For many of your home projects needs, you’ll want a pressure washer.
Are you looking to refinish your deck? Clean your garage floor? Keep your home looking its best with a pressure washer. A pressure washer is a big investment, but worth the outcome. When choosing a pressure washer, there are two types to consider: electric and gas.
The less expensive option is an electric pressure washer. Electric pressure washers are great for smaller cleaning projects. This includes washing your car, cleaning your outdoor grill or washing the garage floor. They can be used indoors, because they don’t run on gas. Electric pressure washers are quieter than gas pressure washers. They are also generally easier to start.
Electric pressure washers have to use a power source. This makes them less portable than their gas counterpart. Many manufacturers recommend not using an extension cord. The electric pressure washer needs to be directly connected to the power source.
Gas pressure washers are a great option for heavier cleaning. They have more power, which means they can clean larger areas faster. Gas pressure washers also tend to have a longer product life.They have great portability because they don’t require an electrical outlet.
Gas pressure washers produce exhaust, which means they can only be used outdoors. They are also noisier than the electric pressure washers. This can require you to wear ear protection.
PSI and GPM Levels
You can use the pounds per square inch (PSI) to determine the power of the water pressure. This will help you figure out what PSI level you need for a specific project. You can use anywhere from light to extra heavy duty to clean many projects. This includes stairs, fencing, decks, garage floors, driveways and siding. For paint preparation, we recommend using heavy or extra heavy duty pressure washers. This will help you to ensure all debris is removed from the desired area. To clean your car, use a medium duty pressure washer.
Gallons per minute(GPM) measures how many gallons of water will go through the hose per minute. GPM can help you determine how quickly your pressure washer will clean the area. It will also help determine the amount of debris washed away.
Light Duty: 1500 to 1900 PSI (Up to 1.5 GPM)
Medium Duty: 2000 to 2800 PSI (Up to 2.8 GPM)
Heavy Duty: 2900 to 3200 PSI (Between 2.8 GPM and 4.0 GPM)
Extra Heavy Duty: 3300 and up PSI (Up to 4.0 GPM)
For a more in-depth look at choosing pressure washer PSI read through our article, “Pressure Washer: How Many PSI?”
How a Pressure Washer Works
Both gas and electric pressure washers work the same way. A pump is powered by the gas engine or electric motor. Attach your garden hose to the water inlet. Turn on the water before the pressure washer. This will help you avoid damage to the pump. If you want to add a cleaning solution, do this before turning on the pressure washer. The water will be released through the attached wand. You can change the spray pattern with interchangeable nozzles. While spraying, hold the tip of the wand at least two feet away from the cleaning area. Spray side-to-side, not staying in one spot for too long.
Pressure Washer Accessories
Accessories are available for your pressure washer. There are various cleaning solutions. You can choose from degreaser, deck cleaner, wood brightener,vehicle cleaner and more. Some cleaning solutions come ready to use. Others need to be diluted with water.
You can also find pressure washer surface cleaners, which will provide a fast clean with no streaking. These can be used for garage floors, driveways, sidewalks and patios. Pressure washer wands and adapters can also be used to replace old wands, or attached to currents wands.
Pressure Washer Safety
There are always going to be safety precautions when using outdoor power equipment. You will want to wear eye protection to protect yourself from debris and cleaning solutions. You will need work gloves to protect your hands. Wear closed toed shoes, preferably boots or other leather footwear, to protect your feet. Always make sure the unit is cooled down before storing it. Be aware of electrical wires and power lines.