Pressure Washer Selector Guide



Pressure Washer Selector by

Electric | Gasoline | Diesel | Hydraulic | Air

When choosing a pressure washer, more is not necessarily better. If you buy a pressure washer that is too powerful, you can damage what you are trying to clean. You also have to be careful not to select a unit that is under-powered that either might not be useful or will diminish your productivity. The following is a general pressure washer buyers guide to making the best choice for your money:

  1. The first thing you have to do is get a good understanding off all possible applications you will need the pressure washer for. Some common uses are things such as cars, patio, home, or even commercial needs that may require more extreme capacities.
  2. Another factor you will need to decide on is how you want the pressure washer to be powered. Many variations exist like gas, electric, diesel, hydraulic or even propane powered. If using the equipment in a closed environment or when noise is a factor, the best choice would be electric. When you require better portability and will work outdoors, the optimum choice would gas or diesel.
  3. Finally, a decision needs to be made on whether you need a hot or cold water unit. In some applications, you may only need cold and other times adding a detergent can give a good amount of productivity without investing in a hot water unit. However, if the challenge you face is cleaning a lot of grease and oil, the best alternative is to select a hot water unit.

Other very critical factors to consider are pressure (PSI), volume (GPM), and work (HP). Most people may think that a pressure washer wastes a lot of water. This is not true at all. The average garden hose uses 5 – 8 gallons per minute. Conversely, the average pressure washer uses 3 – 5 gallons per minute (GPM) so in reality it more efficiently uses the water supplied to it.

Pressure, Water Flow and Horsepower

One can assume that powerwashers consume a lot of water, but this is not the truth at all. On an average garden hose uses between five to eight gallons of water per minute, where as average washer uses between three to five gallons of water per minute. They are typically easier to use and they complete pressurecleaning jobs faster, better and at the same time - save water. There are two major factors to consider when selecting the right unit - the pressure and flow (water volume). These two powerwashing help factors determine the actual ability of the unit to perform a certain task.

Pressure (PSI) The unit for pressure is PSI (pounds per square inch), which actually determines how much pressure is directly applied on the surface being cleaned. The pressure that is delivered by the machine is directly responsible for breaking the bond between the debris and the object being cleaned. Our models typically have a pressure range from 1000 to 5000 PSI

Water Flow (GPM) The unit for water flow is GPM (gallons per minute), which is actually the amount/quantity of water used in a one-minute period. The volume of water determines how fast the dirt can be removed from the surface once the bond between the debris and the surface has been broken. The unit with higher GPM level will require less time to clean; consequently, a washer with the lower GPM level will entail more time for the same job performed.

Work (HP) There is one more factor to remember when buying power washers, which are sometimes equally as important as pressure and water flow. That's work. The unit for work is HP (horsepower), which actually determines how much power the machine has to clean the surface. Typically the more horsepower a machine has will allow for higher pressures or volumes or a combination of both. Larger engines are more powerful and therefore more capable of finishing the job quickly. The life expectancy is also bigger on large engines with more horsepower. The pressure, volume, horsepower relationship holds true for both cold and hot water pressure washers. However, the hot water pressure washers have an additional feature - they generate hot water.

Light Duty
PSI: 1000 - 1900
Great for: 

Certain vehicles such as Cars and light trucks, ATVs and boats. Gutters, Brick, Fence, Decks and Wood

Medium Duty
PSI: 2000 - 2900
Heavy Duty
PSI: 3000 - 5000
Pressure Power Washer Uses
  Light Duty Medium Duty Heavy Duty
Agriculture Machinery  
Barbecue Grills    
Concrete Driveways (recommended with hot water)  
Farm Equipment    
Food Processing Plants (recommended with hot water)  
Garages (recommended with hot water)    
Garbage Cans    
Garden Tools    
Gutter & Down Spouts  
Hot Tubs (recommended with hot water)  
House Sidings  
Industrial Plants  
Lawn & Patio Furniture    
Lawn Tractors  
Lawn Mowers  
Pools Down Spouts  
Service Areas (recommended with hot water)    
Swing Sets    
Trucks, Pick-ups  
Wood Fences  
* Pressure Washer Selector Guide