How to Purchase a Pressure Washer

Posted on: May 15th, 2015 by McHenry PCS

Pressure washers are a great tool to have around home and work. Residential and commercial pressure washers save valuable time by cleaning quickly and thoroughly. Depending on the task at hand, different pressure washers clean at different powers and speeds.

Do you know what pressure washer is best for your cleaning job? McHenry Pressure Cleaning Systems can help you determine what machine is best for your cleaning tasks. Consider the following when shopping for a pressure washer.


What will you use the pressure washer for?


Residential/personnel use:

Although McHenry PCS does not specialize in these types of units, we do have some recommendations. A unit of 1500 psi – 2500 psi usually works well for around the home. A unit that produces at least 2-3 gpm is also recommended.

If an electric type unit is best for you, try to find something that is at least 2 gpm and provides 1400-1500 psi. A quality brand gas engine will provide the higher flow (gpm rates) and psi (pressure). Look for a horizontal mounted pump, rather than a vertical mount, also avoid pumps with wet ends that are constructed of aluminum, because they offer very little possibility of repair later. Please be cautious with knock off made brand engines and pumps, because parts available are usual bad and quality can be varied.


Commercial Use and Applications:

This is our field of expertise. The amount of cleaning to be done and the frequency at which the machine is used has to be considered. Purchasing a lower priced machine at your local box store usually is not going to provide the best cleaning results. Remember successful commercial use requires purchasing the correct unit that is intended for the type of use and application you are putting it in. The price of a pressure washer usually has a direct collation to quality, service and parts availability. McHenry Pressure Cleaning can help you determine which commercial pressure washer is best for the job.


Size of Pressure Washer

For small jobs, lightweight, low PSI machines work well. Pressure washer power is measured in PSI (pounds per sq. inch) and GPM (gallons per minute)

Jobs such as cleaning vehicles, homes and liter surfaces and do not usually require a lot of psi. Most of this type cleaning can be accomplished with 1500-2000 psi and 2-3 gpm. For big commercial cleaning and heavy-duty jobs, higher psi 2500-4000 and flow rates of 4 gpm and higher are required. Heavy accumulations of mud/dirt benefit from more gpm, while stripping/peeling work benefit from higher psi.


Electric motor or gas/diesel engine driven?

Electric motor driven units are normally recommended if you have sufficient electrical supply and hookups everywhere you want to use the machine. Electric units normally deliver lower operating costs and even less maintenance. Many different types of controls and options (remote operation, etc.) can be offered on electric units.


Gas or diesel engine driven units offer portability. They usually work better for mobile cleaning applications. Just add a water tank and you clean almost anything anywhere.


Do I need hot water?

We always say there is no substitution for hot water. For jobs that require oil and grease removal, a hot water pressure cleaner is a tremendous asset. It will make these jobs much more efficient and complete. Applications that also involve sanitation are a most for hot water. Although most of our detergents work better when applied with a hot water machine, hot water can save on the need of some degreasers.


Contact McHenry Pressure Cleaning Systems for pressure washers in Maryland or Washington, D.C. area and for more information about the pressure washing machine best for your commercial or residential cleaning job. Contact McHenry Pressure Cleaning by phone at 800-221-6905 or contact us by email at