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What Is a Pressure Washer? Four Things You Should Know

What Is a Pressure Washer? Four Things You Should Know

When it comes to spring cleaning, there are many useful tools that come in handy. But a vacuum or mop doesn’t work when cleaning outside. You can’t just sweep your stained siding off.

Whether it’s your deck, siding, driveway or other outdoor feature, some stains may require more than a hose. Even if you scrub and clean as hard as you can, those marks just won’t go away.

A pressure washer is a very helpful machine that uses force and water to get those stubborn areas clean and looking brand new. But with such popularity comes a variety in the different kinds and brands of pressure washers. Each type varies in effectiveness.

So before you buy or rent a pressure washer for your next cleaning project, you’ll want to do some research. Here, we share four things that you should know about using a pressure washer.

1) Pressure Washers Are Powerful

When describing a pressure washer, you may compare it to a regular garden hose. However, the strength and power of a pressure washer is much more than a hose. In fact, Briggs & Stratton notes that water is pressurized at about 75 times the pressure of a regular hose. That’s a lot of power.

However, pressure washers are more versatile than full-blown pressure. According to Blue Stream Power Washing and Roof Cleaning, a company that does power washing in Fuquay, most models also have a lower pressure setting to take care of more delicate areas you need to clean. Pressure washers can be effective for many cleaning projects.

2) A Pressure Washer Can Have a Gas Engine or Electric Motor

There are two models of pressure washers. One is a gas engine pressure washer. This model is convenient when you are working outside or in an area where access to electricity may be limited or dangerous.

In a gas pressure washer, the gas-fueled engine powers the water pump. These pressure washers also tend to be powerful and more heavy-duty in comparison to an electric pressure washer.

The Family Handyman notes that gas pressure washers are the most common when looking to rent or buy. Gas-powered washers are great for tough jobs that require a great deal of power.

On the other hand, a pressure washer with an electric motor uses your home’s electricity for power. The advantage to using an electric pressure washer is that they are compact and easy to move around. They also tend to be quieter compared to their gas counterparts.

Family Handyman notes that electric pressure washers usually have the PSI of 1,300 to 1,400. These washers are ideal for lighter cleaning such as for use on your car, grill and garage floors. They also note that these usually are less expensive and are easier to transport.

If you choose an electric pressure washer, be sure you are aware of power cords and outlets when handling water. Use caution with the power cords by keeping the cords dry and off the ground.

Both gas and electric pressure washers power the water pump that creates high pressure for the water. Both models are hooked up to a hose with a pressure gun, which allows you to spray pressurized water to clean the area or surface.

3) Pressure Washers Are Measured in PSI and GPM

When determining what pressure washer will best fit your needs, it’s important to know its power. To know how powerful a pressure washer is, you’ll need to know the measurements of PSI and GPM.

PSI stands for pounds per square inch. The PSI of a pressure washer is measured by the pressure of the water when it is sprayed. This measurement refers to the power the pressure washer has to clean those tough spots.

GPM stands for gallons per minute. GPM is the flow of water that comes to the spray gun in the pressure washer. This measurement also helps you determine the power the pressure washer will have.

Knowing these two measurements is important when determining what pressure washer to get. The higher the pressure, the stronger the washer will be at getting rid of those tough spots. For the average homeowner, Family Handyman suggests finding a pressure washer with a PSI of 1,300 to 2,400.

4) Use Pressure Washer Accessories for Maximum Cleaning

With some pressure washers, you may be able to use different spray nozzles based on your task at hand. Lowe's notes that tools such as brushes and wands can help you get the cleaning done easier and faster.

Brushes allow you to scrub those tough stains with even greater power. Wands and tips help you reach those difficult to get places around your home or area where you’re working. Surface cleaners have jets that make it easier to clean sidewalks and other walkways.

Do Your Research Before Getting a Pressure Washer

Pressure washers are helpful tools that allow you to turn your home from dull to bright as new. If you are looking to buy or rent a pressure washer for your next project, be sure to look into what type of pressure washer will best fit your needs.

Do you need a high-powered gas washer or will an electric motor be sufficient to accomplish your tasks? By doing your research and following these simple tips about pressure washers, you can start on your next home cleaning project in no time.