Summary:An electric pressure washer is an excellent way to clean up a home, patio, deck or other outdoor surfaces. These powerfu...
An electric pressure washer is an excellent way to clean up a home, patio, deck or other outdoor surfaces.
These powerful tools are easy to use, lightweight and quiet.
The best electric pressure washers have a few important features, including a high-pressure spray gun with multiple nozzle tips and a durable steel-braided hose that's abrasion resistant. Some also have on-board detergent tanks for easy application of cleaning solutions.
Light-duty models typically start at about 1,300 to 1,800 psi and are good for small residential jobs, such as washing cars, shutters, and lawn furniture. The next step up is 2,000 to 3,000 psi, which is a great option for heavier jobs such as cleaning house siding and driveways.
These machines typically come with five nozzle tips and give you the ability to tailor the water stream and pressure for different surface types, from light stains on concrete or pavement to tough graffiti. They also tend to have a higher flow rate, which allows for more effective rinsing.
Nozzle size: The nozzle size determines how much water the machine will produce, measured in pounds per square inch (psi). A narrower spray nozzle gives a fine stream of water while a wider one produces a larger spray with more power and spread.
Detergents: To remove stubborn stains, many pressure washers require the addition of cleaning solutions like mild detergent or bleach. These solutions should be applied to a dirty surface and left for a few minutes before being rinsed off with plain water. Then, a different solution can be added for a different area of the surface.
To get the most out of your pressure washer, read the manufacturer's instructions carefully. These should include a list of recommended detergents and tips for application and rinsing.
Noise: The noise from a gas-powered washer can reach up to 100 decibels, which is enough to damage your hearing. Electric models are much quieter, emitting only 78 decibels. This makes them a better choice for environments where noise is an issue, such as schools and hospitals.
Emissions: Unlike gas-powered models, most electric models comply with CARB and EPA regulations. This means that they won't contribute to pollution, making them a green alternative for many homeowners.
Winterizing: If you store an electric pressure washer outdoors over the winter, be sure to drain all remaining water from the pump and hose and fill it with antifreeze and lubricant. This will keep the unit working properly and help avoid rust or corrosion over the cold weather.
Nozzles: The nozzle is the key to cleaning results, according to pressure-washer expert John Hodgson. It's best to use a wide spray nozzle for large surfaces, such as patios or driveways. It will leave a more even spray and reduce the risk of leaving lines when it dries.
Other factors to consider include the size of the cleaning head and whether it's adjustable. A telescopic cleaning head can be angled to reach hard-to-reach places, while a flexible cleaning head can be set to a specific height for a more uniform spray pattern. You can also find pressure washers with a built-in scrubbing brush, which is a handy tool for getting into hard-to-reach spots.