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A pressure washer is a perfect replacement for the scrub when it comes to cleaning different surfaces and items outside the house. Obliterating dirt and grime with a pressure washer is an effortless exercise and takes a fraction of the time you would have otherwise spent scrubbing the patio, swimming pool, vehicle, walls, or other equipment. Because of their incredible pressure, a pressure washer can transition from a gentle spray to a high-pressure stream of water in a matter of seconds for that extra cleaning power that scrubs cannot apparently achieve. Additionally, they are very efficient compared to a garden hose as you can regulate the amount of water you use in accordance with the nature of the surface or item you intend to clean.
Since the market is overflowing with all kinds of pressure washer both from established names and smaller companies, you need to consider several factors before rushing off to get yourself one. First and foremost you need to access your needs and decide whether you need a light-duty, medium-duty or a heavy-duty unit. It would be unnecessary to spend a lot of money on a commercial-grade pressure washer when all you will be doing is wash your car or the driveway once in a while unless of course, you want to.
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Criteria for Choosing the Best Pressure Washers
Safety should be at the top of your list of concerns whenever you are buying any machine and this logic can never be more prudent in the case of pressure washers. Pressure washers are capable of shooting out pressurized water at very high and powerful intensities and without proper handling they can cause serious harm. Not being mindful of the position of one’s hand or fingers when using a pressure washer is one of the most common causes of injury while cleaning. The powerful jet of water quickly causes finger lacerations in such cases and the chances of injury are particularly greater when the wand or nozzle tip is set to 0 degrees as the setting concentrates all the power into a thin and high-speed stream. In light of the danger, it is highly recommended that you use zero-degree wand spray only when it is necessary, as the dangers far overshadow the benefits. Irrespective of whether you will be using the lowest or highest spray setting, users need to take all conceivable precautionary measures such as wearing protective clothing and eye goggles.
The two most important units that determine how powerful a pressure washer is are Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) and Gallons per Minute (GPM). The proper and efficient completion of a cleaning project rests heavily on these two factors and preferring one over the other can lead to ending up with a worthless unit. The greater the PSI, the easier it is for the machine to break the bonds between the surface and the stain, dirt, or grime. Most pressure washers on the market come with pressures of between 1000 and 3500 PSI. GPM keeps track on the amount of water the pressure washer uses within a minute. The higher the GPM, the less time it takes to remove the grime from the surface after breaking the bonds. Basically, PSI is a determination of the washer’s ability to remove stains, grime and dirt while GPM determines the speed at which it does so.
Manufacturers understand the necessity of ensuring pressure washers are as easy to use as possible. To this end, most of the units feature an ergonomic design and are lightweight and come with two wheels for flexibility and mobility. Their pressure hoses are similarly as long as possible, usually around 35-feet, to allow you move on surfaces and around items with relative ease. Additionally, there is sufficient on-board storage, making it possible for the user to bring with them all the accompanying accessories such as the 8 meter hose, trigger gun and connected lance. A detergent system is also part of the deal for storing your preferred soap which you can then use to give the different surfaces and items the deep cleaning you’ve always wanted.
Source of Power
Pressure washers are either powered by electricity or gas. The electricity-powered models are more efficient and more environmentally-friendly, producing almost no harmful gases such as carbon monoxide. They also require less maintenance. However, because they rely on electricity to function, your movement is restricted to a place with proximity to a power outlet. Meaning that you cannot cover an expansive area faster. Gas-powered models, on the other hand, can be used almost anywhere and they allow you to go as far as you want. With a full fuel tank, you can keep cleaning before requiring a refill. Hence, other than being more powerful, they are quite portable and are ideal for cleaning larger areas at a fraction of the time it would take an electricity-powered pressure washer. As a result, you need to understand your needs before settling on any specific one.
Lightweight and compact design
Perfect for small to medium-duty projects
Offers a quiet operation
Five different spray nozzle
Not great for more demanding cleaning tasks
Cheaply constructed hose connector
Compact and lightweight
Excellent pump quality
Powerful spray for dirt removal
Sufficiently long power cord
Convoluted instructions on the user manual
Exceptional efficiency and effectiveness
Quick and easy start
Powerful stream for super clean surfaces
Lightweight and compact
Easy to put together
Ideal for heavy-duty cleaning
Powerful 14.5 Amp motor
Cheaply constructed nose connector causing leakage
Lightweight and compact workmanship
Easy to use
Secure connection of attachments
Incorporated detergent system
Not ideal for demanding cleaning tasks
Exceptionally reliable performance
Ergonomically designed and comfortable handle
Comes with a handy detergent tank for stress-free cleaning
Ideal for light-duty to heavy-duty cleaning projects
Offers few features
Stiffness of the pressure hose
Five pressure nozzles
Factory-fitted detergent disposal system
Powerful and easy to operate
Weak plastic connector
Its hose, not kink resistant
Worth the money
High-quality parts and components
Very portable and flexible with 10-Inch wheels
Lightweight and compact
Difficulty starting engine
Easy to assembly
Cheaply constructed pressure hose
Easy to use
Easy to connect attachments
Perfect for light and medium-duty cleaning tasks
Not ideal for industrial-grade cleaning tasks
A: A pressure washer brings together the functions of a garden hose and an air compressor. A majority of pressure washers are either gas-powered or electricity-powered. The same source of power also runs a water pump whose function is accelerating the passage of water via the hose, before finally jetting out via a trigger. Pulling the trigger or the spray gun forces water and air to mix together and jet out in either a light or strong stream, depending on the size of the nozzle. To put this into context, a typical pressure washer is more than 60 times as fast as a garden hose and most of them offer you the option of adding your preferred detergent for that extra cleaning power. You can use a pressure washer to clean many items and surfaces such as the outside of the house, below gutters and eaves of the roof, automobiles, patios, furniture, driveways, concrete, other machinery, the swimming pool and getting rid of wasps, among other uses.
A: The three most important terms or words that whose meanings you need to be aware of are Gallons per Minute, Pounds per Square Inch, and Cleaning Power, abbreviated as GPM, PSI, and CP, respectively. GPM means the rate at which water flows through the hose pipe. The greater the flow, the less time you will use to clean a particular area of a surface. Professional cleaners put a lot of emphasis on GPM because the higher the reading, the shorter will be work time, thereby translating into more projects within a given duration. PSI is a measurement of pressure. In other words, PSI is basically a description of the pushing force of the pressure washer even though the realized force is dictated by such factors as the size of the nozzle and the nozzle’s distance from the surface. Most pressure washers on the market come with pressures of between 1000 and 3500 PSI. Lastly, CP is the product of multiplying GPM and PSI, and it is a description of the general cleaning ability of a pressure unit. While individually they are not an accurate reflection of a pressure washer’s performance, they offer useful insights on the same.
A: Electric pressure washers are perfect for small to medium-duty cleaning projects and offer you a far quieter operation and require little to no maintenance at all. Since they are lighter, they happen to be quite portable, allowing you to move around cars, patios and driveways with exceptional ease. However, in spite of their efficiency and environmental friendliness, they are considerably less powerful and less portable than their gas-powered counterparts which also means they are more cost-effective. Gas-powered pressure washers, on the other hand, are optimized for medium to heavy-duty cleaning projects as they pack more power, usually around the neighborhoods of 4000 Pounds per Square Inch. Despite being heavier and conspicuously larger, a few have strong wheels to allow for easy movement. However, they are quite cumbersome, requiring that you deal with oils and fuels and produce environmentally harmful gases such as carbon monoxide.
There are significant differences between the pressure washers offered by the different brands on the market, which makes it quite an uphill task choosing the right one. You first have to understand your needs, the size of surfaces or items you intend to clean, your budget and the amount of power you require. Our list features carefully selected pressure washers, both gas-powered and electric, that are ideal for light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty cleaning. Whatever your choice, we cannot stress enough the need to keep yourself safe while using these machines. Always wear protective eye goggles and aprons to keep your eyes and skin safe from contacting detergents.