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Power Washers

Jobs like cleaning the house siding or washing the car are made easier with a power washer, a compressed-air device that sends a pressurized stream that is much more effective than a manual scrub brush.

The Right Power Washer for the Job

When selecting a power washer, you need to consider these factors:

  • The job to be done: cleaning house siding, washing the car, cleaning concrete, stripping paint, etc.
  • The work area and scope: a whole house, a small area, a spot far away from electricity, etc.
  • The GPM (gallons per minute) the unit can deliver, and whether it can heat the water.
  • The power source (electric or gas powered).

The pressure is generated by either an electric motor (so you have to plug it in) or by a gas-powered engine, similar to a lawnmower. The amount of pressure the unit can produce dictates the jobs it can handle. For instance, a garden hose can produce about 40 PSI (pounds per square inch), while the most basic pressure washer models produce 1800 PSI or more. The following tasks require differing amounts of pressure:

Washing and cleaning (cars, siding, washing concrete) 1800 2200 PSI
Heavy-duty cleaning (grease, oil, grime) 2300 2700 PSI
Prepping and paint stripping 2800 3500 PSI
Models over 3000 PSI are generally considered professional models

The GPM the unit can deliver translates to the surface area that can be

worked easily. For instance, a 2 GPM flow rate can clean approximately 6 square feet in one minute. But if the same unit had a 3 GPM flow rate, it could clean 9 square feet in the same amount of time.

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