Choosing the Right Pressure Washer for Residential Use: 3 Aspects to Consider

22 October 2015
 Categories: Business, Articles

Pressure washing can be an efficient way to clean dirt and grime from patio decks, outdoor furniture and home siding. You may purchase a pressure washer at most home improvement centers and you may have several models and brand names to choose from. To choose the right model, consider the jobs you might use the machine for. You'll also need to consider several factors, such as the cost of the pressure washer, electric versus gas powered and optional features such as built-in soap tank, on-board storage and wheels for easy mobility.

To get you started, here are five aspects you might want to ponder before making your selection.

1. The Purchase Price

How much money are you willing and able to spend on a pressure washer? Typically, you'll find these machines run anywhere from a hundred to several hundred dollars, depending upon the power and features they have. If you have a small outside structure to clean, you probably won't need a very expensive pressure washer. However, if you prefer the convenience of more power and faster efficiency, and you have the money to spend, upgrading to a powerful unit might be a good idea.

Typically, the higher cost machines will utilize a high velocity of pressure to remove dirt and grime from a house or outdoor surface. If you're planning to remove grime and debris from concrete masonry, it may require more power, so you should expect to pay more.

2. Gas Versus Electric Power

A pressure washer is either powered by gas fuel or by household electrical current. When choosing your machine, should you opt for gas or electric? That depends on a few things.

The Gasoline Powered Pressure Washer: Gas powered pressure washers are typically more expensive, but they offer a higher pressure velocity to clean the siding of a house, driveway or patio deck most efficiently. These machines are capable of up to 3,100 PSI. You may also have the advantage of added features, such as special applicators to inject cleaning chemicals onto your targeted surface. Besides the higher cost, drawbacks to the gas-powered washers are noisy operation and the additional cost of fuel.

The Electric Powered Pressure Washer: If you have smaller surfaces to wash, such as a small patio or lawn furniture, you might find an electric washer to be best. Most are also suitable to clean automobiles and are less likely to damage the paint, as a higher velocity gas-powered unit might do. The electric unit is also more cost effective, making it suitable for those on a budget.

In addition, you may find the operation is quieter than a gas powered unit. All that is needed to operate your electric pressure washer is an electrical outlet with a ground fault circuit interrupter. This will prevent the possibility of electrical shock by tripping the circuit if power is detected in an unintended path. Many pressure washers are equipped with built-in ground fault circuit interrupters.

3. Preferred Features

When shopping for a pressure washer, either electric or gas powered, you may find that several useful features are available:

  • Adjustable spray nozzle. A rotating nozzle that spins the stream of water is another good feature, as it enables you to quickly change directions without having to do so manually.
  • Built-in detergent tank? Without this feature, you'll need to a separate attachment to hold the soap. This may not be a deciding factor for you, but it's a nice convenience to have.
  • On-board storage. Some machines have storage caddies built-in for holding soap and other accessories. Hidden storage for the electrical cord may be offered as well.
  • Wheels. A lightweight and compact pressure washer may be equipped with a carrying handle for transport, although the heavier models may include wheels for easy mobility. If your machine is a heavy unit, you'll want mobility wheels to save you from having to lift it while transporting it around.

If you're a first-time buyer, ask your sales associate for advice on choosing the right pressure washer. You may have several models to choose from, and a knowledgeable sales person can explain the various features and options available. For further information, visit resources like