Pressure washers are tools designed to make cleaning jobs easier. They can remove dirt, grime and other debris from a variety of surfaces, including concrete, wood and metal. However, as with any tool, you need to know what you’re doing before using it.

To ensure your safety and that of others around you, it’s important to confirm the following key ratings from before purchasing a pressure washer:

Horse Power

The horsepower of a pressure washer determines how much water it can pump out at one time. The higher the horsepower, the more water you’ll be able to push through the hose and onto your surface. The average consumer needs between 1/2 and 3/4 HP for everyday use around the house. Some commercial pressure washers have up to 5 HP for more demanding jobs such as cleaning concrete or removing paint from driveways or sidewalks.

Pounds Per Square Inch (PSI)

PSI measures how much force is behind each squirt of water coming out of your pressure washer’s nozzle. The higher the PSI rating, the more powerful your machine will be at removing dirt and grime from surfaces that need it most — like driveways and sidewalks. The average consumer should look for machines with at least 3000 PSI while commercial power washers may exceed 7000 PSI depending on their job description and usage requirements.

Gallons Per Minute (GPM)

This refers to how much water a pressure washer can deliver per minute. A higher GPM rating means more power and faster cleaning time. You should get a pressure washer with at least 2 GPM but no more than 4 GPM if you plan on using it indoors or in small spaces like garages or workshops due to noise and exhaust fumes. If you plan on using it outdoors in large areas like driveways or decks then a 4-6 GPM unit will work fine as long as there isn’t too much debris around that could clog up the pump or spray nozzles; otherwise go for a 6-8 GPM model instead.

Cleaning Power Units (Cleaning PSI)

This is how much force the pump will produce when it sprays water at a surface. Generally, high pressure washers have more cleaning power units than lower pressure ones do. High pressure washers are better suited for tough jobs like removing dirt and grime from surfaces and concrete slabs, but they might not work well with delicate items like fine China or glassware because they could damage them if used incorrectly or in excess force.

Cleaning Angle/Radius

Cleaning angle is the angle at which you can clean an area with a pressure washer. The higher the cleaning angle, the wider the area that you can cover with a single pass. If you want to clean a large surface, then it’s best to go for a high cleaning angle. However, if you want to focus on specific areas without wasting water and detergent, then choose a lower cleaning angle.

Horse Length

Horse power is the measure of how much water pressure can be produced by a pump within one minute. A typical household pressure washer has a horse power of 1-3 HP but commercial ones can go up to 5 or 6HP.


Confirming these ratings before you buy will help ensure that you are purchasing the right pressure washer for your needs. It is best to confirm all categories to be sure, and most importantly, read the instructions manual that comes with the unit to understand how to operate it. One cannot stress this enough, as many problems arise from misusing pressure washers.

The truth is that the cost of a pressure washer isn’t the only factor. You need to evaluate key ratings on power output, motor type, the quality of engine components, and the overall build quality to confirm you are making an informed purchasing decision that can withstand the test of time.


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