Whether you want to hose down your bike after a muddy ride, get your garden furniture summer ready or keep your outdoor decking looking its best, a good pressure washer is a must have. But it can be tough to know exactly what you’re after, so our handy guide will equip you with everything you need to know to find the right pressure washer for you.
The first thing to look out for when choosing a pressure washer is the water pressure. This relates to the force in which water is pushed out, and it’s usually measured in bars or PSI (pounds per square inch). The higher the bar, the more powerful it is.
How much pressure you’ll need will depend on the jobs you’ll be using the tool for. Light work such as cleaning your decking will suit a low pressure model, while a heavy duty task such as cleaning the driveway would require something with a bit more power.
If you’re looking for a pressure washer to spruce up your wood decking, fencing or garden furniture, a model with up to 100 bars of pressure will do just fine.
For any medium duty work such as cleaning the car, clearing out the guttering or refreshing your patio, a model with 110 to 130 bars of pressure is your best bet.
If you’re looking to complete some heavy duty tasks, then you’ll want to get your hands on a pressure washer with between 130 to 150 bars of pressure. This is ideal for jobs such as cleaning pool tiles, large paved areas or working with stone.
There are a few other things to look out for when deciding on which pressure washer is best for you.
When shopping for a pressure washer, there are a few different handy features that you should look out for.
A lance is the long pipe that extends out from a pressure washer’s trigger. You can find different lances in different lengths that are better suited for certain tasks. A long lance for example will help you wash hard to reach areas without bending or arching your back.
This is a great feature to look out for if you want to use your water pressure for a variety of jobs. Variable pressure lets you change how powerful the water flow is, making the tool just as great for light jobs as it is for tougher ones.
A detergent nozzle lets you attach a bottle of detergent to your washer so you can wash with a mixture of water and soap for an extra powerful clean. Perfect for when you want to make your car shine.
A pressure washer with the auto start & stop feature has both a main switch for power and a separate trigger to turn on the water flow. This means you can turn on your washer and then move into position before getting to work without wasting any water.
A lot of the pressure washers you’ll find have a range of accessories and tools attached for easy access. From different nozzle sizes, to extended lances, these handy tools will make cleaning easier and more effective.
Pressure washers come in different shapes and sizes. Models that are more suited to light work tend to be fairly small and portable making them easy to move around and store away. More powerful pressure washers are naturally bulkier, but they usually come on a set of wheels making them easy to cart around and put away once you’ve finished.
Pressure washers are usually used for outdoor tasks such as cleaning wooden decking, fencing, paving and garden furniture. They’re also commonly used to clean cars and bikes too.
The main thing to ask yourself when choosing your pressure washer is, what will you be using it for? Different tasks will need different levels of power. If you’re just looking to clean your garden decking, then a pressure washer with up to 100 bars of power will do the job. But if you’re wanting to clean your car or revamp your patio tiles, you’ll need a model with a bit more bite.
This can vary between different models, but on average they tend to use around eight gallons of water per minute.
Any model with a water pressure between 100 and 130 bars should be fine for home use.
A model that creates anywhere between 1300 to 1700 pounds per square inch of pressure is decent. The higher the pressure, the more powerful it is.
The thermal relief valve keeps your pressure washer from overheating.
The unloader valve is a safety feature that stops the building water pressure from damaging any of your washer’s components once the trigger is released.
Between 1200 to 1900 pounds per square inch is usually recommended.
Between 500 to 600 pounds per square inch should do the job.
For a concrete driveway you’ll be needing around 3000 pounds per square inch to get the job done.
This can depend on what you are using it for, but a 15-degree nozzle will suit most light home tasks, such as cleaning wooden decking and garden furniture.