Pressure Washer FAQs

pressure washer cleaning a stucco wall

What size pressure washer do I need?

That depends on what you want to clean, how quickly you want it done, and how often you plan to use the pressure washer. For light duty household applications, an electric model with 1,300 or 1,400 pounds per square inch (PSI) and 1.5 gallons per minute (GPM) water flow is adequate. Gas-powered models with 1,650 - 2,400 pounds per square inch (PSI) of water pressure and 2.0 - 2.9 gallons per minute (GPM) water flow rate are ideal for most any task around the home or small business.

More frequent use or applications such as stripping surfaces for repainting will require a heavy-duty model with 2,400 - 3,00 PSI and 2.5 - 3.0 GPM. Professional models with 2,500 - 4,000 PSI and 3.0 - 4.0 GPM are designed with an industrial engine and contractor quality pump to handle the tough, day to day demands of the cleaning professional.

What cleaning chemicals can be used in a pressure washer?

Industry leaders recommend using only solvents that say "approved for pressure washer use" on the label. Using solvents that are not approved for pressure washer use may damage the pressure washer and may not be environmentally sound. Never use bleach with a pressure washer.

How far should I stand from what I'm cleaning?

Generally speaking, you should start three to four feet away and slowly move closer. This will give you the ability to judge which distance is appropriate for the job at hand.

How long can you extend the hose?

The maximum length recommended for use is 100 feet. The unit will operate with lengths beyond this, but performance will suffer.

Can I siphon water from a lake or holding tank to operate the pressure washer?

No. The pump is designed to operate at specific gallons per minute, and if that minimum amount of water is not supplied, the pump will be damaged. Also, water drawn from a lake or holding tank may contain debris that can damage the pump.

This helpful article was provided by community member Christopher Schulteis.