Beyond the Pressure Rating: 6 Essential Features You Need for a Powerful Pressure Washer

If you are hiring a pressure washer to clean something around the home or the office, don't just look at the pressure rating on the machine. Instead, if you want a lot of power, look at the machine's other features as well. To blast away grime, dirt and debris, look for these essential power-packing features:

1. Gas-powered motor

When hiring a pressure washer, you have a choice between gas- and electric-powered machines. While there are pros and cons to both options, gas is preferable if your objective is power. Gas-powered washers are rated in cubic centimetres or cc—the higher the number, the more powerful.

However, if you have to work in an indoor space, gas-powered motors aren't safe, and in that case, you want an electric pressure washer with a high number of amps.

2. Built-in heaters

If you want water to already be hot when it comes out of the nozzle, look for a pressure washer with a built-in heater. Hot water cleans grease more effectively than cold water, and if you can find a pressure washer with a heater that can get the water up to 60 degrees Celsius, you can kill many germs and bacteria as well.

3. High flow rate and reserve tank

To create the most efficiency in your cleaning job, you want a pressure washer with a high flow rate. Even if you opt for a slightly lower pressure rating, a higher flow rate will help to make up the difference. As more water runs through the pressure washer, it helps to clean and rinse the surface more adequately than a washer with a low flow rate.

However, if the flow rate on your pressure washer is too high, water from a regular tap may not be able to keep up with the demand. Because of this, you also need a reserve water tank attached to alongside of your pressure washer.

4. High chemical flow rate

Hot water being pumped out of a gas-powered pressure washer in massive quantities needs to be supported by an adequate influx of cleaning chemicals. If you are simply using water on your cleaning project, you don't have to worry about your chemical flow rate, but if you are using degreasers, disinfectants or other cleaners, you do.

You want the ability to infuse lots of chemicals into your water, but ideally, you want the chemicals in a separate reservoir than the water, and you want it to be adjustable. That way, you can have a high amount of cleaners at the beginning of the job, but when it's time to rinse, you can reduce the metre parts per million to nothing.  

5. Triplex pump

The pump is responsible for pushing the water through the pressure washer, and in most cases, when you buy or hire a pressure washer, you have a choice of two pumps, an axial cam pump or a triplex pump. Axial pumps are easier to maintain and the usual choice for pressure washers used around the home, but if you want commercial-grade power, you should opt for a triplex pump.

6. Rotating spray and removable heads

You can replace the nozzles of your pressure washers as needed to create more or less power based on how wide or direct the arc of water is. For example, you can choose a gentle arc or a direct spray of water. Ideally, you want a pressure washer with a range of nozzles available.

For a bit of extra efficiency with your high pressure cleaning equipment, look for rotating nozzles. They combine your powerful spray with a circular motion that helps to clean whatever messes you need to address.