What Determines How Powerful A Pressure Washer Is

What Determines How Powerful A Pressure Washer Is

After watching your neighbor wash his way to a clean gleaming fence, you must want to buy a pressure washer. Many users wonder about the strength metrics of a pressure washer. No doubt, it delivers tremendous results. But what are the must-have characteristics of a pressure washer?

Should one buy a commercial pressure washer for concrete walls or consider a pressure washer with trailer for cleaning large brickyards? The following excerpt shines some light on the things that spell out the power of the pressure washers.

Performance Metrics for Determining the Strength of a Pressure Washer


PSI means pounds per square inch. It means the potency at which the machine sprays. Higher levels of PSIs mean that the water spray is powerful enough to wipe away the stickiest dirt in no time. It is important to choose a good level of PSI as sticky dirt stains are almost everywhere.

Commercial pressure washers have around 2000 to 3000 PSI. The PSI values depend upon your targeted surface. For instance, if you want to clean concrete floors or driveways, a PSI of 2500 to 3000 will do. For woodlike softer materials, you’ll need about 500 to 600 PSI.


GPM points to Gallons per Minute. You can think of it as how much water flows to the nozzle in one minute. Higher GPMs, no doubt, result in deep cleaning. Most pressure washers have a capacity of around 2 to 4 GPMs, which is equivalent to about 4 baths.

Again, the GPM depends on your applications. Buying a higher GPM may also result in water wastage. Therefore, you should research well about the GPMs meant for specific surfaces. For cleaning a house, you’ll need about 2.3 GPM with a 2600-PSI value.

Engine Size and Power Source

Next comes the engine size. For domestic and home use, the engine is not a major factor. However, if you are buying a pressure washer for commercial level, it gains significant importance. Engine sizes vary from company to company. So, there is no generalization.

As you know, there are two types of pressure washers, gas and electric operated. Conventionally, gas pressure washers can conjure more power; although, some electric ones provide matched power as well. But, in the long run, they may prove expensive. Therefore, commercial cleaners go for gas-powered washers.

Which Factor Plays The Most Important Role in Determining a Pressure Washer’s Strength?

Some users think it’s the engine size, while others vouch for PSI or GPM. It is important to note that GPM and PSI equally determine a pressure washer’s strength. Neglecting any one of them will result in a waste of money.

New users can stick to a simpler concept called cleaning units. Summing up the GPM and PSI values of the pressure washer gives its cleaning units. Units with higher CUs have more cleaning power than lower CU units.


Picking a pressure washer is deemed as a hassle. However, understanding some basic terminologies and their uses is all it requires. The above article highlights the important assessing metrics for pressure washers. The PSI and GPM values are most important. However, if your budget allows, you can factor in some other things like a soap container, a wall-mounted unit, or a high quality hose.