Electric pressure washers can be used for cleaning almost anything around the house, cars, RV and more. But how do you pick the right one? Here’s a list of things to look for when picking the right pressure washer (see our collection of the best electric pressure washers of 2019).
Choosing an electric pressure washer – what to look for
#1 Build quality
Our #1 tip: Look at negative reviews to check on build quality. Check the low ratings. Of course units will sometimes break, so don’t get distracted by complaining buyers – they will always be there. But if an electric pressure washers has 10-20% 1-star reviews, the unit might be prone to break.
The efficiency is a result of build quality, pump quality and power, as well as usability and accessories. It’s the overall factor on whether it’s great for cleaning.
#3 Which surfaces can it clean?
Read user reviews to see a given surface is mentioned as being cleaned well. But for most washers, it’s not an issue since washers can be used for almost anything. The power and accessory determines what surfaces it handles. Pressure washers are extremely versatile (this is why they are so popular) and will clean surfaces like:
- wood decking and hardwood terraces
- pavement, car driveways and concrete
- stone, tile, and marble and patios
- garden fences
- wood, brick and steel siding
- house roofs
- Cars, wheels, rims, bikes
- RV’s and boats
- and much more – see full list of 12 things you can clean with a pressure washer!
#4: Ease of use
The design of the spray trigger and washer handle makes a big difference. You can easily grow fatigued from especially the trigger.
A big advantage to electric pressure washers is that they make less noise than their gasoline powered counterparts. The Total Stop System further reduces noise when the trigger is not pulled on electric pressure washers.
#6 Pump pressure and dependability
A dependable pump and sufficient power makes all the difference with a good pressure washer. The higher the pump pressure, the more efficient cleaning will be.
#7 Spray nozzles
Check the product to see what types of nozzles are included. Light duty units might come with only two different handles, larger ones will typically have a set of 4-5 quick-connect nozzles tips. They will lay the water stream in a specific shape and angle.
You can get a lot of different options for pressure washers, such as
- extension wands (for roof cleaning)
- multi-purpose detergents,
- covers / protective cases,
- hard-surface cleaner, patio cleaners
- nozzles and handles
- cord extensions
#9 Detergent container
Most pressure washers give you the option to mix detergent into the water stream. Better washers have an integrated container, cheaper ones only have a detached container that you must attach to the spray wand.
#10 Wheels and tires
The electric powered pressure washers come with mostly plastic wheels, since they sit on a lighter frame or no frame at all. Gasoline powered units often have pneumatic tires because of the larger weight and the frame. For rough terrains pneumatic tires will come in handy. This is one of the reasons professionals often will buy gasoline powered pressure washers.
#11 Hose length and quality
The cheaper electric washers can have flimsy hoses. Make sure reviews don’t tell a bad story.
#1 tip: Look at negative reviews to learn about build quality. Stay away if there’s more than 20% negative reviews.
#12 Total Stop System (TSS)
Make sure you washer has the so-called “Total Stop System”. This function will shut off the pump when the trigger is not pressed, still maintaining readiness. It also makes cleaning a lot quieter than with gasoline powered washers (see “Noise”).
Check manufacturer warranty before purchasing, many units have a 1-3 year limited warranty.