Imagine having just one piece of equipment powerful enough to clean your car, patio, deck, roof, gutters, external walls, and driveway.
Sounds fantastic, right?
We’re here to tell you that, with a pressure washer, you can do all that and more. Depending on the type, buying one would cost about $100 to $500, but it could last three to seven years. That makes it a worthy, long-term investment for home cleaning and improvement projects.
But to buy the right one, you must first learn about PSI.
Fortunately, this pressure washer PSI guide has you covered. Read on to learn its roles, why you must use the correct range, and the PSI requirements of specific tasks.
The Roles of PSI
PSI, which means pounds per square inch, measures the intensity of the pressure with which a pressure washer sprays. Think of it as a water stream’s brute force or “stripping” action.
So, the higher the PSI of a pressure washer, the faster and more forceful the water flow it generates. Therefore, you need a higher PSI for tasks that require a deep clean.
Gas pressure washers typically produce the highest PSI, ranging from 2,500 to 4,000. By contrast, electric pressure washers can generate between 1,500 and 3,000 PSI.
Aside from PSI, you must also factor in a machine’s GPM (gallons per minute) rating. It’s the total amount of water the equipment can spray every minute.
Think of it this way: If PSI provides the power to break up filth and grime, GPM is what moves and flushes that dirt away. So, the higher the GPM rating, the faster the overall clean-up takes.
For the same reason, contractors often use machines with higher GPM than PSI.
For instance, according to these pressure washing Greenville, SC experts, professionals use industrial surface cleaners. These include cleaning solutions that make cleaning expansive areas faster. Since the solutions already allow for a deeper clean, pros can rely less on PSI; instead, they need a higher GPM to finish the job faster.
Gas-powered pressure washers have a typical GPM rating of 2.5 to 4.0. On the other hand, electric versions have between 1.5 and 2.5 GPM.
Why Using the Correct PSI Matters
One reason is to ensure the surface you want to clean can withstand the pressure. If you use a PSI range that exceeds what it can bear, it’ll most likely sustain damage.
For example, if you use an extremely high PSI when washing your car, the excessive water pressure can scratch its paint or even dent its body. Likewise, bricks and wood can chip or break if exposed to excessive PSI levels.
Another reason is that the price of a pressure washer goes hand in hand with its PSI and GPM rating. Machines with higher ratings are more expensive. This is also why gas-powered pressure washers will cost you more than electric ones.
The Ideal PSI Range for Cleaning Tasks
Most power washers allow you to adjust the PSI setting within their specified range. For example, if a machine has a 2,000 PSI rating, its lowest setting is likely 1,300 to 1,500. Some have pressure regulators, while others have wands or nozzles that let you increase or decrease the PSI.
That said, the lighter the cleaning task, the lower the PSI rating you need. Mind the surface’s material, too; the softer and less rigid it is, the lower PSI it can withstand.
To help you get started, here are some examples of ideal PSI ratings for specific cleaning tasks.
1,300 to 1,800 PSI
This PSI range is for light-cleaning of more fragile surfaces and materials. Use it when cleaning thin layers of caked-on dirt on your car. It’s also safe for shutters, windows, roofs, outdoor furniture, and wood.
1,900 to 2,800 PSI
This range is for medium-duty cleaning tasks of more rigid surfaces, such as decks, driveways, patios, pavement, siding, and fences. You can also set your pressure washer to this range when removing thicker mold and mildew growths on wood and concrete surfaces. Likewise, this range is ideal for cleaning rubber tires coated in hardened mud.
2,900 to 3,200 PSI
For more challenging, heavier-duty jobs, use this PSI range. With this, you can eliminate hard-to-remove dirt on driveways, pavement, and concrete. You can also use it to clean thick layers of mud on trucks and 4x4s.
3,300 to 4,000 PSI
This PSI range is best for extra stubborn grime and stains, such as grease and oil spills on concrete and cement. You can also use it to strip paint when preparing surfaces. It’s also powerful enough to remove graffiti on walls and deeply embedded mold and mildew.
Safety Tips When Using Pressure Washers
As effective as pressure washers are, their incorrect use can damage objects. The high water pressure they produce can also cause severe wounds. They can even cause electric shocks or, in the case of gas-powered ones, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
So, always wear personal protective equipment, including goggles, rubber gloves, and rubber boots. These can help protect you from the backsplash of pressurized water.
If you’re using an electric power washer, plug it into an outlet protected by a GFCI. This can help reduce the risk of electrical shocks if the outlet comes into contact with water.
If using a gas pressure washer, ensure the area is open or well-ventilated. Never use these machines in enclosed spaces; their fumes can make you ill or cause CO poisoning.
Always start at the lowest recommended PSI range. For example, if you’re cleaning your vehicle, go with 1,300 PSI first. If it’s not as effective, slowly work your way up, increasing the setting to 1,400 or 1,500 PSI.
Last but not least, remember that pressurized water can cut skin. So, always mind your surroundings when using pressure washers. Never point the nozzle toward anyone or anything you don’t intend to clean.
Stay Safe by Following This Pressure Washer PSI Guide
From cars to walls, siding, and pavement, these are all surfaces that pressure washers can effectively clean. However, their PSI requirements vary, depending on their material and how dirty they are.
So, for optimal and safe cleaning, use our pressure washer PSI guide. Most importantly, don’t forget to follow our safety tips when using these powerful machines.
Check out our most recent blog updates for more informative guides like this!
To know more about keep reading Pinay Flix.