Lawn care equipment, automobiles, patio furniture and other outdoor surfaces— just a few of the things that pressure washers are great at cleaning quickly. They are specifically designed for heavy-duty cleaning and paint stripping, pressure washers use less water than a garden hose and will make short work of tough cleaning jobs.
This guide is going to show you how to pick the right pressure washer for your job site.
Electric Pressure Washers
If you have a small, light projects like cleaning patio furniture or a car, an electric washer is right for you. They’re quieter and lighter than a gas model. The electric motor starts by flipping a switch and runs much cleaner than gas engines. Many electric pressure washers specify that their devices be plugged into an outlet using the built-in cord, without the use of an extension cord. Consider this when you are determining where you will be cleaning. Can it be reached without the assistance of an extension cord? Keep that in mind when shopping around.
If you are working on a job site while using a pressure washer, you may need to use a power generator to keep electricity flowing. Generac portable generators have a variety of models that are compact and easily fit on a job site.
Gasoline Pressure Washers
This type of pressure washer will offer more power and work harder on bigger, tougher jobs like cleaning a deck or the driveway. Since they are powered by gas, they are much more mobile and less constrained then an electric model, since you don’t need to be so close to an outlet or generator. A gas pressure washer will typically crank with a manual pull-start, however, some models feature an electric starter.
The important thing to remember about gas pressure washers is that you must always have fuel on hand. If you don’t have any gasoline with you, you won’t be able to use the machine.
Features of a Pressure Washer
The total pressure output of a pressure washer is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI) and is the determining factor of what type of jobs are suitable for the particular model.
- Below 2000 PSI: Considered light duty. Works best for cleaning patio furniture, aluminum siding as well as cars, trucks and boats.
- 2000-2800 PSI: Mid-range pressure. Can handle the same jobs as the light duty model, but more suited for cleaning fences, decks, patios or other surfaces.
- 2900-3300 PSI: Heavy duty. Suited for heavy cleaning jobs like removing decades old grime from sidewalks or cleaning the second story of a house or building. Also helps prepare surfaces for paint.
- 3300 PSI & Up: Professional grade pressure washers. These models can do all the jobs already listed and anything else that needs a much stronger blast.
In addition to the PSI rating, you should also watch the water volume your machine delivers. Measured in GPM (Gallons per Minute), a higher GPM means better cleaning and rinsing of difficult to reach surfaces.
When it comes to buying a power washer, use the above guide to make sure you get the right one.