Within recent years water power pressure washers have become very popular and many homeowners and do it yourselfers have added this item to their collection of outdoor power tools. Power washing used to be a outside service/maintenance that homeowners would pay a home remodeler or contractor to do. Due to the popularity, availability and affordability of power washers many homeowners have choose to purchase the units and do power washing tasks around the house themselves. There are many sizes, brands and models of pressure washers to choose from available at home & garden centers for do it yourself homeowners.
Consideration should be given as to what tasks you will be using this power tool for to determine the amount of power and pressure needed for washing the areas around your house. Power washers are relatively simple to use but personal safety and property damage is a concern as these units discharge water at a very high pressures which can cause serious body injury to the user and others nearby. Do not operate a power washer from an extension or step ladder unless you are totally familiar and comfortable with the tool you are using. Power washers have a great amount of thrust when the trigger is pulled and can easily throw you off balance or push you off the ladder. As with any power tool read and understand all safety precautions before you purchase and use a power pressure washer.
Where to use a power washer. Power washers are great for cleaning sidewalks, driveways, wood decks, vinyl siding, wood siding, roofs, stripping loose paint off, brick, stone, outdoor furniture, floors, garages, pool covers, washing cars, tires and other outdoor cleaning uses. Power washers are available in many sizes and are powered by electric or gas engines. The smaller types are usually electric powered and great for homeowners general all purpose use. The larger power washers are usually powered by a gas engine and are designed for professional contractor / commercial use. In deciding what size is correct for you determine the surfaces you will be cleaning and how many times a year it will be used, larger is not always better as higher pressures can cause damage to decorative concrete surfaces, windows, doors, and painted or stained wood surfaces.
Electric power washers are generally quieter during operation and require less service than gas engine types. The gas engine powered models are louder while in use and some gas engines are noisier than others depending on the motor manufacturer. There are many brands of pressure washers on the market and most are made by only a few manufacturers which are labeled differently for individual retailers. Before power washing a large area, test clean a small portion to check the results or damage to the materials surface from the water pressure.
Typical Power Pressure washer sizes and uses:
- 1000 to 1500 PSI – homeowner light use – cars, outdoor furniture, small walks.
- 1400 to 1850 PSI – homeowner regular use – for decks, patios, siding.
- 2000 to 3000 PSI – home – pro – large decks, concrete walks, complete house siding.
- 2800 to 4000 PSI – Pro/contractor- for stripping paint, large areas of concrete walks, drives, masonry.
Top brands of power washers for residential homeowner use are:
- Karcher – Models – K2.16 – 1400psi, K2.25 – 1500psi, K2.56 – 1600psi, K3.47 – 1750psi, K3.48 – 1800psi
- Sears Craftsman – Model 75202 – 1800psi
- Husky (Home Depot) – Model 1500 – 1600psi, Model 2000s – 2000psi,
- Campbell Hausfeld – Model – RBPW1310LE – 1300psi, RBPW1510LE – 1500psi, RBPW1581LE – 1550psi, PW1350 – 1350psi, PW1550 – 1550psi, PW1750 – 1750psi, PW1810 – 1800psi
- Black & Decker – PW1300 – 1300psi, PW1600 – 1600psi, PW1750 – 1750psi
- Excell – Gas Powered -VR2522 – 2500psi, XC2800 – 2800psi
- John Deere – Gas Powered – HR-1250E1 -1250psi, HR-2410GH – 2400psi, HR-2700GH – 2700psi, LP020298 – 3000psi, LP020297 – 3800psi
- Troy-Bilt – Gas Powered – Model 020292 – 2200psi, 020344 – 2500psi, 020337 – 2550psi, 020316 – 3000psi
For overall light to medium home owner use the Karcher pressure washers are very dependable washers and available at many home & tool centers. Sears Craftsman pressure washers carry the standard Craftsman power tool warranty. Husky brand is basically made for Home Depot, with limited parts available. Campbell Hausfeld is available thru many tool and home centers and online. John Deere is on the upscale of gas powered power washers along with Troy-Bilt and both available at independent dealers and home & garden centers.