Product Selection Guide

Pressure Washers Buying Guide

Pressure Washers
  • Getting Started

  • Of course you can spend hours scrubbing your car, garden or garden tools trying to clean up dirt. However, there is a quick and easy solution: pressure washers. A quality pressure washer blasts out water so you can clean anything in minutes. They use less water than a garden hose and many of them have accessories to suit different jobs, such as patio brush, turbo nozzle, car wash brush and jet nozzle.

  • Electric Pressure Washers

  • Electric pressure washers are perfect for household applications and small projects. For example, you can quickly wash your grill, garage door or car. They can be used both indoors and outdoors. They are also quiet and quite easy to start.

    Electric pressure washers need a power source which makes them less convenient than gas models. Many manufacturers claim that extension cord isn’t a good solution thus you need to connect it directly to the power source.

    Electric pressure washers are best for furniture, patios and decks, as well as small jobs that don’t require stain removal. They are quite and lightweight and don’t require any maintenance. Moreover, they don’t create emissions and stop quickly.

    However, they have low water pressure thus taking more time to clean something. Wand and other parts are often made of plastic rather than metal that can be found in gas models. You can’t clean areas outside the reach of your cord which is normally 30 feet.

  • Gas Pressure Washers

  • Gas pressure washers are used for commercial cleaning and large projects. They are much more powerful and can clean up dirt faster. They also tend to have longer lifespans. Besides, they don’t need a power outlet and you can use them everywhere. They deliver high-pressure water and can clean huge area quickly. You don’t need additional cleaning chemicals to dispatch tough gunk such as tree sap or chewing gum. Besides, they allow you to set a nozzle on a wide angle and clean large parts of land at once

    However, they produce exhaust and can only be used outdoors. They also make a lot of noise and require wearing ear protection. They are very heavy and require regular tune-ups. These washers can overheat when used for long periods of time ruining the machine if the safety valve doesn’t work.

    You will have to winterize the pumps with special antifreeze during cold months, because gas washers can’t be stored inside your home. Besides, high power also means higher chances of injury, as well as splintering, gouging, and damaging surfaces.

  • PSI and GPM

  • PSI or power per square inch is used to measure the power of the water pressure. You need to know the PSI to figure out whether the model will suit for your project. There are models that can be used for all types of work, from small to heavy duty clean projects. This includes siding, fencing, stairs and driveways. There are also heavy duty washers that can clean up paint. However, you don’t need a lot of power to clean your car or your backyard.

    GPM or gallons per minute is used to measure how much water is going through the hose every minute. It can help you figure out how much time you need to spend to clean the area. GPM can tell you how much debris will be washed away, too.
      •  Light duty models can be from 1,500 to 1,900 PSI and 1.5 GPM
      •  Medium duty models can be from 2,000 to 2,800 PSI and 2.8 GPM
      •  Heavy duty models can be from 2,900 to 3,200 and 4.0 GPM
      •  Extra heavy duty models can be from 3,300 PSI and up and over 4.0 GPM

  • How A Pressure Washer Works

  • All pressure washers work in the same way. They have a pump that is powered by the engine or the motor. You need to turn on the water and then turn on the pressure washer (after attaching the hose, of course). If you want to add a cleaning product, do this first and then turn on the washer. The water is released through the wand. Many models have different nozzles that you can change to get different spray patterns. You should hold the wand two feet away from the surface. Don’t stay at one place for too long and spray side-to-side.

  • Accessories

  • All pressure washers work in the same way. They have a pump that is powered by the engine or the motor. You need to turn on the water and then turn on the pressure washer (after attaching the hose, of course). If you want to add a cleaning product, do this first and then turn on the washer. The water is released through the wand. Many models have different nozzles that you can change to get different spray patterns. You should hold the wand two feet away from the surface. Don’t stay at one place for too long and spray side-to-side.

  • Safety

  • Safety is always important when you use the pressure washer. You need to wear eye protection to protect your eyes from debris. You also need gloves and toed shoes. Leather footwear is recommended. Always make sure the washer is cooled down before storing it. Be careful with power lines and electrical wires.

  • Important Features

  • A Power Level
    Consumer-grade pressure washers have 3,100 PSI or lover while commercial models can reach 5,000 PSI. However, more power isn’t always necessary. If you only going to clean your house and yard, getting more power is an overkill, and you can accidentally damage the finishes and things like furniture when use the powerful washer. Always choose a PSI rate that you really need.

    Maintenance Requirements
    Gas pressure washers can clean everything but they require proper maintenance. Electric models are less powerful but can do anything related to household cleaning and they have much lower maintenance requirements.

    An Adjustable Spray
    You have two options to alter water pressure – you can either use an adjustable nozzle or change the tip. Of course, both methods work equally fine, but it is a bit quicker to adjust the nozzle than change it every time.

    Easy Maneuvering
    Many pressure washers have wheels to ensure maneuverability. Some of them also have storage for the power cord, trigger and hose. Besides, wheels are necessary to prevent the washer from tipping.

    Pump Protection
    The modern electric pressure washers can stop the pump when the trigger is released. Gas pressure washers can use a relief valve to circulate water when you’re not using the machine. These features are necessary to prevent overheating, which is the main cause of a damaged pump.

    Warranty Coverage
    Most pressure washers have relatively short lifespans – many models can serve you for up to 5 years. Be sure to get a washer that has at least a one year warranty. Gas washers should also have extended coverage period for critical parts. Accessories should also come with a 90 days warranty.

  • How Will You Use Your Pressure Washer

  • This is an important question that you should find the answer for. It will help you decide how much power you need and how much money you will have to spend. Professionals often choose expensive models that can produce 5,000 PSI and come for $2,000 or more. Less powerful models (that still can do a variety of jobs) are much cheaper.

    For homeowners, 3,100 PSI is more than enough and these washers can cost $100-$300. And less powerful washers that are used for moderate clean ups are even less expensive. If you just need to wash your outdoor furniture and equipment, an electric model for less than $100 is a great option.

    Will You Use Multiple Spray Tips?  If you know you will need a washer that can perform both heavy-duty and light tasks, you need a model that has multiple spray tips so you can control the water pressure. However, if you only do routine cleaning, a model with an adjustable spray nozzle is a great choice. And you can get a turbo nozzle later if you need more power.

  • How Handy Are You?

  • The most troublesome parts are plastic water connections and hoses. Of course, you can just buy a new one or even DIY them. To prevent leaking, wrap the threads with the tape. If you don’t like doing these kinds of things, you should opt for steel-braided water hoses that are easier to handle and they don’t kink.

  • Cost Considerations

  • When you are thinking about the cost, the size of the area you will clean is the largest cost contributor. Moreover, some manufacturers charge additional costs for services by extra rate per square foot. Prices significantly vary starting from $50 and up to hundreds of dollars for a professional gas-powered model. Therefore, you should think about possible cleaning projects you’re going to perform. A cheaper electrical model is great for home cleaning while professionals often go for a huge gas model.