Knowledge Builders

how powerful is a power washer

by Dr. Caesar Moore III Published 8 months ago Updated 5 months ago

The higher the PSI, the more powerful the machine. Electric power washers usually produce anywhere between 800 and 1,800 PSI, while gas powered range from 2,000 and 2,800. For more serious projects, the PSI for a gas powered washer can even reach 3,000.

While pressure washers usually start around 1500 PSI and go way up from there, most power cleaners are 300 – 600 PSI. On the other hand, the flow rate of a power cleaner can be similar to an electric pressure washer.

Full Answer

What is the best psi for a power washer?

  • EXTRA HEAVY DUTY – these are pressure washers that have 3300 PSI and up
  • HEAVY-DUTY – pressure washers that have between 2900 and 3200 PSI
  • MEDIUM DUTY – between 2000 and 2800 PSI
  • LIGHT DUTY – between 1500 and 1900 PSI

How to select a power washer?

When purchasing a pressure washer, consider these key factors:

  • Cleaning units
  • Engine Hour Rating
  • Pump Hour Rating
  • and Warranty

What is the best gas powered pressure washer?

  • BEST OVERALL: Generac 7122 SpeedWash, 3200 PSI
  • RUNNER-UP: Simpson MSH3125 MegaShot Gas Pressure Washer
  • BEST BUDGET: WEN PW3200 Gas-Powered 3100 PSI 208cc Pressure Washer
  • BEST FOR CARS: Champion Power Equipment 3100-PSI Gas Pressure Washer
  • BEST FOR DECK & PATIO: Simpson MegaShot MS60763 3100 PSI Pressure Washer

More items...

What is the highest rated electric pressure washer?

Best High-Powered Pressure Washer. With 4,000 psi at 3.5 gpm, the Simpson PowerShot PS60918 ($899) has more than enough power to strip paint or blast a decade’s worth of ground-in gunk off your sidewalk.


How powerful is a pressure washer?

Gas-powered models typically put out 2,000 to 2,800 psi of pressure compared with 1,300 to 1,700 psi for electric models.

Can you hurt someone with a pressure washer?

The strong spray from a pressure washer can cause serious wounds that might first appear minor. Wounds that appear minor can cause a person to delay treatment, increasing risk for infection, disability or amputation. The fast, strong spray can throw objects that strike and injure others who are close by.

How strong of a pressure washer do I need to clean concrete?

What PSI pressure washer do I need to clean concrete? To clean concrete effectively, use a power washer with a pressure rating of at least 3000 psi and a flow rate of at least 4 gallons per minute (gpm).

Will a 2000 PSI pressure washer clean concrete?

Medium Duty 2000-2800 PSI You can use a medium-duty pressure washer for almost any surface. They're great for cleaning concrete, brick, and wood. They work especially well for cleaning patios, sidings, roofs, decks, and fences.

What PSI will break skin?

In order to breach the human skin the ejection pressure has to be at least 100 pounds per square inch (psi)8 while most high-pressure guns and injectors reach pressures of 2000 to 12000 psi3. The puncture wound is small, inconsiderable and not distinct.

What Cannot pressure wash?

Never pressure wash humans, pets, or plants. The force of water coming from a pressure washer can cause physical harm — even penetrate skin—and will most certainly destroy your plants. When you pressure wash appropriate surfaces, always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from debris.

What PSI is best for washing cars?

You should also never set your pressure washer above 2,200 psi when washing your car. 1,500 psi is really all you need to get a good deep clean; any pressure higher than that won't make a noticeable performance difference.

Can powerwash crack concrete?

The quick answer is yes, power washing can degrade a concrete surface. You can notice visible damage from water pressure at the level at which even light-duty power washers can operate. Therefore, if you aren't careful, you can cause irreversible damage to your driveway or patio.

Is 2000 PSI enough for a driveway?

In general, the pressure you need to clean your driveway is around 3000 psi. Ensure that the pressure washer also has a good flow rate, if possible, around 3 GPM. This should be sufficient to clean your driveway.

How much PSI do you need to clean a house?

For cleaning your house's driveway, you need a pressure washer set to 2,500 to 3,000 psi. For other areas, like the vinyl sidings, decks, or glass, the pressure should not exceed 1,500 psi. For soft materials, like softwood, you should use even lower pressure, around 500 to 600 psi.

How many PSI Do I need to clean bricks?

500 to 1000 PSITip: Only use low pressure when washing the exterior brick on your house. Pressure washing using 500 to 1000 PSI is recommended for cleaning masonry. Many professionals use 100 to 1500 PSI to avoid damage. 2,000 PSI is the absolute maximum, and that's for experienced pressure washers only.

Can I use Dawn in my power washer?

You can use Dawn dish soap in your pressure washer, but you need to dilute it properly with hot water. Take 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap and dilute it in 1-1.5 quarts of hot water. However, the results of cleaning with Dawn dish soap might not be as effective as some special pressure washer detergents.

Can you powerwash a person?

Secure or cover all water and electrical outlets before spraying. Never spray a power/pressure washer at another person – the spray can seriously hurt or even kill them.

Can you use a pressure washer to fight a fire?

Always turn off the pressure washer at the socket when not in use – even better, unplug it all together. If a fire does start, don't try to fight the fire. Get to safety and call 999 immediately. Store your pressure washer in a cool, dry place.

Can Powerwashing cause damage?

You may think that power washing concrete surfaces can't possibly cause any damage because the material is so strong — you'd be wrong. In fact, you can easily spot damages from power washing concrete by looking for lines, pitting, and overall surface deterioration. So, can power washing damage concrete? In a word, yes.

How much pressure does an electric washer have?

On average, most electric pressure washers provide 3,000-3,800psi.

How much water pressure does an electric pressure washer have?

This TSS-certified IPX5 waterproof rated electric pressure washer highlights a 1,800-Watt motor to deliver up to 3.0 GPM of water flow and 4,000psi of water pressure. It is the strongest model among the contenders we tested.

What is a WHOLESUN 3600PSI?

WHOLESUN 3600PSI Electric Pressure Washer is the one and sole product that meets and exceeds almost strict, international safety standards, including TSS, GFCI, CAS, and ETL. Regular electric water pressures only get TSS and GFCI certifications.

What is the third factor to take into account when you assess a powerful electric pressure washer?

The third major factor to take into account is the cord length when you assess a powerful electric pressure washer. A longer cord will be suitable for your family. You can also use it for different purposes as the washer can move farther.

What are the two types of pressure washers?

When it comes to the motor of electric pressure washers, there are two main types: universal motors and induction motors.

What tools do you need to use a pressure washer?

Like other electric pressure washers, this model requires some assembly but thankfully, they include all the necessary tools, such as a screwdriver and wrench, to complete the task.

Which nozzle is the most powerful?

0-degree nozzle : The most powerful head because it focuses the water stream into just one line and uses the full strength possible of the tool

How to calculate cleaning power of a pressure washer?

CP offers a better indication of a machine's overall performance, and is useful when comparing pressure washers. To calculate CP, multiply a pressure washer's maximum PSI rating by its GPM flow (CP = PSI X GPM).

What is the best pressure washer for mildew?

But if you are looking for a versatile and mobile heavy-duty pressure washer that’s capable of removing all kinds of stubborn dirt, grime or mildew then you would be hard-pressed to find anything better than the Simpson MSH3125-S 3200 PSI 2.5 GPM Gas-Powered Pressure Washer.

What is PSI pressure?

PSI (pounds per square inch) refers to how much force a pressure washer is capable of producing to propel the water stream at the cleaning surface. For example, a pump spray bottle has high water force, but low water flow.

How much water pressure does Sun Joe SPX3001 have?

Sun Joe SPX3001 generates up to 2030 PSI of water pressure and 1.76 GPM of water flow to remove road tar, tree sap and insect splats from cars, grease deposits from concrete, heavy mildew, oil and rust stains, caked on mud, and other stubborn yard and garden gunk and grime.

Why is water good for cleaning?

There's a good scientific reason why water gets things so clean: its molecules have a slight electrical polarity (one end is positively charged and the other is negatively charged), so they tend to stick to things all by themselves. Detergents (soap chemicals) help water to do its job even better by breaking down gunge and grease and making it easier for water to flush away. But some kinds of ground-on dirt just won't budge, no matter how hard you try. That's when a pressure washer comes in really handy. It uses a narrow, high-pressure jet of hot or cold water to blast dirt free. Since water is traveling fast, it hits the dirty surface with high kinetic energy, knocking dirt and dust away like a constant rain of tiny hammer blows. It's only water, though, so it doesn't damage most hard surfaces.

Where are Simpson pressure washers made?

Simpson: Simpson Pressure Cleaning brand makes their own pressure washers in a factory in Arkansas. They are owned by the FNA Group. DeWalt pressure washers are also made at this plant by the Simpson team. They offer a range of home-use and pro-use gas power washers.

What is the use of high pressure water spray?

Pressure washing or power washing is the use of high-pressure water spray to remove loose paint, mold, grime, dust, mud, chewing gum and dirt from surfaces and objects such as buildings, vehicles and concrete surfaces .

Electric Pressure Washers – 1300-2000 PSI (Easy)

Most home style, small tasks you will be working on with a pressure washer won’t require more than 2000 PSI to complete.

Gas Pressure Washer – 2000-3000 PSI (Medium)

If you are looking for a pressure washer to handle medium tasks and stains, then you will likely be looking for a pressure washer that has a higher PSI.

Gas Pressure Washer – 3000-4000 PSI (Hard)

To take care of those really difficult cleaning jobs, you’ll need a pressure washer that has a lot of power!

In Conclusion

Most people taking on simple cleaning chores around their homes don’t need anything more powerful than a electric pressure washer. However, a medium powered gas pressure washer could be the way to go because it has a greater PSI and the pressure can be tamed with the right nozzle.

How to get maximum power from a power washer?

To ensure maximum power from your power washer, check the hose through which the water is coming to the machine. Check for any blockage in the hose. The diameter of the hose must be ¾ inches to achieve good water pressure. If your hose is of a smaller diameter, replace it.

What is the difference between a power washer and a high pressure washer?

A power washer also uses pressurized water for cleaning. But the main difference between the two is that the power washer uses hot water. That makes the cleaning even more effective and quick.

How can I make my power washer more powerful?

In general, a power washer is similar to a pressure washer. The difference is that a power washer uses hot water instead of cold. This means that the same methods can be used to increase the power. Using a different nozzle, changing the pressure regulator or unloader valve, using a different gas type, or tweaking the engine.

What is a pressure washer regulator?

The pressure washer regulator or unloader valve is what regulates the output pressure in your pressure washer. An unloader valve has a tension spring that can be set to get the maximum output pressure.

What is a pressure washer?

A pressure washer uses highly pressurized water to remove dust, dirt, stains, grease marks, and more from your outdoor areas. You can use it for cleaning sidings, driveways, garage floors, patios, and much more. The high-pressure washer is an excellent choice for many jobs. A power washer also uses pressurized water for cleaning.

Why is my power washer nozzle worn out?

This is due to the use of hot water. Worn-out nozzles allow more water to flow through them, thus decreasing the pressure of the washer.

Can you tweak an electric pressure washer?

If you have an electric pressure washer, there is not much you can tweak. But in case you have a gas pressure washer. You can tweak your engine to give it more power. Small engines like your pressure washer need three things: air, fuel, and a good spark.

How Portable is an Electric Power Washer?

Portability is also something to consider when purchasing a power washer, especially if you plan on cleaning a large space that requires easy mobility. With electric power washers, there needs to be access to an outlet. If this is an issue, you could always purchase an outdoor-safe extension cord.

How much PSI does a gas washer have?

Electric power washers usually produce anywhere between 800 and 1,800 PSI, while gas powered range from 2,000 and 2,800. For more serious projects, the PSI for a gas powered washer can even reach 3,000.

Why do power washers use electric?

Electric power washers are much easier to maintain. All you really need is a reliable source of electricity. If you ask around, most power washer owners prefer electric, simply because you can use it for a wider variety of projects. This, combined with the low maintenance costs, certainly make electric the most cost effective and easiest to use.

Is it better to use electric or gas washer?

Electric options also tend to be smaller, lighter, and easier to carry than gas powered washers. However, if you’re working in a remote location that doesn’t have electricity, this could be a problem.

Do gas washers need electricity?

With a gas powered washer, there’s no worry about being near a source of electricity. However, they do tend to be bulkier, so trying to accomplish a large scale project in a short amount of time might be more difficult.

Is a power washer more powerful?

The short answer is yes. PSI, or “pounds per square inch,” is important to think about when you are choosing a power washer. Essentially, this measures how powerful the jets of water are for your power washer. The higher the PSI, the more powerful the machine.

Is gas more expensive than electricity?

While you might need the high PSI of a gas washer, the costs associated with gas tend to be higher. You need to ensure that the washer has enough gas and that the engine is running smoothly. It’s also worth noting that in most places, gas is more expensive than electricity.

What is the difference between a pressure washer and a power washer?

If we’re talking strictly about the types of the machines, there is one key element that differentiates a power washer from a pressure washer: a heating element. Both machines create a powerful stream of high-pressure water, but a power washer also heats up the water.

What is the difference between power washing and pressure washing?

So, now that you know the main differences between power washing and pressure washing, it’s time to figure which one you need for your home. Which method you use depends entirely on the job. For regular household use, pressure washing is the way to go. It’s less harsh on surfaces, which makes it ideal for use on things like masonry, brick, ...

What is Power Washing?

A power washer uses a high-pressure stream of very hot water to blast away dirt and materials from outdoor surfaces. The combination of high pressure and the temperature of the water make it better at removing all those truly stuck on materials from surfaces. It’s great for removing residue like salt, mildew, and mold from outdoor patios, decks, driveways, and more. The added heat also makes it particularly good at removing things like chewing gum from sidewalks. Power washing is also exceptionally great for handling grease stains on driveways or garage floors.

Does pressure washing work on concrete?

This regular temperature water still does an amazing job at blasting away dirt but doesn’t perform as well against moss, mold, or other tough stuck on substances. It still does an amazing job, but might not be able to get rid of tough stains on concrete.

Can you power wash a concrete driveway?

For that same reason, though, you have to be careful which surfaces you use it on. It’s best to stick to concrete and other hard surfaces when power washing, since the force of the hot water can do damage to softer surfaces.

Do water pressure machines use the same amount of power?

As far as the water pressure is concerned, they both use similar amounts of pressure. How much pressure really just depends on the type of machine; a household unit won’t offer up as much power as an industrial machine.

Is power washing good for driveways?

The added heat also makes it particularly good at removing things like chewing gum from sidewalks. Power washing is also exceptionally great for handling grease stains on driveways or garage floors.

What is PSI in power washer?

PSI is the unit that allows measuring pressure that a power washer delivers for cleansing. The amount of PSI required tends to differ according to what is to be cleaned. For instance, the PSI value for car cleaning should be less than the PSI or pressure needed for cleaning those stubborn floor stains. The exact or a range of PSI required is ...

What is the best pressure washer for heavy duty cleaning?

Usually, gas pressure washers will have a higher value of PSI, and is recommended for users to get the gas type if you want to use it for heavy-duty cleaning tasks.

How much pressure do I need for a pressure washer?

It would need somewhere around 4,000 and 7,000 PSI. Usually, gas pressure washers will have a higher value of PSI, and is recommended for users to get the gas type if you want to use it for heavy-duty cleaning tasks.

Is 5,000 PSI bad for car?

Keeping this in mind, it is futile to invest in a 5,000 PSI unit for just cleaning the car or furniture. Even worse is the fact that such a high-pressure gadget can end up damaging the vehicle’s polish or the wall’s paint.

Is a gas pressure washer the same as an electric pressure washer?

The users need to know the amount of pressure is required for an electric pressure washer, a multi-duty pressure washer, or a gas pressure washer respectively, as each type of pressure washer may not be the same.

Can a 5,000 PSI cleaner be used on a car?

Pressure tends to affect the cleaning capability to a large extent . Keeping this in mind, it is futile to invest in a 5,000 PSI unit for just cleaning the car or furniture. Even worse is the fact that such a high-pressure gadget can end up damaging the vehicle’s polish or the wall’s paint.

How many decibels does a gas pressure washer have?

All the gas pressure washers produced at least 85 decibels (dBA), the threshold at which we recommend hearing protection. Electric models averaged 78 dBA when running and are silent with their triggers released, since doing so stops the motor.

How much does a pressure washer cost?

Pressure washers use a gas engine or electric motor, pump, and concentrating nozzle to boost water pressure from your garden hose as much as 60 times. That lets them blast away deck mildew, driveway stains, and other grunge a hose can't touch while cleaning chairs, siding, and other items more quickly and easily than you could with a scrub brush. For as little as $90 for electric machines and $300 for gas, owning one is a tempting alternative to renting one for $50 to $90 per day.

How much pressure does a gas water pump put out?

Water pressure is typically measured in pounds per square inch (psi). Gas-powered models typically put out 2,000 to 2,800 psi of pressure compared with 1,300 to 1,700 psi for electric models. Much higher pressure allowed the top-performing gas machines to clean a grimy concrete patio three times faster than the fastest electrics. Gas models were up to 10 times faster at stripping paint off vinyl siding, a test we used to simulate tough stains.

How many people are injured by pressure washers?

Injuries involving pressure washers are estimated to affect more than 6,000, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Typical mishaps include chemical burns to the eyes and skin abrasions. You can also be injured by material shot back at you. To protect yourself and what you're cleaning:

Do gas pressure washers have a clear performance edge?

Consumer Reports' previous tests of pressure washers on an array of outdoor surfaces confirmed that gas-powered machines have a clear performance edge over electrics. But more pressure also means more chance of injury with any pressure washer. Especially with gas models, it's easy to damage what you're cleaning. We're bringing in a new batch of pressure washers for testing to see if performance has changed.

Do it yourself pressure washers?

Professional cleaning at a do-it-yourself price has helped move pressure washers beyond the tool-rental shop and into your local home center. Lower prices and less upkeep explain why 60 percent of buyers choose an electric pressure washer. But gas machines have roughly twice the cleaning power, which is the main reason you'll see fewer plug-in models at the big-box stores, where most pressure washers are sold.

Can a pressure washer clean a car?

Practically any pressure washer can handle decks, walks, and other typical cleaning tasks. They're also forceful enough to harm a car's paint, which is why we suggest using a hose for cars.

What is the pressure of a power washer?

The pressure put out by a power washer is measured in PSI (pounds per square inch), and the PSI requirements can vary based on what you're aiming to clean. For example, it'll take a lot less pressure to clean dust and salt from your vehicle than it will take to clean oil stains from your garage floor. Another factor that's equally as important, but ...

What is the GPM rating on a pressure washer?

Another factor that's equally as important, but not often considered, is the gallons per minute rating (GPM). This measures how much water your pressure washer puts out per minute, and more water equals faster cleaning.

What is the difference between water pressure and water volume?

While water pressure provides the power to break up stains and settled in the dirt, water volume is what flushes that broken up filth away. Essentially, the more water that moves through your nozzle in a minute, the faster you'll be able to clean.

Do pressure washers have GPM?

Pressure washers allow you to do just that, combine high pressure with high volume to clean surfaces in record time. So don't forget the GPM, because it plays a role that's equally as important to that of PSI. NEXT: How to Pick the Perfect Pressure Washer. By Jim O. Pressure Washer Expert.


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