PSI Pressure range for Different Surfaces
Different surfaces require different levels of PSI pressure. Generally, for most residential uses, an electric pressure washer (less than 2000 PSI) will suffice. Soft surfaces, such as decks and siding, usually require more cleaning power than harder surfaces such as driveways.
Choosing a Pressure Washer
Vinyl siding can withstand a powerful gas pressure washer (2,500-3,000 psi). Aluminum, stucco or soft-grain wood homes will do better with a less powerful washer (about 1,200-1,500 psi). Determine whether you will rent or buy your machine.
Light-duty pressure washers are rated at 2,000 PSI or less and are suitable for cleaning automobiles, motorcycles, boats, bicycles and all-purpose cleaning. Medium-duty pressure washers produce 2,000 to 3,000 PSI and can be used to remove grease and grim from concrete, sidewalks, decks and siding.
For light-duty tasks such as washing a car or cleaning a barbecue grill, a pressure washer with 1,000 to 1,750 psi and 1.4 to 1.6 gpm (1,400 to 2,800 ECUs) will probably do the job.
Medium Duty 2000-2800 PSI
This classification ranges from as low as 2,000 PSI to as high as 2,800 PSI. You can use a medium-duty pressure washer for almost any surface. They're great for cleaning concrete, brick, and wood.
Although many electric pressure washers produce a pressure of about 1900 psi, you should only use a water pressure of 1500 psi or lower on your car. You'll need to look for a low-pressure machine that's a bit less aggressive than the standard.
To correctly strip old paint, you should work with a power washer with a psi of 2000 or higher. Even starting out at 2000 probably won't do the trick and you'll need to set the psi closer to 3,000 for effective paint stripping.
To clean a deck, some homeowners choose a washer with a pressure range of 1,300 to 2,400 psi, the same as washing a car. HGTV recommends working with the lowest pressure that cleans your deck materials gently: about 500 to 600 psi for soft woods like cedar or pine, and up to 1200 to 1500 psi for pressure-treated wood.
For starters, too much pressure on windows can easily cause the glass to shatter, so you should never use a PSI over 2,000. Furthermore, you need to adjust the spray to its widest angle on a 40- or 65-degree nozzle and use a spray pattern that avoids perpendicular pressure on windows.
If you need to clean a two-story house, you'll need a heavy-duty or extra heavy-duty pressure washer. This will give you a water pressure of 2,800 PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) or higher and three to four GPM (gallons per minute) of water.
Every home is unique, from its square footage to the materials it's made from, making it difficult to give an exact estimate. For example, a 2,000 square foot home can take anywhere from one to three hours to power wash.
Concrete cleaning calls for powerful pressure washers featuring high pressure levels of 3000 PSI. However, if you will be using the power cleaner to maintain a range of surfaces in addition to concrete, choose one with adjustable pressure levels and set it to about 3000 PSI when you need to clean concrete.
2,000 - 2,900 PSI: This is a moderate strength unit used heavier residential tasks. These units are commonly sold as either electric or gas pressure washers. 3,000 - 6,900 PSI: These high pressure models are what professional pressure washers and contractors usually use.
The main difference is that power washing uses highly pressurized steam to do the cleaning while pressure washing just uses unheated tap water, without the help of a heating element.
“Most standard pressure washers will use between 2 to 4 GPM.” That comes a total of 120 to 240 Gallons Per Hour. To bring that into perspective, a standard bathtub holds about 80 gallons of water. If you were to clean your house for 1 hour straight, you'd be using the equivalent of about 2 to 3 baths.
The answer is yes – you can power wash with just water! However, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind when doing this. In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of power washing with water, and we will also give you some tips on how to do it correctly.
Suppose your pressure washer runs at 2,000 PSI and uses 3 gallons of water per minute. It usually takes about a couple of hours to pressure wash an average-sized house, so that turns out to be a total of 360 gallons of water in two hours. For comparison, a standard-size bathtub holds about 80 gallons of water.
Most of the time though, average pressure washers use around eight gallons of water per minute (GPM). A pressure washer with around five GPM is already efficient.
The bare minimum is usually between 2,000 and 3,000 psi for fill and simple surfaces (e.g., patios or sidewalks). ACI sets 2,500 psi as the structural concrete minimum. Pavement, slabs, and footings can be up to 4,000 psi. Suspended slabs, beams, and girders (typically found in bridges) might be 5,000 psi.
Our recommendation ranges from as low as 3,000 PSI to as high as 4,000 PSI.
Good for light cleaning jobs or for jobs where the surface to be cleaned is soft and easily damaged. This pressure range is good for cleaning decks and siding and for light-duty auto cleaning.