzle, where the water comes out. The larger the hole, the larger the nozzle or orifice size. It's really that simple. This goes for any type of nozzle you select- a standard quick connect nozzle below, a rotating turbo nozzle or a sewer jetting nozzle.
If you see this picture of a standard yellow pressure washer nozzle, the hole between the two X's is the pressure washer orifice:
Here is a sewer jetting nozzle. Again, the small hole at the top is the orifice:
Why is this important?
If the nozzle/orifice size is too small, your equipment can be damaged. If the nozzle is too large, cleaning ability is compromised. Its much like wearing shoes that are too big or too small for you. You can wear them but you won't be able to walk, run or jump as well as if you had your correct shoe size.
How do I figure out what nozzle/orifice size I need?
Again, going back to our example of the right sized shoes: To find the right size shoes for yourself, it depends on your unique foot, so, you'll need to measure your foot. Likewise, know what size nozzle/orifice you'll need, it depends on the specific pressure washer that you'll be using the nozzle with. So, you'll need to get some measurements.
They are easy to get and they are:
1. Gallons Per Minute (GPM) aka the overall flow your pressure washer puts out. You may see this as 3 GPM, 5.5 GPM, etc.
2. Pounds Per Square Inch (PSI)- The amount of pressure your pressure washer generates. You may see this as 2500 PSI, 4500 PSI, etc.
If you are buying a pressure washer from us, these are clearly listed on each items description. If you already own a pressure washer, you can easily find this info written somewhere right on your pressure washer, in your pressure washer's owners manual, and its usually written right on the pressure washer's pump.
Once you have your pressure washer's GPM & PSI, you can easily find what nozzle size/orifice you need. There are two ways to do this:
1. Easiest and best way: Use the simple calculator at Barens.com found here. Just enter your pressure washer's GPM & PSI, click Calculate and you'll get your nozzle size. It will also tell you what size pressure washer you'll need to use a certain nozzle if you are in need of a pressure washer.
Once you have this nozzle size, write it down. Then when you go online to order, you'll know which size nozzle/orifice you need. Its that simple!
2. Use the Nozzle Chart Below.
How to Use the Chart Below:
Take the PSI and GPM rating you got from your pressure washer or the one you would like to purchase. Find your pressure washer's PSI along the top of the chart below (in blue). Then, to find your pressure washer's GPM, go straight down the column from the PSI of your pressure washer until you reach your pressure washers GPM closest to your machine. Once you find that, simply go left to the yellow column. There you'll see your pressure washers orifice size. Write this down. Now, when ordering a nozzle, you'll know which orifice size matches your machine.
Examples: If your pressure washer was 2500 PSI and 2.7 GPM: You'd look on the blue column for 2500 PSI, then track down that column until you reach the closest to your GPM 2.77. Then trace left and you'll see 3.50 in the yellow column. That is the correct nozzle/orifice size for a 2500 PSI 2.7 GPM pressure washer.
Note: Nozzle fan size or pattern does not effect nozzle size selection.