It is so much fun to use pressure washers (aka power washers), and they produce such dramatic and quick results that once you’ve cleaned your siding, driveway, and car, you’ll want to clean your neighbors’, too. Whether you rent or buy one, nearly any outdoor item can be cleaned with a pressure washer. The process of using is very simple for the same.

No matter what pressure washer type you choose, the pump will pressurize the water from your garden hose to 1,000 pounds or more and then force it through the spray wand. They can handle tougher cleaning jobs with higher pressure (measured in pounds per square inch-psi).

Pressure Water Types and How they Work

Two major pressure water types require constant, uninterrupted water supply (GPM measured in gallons per minute). The most effective washer for occasional use is a pressure range of 1,300 to 2,400 psi.

Electric Pressure Washers

For light-duty cleanings like washing cars, grills, and garage floors, electric pressure washers deliver 1,300 to 1,400 pounds per square inch and require about 1-1/2 gallons per minute. Gas-powered washers generally cost more and are noisier, heavier, and less portable than electric ones. They often have detergent tanks built into them as an option. Be sure to use only 12-gauge or 14-gauge extension cords when connecting them to power outlets, protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

Gas-Powered Pressure Washers

You’ll find gas-powered pressure washers for rent or sale most often. Some of these types can deliver water pressures of over 3,000 psi, higher than the electric type. However, gas-powered washers also use more water: 2 to 3 gallons per minute. These washers are the best choice for jobs such as preparing to the side for painting, removing wood deck stains, and deep-cleaning concrete. Rental stores have one available, including accessories like chemical injectors and longer spray wands for reaching high places. Depending on their pressure, features, and engine and pump quality, gas-powered washers (non-commercial units) cost $300 to $800.

Start-up Procedure

  • Be sure that no air can enter the hose connections.
  • Set the spray wand to a low- or no-pressure setting when the washer is started to prevent recoil or kickback. Gas and electric washers with variable nozzles should be set to low pressure and wide fans. The nozzle tip should be removed from gas washers with individual nozzle tips at this point.
  • Fill the house with water completely. Prime the pump by pressing the trigger on the spray wand.
  • Press the button to start the washer. If it’s a gas unit, brace your foot against the wheel when pulling the starter cord. Please wait a minute or more so that it warms up. It is important not to run a washer for more than three to five minutes while the trigger is off to avoid damaging the pump.
  • During the process of running the washer, adjusting the pressure, spray settings, or inserting nozzle tips in the spray wand, lock the trigger “off.”. You are ready to use the washer now.
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David Killelea graduated from Columbia University and currently works as an investment department manager for an international bank. He has his own ideas about the business dealings of international banks and the risks of investments. He is more than willing to share what he knows.


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