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How to use the Power of Electric Pressure Washer, and Save Water

Updated on February 5, 2015

Buy the best Power washer

If you are like me, maintaining the appearance of our house, driveway and other hard surfaces around the yard and landscaping is a necessary, and let us not forget never ending project. We also want to save water, time and money as we clean. As you continue to read this article, I will share with you the tips and tricks I have learned using a Pressure Washer to clean and save water.

Choosing a Pressure Washer

When choosing a pressure washer, first we need to understand how they work. There are two important bits of information, in order to determine how effective a power washer is in a particular application.

  1. PSI is the first bit of information we hear and read about that describes a power washer, but what is it telling us? Simply put it is how hard the water in the case of a power washer hits the surface we are cleaning.
  1. GPM is the second bit of information mentioned, but it is very important even though it is a less impressive smaller number. Gallons per minute are, the amount of water hitting the surface we are cleaning.
  1. How PSI and GPM work together, the PSI dose the work of loosening the dirt away from the surface we are cleaning, and the GPM dose the work of suspending the dirt in the water so it can move it out of the way.

use electric pressure washer, save water while cleaning
use electric pressure washer, save water while cleaning

Electric pressure washer vs gas power washer, size dose matter

Understanding the versatility of a pressure washer and using it to our advantage, pressure washers are available in sizes that range from the smallest electric models; 800 – 1500 PSI units that deliver .5 - .6 GPM all the way up to the huge heavy duty models that provide 4000+ PSI at 5+ GPM.

1. Small Electric Models are limited to the smallest of the small jobs. With only 800 - 1500PSI and .5 or so GPM they are more powerful than a garden hose and use a lot less water, but they will require more time to get the job done. They are however less tiresome than the larger machines, for folks of smaller stasher and the elderly.

2. Medium Sized Gas Models are by far the best choice for the home owner or small contractor. There compact size coupled with plenty of cleaning power will handle all but the largest and dirtiest jobs. Ranging from the 2000 PSI units that supply 2 GPM, through the 3000 PSI units that will provide a hefty 3 GPM deliver plenty of cleaning power while at the same time saving water as compared to what a garden hose and nozzle would use. And I might add, a garden hose would not get the job done in twice the time not to mention will use around 7 GPM, you can do the math.

3. Large Gas Models are the best choice for the professionals. Once you get above the 3000 PSI units that provide a reasonable 3 GPM, you step into the realm of being physically hard to handle and use. They clean hard surfaces great, but they will physically kick a 150 pound persons butt, in the event you are up for the challenge I recommend a 4000 PSI unit that delivers 4.5 GPM, go ahead they really get the cleaning done quickly and a standard water hose can keep up with the demand.

The proper size electric pressure washer is a homeowner’s best outdoor cleaning tool; wash the car, clean the deck, sidewalks, and driveway

Pressure washer adjust ability is important

Adjust ability allows us to clean many different surfaces with the same machine, simply by adjusting the pressure up, for a tough job or, down for a delicate project. The most efficient method to adjust a pressure washer is through the use of changeable nozzles.

1. Adjustable nozzles provide the user with the ability to effectively tailor the high pressure water stream by varying the width of the spray pattern; the wider the spray pattern is adjusted the pressure is reduced accordingly.

2. Rotary Nozzles provide the cleaning power of a fixed 0 degree nozzle, but with the ability to clean a wider area. The nozzle sprays the water in a narrow 0 degree pattern that rotates 360 degrees covering an area as wide as 15 degrees in a single pass.

3. O Degree Nozzle delivers a narrow high pressure stream of water that concentrates the cleaning power in an area no larger than a coin, say a quarter. This nozzle is great for hard to clean hard surfaces like concrete and masonry, take care around mortar joints however, if the mortar is loose the high pressure water will remove it for you.

4. 15 Degree Nozzle spreads the cleaning force of the water over a wider area, great for cleaning all the black stuff off your house, sidewalks, patio and driveway. The 15 degree nozzle also works well for removing loose and flaky paint. Beets the heck out of scraping and washes all the dirt away so your paint adheres properly.

5. 25 Degree Nozzle works great for routine cleaning, generally light to moderate cleaning, vinyl siding and road film off your windows, do not get crazy around the windows, and maintain a safe distance, 2 feet at least.

6. 40 Degree Nozzle provides the widest fan, and lowest pressure. The 40 degree nozzle is the best choice to use in dusty environments; it will allow you to wash away light dirt and dust without creating all the dust a broom would, making the clean up easier and better for dust control.

7. Chemical Nozzle, or soap nozzle in conjunction with a down stream chemical injection system, provides a method for dispensing cleaning chemicals through the nozzle of the pressure washer. A note of caution, the plants in your landscape do not like harsh chemicals like bleach or other heavy duty cleaners, or the stuff you wash off your house for that matter. Protect your landscape plants and remember to rinse them off using clean, fresh low pressure water, the garden hose variety will do nicely.

For big cleaning jobs, this is the best gas pressure washer for a homeowner

Steps to power washing a house using pressure washer

So you are spring-cleaning and want to know how to wash a house? On the other hand, maybe you are getting ready to paint the outside of your house, and simply need to get the siding clean before painting. The idea of using a scraper, scrub brush, bucket full of soapy water and garden hose to get the job done absolutely turns you off. You know there is, an easier way, use a pressure washer make the job safe and easier than you may believe.

Spring cleaning using a pressure washer

Wash a house starting at the foundation and work your way to the gutters. When cleaning your house exterior using a cleaning solution. Eliminate streaking, use the soap attachment with your pressure washer and spray the cleaning solution on your house. Start at the foundation spraying the cleaner on the siding with the low-pressure soap attachment in small areas, be careful do not let the cleaner dry before washing it off the side of your home with the high-pressure spray and a twenty-five degree nozzle.

Keep your distance, maintain a constant twelve to fourteen inch distance between the nozzle on the end of the cleaning wand and the house. Avoid damaging your mortar joints, vinyl siding or windows and doors seals. Direct the high-pressure water spray over and away rather than under and through seams and joints.

Rinse from the gutters to the foundation, the final rinse is just that the final rinse that ensures you get all the soap residue and light dirt film off the house. Like in it to when you take a shower and wash your hair. You rinse the shampoo out of your hair, face and down your back all the way to your feet, right.

Pressure washers and accessories

What size power washer will you need, power washers use water forced through a cleaning nozzle under very high-pressure measured in PSI, pounds per square inch. PSI indicates cleaning force that force loosens the dirt, but that is only part of the formula. Gpm, gallons of water per minute, works to wash away the dirt. With that in mind, for a pressure washer to clean effectively you need a minimum of 2000psi and 2gpm.

Extension wand is a great accessory that makes cleaning the sides of a house and gutters safe and easy. The best models have a telescoping feature that makes reaching overhead 6-24 feet easy.

Interchangeable nozzles are necessary for a variety of cleaning projects. Ranging from the zero degree nozzle, fifteen degree, twenty-five degree, forty degree and soap nozzles turn a power washer into a versatile cleaning machine. On several occasions, a zero degree nozzle has removed an angry wasp’s nest from behind a gutter downspout. While a forty degree nozzle will do a good job rinsing dust off the patio and lawn furniture using less water than a garden hose.

Where to get what you need, do yourself a favor. Take the little secrets you have discovered in this article. Go online and purchase exactly what you need. If you are like me, you prefer to spend your time getting your projects around the house finished, instead of dealing with the crowds trying to find what you know you want at one of those home improvement places. Many times the shipping is free, and even if it cost a few bucks, it is better than spending your valuable free time you would otherwise use to finish a project, looking for what you need.

Use a pressure washer for all your spring cleaning, save water and enjoy a beautiful home

The author of this publication, Mike Teddleton owns the copyright to How to use the psi power and force of an electric pressure washer, clean and save water. The rights to publish this article in print or online can only be granted by contacting me the author in writing. You may use the intro and link back to the article directing the reader back to my post here at HubPages where they may find the story in its entirety


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    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      8 years ago from Midwest USA

      The pressure washer is not just for spring cleaning anymore. I like to keep the driveway and front walk claen year round.

      Thanks for stoping by hubpageswriter, great to hear from you.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Spring cleaning at its best.;)

    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      8 years ago from Midwest USA

      Keep up the good work with the kids fund raisers. Washing cars on a hot summers day is a great idea, keep cool, clean cars and save on the water you use doing it...

    • katiem2 profile image


      8 years ago from I'm outta here

      This is good to know. I borrowed one once from a friend to use at a car wash to raise money for the kids/school and ripped my nail off. OMG did it ever hurt. I was to embarrased to ever tell anyone or admit I had no idea how to use one. THIS hub is GREAT! Peace :)Katie


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