Table Of Contents
The 6 criteria are not to be missed. How to Choose the Right Pressure Washer
The pressure washer is a great invention that allows you to take your cleaning tasks to another level!
However, you should know that the existing models are designed to meet different needs.
Indeed, there are devices for occasional use, others for professional use, with all the nuances in between!
It is why, at the time of purchase, it is important to understand what differentiates the different pressure washers to choose the one that best suits you.
To better guide you, we will summarize everything here.
It is the first criterion to consider.
Indeed, the power of the different models of high-pressure cleaners varies greatly, from the jet that is not too intense to clean more sensitive surfaces to the jet capable of attacking a very dirty facade.
On the other hand, when we talk about “power,” there are 3 criteria that must be taken into consideration:
It is expressed in watts.
The engine’s piston pump compresses the water. It throws it under pressure: the more powerful the engine, the higher the throwing speed.
This measurement, expressed in liters per hour (l/h), corresponds to the quantity of water projected by the device.
A higher flow rate will be useful for cleaning heavily stained surfaces.
The stronger the water pressure, the stronger the jet will be.
A pressure washer’s “scouring” effect is linked to the pressure used.
Find the right power.
The combination of the three criteria above gives you the overall power of the pressure washer. It will allow you to see if it is suitable for your needs.
Based on these criteria, we can distinguish three categories of pressure washers:
For small jobs and occasional use:
Up to 1400 W / up to 120 bar / up to 400 l/h
For example, car or garden furniture cleaning.
For everyday use and average work:
From 1400 to 2100 W / from 120 to 140 bars / from 400 to 600 l/h
For example: cleaning the driveway or the terrace.
For intensive use and demanding jobs
Over 2100 W / over 140 bar / over 600 l/h
For example, facade cleaning.
What distinguishes pressure washer models in the same category is often the features offered.
- A specific model provides the function you will use the most and can give it a big advantage over another model that is missing it!
The jet itself can often be adjusted.
There are often three settings for different uses:
For fragile surfaces and for rinsing.
To cover a larger area with low pressure.
To obtain better water pressure by condensing the jet.
The accessories are not to be neglected, mainly because they allow the pressure washer to perform various tasks.
- Some are included with the purchase; others must be purchased separately.
- If the accessory you want is not included for purchase with the device, find out if it is available separately or if existing third-party accessories are compatible.
- Here are the most common accessories:
The soft brush or rotating brush
It will be recommended for tasks requiring little intensity, such as cleaning the car.
The rotary nozzle (or rotary nozzle)
This nozzle concentrates the pressure and will be very useful for jobs where you need a more powerful jet.
The telescopic lance
This addition allows access to places that are not very convenient to access. For example, it allows you to clean your gutter without a ladder.
The drain opener
Very useful, this one allows you to unclog blocked pipes thanks to the pressure.
The sandblasting kit
This kit, which is mostly connected to the jet itself, makes it possible to obtain a pressurized water/sand mixture, which is very useful for stripping metal surfaces.
An important point in a pressure washer: what temperature is it compatible with?
Many models are stamped “cold water cleaners.”
It means that they only accept cold water (below 40°C).
Others may accept hot water.
Still, others include devices that heat water.
Hot water is particularly useful for cleaning operations, as it easily removes stubborn dirt.
Some models can integrate additional useful features.
Here are the most common:
The detergent tank
This tank allows the use of detergent and water to facilitate cleaning.
The water tank
Some models, particularly thermal high-pressure cleaners, have an integrated water tank, which avoids connecting to a water supply. Practice!
Some models are supplied with reels for the power cord and the water connection hose.
It is especially useful for storage.
The comfort of use
An efficient pressure washer is good, but if it is not painful to use, it is even better!
Several criteria define the comfort of use:
An easy-to-use pressure washer will make your life much easier.
There are two things to check here:
– The grip must be natural and comfortable.
– The ease of mounting the various elements, particularly the lance and the accessories.
If possible, try this in-store.
The different models of pressure washers are not equal in terms of transportability.
The most practical at this level remains the wireless models, which give you total freedom.
More generally, we end up with a model to be connected to the electric current.
In this case, it is important to study the length:
– the power cable
– the connection to the water supply (sometimes called “flexible”).
Indeed, the length of these will limit your freedom of movement.
Of course, you can use an extension cord. Still, it’s never recommended for safety reasons.
Finally, the large thermal models, if they are bulky, are often equipped with wheels, which makes them very easy to transport despite their weight.
Another point to consider is the space the pressure washer takes up when not used.
For some models, the small footprint is a selling point, such as the Bosch EasyAquatak 1700.
For this model, you end up with a compact device that will be easy to store, unlike a large thermal pressure washer that will take up a lot of space!
The type of engine
A distinction is generally made between two types of high-pressure cleaners.
The difference lies in the engine:
Electric pressure washer
Electric motor pressure washers are the most common for the general public.
They usually plug into a power outlet.
Some battery-powered models exist, but generally, this benefit comes at the expense of power.
Thermal pressure washer
These models run on gasoline, are generally larger and are intended for the most demanding tasks.
Indeed, the advantage of high-pressure cleaners with thermal engines is their great power.
However, they have several drawbacks:
- the price
- engine noise
- fuel cost
- Regular maintenance.
Therefore, they are preferred only for professionals or individuals who need an ultra-efficient high-pressure cleaner for everyday use.
Several elements must be taken into account when talking about reliability.
The quality of the components
- Of course, we always want to buy a quality device.
- It is all the more true since a serious problem in the operation of this type of device can cause a pressure drop and, sometimes, a safety risk.
- That said, again, the requirement for quality depends on your use.
- An entry-level pressure washer may be perfect for you if you use it infrequently for tasks that do not require phenomenal power.
- On the other hand, its components may quickly show their limits if you use them intensively.
The type of pump
One of the most important components of a pressure washer is the piston pump.
There are three kinds:
It is what is found in low-end devices.
These pumps have a fairly limited lifespan of around 100 hours.
These pumps are found in the intermediate models.
The lifespan is much better here: more than 1000 hours of use.
We are more in the high end.
These pumps can withstand more than 5000 hours of work.
Trademarks and Warranties
Although some lesser-known brands may produce good quality products, it can be reassuring to trust a reputable brand.
Indeed, these brands have often based their reputation on the reliability of their products.
On the other hand, in the event of a technical problem, it is much easier to find spare parts when you have a device from a popular brand.
As for lesser-known brands, check consumer reviews to see if the customer service is up to scratch.
Once you have considered all the previous points, the question of price remains.
As a general rule, the price is proportional to the power.
However, remember that it is unnecessary to aim too high in performance if you do not need to.
Therefore, it is preferable to have a good idea of the use you want to make of your device, estimate the power required, and compare the advantages and disadvantages of the models that fall into this category.
Only then will you be able to assess whether the price corresponds to what you expect from the machine.