What Type Of Pressure Washer Do You Need?

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Pressure washers are some of the most useful tools to have on hand that can be used to clean paths, houses, patios, cars, sidings and roofs to wash the effects of dirt. What type of pressure washer do you need? Not only dirt can be washed off, moss, mold, flaking paint and oil or grease spots can be targeted with user ease with one of the most powerful electric pressure washers.

These machines are simple to use and are powerful cleaners when you need a professional finish or want the job done fast.  In fact, most pressure washers are available with powerful motors that can deliver as much as 3,000 PSIs of cleaning power to make short work of various projects.

We have an electric Ryobi which does a brilliant job at removing the built up dirt and algae on our patio pavers over winter from dog paws and rain driving in. Our boys spend an hour “working” and the end results are clean creamy white pavers and a pleasant area to wile away those lazy summer afternoons and evenings….

Think About What Type Of Pressure Washer You Need Before Buying….

Having said that, before you can choose a good power washer for home use, it’s important you take your time to factor in your cleaning needs before buying best pressure washer on the market you’ll be happy with. For example, you need to think about your budget, how often will you use one, for home use, or for more heavy duty commercial use? Do you want an electric or gas powered one? Does it need to be portable…..

Types Of Pressure Washers

What type of pressure washer do you need? There are many types of pressure washers and its worth your while reading high pressure water cleaner reviews. Understanding what the basic technical terms mean, PSI, GPM, nozzle differences etc will clarify which are the better models and brands to buy. Some of the popular models that you might come across include:

Electric Pressure Washers

The best electric pressure washers for home use are portable and are the perfect solution for small scale projects such as carrying out DIY cleaning jobs when at home.

Relatively Quiet To Operate

In most cases, these models are relatively quiet in operation in comparison to gas models, with a decibel range of up to 78 decibels.

Tackle A Range Of Cleaning Jobs

They can capably tackle light, medium and heavy duty jobs depending on their psi rating. Lower capacity models  use roughly around 25 times the pressure of an ordinary garden hose, whereas more heavy duty pressure washers run up to roughly 100 times garden hose pressure.

A more powerful washer will let you clean 20 to 30 feet high if you are wanting to clean your house. They are available in range of sizes.

Simple To Set Up And Use

The benefits of using a power washer like these is, they are simple to set up and use as most models are started by flicking a switch. You simply attach a water hose, add an appropriate detergent if your model takes detergent and plug it into the electrical outlet.  They stop and start with a hand trigger. Another bonus of using electricity, you have an engine that runs cleaner. No gas emissions.

Adjustable Nozzels

You will usually find your pressure washer comes with adjustable nozzels and you will be held to find suitable replacement nozzels online for inexpensive costs. A twist nozzle changes both the pressure and width of the spray. You may find replacement nozzles will only give you a specific spray angle. Something to keep in mind when you are looking at buying nozzles….

Washing Your Car….

If you are washing the car, make sure you use the correct nozzle. The concentrated stream of water is absolutely powerful enough to strip paint off the car. And, while we are that topic, never point the nozzle at someone as the water can rip off skin very quickly!

Brand Specifications

Some brand manufacturers recommend their devices be used by plugging directly into an power outlet without using an outdoor extension cord. You might want to factor this in when reading high pressure water cleaner reviews to determine which brand to buy and how / where your cleaning activities will take place.

Make sure you understand the product specifications of the manufacturer before you buy to avoid purchasing a pressure washer which won’t get the job done as you require…..

The Only Downsides

These models are reliant on power to operate and so are not 100% portable.

Gas Pressure Washer

Mobile gas pressure washers  are far more powerful and are generally larger than the electric models. If you want a unit with more psi, one of these will do the trick. They are designed for professionally cleaning larger areas and deliver high performance. They are 100% portable as they are not dependent on electricity.

100% Portability And Maneuverability

The benefits of using a power washer with gas offer you complete independence and manoeuvrability, making them ideal for  quickly whisking away dirt on patios, decks, concrete pathways and buildings.

In most cases, the best gas pressure washer under $400 are often available with manual pull start features and a crank, though some models are also available with electric starters.

Make sure your model is equipped with a pump with ceramic plungers, stainless steel valves, pneumatic tyres and a range of nozzle sizes are a variety of cleaning jobs.

If you don’t use your gas pressure washer to regularly, make sure to add a good quality fuel stabilizer to stop deposits from polluting the carburetor. Gas pressure washers are available in a variety of different engine sizes.

A Few Downsides To Owning One Of These Washers

There are a few downsides to owning one of these washers. They are noisy and they do weigh more than an electric model. You need to be able to deal with fuel mixing and pull starter motors, as well as regular engine maintenance. If you live in a cold area, you may need to use antifreeze.

If you are concerned about the decibel level,  gas pressure washers run at least 85 decibel’s which means you do need to wear hearing protection.

How Do They Work?

A good power washer for home use gives you choice for for various cleaning procedures. Typically, these machines often come with an electrical motor, or are powered by a gasoline engine. The washer takes in water from the hose and uses a powerful water pump to eject a powerful spray of water. How fast the water squirts  depends on the power rating and nozzle construction.

These are a few points to be aware of when looking into buying one of these useful machines.

a) Water Inlet

This refers to a hose used to connect the pressure washer to the mains water supply. Most models come with an integrated and removable filter in the inlet to control the effects of dirt and debris from moving into the pressure washer and clogging the components.

b) Electric Motor Or Gas Engine

Most of the best electric pressure washers for home use are light, medium and heavy duty pressure washers powered by electric motors. You will need a heavy duty outdoors power cord for safety.

Having said that, some of the higher end models are powered by gasoline engines. These have  a power output of up to 4000 psi on some models. The benefits of using a gas powered pressure washer is they are fully portable and manufactured with tough rugged construction. These types are best suited to cleaning up building sites, gardening business, or if you want a good top rated gas pressure washer.

These engines are great if you work outdoors, remote locations and for large scale applications.

c) Water Pump

This is the main component of a good pressure washer. Simply put, it’s similar to a hand-operated pump, only it’s driven at high speed using an electric motor rather than by hand. The engine pump pulls in water from the attached hose, which in turn squirts water out at immense concentrated pressure. The pumps are often designed to accommodate a flow that averages 1-3 GPM.

d) Cleaning Attachments

Depending on the particular cleaning application, you need to use the appropriate cleaning attachment to achieve the best results. In most cases, this is just a valve that allows water to move in as you squeeze the handle. There are different valves or nozzles available to give differing spray intensities and widths.

By using the trigger gun, users can quickly whisk away dirt, mold, moss etc on paths, house sidings, patios, garages, roofs, anywhere that needs a good high pressure clean.

How Much Power Might You Need For The Job At Hand, Home Handyman Or Business?

To determine what type of pressure washer do you need and choosing the best functionality of a particular pressure washer, it’s important  you classify the units into the appropriate categories. The main ones include:

Light Duty: The Best 2000 psi Electric Pressure Washers

The best 2000 psi electric pressure washers are ideal for performing cleaning procedures for the cars, patios, patio furniture, paths, boats and trucks among others. Besides that, these pressure washers are ideal solutions for cleaning mossy fences, slippery decks, driveways and sidewalks to keep them safe to walk on.

Medium Duty Pressure Washer

The best medium duty pressure washers are those classified in between the 2000 and 2800 PSI category.

These units are ideal for handling cleaning projects such as their light-duty counterparts.

Some of the main ones including siding, decks, fences and patios among many others. Most home owners needing jobs done will find using one of the best medium duty pressure washers will tackle these jobs with ease.

Heavy Duty Electric Power Washers

Heavy duty electric power washers can easily average 2900 and 3300 PSI. In most cases, these heavy duty models work well for cleaning just about everything you want cleaned.

Any job from concrete sidewalks, large driveways, patios, and storied buildings as well. Best of all, these models can also be used to prep surfaces for painting procedures. The blast of water makes short work of removing any flaking paint to leave a stable surface.

Extra Duty Pressure Washers

These models fall into the 3300PSI category and over. These models can handle any job from home use to commercial jobs such as building sites and  provide additional power for prepping surfaces for painting, removing rot, rust or caked on dirt.

What Does  PSI, GPM, And AMPS Mean?

PSI Or Pounds Per Square Inch

PSI refers to pounds per square inch, and this plays an important role in the cleaning capability of a particular pressure washer. The PSI of a pressure washer plays an important role when shopping for a good model. The low duty pressure washer washers can deliver an average pressure of 1,000 to 2,000 PSI.

These models are ideal for residential use. The medium duty washers can deliver. The heavy-duty models can easily average 3,000 PSI and over and can be used for a wide variety of jobs.

What Type Of Pressure Washer Do You Need?


GPM Or Gallons Per Minute

Another important rating to consider when choosing the ideal pressure washer is the GPM. This refers to the gallons per minute of the pressure washer, and this plays an important role in the cleaning projects the model can handle. For professional pressure washing models, you are likely to come across models that can deliver as much as 3900 PSI of cleaning power.

The GPM also has a strong co-relation to the cleaning action of the pressure washer. While different models might have similar PSI levels, the model with a higher GPM guarantees faster results than the conventional models.

best electric power washers for home use


AMPS- this refers to the average amount of electrical power that the device can be able to support for cleaning procedures. An “amp”, short for ampere, is a unit of electrical current which measures the electromagnetic force between electrical conductors carrying electric current.

Pressure Washer Applications

Since the introduction of the first pressure washers to the consumer market in 1927 by Frank Ofeldt who claimed to have invented the high pressure steam pressure washer, or in 1950 by Alfred Kärcher who invented the hot-water high-pressure washer, they have become a staple home maintenance tool.

Most models these days are powerful, portable, and available with a range of nozzles to suit various cleaning applications.

As we mentioned, these tools have become convenient solutions for performing various cleaning procedures. Some of them as we mentioned include cleaning patios, automobiles, decks, fences, windows and storied building among many others.

Cost Expense To Run

The two main versions of pressure washers are electric and gas powered models. Both these models have running and maintenance costs to ensure optimal performance. Electric models mean you might have to pay a little extra to operate them, however the cost is relatively low.

Having said that, the pressure washer amperage plays an important role in the overall power capacity which contributes to your power bill.  Gas powered models have a significant amount of maintenance especially since you have to purchase gas for the unit to function. Both versions of pressure washers require regular basic maintenance to achieve the best results.

Some Of The Top Brands

1) Karcher Pressure Washers

The Karcher brand has been going since the 1950’s and has various types of pressure washers and in as many different categories. Some of the major ones including industrial, commercial, electric and gas powered types.

2) Honda

Honda is a world renowned brand name and they make some of the best pressure washer models around. They are well known for their reliable and durable engine components. The Honda models offer superior performance during the job and they are quite compact in size as well.

3) Troy Bilt

Though this brand changed ownership recently, the company has been well known for producing various products. The company is nowadays an affiliate of MTD products, and they main specialize in gas powered pressure washer models.

4) Generac

This is also one of the high-end pressure washing companies with several of their products being used by clients globally. They specialize in the production of pressure washers, both electric and gas. You’ll find some of the best gas pressure washers under $400 models, which are both powerful and efficient.

5) Simpson

This particular cleaning brand manufactures their products in the USA and is mainly owned by the FNA group.

The DeWalt pressure washers are also produced at the Simpson company. They provide various pressure washers for home and professional functionalities.

6) Ryobi

These pressure washers are also made by MTD products, though the brand owner of the company is known as Techtronic Industries in China. This company produces several electric pressure washer and gas-powered models, though in limited quantities.

Other Considerations

There are various other important factors that play a key role when choosing the ideal pressure washer. In fact, some accessories are important especially if you want the unit to be used for specific cleaning procedures. Some of the main ones including:

a) Hose Type

For example, it is important that you invest in a heavy duty pressure washer that features a compatible hose to suit your cleaning needs. Typically, these models come with ample sized hoses for optimal functionality, especially when cleaning house windows or hard to reach sections of your property.

b) Spray Nozzles

Owning several different spray nozzles lets you customize the amount of pressure the wand can deliver for your needs. The angle of the spray is determined by the nozzle structure. For example a wide spray for general washing, or a concentrated blast designed to whisk away ingrained dirt.

A range of nozzle sizes makes those jobs easy

c) Onboard Storage

This refers to the various features that make it simple for users to store the washer after completing cleaning projects. This is often perfect for string extension cords, cleaning attachments and hoses. It’s worthwhile choosing a washer that comes with storage features.

d) Transportation Wheels And Carrying Handles

Since you might want to clean different areas of your property; you should consider choosing a model that is available with sturdy larger wheels. Some of the high-end models come with pneumatic wheels which can move easily over various ground surfaces…

e) Other Features

Besides all the above features, check the tank capacity of the pressure washer and the detergent feature of the model you are thinking of purchasing. There are many models available with hot or cold water tanks which can store both water and detergent.

Concluding Thoughts On What Type Of Pressure Washer Do You Need…

We know there are a lot of models and brands on the market and it can be confusing to figure out what type of pressure washer do you need? Electric, gas, how powerful, will it get the job done for me, what about reliability… These are all good questions to ask so you can narrow down your choices. We say stick with the known brand names and choose a model with plenty of reviews and please read user reviews, especially the negative ones! If you want the best pressure washer on the market, do your homework, don’t jump in and rush purchase- it’s a recipe for disaster!


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