Today, having a pressure washer is something much more accessible than it was a while ago. Therefore, if you are thinking of buying one, we want to give you some information.

Pressure washers are tools that, from a connection to a water source, add pressure to it and, depending on the characteristics of the machine and the configuration, are capable of delivering pressures of up to 50 times more than a hose. Equipped with the correct accessories, they are practical for cleaning surfaces, vehicles, cleaning in height, in pipes, etc.

The high pressure that these equipments provide translates into a stronger impact on the surface to be cleaned, which causes a simpler removal of dirt and makes them capable of performing the most difficult cleaning, requiring less time to complete the work. .

There are also accessories for pressure washers that help clean different types of surfaces, from cars to patios or walls. In many cases the compatibility depends on each brand, so it is important to investigate the pre-purchase options.

How do they work

The pressure washers have a motor, which can be electric or run on fuels, which from the incoming water (either from a hose or a built-in tank) adds pressure to it, and when the operator enables the water outlet by means of a trigger, the water circulates from the high pressure hose to the gun whose nozzle at its end determines the size of the outlet jet, and therefore the impact that the water will have on hitting the surface to be cleaned.

What you should keep in mind to choose your pressure washer

Less experienced users run the risk of looking only at power bars when they consider which pressure washer to compare when comparing models in the market. The reality is that not having more pressure will be a better team .

Remember to always look for the balance between pressure and flow.

The flow rate is the liters of water per minute that the machine is capable of discarding, so a large number of power bars does not work if the flow rate is then limited . If you want to use the machine for small pieces or furniture, then you can afford a lower flow, but it is common to choose a versatile pressure washer that suits all possible cleaning jobs and at any time of the year.

We are talking about looking for the best  performance of the pressure washer , and it is a good performance that saves water and time (which ultimately translates into saving money ).

Having this clear, the next point is to bet on its useful life , and a fundamental factor is …

Pump or motor

Before buying the pressure washer it is important to know what material the pump is made of , which is the engine that generates the pressure.

We found 3 main materials with which the pumps of the pressure washers are manufactured:

  • Brass: used in professional pressure washers to work at industrial level.
  • Plastic (not recommended): Plastic considerably increases the risk of leaks and a short service life.
  • Aluminum: the best option  for household or home use washers and semi-professional use.

Bet on the aluminum pump to guarantee the best value for money and long service life.

We continue with the different elements that make up the pressure washers so that you know all the advantages of these pressure cleaning machines.

The pressure (in bars)

If we talk about removing dirt effectively, pressure washers are the best tools. Water combined with air pressure can combat the most embedded dirt saving time and effort.

The bars are the units of measure the pressure , we must make reference as to what’s going to use. The higher the number of bars, the more pressure and power the pressure washer will have.

Here are some references:

Light use – 100 bars

  • Outdoor furniture
  • Garden tools
  • Motorcycle
  • bikes
  • Trash bins

Medium use – 110 to 130 bars

  • Car cleaning
  • Heavy tools
  • Small pools and hot tubs
  • Small boats

Intense use – 130 bars or more

  • Bricks
  • Roads
  • Patios
  • Facades

If we only want to use it to clean the car, bicycles, some furniture or small surfaces, there are cheap and compact models with enough bars and power for it.

To clean the car it is not recommended to go to maximum power, as it could damage the paint of the car due to overpressure. If you buy a high pressure washer it is best to make sure that it can be adjusted to adapt it to any task.

If you want to remove embedded dirt from larger surfaces, you must increase the number of bars. The average in the standard pressure washers ranges between 110 and 180 bars.

If we are thinking of cleaning the inside of the pool, large vehicles or wider surfaces it is best to buy a powerful one that reaches 160 bars.

Finally, if you are looking for an industrial for professional use , there are good offers of petrol washers of more than 200 bars perfect for heavy machinery, 4 × 4 vehicles, trucks or caravans.

Water flow (in liters per hour)

The flow of water is another point to consider before buying the water cleaner. The flow capacity depends on the liters of water per hour .

If we want greater water output capacity to enhance cleaning we must choose a model of good flow and pressure. The average flow rate of a good pressure washer is 400 liters per hour.

How to choose a pressure washer

No doubt the pressure washers are some of the favorite cleaning equipment in terms of cleaning applications, there are several aspects to consider when selecting a pressure washer, this depends mainly on the work to be performed or the time of use, between other factors that must be selected to choose one or the other.

Then I will show you the aspects that we consider most important that you should take into account to know how to choose the most appropriate pressure washer according to your needs.

‍ Electric Hydro Washer or Gasoline Hydro Washer

Electric pressure washers are more common or popular due to their high demand in domestic or residential tasks, but we must know that if the need is greater there are also professional electric pressure washers for cleaning applications, mentioned that these equipment often stand out for their ease of transport and ergonomic designs. This type of pressure washer is ideal for use in places where there is an electrical connection.

There are several models, which have different lengths in the cable, which is a detail that must be considered, likewise the power supply that the equipment requires is also an essential aspect, since there are models that work with 1 to 3 phases and Different types of voltages.

As for the gasoline pressure washers they work independently, this means that they do not depend on electricity, so they have greater freedom of movement and movement. Most have more power so they are recommended for high demand jobs. However, this type of pressure washer is recommended to be used in outdoor and open spaces, due to the carbon monoxide emissions they generate.

Gasoline pressure washers are physically larger than electric ones, so they require a little more effort to be moved from one place to another.

Hot water or cold water pressure washers

This factor depends directly on the requirement of the use that is going to be given, hot water pressure washers are more recommended to remove dirt from hard residues, oils and fats embedded in the surfaces, since high temperature water is more effective to break them down. In addition, hot water reduces working time and increases the efficiency of chemicals.

Cold water pressure washers are used for less laborious applications, but in the same way a team with great pressure helps to remove dirt effectively but in a longer time, since these teams only take the water directly from the supply and throw it under pressure .

Pressure of the pressure washer

The pressure is expressed in pounds per force per square inch PSI (pounds –force per square inch) according to the work to be performed with the pressure washer, the machine must be selected with the required pressure.

Based on our experience we decided to give you a pressure index that should or can be used in different cleaning environments:

Vehicles 1,100 PSI to 2,000 PSI

Industry 2,000 PSI to 2,500 PSI

Trucks, trailers, tractors, chassis 2,000 PSI to 2,500 PSI

Stables 2,500 PSI to 3,000 PSI

Hard, extensive surfaces, patios 3,000 PSI to 3,600 PSI

Flow of a pressure washer

The flow rate is indicated in liters per minute (lpm) or gallons per minute (gpm). As far as the pressure washers are concerned, the higher the flow rate, the higher the cleaning speed. Once the proper pressure for cleaning is determined, the only way to speed up the process is to increase the speed of the water. Remember that the water flow cannot be increased beyond its capacity.

Necessary care

Like any tool, there are more appropriate ways to use them and there are potential risks that can be avoided by following best practices.

First of all, pressure washers are equipment that operate water at very high pressures. Never point the outlet of the pressure washer at a person or animal because it can cause serious damage. You should also keep in mind that it is possible that there are elements (such as stones) that are loose or detach from the impact of water that can also impact a person. Never allow children to operate or play with the device.

Since the pressure washers operate at high pressure, you should never use a pressure washer on a ladder , the propulsion generated by it can cause you to fall. You should always operate it from the floor, and in the cases it deserves, you must use extensions.

In the case of those that run on electricity, keep in mind that water and current are not a good combination, and in that sense, operate the electrical connections properly when you are using the pressure washer. On the other hand, in the case of those that run on fuel, remember to use them in ventilated places.

To avoid damaging surfaces, remember to moderate the impact force. Always start off the surface and avoid impacting perpendicular to the surface. From there, adjust the nozzle and adjust the distance as you see fit. Remember that there are surfaces that can be damaged by the constant impact of highly pressurized water, such as wood, plaster or some ceramic tiles.

Now that you have this data, we believe that it will be easier for you to choose the ideal pressure washer according to your needs, we remind you that part of the proper functioning of a device beyond choosing a good equipment is to maintain it and have it in optimal conditions for its use.

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