How Much Water Does a Pressure Washer Use?

Dirt, grime, and stains are sometimes a challenge to remove using the conventional cleaning methods of wiping. Thankfully, there is a solution – the pressure washer. Why would you need a pressure washer when you have your regular garden hose? As the name implies, the pressure washer produces water at high pressure, which makes the power washer better than the garden hose.

How Much Water Does a Pressure Washer Use?

However, many people opine that the power washer wastes a lot of water. Such people are probably unaware of how the machine works. This article will explain how the pressure washer works and answer the question: How much water does a pressure washer use?

Understanding the Basics of Pressure Washers

Pressure washers use electric motors to pressurize water from the hose supply to very high pressure that can exceed 3000 PSI. The powerful stream jets out through a narrow spray nozzle attached to a wand. This high-pressure stream is responsible for the removal of dirt from cleaning surfaces.

The higher the pressure, the less the cleaning time required, and improved capacity to remove tougher grime.

How Much Water Does a Pressure Washer Use per Minute: Understanding PSI and GPM

 The garden hose uses water at the rate of 5 – 10 GPM (Gallons per Minute) at 30 – 50 PSI.  The total cleaning unit (CU) is a product of GPM and PSI. Therefore a garden hose will produce 500 CU (10 GPM × 50 PSI). A power washer rated 1.6 GPM, and 1700 PSI will yield 2720 CU.

The power washer boasts over 81% efficiency compared to the garden hose.

The washing capacity of a pressure washer increases proportionally with an increase in GPM, but PSI is a significant factor. A higher PSI implies more water consumption, which simultaneously increases the risk of water wastage and CU. A rise in CU means a reduction in cleaning time. As such, you can clean more surfaces within a reduced period. Gallon per Minute depends on time, and the more time you allow the water to flow, the more water is consumed. PSI only increases the water force.

How to Save: Using Pressure Washer Properly

How to Save: Using Pressure Washer Properly

 The power washer, although convenient, can potentially cause harm if misused.  Consequently, you need to handle the machine with caution to shun any undesirable incidents. For safety, take caution when using the zero-degree nozzle, wear protective gear, prepare your surroundings, and never block the path of the stream with your hand.  Do not use ladders, instead go for extension wants.  Go through the user manual to understand the machine. Note that a good understanding of the washer will result in less wastage of water during cleaning.

All pressure washers operate on the same basic principle – the washing method entails pressure to force water flow, a cleaning solution, and heat. These factors individually influence the cleaning effect of the pressure washer. For example, using cold water will demand that you compensate with more cleaning solutions, more water, and more pressure to attain the same results as when you use a hot water pressure washer.

You can save on water if you correctly balance these cleaning aspects:

The Assembly

The first step after purchasing the unit is to assemble. Use the user manual to set up the machine correctly. The assembly is often straightforward, connecting the power cord, connecting the pressure hose to the garden hose, and the water supply.

Use the right nozzle

The power washer will come with nozzles attachments of different sizes. The different nozzles cater to cleaning different materials and surfaces.  You should not use one nozzle for cleaning everything;  you will not achieve optimal results if you do this.

The kind of task will influence the pressure of water

The washing job determines the amount of pressure you need from your pressure washer. A light-duty pressure washer with a pressure power of 1400 – 1750 PSI and a flow rate of between 1.4 to 1.6 GPM is sufficient for small tasks such as washing a car. Cleaning your driveway will demand a medium-duty pressure washer capable of producing a pressure of 2300 – 2500 PSI and flow rate of 2.2 – 2.3 GPM. The figures sound like using the machine consumes a lot of water. However,  a light-weight pressure washer will save you about 68% of the water  you would use if cleaning with a hose. What’s more, the machine cleans better than a garden hose.


Does pressure washing increase water Bill?
From the GPM rating, it is possible to calculate the amount of water consumption when cleaning with a pressure washer. For calculations, we will use the water billing rate in San Diego, which stands at $11 per 750 gallons. Most home washers have an average rate of 2.5 GPM. If you wash the entire house in 2 hours, the pressure washer will consume 300 (2hrs×60mins×2.5GPM) gallons. The gallons will cost $4.4. Therefore, it is false to claim that the power washer will increase your water bill.
Does a garden hose use less water or not?
It is quite easy to assume that your garden hose uses less water compared to a pressure washer. On the contrary, the washing with the garden hose will consume more water than washing with a pressure washer. A pressure washer consumes water at the rate of 2 gallons per Minute while a hose can consume up to 10 times this rate for the same cleaning job.
How does water temperature affect the amount of water used?
The use of hot or warm water has two advantages. First, it minimizes the amount of cleaning solution required, and secondly, it reduces the cleaning time. As a result, the cleaning process will consume less water. Note that the ideal temperature for use with a home-grade pressure washer is between 120 and 210 Fahrenheit. You should use hot water for cleaning projects that require the use of a pressure washer for less than five hours a week. If you plan to deploy hot water washing for a period exceeding five hours per week, consider using a commercial grade pressure washer. The commercial-grade will handle the high rate of use better than a home-grade pressure washer.
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