All homeowners know the hassles of keeping their yards, driveways, and vehicles clean. Normally, they’d rely on garden hoses to do most of their outdoor cleaning jobs. However, using a traditional garden hose and its weak pressure is not sufficient in lifting greasy stains off driveways or pushing bundles of leaves down your gutter. Not to mention the tremendous amount of water that a garden hose wastes while offering very little cleaning power.
The best investment you can make to keep your yards and driveways spotless is by getting a power washer. A power washer expels highly pressurized water out of a spray gun. The pressure itself is what lends amazing cleaning power to the tool, so pushing leaves, cleaning decks and patio furniture, and washing your vehicles are all effortless to do.
A power washer is more than just a tool; it’s an investment. With a power washer, you’re using a very limited amount of water – almost 20 times less than a garden hose – while expelling an amazing amount of pressurized cleaning power – more than 100 times than a garden hose. A power washer significantly reduces the amount of water you use, translating into saving big bucks in the long run.
Types of Power Washers
Power washers can fall into two different categories: corded-electric and gas-powered.
These are the more environmentally friendly power washer since they don’t shoot out a ton of toxic fumes into the air. They also run off electricity which is cleaner and much more efficient than gasoline. However, the most powerful electric power washer isn’t anywhere near as powerful as some of the weakest gas-powered models.
If supreme cleaning power is a priority, then consider getting one of these bad boys. They can produce more than 10,000 PSI of pressurized force for heavy-duty industrial cleaning. They’re also portable to boot since there aren’t any power cords.
Of course, with great power comes a great price tag, and if you have a moderate budget of $200 for a power washer, you’re better off ignoring gas-powered models completely.
Are There Any Budget-Friendly Power Washers?
We’re glad you asked. You’d think that as an investment, the cost of a power washer would be pretty extravagant. However, thanks to the high number of manufacturers looking to get a piece of the market, there are some budget-friendly options to choose from.
Just because a power washer won’t cost an arm and a leg doesn’t mean that it’ll perform any worse than their $500-plus counterparts. If you invest enough time, you might be able to find a diamond in the large pool of budget-friendly power washers. This is why it’s so important to know which specs and features to keep an eye out for.
Power Washer under $200 Buying Guide
Even though a power washer can be relatively inexpensive doesn’t mean it’s not worth taking the time and patience to find the right model. This quick guide will provide you with a list of the most important specs and features to take into account when shopping for a power washer priced under $200.
The first thing you need to consider is how much pressure the power washer produces. The amount of force is measured in pounds-per-square-inch (PSI). A higher PSI rating equals more pressure and, thus, cleaning power.
Corded-electric models priced under $200 usually come with PSI ratings of between 800 and 1,800. Even though 1,800 PSI might seem high, just know that it’s not nearly enough for heavy-duty industrial and farm cleaning. However, for light-duty cleaning around the exterior of your home, even 800 PSI can be sufficient.
The thing that makes a power washer remarkable is that it uses a fraction of the water that a traditional garden hose uses. Running water straight from an outdoor tap, you’re using about 24 gallons per minute (GPM), whereas even a budget power washer at around 1,000 PSI only uses 2 GPM at most.
Even though power washers hardly use any water, you shouldn’t get a model that hardly uses it – less than 1 GPM – since it won’t provide adequate cleaning power.
Looking at the PSI range of $200-or-under power washers, even the smallest machine can produce even pressure to break the skin. This is why it’s important that you adjust the pressure of the power washer based on what surfaces you’re cleaning.
There are two main systems in place that lets users adjust pressure and spray area – quick-connect nozzle tips and twisting wands. QC nozzle tips are the more system for pressure adjustment, but a twisting wand lets you modify the pressure and spray fan on the fly. It’s a matter of personal preference, so take some time to get comfortable with both systems.
Just because an electric power washer has a power cord doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be able to move around. Depending on the model, a power washer can be lifted from place to place, carted around on rear wheels, or tugged around on four wheels.
Once again, decide which to get based on your preferences. However, take notice of how balanced the tool is while moving it around. Some models, even four-wheelers, can tip over due to the slightest tug.
There’s no better way to apply suds on a surface that with the help of a power washer. There are two methods of doing so; either through a soap applicator or an onboard tank.
A soap applicator is an attachment for the spray gun which dispenses soap along with any passing water through the pressure hose. If a power washer comes with a soap tank, you don’t need to swap out any pieces of the wand; simply switch to SOAP mode and pull the trigger.
We prefer soap tanks since there’s very little downtime in between switching modes. If time isn’t a factor, a soap applicator can suit you just fine.
A power washer can be a great investment if you’re looking to do some outdoor cleaning. Not only does it save a ton of money on cutting your water bills, but it also saves a tremendous amount of time since the pressure is working with you against caked-on grime and oil stains.
A good power washer doesn’t have to come with an extravagant price tag, especially if you’re doing light-duty cleaning jobs outside of your home, but it’s important that you know what features and specs to look out for to enhance your experience in owning and using one.