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Choosing a Pressure Washer

Man using a pressure washer on a wooden fence.

A pressure washer is a great tool for any homeowner. They are handy and useful for quickly and easily making surfaces new by removing built-up mold, mildew, dirt and grime.

Gas vs. Electric Pressure Washers

Gas pressure washers are more powerful, so they tend to do a better job cleaning surface dirt from the outside of your home, bricks, wood, concrete and other outdoor surfaces. Gasoline-powered high-pressure washers also clean surfaces more quickly and efficiently. Find high PSI power washers at Tractor Supply Co.

Cleaning Power in a Pressure Washer is Key

There are two key components that determine the cleaning power (CP) of a pressure washer: the water pressure (PSI) it produces and the water flow (GPM) through the washer. To calculate CP, multiply a pressure washer's maximum PSI rating by its GPM flow (CP = PSI X GPM). It is useful to know the cleaning power when comparing pressure washers.

PSI, or "pounds per square inch," how powerfully a pressure washer can propel the water at the cleaning surface. For example, a pump spray bottle has high water force, but low water flow.

GPM, or "gallons per minute," identifies how much water a pressure washer uses to clean the surface. An unrestricted garden hose illustrates the idea of high water flow and low water force.

Durability of the Pressure Washer

Consider how often you will need to use your pressure washer When selecting one. For frequent use, consider a model with an OHV engine and a commercial grade triplex pump for added performance and reliability.

Pressure Washer Nozzles

Pressure washer nozzles come in three types.

  • Adjustable spray nozzles easily change the spray pattern from pinpoint to wide fan spray.
  • Quick connect spray tips have predefined spray patterns for precise control.
  • The Briggs & Stratton Project Pro TM nozzle system is a unique set of nozzles with preset pressure and flow settings for different projects.

Pressure Washer Cleaning Systems

For extra convenience, some pressure washers are equipped with a detergent injection system that automatically mixes cleaning detergents into the water stream. Some models even come with onboard detergent storage tanks.