If you ever watched one of those viral videos of someone washing a tile floor with steam, you know how rewarding it is to watch everything in seconds go from messy to pristine. And there’s nothing quite like a pressure washer in your own room to give you the same feeling of satisfaction.
‘A pressure washer is a very cool piece of machinery,’ says Dan DiClerico, Home Advisor’s home specialist. “It’s one of homeowners’ most useful power vehicles.” Why? Why? The machine safely strips unsightly dirt and debris from a multitude of surfaces in just a few minutes, leaving only an amazing like-new finish, mildewed decks, gates, outdoor furniture, and siding; oil-stained driveways; and even dirty cars and boats.
To ensure that you have your hands on the right pressure washer for your project, on a wide variety of surfaces, from patio tiles to windows and vehicles, the experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute measure pressure washers of all sorts to determine ease of use, protection and effectiveness. To make the following choices, we weighed top-tested brands, professional advice, and thousands of online feedbacks.
What you need to know about pressure washers?
You can’t just pluck some pressure washer off the shelf: these devices are extremely powerful (particularly gas pressure washers). That’s what makes them so successful, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, it also means there’s a higher chance of accident and surface harm. DiClerico states, “You just ought to value the strength of these computers.” What to bear in mind here is:
Electric vs. gas:
This is “the first and most meaningful choice to make” while shopping, says DiClerico. He states why all pressure washers operate the same way: a motor drives water through a concentrated nozzle. How the engine is powered is where things vary: by energy or by fuel.
For the vast majority of homes, an electric machine is typically appropriate and can fix tasks such as car washing, sweeping lawn furniture, and surfaces for spot care, says DiClerico. They are more convenient, smaller, louder, and simpler to store and manage (think $300 and below).
On the other side, gas machines are more widely used by professionals, since they are a lot more efficient, DiClerico says. Using them for items such as decks and roads, they can blast virtually all soil and debris, but they are much more costly (think $300 and above), plus they are larger, bigger, noisier, and more difficult to maintain.
PSI, or pounds per square inch, means the water pressure that the system delivers, says Adrienne Hunt, Home Depot ‘s associate retailer. Pressure washers with a high PSI can more reliably disinfect deep stains than devices with a lower PSI.Usually, electric pressure washers range from 1.600 PSI to 2.300 PSI
The pressure washers for gas pressure range from 2,700 PSI to 4,400 PSI.
While PSI is important, you can’t rely on it alone. Rachel Rothman, chief technologist and director of innovation at the Good Housekeeping College, says, “PSI and GPM, or gallons per minute, are super critical in tandem.” “The correct combo would not result from one without the other.” GPM calculates the amount of water provided by the pressure washer, an indication of how easily your unit will clean. Higher GPM pressure washers, Hunt claims, can clean quicker than those with lower GPM.
When using pressure washers, particularly more strong gas ones, if you are not vigilant, you can easily cause bodily harm and surface damage, such as splintering, says Rothman. When running the pressure washer, wear closed-toe boots and safety goggles at all times. And if your unit comes with adjustable nozzles, first use the least effective one; if you need to, you can still advance to a stronger nozzle and position yourself about four feet from anything you vacuum. If in question, spot search an unremarkable area first.
Helpful tips and tricks to keep your Pressure Washer going strong
We collected a lot of valuable real-world advice for troubleshooting issues that could occur with your pressure washer as we analysed consumer interactions. You’re investing in this system for a decent chunk of cash. So take care of it, and you’ll be taken care of by it. For your reference, we list some useful troubleshooting tips below.
You may already know something, but, seriously, read the manual.
READ THE MANUAL
This should go without saying, but then those kinds of Tim Allen … seriously, just read your morning coffee in the manual and highlight significant detail so you know what’s what.
Oil leaking during shipping
this seemed to be a frequent concern for some devices. If you try to start it, oil will leak and soak in air philtres that will choke out the engine. Upon delivery, check the air philtre. Wash the philtre with Purple Strength if it is saturated with grease. Enable it to dry, then replace it, and see if it continues.
Fittings & other loose links
Check all of these before starting up. Tighten something loose, just do NOT overtighten, or the housing may be broken or the bolts stripped.
Prime the pump
The pump may be damaged by air caught in hoses. Before you begin spraying, let the water flow through it for at least 30 seconds (even a few minutes). It will take longer to get primed if you have longer hoses.