Top 5 Best Electric Pressure Washer for Driveways: Buying Guide

Summer is a time for barbecues, swimming and general outdoor fun. To get their house looking its best for all these activities, many people hire someone to pressure wash the exterior of their home during the summer. However, pressure washers are surprisingly easy to operate. Even better, pressure washers pay for themselves after just one use.

Best Electric Pressure Washer for Driveways

What Type of Cleaning Products Can I Put in a Pressure Washer?

Detergent is the safest cleaning product to use in a pressure washer. Since it’s a stronger cleaner, detergent is ideal for cleaning concrete, siding and wood. Soap is the better choice for automobiles, boats and patio furniture. Steer clear of bleach as it will cause irreparable damage to the entire pressure washer from the pump to the nozzle.

How Do I Unclog a Nozzle?

When this happens, you should immediately turn off the pressure washer and unclog the nozzle. Otherwise, all the pressure that the washer’s packing builds inside the pump, and you’ll have to buy a new one. Luckily, nozzles are easy to clean – Just stick a pin in them. Make this a habit every time you use a nozzle, and you can prevent most clogs.

Electric Pressure Washer for Driveways

The Nozzle Isn’t Clogged, so Why Is My Pressure Washer Underperforming?

A clogged nozzle isn’t the only issue that keeps a pressure washer from reaching its maximum pressure. The inlet valve or filter can also clog, stopping water from going into the pressure washer. If the packings are worn, the washer may not be sealed tightly. Hose kinks can also reduce a washer’s pressure output.

How Closely Should I Put the Nozzle to the Cleaning Surface?

The closer the nozzle is to the surface you want to clean, the higher the pressure from the washer. Get too close and you may damage the surface. Get too far and there may not be enough force to wash away the dirt and grime. For houses, 4 to 5 feet is a good rule of thumb. You can safely get within half a foot when cleaning tougher surfaces.

Can I Clean My Car With a Pressure Washer?

Absolutely! With the right technique, you can safely wash your automobile or boat. For the overall body of the vehicle, use a 25-degree nozzle while standing at a 3-foot distance. For mirrors, windows and other delicate areas, back up a few extra feet.

Electric Pressure Washer for Driveways

How Often Does My House Need to Be Pressure Washed?

Most houses accumulate enough grime that it becomes unsightly after a few years. Two years is about how often you’ll need to pressure wash the exterior of your house. Depending on the surrounding terrain and the material of the exterior, a yearly pressure washing may be necessary. Concrete driveways and walkways should be pressure washed every year.

What Type of Motor Is the Best?

Pressure washers either have an induction motor or a universal motor. Induction motors are quieter and more durable than universal motors, making them the manufacturers’ choice motor for commercial-grade pressure washers. On the other hand, universal motors are smaller and lighter; these motors are typically found in residential-grade washers.

Are Belt-Drive and Direct-Drive Pumps the Same?

No. Like their name suggests, belt-drive pumps are controlled by a belt and a pulley. While it generates more friction, a belt-drive pump is further away from the engine and its heat. Direct-drive pumps are turned by the engine. Although a direct drive pump isn’t as robust, it does spin faster.

Best Electric Pressure Washer

How Long of a Hose Do I Need?

You can use couplers to connect multiple hoses and lengthen the pressure washer’s reach with only a minimal PSI loss. However, you’ll have to wait longer for the water to reach the nozzle, and you’ll struggle under the additional weight. Keep the hose no more than 100 feet long to get the most efficient performance from your pressure washer.

Can I Fix a Punctured Hose?

The constant dragging of the hose puts wear and tear on it that can lead to a puncture. If your pressure washer’s hose is punctured, don’t repair it – replace it. Due to the pressure inside the hose, repair attempts are too dangerous.

How Long Is It Safe to Run a Pressure Washer Without Squeezing the Trigger?

When you turn on a pressure washer, the pump immediately begins to turn and cycle the water. When left running without squeezing the trigger, the pump gets hot and so does the water. If you don’t squeeze the trigger once every minute, you risk burning or melting the pressure washer’s internal components.

Our Top 5 Electric Pressure Washer Picks

Ready to blast away those oil spots on your driveway? These five electric power washers provide the most reliable performance and power at a price you can afford.

5) Briggs & Stratton 1800 PSI/1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer (20680)

Designed with versatility in mind, the one-speed universal motor in this Briggs & Stratton electric pressure washer is powerful enough to clean driveways, walking paths, automobiles and outdoor furniture. The efficient, long-lasting plunger pump produces 1,800 pounds per square inch (PSI) of dirt-removing pressure at a speed of 1.2 gallons per minute (GPM).

Briggs & Stratton 1800 PSI/1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer (20680)

Briggs & Stratton provides a surface-prepping 15-degree nozzle, a large-orifice soap nozzle and a time-saving turbo nozzle to use with the pressure washer. All three nozzles are equipped with quick-connect couplers for fast attachment/detachment and easy-access onboard storage.

At 27 pounds, the pressure washer is lightweight enough for anyone to use. It has a built-in one-half gallon tank for detergent. The thermal relief valve protects the pump from overheating when you’re running the pressure washer in bypass mode. With the only control being an on/off switch, there is virtually no learning curve for operating this washer.

Briggs & Stratton 1800 PSI/1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer

Even though the frame is constructed from durable welded steel, the pressure washer can fold, helping you save storage space in the garage. The wand measures 36 inches, and the high-pressure hose extends to 20 feet. On the pressure washer, there’s a 35-foot-long power cord that can reach the length of most driveways. A wrap offers tidy storage for the cord.

4) Karcher 1700 PSI TruPressure Electric Power Washer (K1700)

Strong enough for driveways yet gentle enough for vehicles. The Karcher TruPressure Electric Power Washer contains a small, lightweight universal motor that pushes out 1,700 PSI to loosen grime and mildew and 1.2 GPM to wash away dirt fast. A built-in water filter protects the washer’s pump from harmful contaminants.

Karcher 1700 PSI TruPressure Electric Power Washer (K1700)

With this pressure washer, you get three nozzles. The turbo nozzle delivers a concentrated spinning jet of water. A 15-degree nozzle is an excellent tool for delicate surfaces, and the detergent nozzle does just what it says – applies soap to the cleaning area. Nozzle inserts are integrated into the pressure washer’s frame for storage.

Adding detergent to the pressure washer is easy thanks to its removable tank. The detergent tank boasts a large 0.5-gallon capacity, and its wide inlet prevents spills. An aluminum frame makes the 21-pound pressure washer lightweight and durable. The sizeable no-flat wheels can handle uneven surfaces, and it only takes 5 to 10 minutes to set up the washer for its first use.

Karcher K1700

Several back-saving features are found on this Karcher TruPressure washer, including the on/off foot pedal and the vertical cord wrap. The ingenious detachable caddy provides storage space for the quick-connect wand. The caddy also allows you to neatly coil the 20-foot M22 hose in a manner that prevents damage to the coupler.

3) Sun Joe 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM Electric Pressure Washer (SPX3000)

Caked dirt, oil stains, unsightly rust – You name it, and this Sun Joe SPX 3000 pressure washer can get rid of it. The 14.5-amp universal motor generates a whopping 2,030 PSI at a rate of 1.76 GPM. Kitted with a wobble-plate piston pump, you don’t have to worry about the seals wearing out prematurely. A total stop system thermal release valve shuts off the pump when the trigger isn’t engaged.

Sun Joe 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM Electric Pressure Washer (SPX3000)

Sun Joe gives you five marked quick-connect nozzles from which to choose, including a high-pressure 0-degree nozzle, a soap-dispensing nozzle, and a low-pressure 40-degree nozzle. This pressure washer also comes with two 30-ounce detergent tanks that are easy to remove and fill.

Although the 31-pound electric pressure washer is made for use with cold water only, the inlet can handle temperatures up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. An on/off dial lets you start up the washer without bending over, and the inset nozzle compartments are easy to access. Robust wheels and a curved handle make it a breeze to maneuver this pressure washer.

Sun Joe SPX3000

A soft-grip handle on the 34-inch wand prevents hand fatigue. The clip and the tray on one side of the pressure washer offer no-drip wand storage. On the other side, there’s a wrap for the 35-foot power cord. The front side provides a place to keep the 20-foot hose tangle-free when not in use.

2) AR Blue Clean Electric Pressure Washer (AR2N1)

Powered by a 13-amp universal engine, the AR Blue Clean Electric Power Washer delivers 2,050 PSI’ worth of cleaning power, washing away grime quickly with a speed of 1.4 GPM. The fixed-speed pressure washer has an aluminum mid-grade axial cam pump that’s compact, efficient, lightweight and long-lasting.

AR Blue Clean Electric Pressure Washer (AR2N1)

With this pressure washer, you get a comprehensive set of five quick-connect nozzles. The 0-degree nozzle produces a strong jet of water while the 25-degree nozzle creates an extra-wide spray. You also get a turbo, a 15-degree and a soap nozzle. Storage inserts for the nozzles are located on the pressure washer’s body next to the 25-ounce removable tank.

From starting to maintaining it, there’s nothing difficult about using this pressure washer. A push button powers the pressure washer, and the pressure washer unit easily detaches from the angled frame for no-hassle maintenance. A pair of 8-inch heavy-duty wheels lets you roll around the 29-pound unit without straining yourself.

AR Blue Clean

The dual-clip storage compartment gives you a secure place to keep the total-stop release trigger while you’re using the washer. There’s also a clip for the steel wand and another for the handle on top of the pressure washer. A hook for the 25-foot PVC hose is located in the rear while the wrap for the 35-foot GFCI power cord is found on top of the washer.

1) Sun Joe 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM Electric Pressure Washer (SPX3001)

With a blast-away rate of 2,030 PSI, the 32-pound Sun Joe SPX3001 is powerful enough to tackle almost any household cleaning project. The 14.5-amp, 1,800-watt motor is fast, releasing 1.76 gallons of water per minute and saving you valuable time and effort.

Sun Joe 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM Electric Pressure Washer (SPX3001)

In this electric pressure washer, Sun Joe chose to put a wobble-plate piston pump. One of the self-priming pump’s best features includes durable seals that don’t move with the pistons. Although the pump can run while dry, Sun Joe implemented a total stop system, which turns off the pump when the washer’s trigger isn’t pressed to save energy and prevent a catastrophic malfunction.

Five types of nozzles ranging from 0 to 40 degrees allow you to accomplish a wide range of tasks. Included in these five nozzles is one that dispenses soap to surfaces. Additionally, there’s an onboard storage panel for the nozzles and a clean-out needle to keep them unclogged. A 40.6-ounce detachable tank lets you clean for a long time between fill-ups.

Sun Joe SPX3001

Nobody likes wrapping a hose. Therefore, Sun Joe did away with the hooks and integrated a winding crank reel for the 20-foot hose. Storage for the 35-foot GFCI power cord and 34-inch spray wand are also available on the pressure washer.

Electric Pressure Washer Buying Guide

PSI, GPM, nozzles – There are a lot of factors to consider when buying an electric pressure washer. Know before you buy. This guide will help you figure out what features you need on your next pressure washer.

PSI Per Task

Electric power washers produce a maximum PSI that ranges from 1,500 to over 3,300, depending on the model. The higher the pressure washer’s PSI, the more the pressure washer costs. For most residential applications, a low-price pressure washer with a 1,500 to 2,800 PSI will work just fine.

Light-duty pressure washers have a 1,500-to-1,900 PSI. These washers work great for a variety of jobs, but they’re particularly well-suited for cleaning patio furniture and sidewalks. Medium-duty pressure washers range from 2,000 to 2,800 PSI, and they are powerful enough to clean driveways, decks and fences.

Nozzle Choices

To get the most use from your pressure washer, you need one that comes with a variety of nozzles – at least three. Out of those three, one should spray a concentrated jet, one should release a wide fan and one should dispense soap. All nozzles are universally color-coded, and you can buy extra ones from anywhere as long as the couplings are compatible.

Red 0-degree nozzles provide the most powerful blast, making them ideal for loosening caked mud on durable surfaces like concrete. A turbo nozzle is also suitable for those purposes since it delivers water at the same force as a 0-degree nozzle, pulsing as it rotates.

A yellow 15-degree nozzle works well on painted surfaces like cars while a white 40-degree nozzle is gentle enough for cleaning windows. The green 25-degree nozzle is an excellent all-purpose tip, and the black 65-degree nozzle has a large hole that can handle detergent and soap.

Overall Cleaning Power

There are two important measurements to look at when viewing a pressure washer’s specs. The PSI, or pounds per square inch, refers to the amount of force the spray of water delivers; this number will tell you how efficient the pressure washer is at loosening tough grime. The GPM, or gallons per minute, measures how fast the pressure washer removes dirt and gunk.

Neither the PSI nor the GPM is more important than the other. We recommend multiplying the PSI and the GSI to come up with the CU, or cleaning units. The CU will give you an idea of the pressure washer’s overall cleaning power.

Pump-Protection Features

Pumps become damaged in one of two ways. Contaminants in the water can clog a pump, or running the pressure washer without releasing any water can overheat the pump. As much money as they cost, you’d be better off buying a new pressure washer than a replacement pump.

To combat clogs and burnouts, manufacturers may include one or two safety components. A built-in filter prevents contaminants from reaching the pump. The other one is a thermal relief valve, or total stop system, which stops the pump as soon as you release the trigger.

Wand Length and Other Features

Extension wands are a must-have. These accessories not only give you the reach you need to clean high areas but also keep the spray of water further away from you. Luckily, most pressure washers come with one. Aim for a pressure washer with the longest extension wand possible.

Other considerations for an extension wand include the material and storage. The strongest extension wands are made of steel. The pressure washer itself should offer a storage solution. Some washers have dedicated clips or a clip/tray combo. Some offer both, so you can keep the handle and wand attached as you use the pressure washer and detach them to save storage space afterward.

Hose Length and Storage

The hose that the manufacturer provides may seem short at 20 to 25 feet, but it’s usually long enough for homeowners to clean their automobiles, driveways, siding and outdoor furniture. Of course, you can always attach another hose and get an additional 25 to 50 feet of reach. Some washers come with adapters for this purpose.

Storing the hose can be a pain. Ideally, you want a storage solution that keeps the hose kink-free and its coupler undamaged. An onboard reel is the most convenient type of hose storage followed by a caddy. Wraps and a hook are both okay. The main takeaway here is that onboard storage is absolutely necessary.

Power Cord Considerations

There are three points to keep in mind as far as the power cord goes. First, the power cord must be at least 30 feet. You want it to be long enough to use all around your yard. An extension cord is not an option as it will shorten the motor’s lifespan.

As with the hose, you’ll also want a pressure washer that has a cord wrap or a hook. A wrap is better as it will keep the cord from dangling and tangling. Since you’re working with water, the power cord should also have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) plug to prevent electrical shocks.

Weight and Ergonomics

Unless you have a lot of upper body strength, the weight of the pressure washer won’t matter. For the average person, you want to go as lightweight as possible. A steel frame is a more durable choice, but an aluminum frame can still take a lot of use and abuse, and it’s the lighter option. The motor also plays a role in the pressure washer’s weight – Universal motors are lighter than their induction counterparts.

Take a look at the trigger and the handles. The trigger and the wand handle should be comfortable and shaped to fit your hand. The handle on the frame should be curved or angled to make rolling the pressure washer as painless as possible.

Adapters, Couplers and Fittings

Generally, adapters, couplers and fittings refer to the same components. Brass ones are resistant to corrosion. Stainless steel ones are the strongest, and plastic fittings are the lightest.

In terms of how they connect to the nozzle or hose, quick-connect couplers are the easiest to manipulate. They don’t require you to twist the fitting to attach/detach the hose or the nozzle. Instead, they simply snap together and pull apart.

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