Pressure Washers

Make cleanup easy with pressure washers

For cleaning large areas and grimy objects outdoors, high pressure washers can't be beat. With a powerful stream of water up to fifty times as strong as an ordinary garden hose, pressure washers can tackle tough jobs quickly while using much less water to accomplish the task.

Pressure Washer Considerations

Pressure washers come in electric and gas configurations. Electric pressure washers are portable and affordable, but not as powerful as gas pressure washers. Even the smallest gas pressure washer is more powerful than the largest electric pressure washer. A gas-powered pressure washer, however, cannot safely be used in enclosed or poorly-ventilated areas.

The power in pressure washers is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). The higher the PSI, the faster and more effective the pressure washer will be at breaking the bond between the surface and the stain you are trying to clean. Another measurement that is used to compare pressure washers is gallons per minute (GPM). Water flow is measured by GPM; the higher the GPM, the more surface area a pressure washer will clean in a given amount of time. The final measurement of a pressure washer is called Cleaning Units (CU), and is simply the water pressure multiplied by the water flow rate. The higher the CU, the better the cleaning power of a given pressure washer.

Pressure washers are roughly categorized into three classes based on their cleaning capacity:

  • Light-duty pressure washers are those rated under 2,000 PSI; these do a good job with simpler tasks such as cleaning cars and boats.
  • Medium-duty pressure cleaners are in the 2,000 to 3,000 PSI range and are effective in cleaning grease and grime from decks, concrete surfaces and siding.
  • Heavy-duty pressure washers are those rated at 3,000 PSI and above; these workhorses will strip paint and clean the most stubborn stains.

How to Buy a Pressure Washer

Take your time to carefully evaluate pressure washer options, as they range in price from just a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Local home improvement stores and industrial equipment dealers offer many choices in pressure washer models. Some highly-rated manufacturers to consider include:

  • Delta pressure washers, manufactured by the well-known parent company, Black and Decker
  • Excell pressure washers, known for their performance, light weight and portability
  • Honda pressure washers, which include many heavy-duty models
  • Karcher pressure washers, the best-selling brand of pressure washer in the world
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