The Guide to Shopping for Pressure Washers – Gas and Electric

Rainstorms can bring a lot of extra dirt onto your front porch, driveway or back patio.

To remove the dirt quickly and thoroughly, you’ll need a high-quality pressure washer that can easily wash away layers of dirt and debris from your concrete surfaces within seconds. You just need a little extra knowledge about pressure washers before going out and purchasing one.

What is the Purpose of Purchasing a Pressure Washer?

Do you like to plant flowers in the soil next to your home? Perhaps you’re installing some lighting on your lawn next to the driveway. Once you do jobs like these, you’ll likely end up with grime and dirt on your house siding, driveway, and/or patio.

Don’t leave these outdoor surfaces a mess. You can make your lawn look beautiful by cleaning up the surfaces that are dirty and ugly.

Anyone who performs outdoor projects or enjoys hosting outdoor parties should have a pressure washer in their inventory. A pressure washer has the power to remove several layers of pollen, dirt, grime, paint, or any other debris which has accumulated on your outdoor surfaces, such as your furniture, patio, driveway, your pool area, or any other hard surfaces.

backyard swimming pool

Rent or Buy?

Traditionally, people only rented pressure washers because they needed them for temporary projects only. Hardware stores were where people could go to rent them. However, there are always areas on your outdoor surfaces which need to get cleaned.

These might be grime spots, bird feces, mildew, mold, or any kind of outdoor debris. When you see this stuff outside, you probably wish that you could go to your garage and pull out the pressure washer to eliminate these problems.

But since you don’t have a pressure washer, you end up waiting until a time when you’re finally ready to rent one again. By then, your outdoor surfaces could be in terrible shape.

Fortunately, modern pressure washers are designed smaller, stronger, and portable. That allows lay people like yourself to purchase one for an affordable price and keep it in your garage for times when you need it.

Because of its portability, you can even lend it to your neighbors or friends who need to borrow it to clean their own surfaces too.

No one likes getting down on their knees and manually scrubbing grime and dirt off their surfaces. A pressure washer is so much more convenient for cleaning just about anything outside.

The average price for a pressure washer unit is between $100 and $300. That is a good deal for someone who does a lot of outdoor projects or needs to clean a lot of outdoor surfaces regularly.

This Greenworks portable pressure washer has 1500 PSI 13 Amp 1.2 GMP is a great choice for simple cleaning projects around your home.

Finding a Good Pressure Washer

Most people cannot recognize a good pressure washer when they see one. After all, how many pressure washers have you purchased in your lifetime? Most likely none, so you should seek guidance before you run out and purchase a pressure washer for yourself. You may have a variety of different things to clean, which require different levels of pressure. What you plan to clean is a huge factor when purchasing a washer.

Cleaning Power Units

When you look at the list of specifications on a given pressure washer, its strength is shown as “cleaning power.” The cleaning power is calculated by multiplying the pounds per square inch (PSI) of water pressure by the number of water gallons per minute (water flow rate or GPM).

This calculation can help you determine the strength of the engine and the efficiency of the water pump.

If the pressure washer has a huge engine, then the combustion chamber has a lot of volume. The result is a higher PSI, which means you’ll have a very strong water stream shooting out. If you have older stains that are tough to remove, then you’ll want a bigger engine like this to give you more water pressure to remove it.

The amount of water shooting out of the nozzle every 60 seconds is the GPM. The pressurized water stream will work to detach the tough grime and debris from the surface quickly. The more GPM you have, the more likely you’ll be able to remove grease and dirt.

The average residential user only needs a pressure washer that generates between 1,000 and 4,000 PSI. In cleaning power units, this comes out to 2,000 and 8,000, respectively, if you have 2 GPM.

That is enough power to remove dirt and grease from house siding and decks. To remove debris from concrete, 3,000 PSI is what you’ll need. If you have 3 GPM, then you have 9,000 cleaning power units.

This PRYMAX Pressure Washer may be ideal for you. It has 3000 PSI 1.80 GPM and comes with a hose reel and interchangeable nozzles.

If your cleaning project involves graffiti or industrial equipment, then you need even more cleaning power units from your pressure washer. Just remember that if the PSI ever goes past 3,000, then you really need to be careful because that much water pressure can cut through surfaces and damage materials like wood. You could possibly injure yourself or someone else too.

A commercial pressure washer has over 14,000 cleaning power units, so that wouldn’t be suitable for residential use.

Gas and Electric Pressure Washers

There are several types of pressure washers, and what separates them are their power sources. Home pressure washers use either gas or electric power. Each type of pressure washer has a different price range, velocity performance, and motor maintenance specifications.

Gas

If you choose a pressure washer with gas power, it can clean away tougher stains and debris a lot faster. For instance, you could remove the paint from your walls or any tough adhesives that won’t come off. High-pressured water shoots out of the nozzle, thanks to the huge gas-powered engine of the pressure washer.

You’ll get anywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 PSI from it. That kind of power can take away sludge, grime, and mold quickly.

Since it is gas-powered, you don’t need to plug your pressure washer into an electrical outlet. Its portability lets you take it anywhere that it is needed. Sometimes a new homeowner may need a gas-powered pressure washer if they haven’t turned on the electricity in their home yet. In other cases, a concrete slab far away from your home may need a good cleaning too.

Gas-powered pressure washers cost more than electric pressure washers. Prepare to spend a few hundred dollars extra at least. It’s worth the money if you’re doing a lot of heavy-duty cleaning projects.

This Craftsman Gas Pressure Washer has 3400 MAX PSI and 2.5 MAX GPM, and is powered by Briggs & Stratton 208cc Engine. It should be powerful enough to handle just about any big cleaning project you have.

Just be ready to have more maintenance duties and take more caution when using a gas-powered pressure washer. A flimsy surface like a wooden deck could get destroyed easily by the pressure washer if you’re not careful. So, don’t put it on the highest setting when washing those types of surfaces.

As for maintenance, you need to prevent your fuel from freezing during the colder months, so you’ll need to mix fuel and perform tune-ups. However, if you’re not ready to handle a pull-start engine like this one, then an electric pressure washer is better for you.

Electric

An electric pressure washer is great for cleaning sidewalks, chairs, small patios, and any common areas outside. It only costs between $100 and $300 to purchase an electric pressure washer.

It does not require a lot of maintenance either, which is attractive to homeowners. After all, many people don’t like dealing with the gas of the other pressure washer.

Electric pressure washers are so convenient because you’re not dealing with any gas or messy maintenance duties. In fact, you can clean inside smaller spaces without any problems too. Each electric pressure washer is quiet, lightweight, and has an engine that doesn’t need a pull start. Your neighbors won’t be disturbed at all by it.

This PRYMAX electric pressure washer is highly rated. It has 3000 PSI, 1.80 GPM and it comes with hose reel and interchangeable nozzles.

Of course, you’ll need to plug the washer into an electrical outlet. Make sure the pressure washer is built with safety features to prevent electrocution. Since you’re dealing with water and electricity, you can’t be too careful here.

Electric pressure washers have fewer cleaning power units than gas-powered electric pressure washers. So, don’t be surprised to see lower PSI and water volume from the washer. That means it’ll take longer to complete certain projects, but it also means there’s less risk of damaging something or hurting someone.

Pressure Washer Features

There are a lot of parts and components inside a pressure washer, but you don’t need to learn about them all. Just learn about the parts which allow the washer to function properly and effectively. Certain specifications require you to pay more money, so it’s better to get everything you can out of them.

Not all pressure washer models come with the same features. Certain washer models have extension wands, add-ons, and single-stream functions. The more features that are available, the higher the price.

You may only need to clean your patio, so perhaps you can save some money by not purchasing a washer with a lot of features that you don’t need.

The Capacity of the Water Tank

When you shop for a gas-powered pressure washer, its water tank will be labeled in liters. The more liters the water tank can hold, the longer you can use your pressure washer before it needs to have water added to the tank again. If you have a 3-liter water tank, then you can spray for up to 3 hours without stopping.

Portability

You can expect more weight with gas-powered pressure washers because of their bigger engine components and fuel tanks. If you’re looking for a washer which is easy to move around, then pay attention to the weight of the device.

Electric pressure washers might be better in this case because they’re lighter weight and smaller. The only downside is that they’re not as powerful. But if portability is what you care about the most, then focus on the weight specifications of every unit that you see in the store.

A heavy-duty hose is included with the pressure washer. It is used to connect the water pump to the water source. You can’t use some ordinary garden hose because it cannot handle the kind of water pressure that comes out of a pressure washer hose.

Conclusion

It can be fun and exciting to shop for pressure washers. There are so many affordable units available with lots of different features to choose from. Think about what you’re going to use the pressure washer for.

Are you occasionally going to clean up the sidewalk after your kids mark it up with chalk? Do you get a lot of storms in your area and plan to wash away debris?

Or perhaps you enjoy working on outdoor projects regularly. Whatever the case may be, you now have an idea of what to look for when shopping for the best pressure washer which suits your outdoor projects and cleaning needs.

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