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Servicing your snow foam lance

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I know there's a number of guides dotted around the interwebs for this but I couldn't see one on here, as I had mine apart I thought I'd stick up a 'how to' for reference. The pictures were taken whilst I re-assembled, but I've re-ordered them so they should work for disassembly (I hope).


Ideally you'll need;

  • A flat head screwdriver
  • A Phillips head screwdriver
  • A 22mm socket
  • A 17mm socket
  • An adjustable spanner
  • A vice (can be substituted with a 2nd adjustable spanner)
  • A "poking device" (mini-screwdriver type jobbie)
  • Some optional innuendo.

In order to service your lance, you should start with this (give or take a table);




You need to remove the nozzle adjuster (the big black plastic thing at the front there ;) ). In the left-most ridge, there is a metal retaining bar with a hole at either end. Take your "poking device" of choice and push the retaining bar through;




Remove the retaining bar entirely, retract the "poking device". The nozzle adjuster should now just pull off forward. It may be a little stiff at first, just apply more effort until it comes away. That leaves you with this;




The metal retaining bar that you removed, when assembled, sits in the foremost ridge of the brass section (for reference when reassembling)

Next, remove the feeder tube from the bottom, this simply pulls off.

Next up is the nozzle blades at the front. This just pushes off but can be quite tight, the easiest was is to use a screwdriver to carefully prize it away (remember that it's plastic though so be careful not to damage it). Apply pressure as such;




Which leaves you with this;




Using the 22mm socket, the front most part simply unscrews from the rest (you might need the vice to hold the rest of the lance at this point, but it is straightforward enough without - I didn't use a vice at all);




Inside the bit you've just removed is the metal gauze. Using a suitable poking device through the hole in the front simply push it out the back.




Here it is removed;




It's usually this part which becomes clogged either by soap scum and/or hard water residue. If your lance is losing it's efficiency but isn't leaking, it's most likely going to be the gauze that needs cleaning, however if you've gone this far you might as well do the rest as well.


Next up, remove the rest of the feeder/bottle thread. This just unscrews but you might need a vice-grip to break the seal - bear in mind the lance is brass and thus wrapping all mating surfaces in masking tape to avoid damaging the lance is a good idea.




Next up is the pressure washer fixture at the back of the lance;




In my case it's a brass Nilfisk fitting whilst some Karcher fixtures are plastic and will look different, however they are all affixed the same way; they just screw off.


Next up is the adjuster knob at the top. If you look down it, you'll see a Phillips head screw.




Undo this and the black plastic adjuster knob will lift off but there's also a brass nut that lives inside that adjuster knob so be careful not to lose that when you lift it off;






Using the 17mm socket, remove the other brass nut that you've just exposed on top of the lace;




Next to come off is the actual adjuster as arrowed here;




With that last nut removed, this will now just unscrew. Careful not to lose the little O-ring at any point.


That leaves you with this;




Then you need to unscrew the last part of the adjustment mechanism from the top of the lace;




Next up, remove the two O-rings from the front so as not to damage them and place them somewhere safe;






Using your vice and/or adjustable spanners, split the two brass sections (the tube at the front from the main body), leaving you with this;




Now you could remove the silver tube but this isn't particularly easy (at least without a vice) without damaging bits, as it's not essential to do this I didn't bother. The only difference it makes is the length of the screwdriver you need for the next bit;




If you look into the tube you'll see a reducer at the end, screwed into the brass body. It's a flat head screw, so just jam your screwdriver in there and undo it to remove this;




And that's it. Your lance in now in this many pieces;




These are the parts I usually clean, essentially all the parts that come into contact with the foam solution from the pick up forward;




Cleaning is simply a case of placing the desired parts into a descaling solution for a given amount of time - refer to the instructions for your chosen cleaning product. Personally I use 100ml of Bilt Hamber Surfex HD (20% solution) with AutoSmart G101 used neat (other APCs will also work), left to soak over night, then left to dry on a sheet of kitchen roll in order to check and make sure it's actually clean and unblocked before reassembling. Pretty much anything you use to clean either the lance or the car, including just water, tends to taint the finish of the brass parts as such I like to give each part a quick polish using Auto Finesse Mercury & microfibre cloth before reassembling purely to satisfy my OCD. :lol:


Reassembly is the reverse of the above, with two tips;

Firstly; use PTFE tape or thread lock on all the threads - note that you will need to service your lance again at some point in the future so do not use permanent thread lock, it'll just ruin your day some other time!

Secondly; getting the nozzle blades back on - those things have unnecessarily sharp corners! The best way I know of is to get leverage by placing a screwdriver sideways between the blades, stand the lance up on it's end (on the pressure washer fitment end) and push down on the screwdriver until the nozzle pops back on;




Et viola, one reinvigorated snow foam lance ready to impress the neighbours again.


Edited to amend the many spellage mistakes. Edited again to fix the broken picture. Edited further because Photobucket suck balls.



Edited by ilogikal1
Re-adding pictures
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Manly thread is manly! :D


Good job fella, very informative.

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Got a link in my "bookmarks" for how to do this but I can delete that now after reading this excellent guide. :teeth: Well done Matt. :clap:

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You surely are a man of many talents.........you're wasted on here! ;)

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Super useful today when I've been (hopefully) de clogging my gauze.


I can confirm that if you put speed ahead of care, you can leave some good marks on your lance with mole grips :thumbs:

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Why haven't I found this before! I've had a broken lance for the past few months and struggled to work out why it wasn't working. Going to follow this next weekend and finally get it working again :D (The tiny one you get with the washer is starting to annoy me!)

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Thanks for doing that, the more people who do the better forums can recover from this heinous attack on sharing knowledge.



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23 minutes ago, SuperStu said:

Thanks for doing that, the more people who do the better forums can recover from this heinous attack on sharing knowledge.




No worries Stu, happy to do it for the stickied guides in particular. Might give it a miss on my test thread though... :lol:

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50 minutes ago, Ekona said:

We'll have to start calling you Arfur Job soon...




I'm not even doing 'alf of 'em...



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