FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
Release # 84-045  
 

 

Washington, D.C. -- In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Britt Tech Corporation, Britt, Iowa, and its private labelers, today announced a voluntary program to provide safety kits to modify the handles of approximately 136,000 consumer and farm-use electric pressure washers made prior to mid-1983. The Commission and the company are aware of 6 deaths from electric shock related to use of pressure washers manufactured by Britt Tech.

Under this program, Britt Tech and its private labelers will provide free material designed to isolate electrically the pressure washer's handle in order to prevent serious electric shock to consumers. Pressure washers are used to clean houses and other buildings and prepare them for painting and to clean shutters, patios, driveways and vehicles. They are frequently used on farms to clean buildings and machinery. Britt Tech and some private labelers will also voluntarily extend the scope of this program to cover commercial series units produced prior to February, 1984.

While the firm believes its pressure washers do not present a hazard if operated in accordance with the operator's instructions and warnings on the machines and are not modified in any way, a severe or fatal electric shock can occur when a user contacts the handle of the pressure washer if the machine is ungrounded and a second fault occurs. This could happen if the power cord to extension cord connections become wet, or an improper or faulty extension cord is used, or a fault exists within the pressure washer electrical system.

Britt Tech distributed these pressure washers nationally under the "Liquid Brush" trade name and a number of private label trade names (see list below).

To obtain the free safety component kit and complete instructions, Iowa residents and others may write to Britt Tech Corporation, Department R, P.O. Box 216, Britt Iowa 50423. No phone number for the company is currently available. Use the address above for the following trade name pressure washers:

Amity
Atlas
Chardon Lab's Power Edge
Continental Oil's Dynalife
Craft Toot and Machine
Earl Grissmer's Blue Lustre Dirt Buster
Gulf's Cruisemaster
Jacobsen
Kleen King
Liquid Brush
Mid-State's Dura-Wash
Phillips Petroleun
Speed Spray
U.S. Chemical Z-4 Cleanomat

Four companies who sell Britt Tech pressure washers have designated the following procedures if you have a machine manufactured under their name:

Ford Tractor See Local Ford Tractor Dealer
John Deere See local John Deere Dealer
Massey Ferguson See local Massey Fergusan Dealer
White Farm See local White Farm Dealer

Please give the company the model and trade name and serial number of your pressure washer. This information may be found on a metal or foil serial number tag on your machine.

This risk of electric shock may also exist with electric pressure washers produced by other manufacturers. Therefore, the Commission and Britt Tech Corporation warn consumers to take the following precautions when using any electric pressure washer:

- Always use a properly grounded receptacle. If possible, use a circuit protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter.

- Carefully follow all other warnings and operating instructions provided by the manufacturer.

- Keep all cord connections dry.

- Never remove the ground pin from a power cord or bypass a ground pin by using an adopter plug.

- Never cut or splice the electrical cord.

Consumers may also call CPSC's toll-free Hotline for assistance at the following number 800-638-CPSC. A teletypewriter number for the hearing-impaired is (301) 595-7054.