Guide: How to pick the right electric pressure washer – tips & advice

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 (as featured in The Best Electric Pressure washers we found).

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.

Karcher K1800 Electric Power Pressure Washer 1800 PSI TruPressure, 3-Year Warranty, Turbo Nozzle Included
Karcher is one of the brands with a great build quality

#2 Efficiency

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:

#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.

#5 Noise

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.

Spray nozzles
Quick-connect spray nozzles directly mounted on the handle bar. Nice feature!

#8 Accessories:

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”).

#13 Warranty

Check manufacturer warranty before purchasing, many units have a 1-3 year limited warranty.

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