Which Pressure Washer Do I Need?
Do you want to make outdoor cleaning projects faster and easier? Using a pressure washer does just that, but how do you know what kind of washer to get? With many options out there it’s hard to choose what’s best for you and your next job, so we’ve put together some things to consider when looking for a pressure washer.
How does a pressure washer work?
Pressure washers are simple, they use pumps, either gas or electric, to amplify water pressure. Water enters the machine from a garden hose through a low pressure connection, then runs through the machines high pressure hose that connects to a pressure washer wand and is sprayed out through a nozzle.
A pressure washer’s power is measured by the pressure output or pounds per square inch (PSI) and gallons per minute (GPM). The higher the rating the better and faster the pressure washer will clean. Consider your projects at hand to determine how powerful of a washer you need.
Usually rated between 1300 and 1900 PSI at 2 GPM, are best for smaller more delicate jobs around the house. Ideal for cleaning the car, patio furniture, and grills. Electric pressures are best for this kind of work.
Rated between 2000 and 2800 PSI at 2-3 GPM. These washers tend to be gas powered, they are studier and more powerful making it easier to clean siding, fences, decks and driveways.
Rated 2800 or higher PSI at 3-4 GPM, are built with a stronger, more durable engine and pump, for everyday use. Use this type of washer for large-scale jobs like cleaning a 2 story building, removing graffiti or stripping paint.
These types of washers are best for smaller projects that require less pressure. Electric washers are quiet and lightweight and require little upkeep. They are easy to store and easy to start. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for plugging electric washers into extension cords.
Gas Powered Washers
Gas powered pressure washers tend to be more powerful than electric washers. They are noisier and heavier and require more maintenance. It is best to wear ear protection while using a gas-powered washer. Gas powered washers also give you more mobility for larger jobs, like cleaning siding, sidewalks and patios.
Many pressure washers come with extra nozzles or tips for different kinds of cleaning. These interchangeable tips range from 0 degrees to 65 degrees. The lower the degree the more powerful, concentrated the spray will be.
There are different kinds of attachments you can get for your pressure washer to help with specific types of cleaning. Brushes are good for scrubbing away at dirt and grime on surfaces. Angled wands can help you clean out gutters. Surface cleaners use spinning jets to clean driveways and sidewalks. Extension wands and spray tips are best for hard-to-reach areas.
Safety and Tips
Using a pressure washer has its pros and cons. When using a pressure washer always remember to use the machine for its intended purpose. Read the user manual before getting started. Never spray another person, especially with a high pressure (zero-degree) tip, as it could cause serious injury. Test wash the surface you're cleaning in an inconspicuous area to find the right pressure tip.