There isn’t a homeowner on the planet who struggles with keeping their yards, driveways, and cars free of dirt and grime. The conventional method of keeping these things clean is by spraying them all down with a regular garden hose. The problem is that the water flow coming out of the hose’s spout is hardly anything and insufficient in removing greasy stains off of paved pathways, let along shifting fallen leaves from their original resting spot. Oh, and did we mention how much water you waste by running your garden hoseUp to 24 gallons per minute in case you were wondering…
The ideal tool to own to keep your yard and driveways free from debris is a power washer. Using this tool is simple – aim the gun at what you want to spray down and pull the trigger. The tremendous amount of pressure shot out of the gun’s nozzle is enough to clear wide pathways, wash decks and outdoor furniture, and clean your car’s body in hardly any time at all.
If the amazing cleaning power isn’t enough to convince you, then how about this: a power washer uses around 20 times less water than running a garden hose while delivering hundreds and even thousands of PSI (pounds per square inch) of pressure. Sure, there are electricity costs to think about, but they’re peanuts compared to the amount of money you’ll save on your water bills.
Types of Power Washers
Power washers can be categorized based on their source of fuel. The two types of power washers are electric and gas-powered.
If you’ve decided to purchase a power washer for environmental reasons, then note that an electric power washer is the environmentally friendlier option to choose. Unlike their gas-powered counterparts, they don’t release toxic fumes into the air, and they are powered by electricity (obviously) which is the cleaner and more fuel source.
Electric power washers can reach up to around 2,000 PSI which will be more than enough for the toughest stains on your driveway. That being said, they’re typically much weaker than gas models which can reach beyond 10,000 PSI.
If extreme cleaning power is something you’re looking for, then check out gas-powered power washers. They can provide more than five times as much pressure than electric power washers while using barely more water in the process.
The main benefit of gas-powered power washers is their portability. All you need is a source of running water, and you’re good to go, unlike electric models which rely on power outlets and extension cords to operate.
Power Washer under $300 Guide
Even though a power washer is an investment since it uses less water while generator supreme cleaning power, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to purchase one. In fact, with a budget of around $300, you can pick up either a gas-powered or electric model. However, if you want to get a 10,000-plus-PSI gas-powered power washer, then your $300 budget won’t be enough, though you can get one with extraordinary power.
In this guide, we’ll talk about the various features and specs to pay attention to when looking for both electric and gas power washers.
The first thing to look at is how much cleaning power the machine provides. The amount of pressure is measured in PSI where a higher PSI rating translates into a stronger spray.
With a budget of $300, you can get a gas power washer with a PSI rating of around 2,500, whereas electric power washers cap off at around 2,000 PSI. The 400-PSI disparity between the two isn’t that noticeable in the grand scheme of things, so getting either one would provide just about the same amount of cleaning power for the exterior of your home.
The next thing to take a look at is how much water the machine uses. A gas power washer with around 2,500 PSI will use around 2.4 GPM of water, whereas a 2,000-PSI electric power washer uses only about 1.8 GPM. Like we said earlier, compared to a garden hose’s 24 GPM, you can save up to 20 times the amount of water per minute of usage.
Note that more water typically means better cleaning power, so if a power washer has a higher GPM rating, it should also have an increased ability to remove caked-on stains.
There won’t be many scenarios where using your power washer’s maximum PSI setting will do any good. Power washers’ high pressure increases the risk of stripping paint, leaving dents, and shattering windows. This is why it’s of the utmost importance that your power washer comes with a system to adjust how much pressure it exerts.
With a budget of $300, there are three pressure adjustment systems to choose from. The first is by attaching quick-connect nozzles to the tip of the spray gun. Each nozzle affects the area and pressure of the spray fan. There are typically five quick-connect nozzles that range from 0° pencil-like precision for heavy-duty cleaning and wide 40° spray fans for moving fallen leaves without demolishing your lawn.
The second system is a twisting nozzle which lets you adjust the pressure and area of the spray on the fly. This is a definite time-saver since you don’t need to swap out nozzles to spray different surfaces.
The third pressure adjustment system is a built-in dial with preset pressure selections. Like the twisting nozzle, you can change pressure on the fly to shoot different objects without wasting a lot of time. In the end, it all comes down to which style you prefer.
There are two mechanisms that a power washer can use to dispense soap. The first is with an onboard tank which connects to the spray hose. The gun is set to either SOAP MODE, or you attach the soap nozzle to shoot it out.
The second is with a soap applicator which is a completely different attachment. It has a built-in soap container and connects to the pressure hose.
In our opinion, the first method of shooting out suds and bubbles is easier. It soap is also much foamier than when using a soap applicator. Once again, it all comes down to personal preference.
In the long run, a power washer can be a smart investment if you clean the exterior of your home on a regular basis. It cuts your water usage bill by a lot, and you end up spending less time under the scorching sun to clean your entire yard, driveway, and vehicle. But just because it saves time and money, it doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on one; with a budget of $300, you could get one of the high-tier electric models or a mid-range gas power washer (in terms of PSI).