What Do You Need To Know When Buying A Pressure Washer

So you know that you want to buy a pressure washer.

You’ve seen the ads, you’ve heard the hype and now you want one for yourself.

You’ve decided that you really can’t be bothered spending half your Saturday out there scrubbing the car to get it all nice and clean, only to have it dirty again after one trip to the park with the kids, and the dog, and the baby, and the wife.

So what do you need to know before spending your hard earned cash?

Let’s begin.

What To Know BEFORE Buying A Pressure Washer

It is always wise to understand what you are going to be looking for so that you don’t go out and buy yourself a pressure washer that ends up stripping the paint from your car, when all you wanted was that freshly cleaned look. We want to outline some of the more common knowledge about pressure washers so that when you do decide to buy one you will know exactly what you are buying and you won’t misunderstand any of the jargon.

  • PSI means ‘Pounds Per Square Inch’ – High PSI means more power and greater ability to remove stains. Lower PSI means less pressure and so less power.
  • GPM means gallons per minute – This refers to how much water is flowing through your hose.

There are 3 distinct grades of Pressure Washer, consumersemi-professional and commercial.

Consumer grade pressure washers are designed to be used at home only so often. They are not designed to be used every day and are more suited to the cleaning the car or washing down the fence in the summers.

Semi-Professional grade pressure washers are designed for greater use and greater power. They are still most effective for home use and will certainly allow you to tackle pretty much any job that you could find around the home. This grade of pressure washer will stand up to regular usage.

Commercial grade pressure washers are the heavy hitters. These big and chunky machines will clean anything at an industrial level and are designed for maximum usage as part of a cleaning professional arsenal. They are the loudest and most powerful category of pressure washer.

Pressure washers fall into two distinct categories before they are broken down into consumer, semi-pro and commercial and these two categories are Electric & Gas. Electric pressure washers are usually the cheaper option and obviously don’t require any fuel but need to be run from somewhere that has an active electricity line. Gas powered pressure washers are the more powerful and most often they are more expensive. They will be more suited to heavy duty jobs and will usually provide greater power for cleaning. There are exceptions to this rule however and it is possible to get commercial grade electric pressure washers and consumer grade gas powered ones, but in most cases and for most people looking to buy a pressure washer, the rule stands.

What To Look For When Buying A Pressure Washer

Once you understand the basic ideas of the different kinds of pressure washer on the market and you have decided which kind you think will best suit your needs, you’re ready to go out and buy one. But there are a few things that you should definitely look for and pay special attention to while you are browsing.

Trusted Brand: Always buy a trusted and well recognised brand. There is a reason that these brands have become so trusted and well recognised and that is because they produce high quality, high value and efficient pieces of machinery. It isn’t just down to good marketing. The trusted brands have been around decades in many cases and that is because they have consistently produced top of the range pressure washers for years add years. Also, the major brands will always provide you with a free warranty and this ensures that if there is some kind of manufacturing fault with your machinery it will be fixed or replaced.

Buy New Brand: If you buy second hand you are inviting high costs and low return on investment. If your second-hand pressure washer breaks it will not be covered by warranty. You don’t know how the last person treated it and it can potentially be dangerous of there was some unforeseen reason behind why they sold it.

Right Strength: Make sure the one you buy is the right strength for the job. There is absolutely no need to go out and buy a $500 pressure washer if all you want to do is clean the car and hose down the patio. You will find that you strip paint off your car or destroy all your plants in the garden. For that kind of work you only need a low strength pressure washer. On the other hand you don’t want to show up on the job-site with a $100 pressure washer when you need to clean 1500sqft concrete slab, it’s just not going to get the job done and will likely overheat after 45 minutes of use.

Shop By PSI To Figure Out What You Need

There are many various strengths of pressure washer so it can be useful to determine exactly what strength you are going to need. To do this all we have to do is assess what level of PSI is best going to suit the particular kinds of cleaning that you are going to be doing with your pressure washer. We are going to talk specifically what kind of jobs you will do with a pressure washer suited to each particular PSI strength.

2000 PSI Pressure Washer – This strength of power washer is considered to be one of the lower power machines. There a lower machines that fall down even to 1000 PSI but for our consideration here anything that falls beneath the 2000 PSI mark will all fall into the same category.

These types of pressure washers are usually very affordable and fall within the $95 to $250 range. They are built with consumer level engines and consumer level pumps. They are not designed to run for extended periods of time and they are not designed to be used every day.

Rather, this type of pressure washer should be used occasionally to perform such jobs as cleaning outdoor furniture, washing down the car and removing the dust and cobwebs from the side of the house. A lot of these models will fall into the hand-carry area which means they are much more transportable and can be used indoors and out.

2500 PSI Pressure Washer – This strength of power washer is now moving into the moderate strength category. They cannot be considered high power but neither are they as low power as the hand-held machines. These medium strength machines are the most popular types of pressure washer and are the ones that you will most likely encounter over at a friend’s house or the one that you see your neighbour using on the weekends.

They are usually still very affordable and fall within the $250 to $400 range. They are built with consumer level engines and consumer level pumps. In the same way as the lower strength machines they are not designed to be operated for long periods of time and are more suited to occasional weekly usage rather than every day.

This type of pressure washer should be used occasionally to perform such jobs as cleaning outdoor furniture, washing down the car and removing the dust and cobwebs from the side of the house. It may also be effective at cleaning grime from the wooden and steel surfaces around the home such as sidings, shed and garage walls.

2700 PSI Pressure Washer – This strength of power washer is considered to be one of the lower power machines. There a lower machines that fall down even to 1000 PSI but for our consideration here anything that falls beneath the 2000 PSI mark will all fall into the same category.

These types of pressure washers are usually quite affordable and fall within the $350 to $500 range. They are built with consumer level engines and consumer level pumps. They are not designed to run for extended periods of time and they are not designed to be used every day.

Rather, this type of pressure washer should be used occasionally to perform such jobs as cleaning outdoor furniture, washing down the car and removing the dust and cobwebs from the side of the house. A lot of these models will fall into the hand-carry area which means they are much more transportable and can be used indoors and out.

3000 PSI Pressure Washer – Now we are moving up towards the high strength end of the pressure washer strength scale. These machines are sold as both electric and gas functionality which gives this range of PSI strength the most versatility in types of pressure washer that fall into this category.

They will usually sit within the $450 to $600 mark which is still bordering on being affordable but you are also guaranteeing yourself a much higher quality product and service. They are usually built with higher quality pumps and motors and even in some case engines. They are designed to run for extended periods of time and they are designed to be used every day.

This type of pressure washer can be used to clean anything and in most models there will be some mechanism to alter the power output of the machine, allowing you to use low pressure as well as high pressure depending on the particular job that needs to be done. They are great at cleaning the car, the sidings, the wooden decking, removing mould and mildew, removing old grease and oil stains, for washing down the windows including upper story windows, removing old dried in mud from tyres and blasting away the dirt that sticks to pretty much anything.

The 4000 PSI pressure washer are top of the range machines. There are higher strength machines but for every day consumer with every day cleaning duties these machines are the best in the business. There a very high strength pressure washer and will guarantee high quality craftsmanship in both the small and large parts of the pressure washer.

In most cases they will sit between $500 to $1000 which is expensive but that is exactly what high quality machines, with durability and ling life spans is going to cost. They are built with high quality parts, usually steel and copper with high grade electrical circuits and high grade engines. They are designed to run for extended periods of time, in some cases they are designed to run all day every day.

This type of pressure washer can be used to clean anything, but is most suited to large jobs, construction site work, cleaning big areas at once and removing very tough and dried in stains. These models are mainly equipped with gas/fuel requiring that they are topped up after 2-3 hours of regular usage but this is what allows them to push their strength to the next level.

After You’ve Bought Your Pressure Washer

So you finally bit the bullet. You bought the right pressure washer online and it has just been delivered to your door. What now? I know you’re probably really keen to get out there and blast away some dirt but before you do, just take a deep breath and hold on for a second, there are just a few things you should check over before you get out there and clean your castle.

  • Read the instructions. Always, always, always read the instructions. They will tell you how to put your pressure washer together, how to care for it, how to use it and most importantly how to ensure that you get the most out of your brand new pressure washer.
  • Check over your pressure washer the moment you get it out of the box. If there are any problems with it at all, if there are any missing parts or extra parts even, if there is anything that you are not 100% satisfied with, do not continue and contact the manufacturer immediately to discuss your concerns.
  • Safety first. Check the area that you are going to be working in and make sure it is free from any debris and also make sure that you won’t have any unsuspecting passersby turn round the corner and walk straight into your jet-stream.
  • Read the instructions again. Just to make sure you have everything set up correctly and that you fully understand the ignition process for getting your machine to start.