Electric PW Icon The Best Electric Pressure Washers of 2020 – Our Reviews, Ratings & Tips for Buying

updated: October 15, 2020
Man washing the car with electric power washer

You have three choices when it comes to pressure washing your grimy outdoor surfaces: hire a professional, rent a unit, or buy one. Purchasing your own top-performing electric pressure washer can save you money down the road, especially if you’ll use it more than once or twice a year. Gas pressure washers are another option, but for most homeowners, a top-rated electric power washer will perform just as well as an average gas model.

Why Electric over Gas*? Here are the PROS:

Electric vs Gas Pressure Washers

  • Quieter
  • Cheaper
  • Smaller and lighter
  • Easier storage
  • Can be used indoors (depends on cleaning surface)

* Like all pressure washers, they can be dangerous if not used correctly. We’ll talk about safety tips that will prevent surface damage as well as injury to you, your family, pets and plants.

Alex Woodward - Power Washers Expert
Whether you need to clean decks, patios, walkways, cars or farm equipment, you want a machine that will clean effectively. All the electric models we’ve reviewed have performed well in various tests, so take a few minutes to browse our reviews and buying guide. We’ll tell you what to look for so you get the best bang for your buck.
Pressure Washer Expert

In general, you want to pay attention to the following characteristics so you’ll know which pressure washer will be right for the cleaning jobs at your home. We will touch on some of these in our reviews:

Caution!

  1. Price
  2. PSI / GPM / CU (cleaning power)
  3. Warranty
  4. Weight
  5. Extra nozzles (on board storage is a big plus)
  6. Plastic or stainless wand
  7. Wheels – larger and pneumatic wheels provide the best stability and maneuverability
  8. Plastic or brass couplings for hose attachment
  9. Cord and hose length – minimum 20-foot hose and 30-foot cord
  10. Hose and cord storage

Besides those criteria, we’ll mention noise levels, which surfaces benefit most from each model, and feedback from real customer experiences. Top models include brands such as Sun Joe, Greenworks, AR Blue Clean, Karcher & Ivation.

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Our 2020 Ratings & Reviews – The Best Electric Power Washers


1Best Versatility Washer
Lightweight and compact washer that’s both incredibly easy to use and tough on dirt.

The Sun Joe SPX3500 is one of the leading pressure washers on the market, and for great reason too. A powerful 2300 PSI of pressure power at a flow rate of 1.48 GPM yields an impressive CU score of 3,404. A 13-AMP/2000W brushless induction motor offers enhanced performance and cleaning capability, allowing you to handle bigger jobs than previous models.

The SPX3500 comes included with a massive 35-foot GFCI cable, a 20-foot high-pressure hose, a 34-inch spray-wand, a 40.6 oz detergent tank, 5 quick-connect nozzles, and is backed by the manufacturer’s full two-year warranty.

ProsThe Good

The Sun Joe SPX3500 offers a powerful 13-AMP brushless induction motor, which runs quieter, longer, and more efficiently than traditional units. 2300 PSI of cleaning powered paired with 1.48GPM of flow handles a variety of tasks, from quick spot-cleaning to tougher tasks. The compact unit is simple to assemble, meaning you can get to cleaning quicker and store with ease.

The combination of mighty motor, powerful pressure, and compact form make the SP3500 one of, if not, the greatest pressure washers currently available today.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

While the SPX3500 offers an upgraded motor over previous iterations, thanks to a lower flow, it may not be able to handle heavy-duty jobs that would be better left to a more specialized washer. Be sure not to use any household detergents, chlorine-based soaps, or industrial-grade solutions as these may damage the device. If you’re going to use any detergent other than the manufacturers, be sure it has a similar consistency and active agents.

The lack of a cord-reel from previous models feels like more of a downgrade rather than an upgrade.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Customers love the cleaning capability of the SPX3500, and marvel at just how well it handles light-to-medium cleaning jobs. The ease-of-assembly paired with the device’s overall compact form are nice perks, and while it is heavier than previous models, it is still easy to maneuver and store.

While Sun Joe backs the SPX3500 with a full 2-year warranty, some customers have raised concerns over their support quality, with some reporting being unable to hear back at all. Some users have also reported issues with the automatic shutoff possibly malfunctioning, and may require restarting the washer.

Take a Look At These Alternative Models:
  • Sun Joe SPX3001
    Sun Joe SPX3001
    Price: Average

    The SPX3001 is a feature-rich member of the SPX family, notably featuring a hose reel. It features a 14.5-AMP/1800W motor that generates 2030 PSI of pressure at a flow rate of 1.76 GPM. The SPX3001 comes with the total stop system to automatically power down when not in use, helping to conserve energy and prolong the life of the device. Offering many of the same amenities and accessories of the SPX3500, the SPX3001 is a great cost-effective option. CU Score: 3,573. Read Our Full Review of the Sun Joe SPX3001 >>

  • SPX3000
    Sun Joe SPX3000
    Price: Average

    The predecessor to the SPX3001 is available in a variety of colorways. It features the same 14.5-AMP/1800W motor, producing a similar 2030 PSI of pressure at a flow rate of 1.76 GPM. Dual onboard detergent tanks give you the flexibility to choose between different cleaners for different jobs. It’s both lightweight and incredibly compact, making storing and moving easier than ever. While it does lack a hose reel, it’s bottom-focused design prevents the unit from tipping over while moving or in use. CU Score: 3,573. Read Our Full Review of the Sun Joe SPX3000 >>

  • SPX4000-PRO
    Sun Joe SPX4000-PRO
    Price: Average

    Similar to the aforementioned alternative models, the SPX4000-PRO features the same 14.5-AMP/1800W motor, providing a similar 2030 PSI of pressure at a rate of 1.76 GPM. What sets the SPX4000-PRO apart from the other alternatives is it’s compact and unique design, as well as pressure-select controls that let you choose between low and high-pressure options depending on the task at hand. It features a special turbo-connect nozzle in addition to the five quick-connect nozzles included with all SPX models, as well as a larger 54.1oz detergent tank for bigger cleaning jobs. CU Score: 3,573.

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2Quiet and Reliable
Impressively powerful washer featuring an adjustable pressure wand and water-cooled induction motor.

The K5 Premium is the most powerful pressure washer in the K-Series line of products by Karcher, and for great reason. Featuring a powerful water-cooled induction motor, it can tackle light, medium, and even some heavy-duty cleaning tasks with up to 2000 PSI of pressure flowing at a rate of 1.4 GPM.

It’s relatively lightweight at only 32 pounds and features a 25-foot hose and 35-foot power cord so you can easily take on those bigger projects. It also comes with two wands and a 2-year limited warranty. The warranty is backed by the company’s rapid exchange program, which allows for quick and free replacement of the entire machine for those requiring in-warranty repairs.

ProsThe Good

The K5 Premium was built with quality and durability in mind. The water-cooled induction motor helps to prolong motor life, not overheat even with continuous use, and operate incredibly quietly compared to competitors. It features Karcher’s patented N-COR pump that helps to protect the washer against corrosion and wear, helps to prevent leaks, and guards against freezing temperatures.

Rather than a series of easy-to-lose nozzles, the K5 Premium features two wands. The DirtBlaster turbo wand is a high-pressure wand built for tackling tougher jobs, while the Vario Power Spray adjustable wand allows you to control the pressure needed for the task at hand for all-around everyday cleaning.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

The weight distribution isn’t the greatest, and the unit may tip over if the hose is pulled while extended, or even while not supporting the unit while reeling it back in. The plastic components feel a bit cheap, given the premium nature of the device, and certain components may offer questionable reliability. Proprietary parts mean you can only buy Karcher parts for repairs.

The instruction manual and diagrams don’t offer the best clarity and can be confusing. There are questions to be raised regarding the reliability of Karcher’s support, and some users may face challenges. Brand loyalists may also be disappointed to learn that while Karcher machines were once manufactured in France, they are now made exclusively in China.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Many customers were impressed with the K5’s performance in handling light-to-medium cleaning projects, such as vinyl siding, patio furniture, decks, driveways, and cars. The DirtBlaster wand works well on moss, so long as there isn’t lengthy buildup.

The poor weight distribution of the unit makes it prone to tipping, and some users reported damaging the quick-connect valve for the hose as a result. Some have had issues with weaker pressure, as well as problems with the soap dispenser.

Take a Look At These Alternative Models:
  • Karcher K1700 Cube
    Karcher K1700 Cube
    Price: Low

    The K1700 Cube is an impressively compact pressure washer by Karcher, coming in at 12” tall and weighing less than 20lbs. Unlike the dual wands of the K5 Premium, the K1700 Cube comes with three unique nozzles for handling whatever the task at hand is. Easy attachable setup means you can have the device out of the box and operating in less than 5 minutes, all with no tools required. It comes with a 3-year limited warranty and is also backed by Karcher’s rapid exchange program. Its 120V motor offers up to 1700 PSI of pressure at a rate of 1.2 GPM. CU Score: 2,040.

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3Best Light-Duty Washer
Durable value cleaner excels at light-duty pressure washing.

The 20681 is the latest in the S2000 line of pressure washers from Briggs & Stratton. The S2000 line earned its namesake due to a maximum output of up to 2000 PSI of pressure, and the 20681’s brushless induction motor produces this with 1.2 GPM of flow. While not the lightest, its compact form factor makes storage simple, being able to be tucked away under work-benches and other tight spaces.

The 20681 comes with four quick-connect nozzles, including a specialized turbo nozzle for even quicker cleaning. Also included is a 1-year limited warranty, which covers all included parts and accessories.

ProsThe Good

The welded-steel frame design offers a premium commercial-grade feel and greater reliability than competitors that are largely made of plastic. Its foldaway design makes storing easier than ever, folding into a form so compact you can even store it in the trunk of your car. It performs great on any light-duty job you can throw at it, especially with the included turbo nozzle.

The bottom-focused design prevents tipping, and the device has even passed a military-grade drop test, so you don’t have to worry if it does.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

This is not a machine built for heavy-duty jobs but can handle lighter projects around the home with ease. If you use any third-party parts not included, and anything happens to your device, the incident may not be fully covered by the included warranty. Those with limited dexterity may grow frustrated with the layout of the hose connections, making them somewhat difficult to attach and remove.

Cord and hose management are adequate, but can certainly be improved upon in future iterations.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Customers love the device as a compact yet effective light-duty cleaning machine. Many praise the welded steel-frame construction as notably durable, helping to give the unit a more impressive build quality.

There are a number of complaints of defective, faulty, or leaky units, although as long as you act under warranty, you should be able to receive repairs or a replacement. There are mixed reviews of their customer support, with some users praising them and others facing a number of difficulties receiving service.

Take a Look At These Alternative Models:
  • Briggs & Stratton S1800
    Briggs & Stratton S1800
    Price: Average

    The S1800 is a useful and compact cleaner, featuring the same foldaway design as the S2000. Unlike the S2000, the S1800 produces 1800 PSI of pressure at a rate of 1.2 GPM, but can still handle any light-duty project you can throw at it. The S1800 also features less included nozzles than its successor, although the ones that are included should cover most tasks.

    It comes included with three quick-connect nozzles, as well as a full 1-year warranty that covers all included parts and accessories.

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4Best Power and Efficiency
This flagship washer offers versatile features and powerful cleaning, all at an amazing value.

The AR390SS from Annovi Reverberi is the flagship washer in the Blue Clean line of products. The 14-AMP universal motor offers a powerful 2000 PSI of pressure at a flow rate of 1.4 GPM, offering impressive cleaning capability for medium to even some heavier cleaning projects. It’s also fairly compact and is lighter than the SPX35000.

It features a 35-foot power cord, a 30-foot high-pressure hose, onboard storage, as well as a variety of adjustable nozzles for various tasks. The AR390SS is backed by a 1-year “bumper-to-bumper” warranty, as well as Annovi Reverberi’s respected customer service.

ProsThe Good

For both the size of the washer and power behind it, it runs remarkably silently and efficiently, especially compared to gas-powered alternatives. The combined generous length of the power cable and high-pressure hose offers greater reach than similar models. The rotary/turbo nozzle attachment boosts effective pressure up to 50%, making tough cleaning quicker and easier than ever.

The device comes partially assembled, making setup simple and is able to be broken down if necessary for easier storing. It’s also fairly lightweight, making maneuvering a breeze even for those with less mobility.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

While the reel should be an easy way to retract your hose, it offers drawbacks such as difficulty reeling and poor weight-distribution leading to an increased risk of tipping over while using. The hose itself can be quite stiff, making it more difficult to maneuver, and also has a tendency to kink.

The onboard-storage is more for storing when not in use than in general, and items may fall off as you move the washer. The limited 1-year warranty is shorter than most, although it is fairly comprehensive in its coverage.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

People love the quick assembly and ease of use offered by the AR390SS, and in turn, how easy it is to break back down and store. They also love how quiet the washer runs despite its powerful cleaning capability. Customers themselves speak of how attentive and helpful Annovi Reverberi’s customer service truly is.

People are not a fan of the build quality of the hose-reel, calling it flimsy and frustrating to use. Many were frustrated with the hose itself, which tends to kink and not lay flat.

Take a Look At These Alternative Models:
  • AR Annovi Reverberi Maxx2200
    AR Annovi Reverberi Maxx2200
    Price: High

    The AR Blue Clean MAXX2200 is a more portable offering than AR390SS while managing to still offer powerful cleaning capability. Its 13-AMP motor delivers up to 2200 PSI of pressure, with a flow of 1.2GPM. This portable system rides on a cart and can be removed for even more convenient cleaning of those hard to reach spaces. It’s also easy to assemble so that you can get to tackling those tough projects faster. CU Score: 2,640.

  • AR Annovi Reverberi AR383
    AR Annovi Reverberi AR383
    Price: Low

    The AR383 is a remarkably light cleaning machine that can tackle most light and medium-duty cleaning jobs. While less powerful than the AR390SS, delivering 1900 PSI of pressure at a rate of 1.5 GPM, it’s still quite a powerful and compact cleaner. It has the distinct honor of being possibly both the lightest and easiest to put together on our list, weighing only 13 pounds and assembled in only five simple steps. CU Score: 2,850.

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5Versatile Portability and Performance
This versatile and portable machine is perfect for cleaning smaller spaces.

The Stanley SLP2050 earned its namesake due to the pressure it provides, delivering up to 2050 PSI at a rate of 1.4 GPM. The latest offering in the Stanley S line of pressure washers matches power with portability to deliver one of the most versatile cleaners available.

The SLP2050 is relatively lightweight at only 36 lbs and includes a 35-foot cable, a 25-foot soft, flexible hose, a 28oz detergent tank, and five nozzles for a variety of cleaning jobs. It is also backed and protected by a 2-year limited warranty and lifetime customer service.

ProsThe Good

The Stanley SLP2050 offers a unique modular design that greatly enhances the versatility the machine can provide. Keep it on the cart for everyday cleaning around your home or property, remove it to use as a portable standalone cleaner for those hard-to-reach spaces, or even mount it to the wall of your garage for stationary projects. This design also makes storage simpler.

The professional-grade wand features 22mm connections to support professional power-washing accessories, offering even greater value than before.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

If you’re looking for heavy-duty commercial-grade cleaning quality, this may not be the unit for you. While readily able to tackle any light to medium-duty cleaning job you can throw at it, the machine is not built for heavier jobs or excessive use. Overuse may lead to premature wearing and possible pump failure.

It should be noted to brand loyalists that these machines are private-label, produced by Annovi Reverberi, and using the Stanley name under license.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Customers appreciate the lightweight build and overall versatility offered by the SLP2050. Being able to remove the unit from the cart and easily carry it around so they can get to those difficult-to-reach spots is a welcome feature that many appear to wish was more common.

Some customers have reported issues getting service for their purchase, or even in contact with support in the first place. Your experience may vary.

Take a Look At These Alternative Models:
  • Stanley SHP2150
    Stanley SHP2150
    Price: Average

    The SHP2150 provides greater cleaning capability than the SLP2050, producing 2150 PSI of pressure at a rate of 1.4 GPM, and is able to tackle more medium and even some heavy-duty jobs, unlike its predecessor. The SHP2150 features the same hose, and cord length yet is notably lighter than the SLP2050 weighing only 26 pounds, albeit without the same portability.

    The 28oz detergent tank has the capacity to double as a foam cannon if desired. Included with the washer are four quick-connect nozzles, although it notably lacks a turbo/rotary nozzle. CU Score: 3,010.

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6Durable and Reliable Performance
Durability meets performance in this versatile pressure washer.

The Clean Machine CM60976 by Simpson, offers a durable build quality packed with powerful performance. Its 120V Simpson motor produces 2300 PSI of pressure with 1.2 GPM of flow, helping you handle a variety of light, medium, and even some heavy-duty cleaning jobs. While the unit itself has a bit of weight behind it, it features never-flat plastic wheels for easy maneuverability.

Included with the Clean Machine are three spray nozzles, including a soap and 15-degree angled quick-connect nozzles, and a turbo nozzle for quick cleaning of tough tasks.

ProsThe Good

The reliability of Simpson motors paired with a maintenance-free axial cam pump by OEM Technologies make ownership simple, needing little to no user service throughout the lifetime of the unit. The Clean Machine is easy to assemble and can be operating in as little as 5 minutes, and shouldn’t take more than 10.

A generous combination of power cord and hose length ensures you’re able to handle most projects around the home with ease.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

The sturdy steel-frame design can feel offset by the plastic housing on the washer itself, although this has little bearing on the machine’s overall function. The flow of the unit could be greater, considering its overall cost. While the three included nozzles should handle a variety of tasks around the house, additional options would make this a far more versatile value.

An ability to control the flow of detergent would be a very nice and welcome addition to this otherwise solid unit.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

People appreciate the ease of assembly and usage offered by the Clean Machine. Many appreciate how well this machine handles light and medium-duty tasks, comparing it to their previously-owned gas-powered units. If any issues happen to arise, users report reliable and responsive support from Simpson.

Some users have had issues with malfunctioning units, although in the same reports, mention how well Simpson customer service assisted them with their issues. Additionally, some users note there may be more feature-rich units at this price-point.

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7Compact Yet Powerful Cleaner
This compact cleaner by Greenworks is packed with power.

The GPW1950 is quite an impressive offering from Seattle-based Greenworks, delivering 1950 PSI of pressure flowing at a rate of 1.2GPM thanks to its 13-AMP induction motor. Its compact form factor makes more storing and transporting easier than ever, and an included hose reel helps you to keep it neat and organized.

Included with the GPW1950 are a 35-foot power cable, 25-foot hose, dual onboard detergent tanks, a low-pressure foam sprayer, and three quick-connect nozzles for handling whatever the task at hand is.

ProsThe Good

Organization was a key design focus when engineering the GPW1950, featuring onboard storage for the included quick-connect nozzles and a built-in hose reel. Its compact form-factor makes maneuvering and storing the unit when you’re done easier than ever. Dual onboard detergent tanks allow you to tackle bigger projects for longer.

For such a fairly small unit, it performs remarkably well on medium and even some heavier projects.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

The unit is surprisingly heavy considering its fairly compact build, and may well be the heaviest on this list at nearly 50lbs. A wider variety of nozzles other than the three included would greatly increase the versatility offered by this machine, boosting performance and cleaning capability.

The 1-year limited warranty leaves a bit to be desired for the potential consumer, particularly when Greenworks backs the rest of their products with an impressive 4-year warranty.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

People love the compact nature of the GPW1950, and really appreciate how easy it is to maneuver and store. They’re also impressed by the cleaning ability offered by such a compact unit, and its ability to readily handle most medium and even some heavy-duty cleaning projects.

Some users have reported issues with reliability, claiming their devices stopped working after only a handful of uses. Additionally, users have reported issues with customer service in even having their claims addressed.

Take a Look At These Alternative Models:
  • Greenworks 1600 PSI
    Greenworks 1600 PSI
    Price: Low

    The GPW1602 is a lightweight hand-held washer that’s even more compact and portable than the GPW1950, weighing an astonishing 17.5lbs. The 13-AMP motor produces 1600 PSI of pressure flowing at a rate of 1.2 GPM, easily handling a variety of light-duty cleaning projects. Given its portability and value, the GPW1602 is a fantastic choice for the elderly or those with mobility issues. The unit comes with a 35-foot power cord, a 20-foot hose, three quick-connect nozzles, and is backed by Greenworks’ 1-year limited warranty. CU Score: 1,920.

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8The Truly Portable Choice
Truly portable pressure washer offers unique versatility.

The WG644 by WORX is the only genuinely portable offering on our list, weighing only 7 pounds and operating on batteries without the need to plug-in. This device is focused primarily on portability over power, delivering only 450 PSI of pressure at a rate of just 0.90 GPM. It is able to draw water from any source, meaning you can hook it up to a bucket to take around with you, or you can even use a lake to draw from if you feel so inclined. It should be noted to be mindful of the water source you use, as certain sources may increase the risk of corrosion.

Included with the WG644 are two 20V lithium-ion batteries, a 20V dual-port battery charger, a 20-foot hose, and a quick-connect adapter for greater compatibility.

ProsThe Good

The standout design element of the WG644 is it’s truly portable design, operating on batteries with an ability to use any water source available. It offers high and low-pressure settings depending on the task at hand, and the pressure nozzle can be adjusted with four distinct settings to offer greater flexibility when cleaning.

The WG644 is a great choice for light-duty cleaning work and is able to tackle those hard to reach spaces thanks to its portability.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

This is not a powerful machine, as it was built with portability in mind. While it can handle a variety of light-duty tasks, it will struggle with any project above that. The batteries will last for a specific task, but I wouldn’t rely on them for anything longer than a single basic project. Additionally, the batteries are not universal and may be difficult to replace.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Of course, people love the lightweight and portability offered by the WORX WG644. People appreciate the convenience of being able to clean where needed thanks to its battery-powered operation and ability to utilize any water source available. Additionally, people were impressed by just how well this little machine managed to clean a variety of light-duty cleaning projects.

While people tend to understand why this limitation exists, given the nature of the device, many have voiced concerns over the relatively low pressure and flow of the device. Additionally, users are frustrated with the battery’s ability to retain a charge and the difficulty that comes with trying to replace them.

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Ah the joys of owning your own pressure washer. For most homeowners, electric models like the ones we listed here are plenty powerful enough for your average cleaning tasks. If you need something that will tackle really heavy-duty tasks like paint stripping, deep stain removal, etc. you should probably consider a gas pressure washer. We have a few suggestions for those too.

What are the PROS/CONS of Gas vs. Electric

PROS

    Electric pressure washer PROS:

  • Quieter
  • Cheaper (average $150 – $250)
  • Easy storage
  • Can use indoors
  • Lighter
Electric Icon
CONS

    Electric pressure washer CONS:

  • Cord limits reach
  • Less power
Electric Icon
PROS

    Gas pressure washer PROS:

  • More power
  • Can be used anywhere outdoors, no power outlet needed
Gas Icon
CONS

    Gas pressure washer CONS:

  • More expensive (average $300 – $500)
  • Heavier
  • Louder
  • Cannot be used indoors
Gas Icon

Play it safe with pressure washers

Safety is a big concern with any pressure washer. Some people don’t understand that pressure washers can be dangerous. The very high pressure produced from the water stream can seriously injure people and some surfaces like car paint or glass. We’re talking skin lacerations, even amputations, plus kickback forces that can easily knock a person off a ladder.

Be very careful operating pressure washer on a ladder or, better yet, do not do this at all.

Pressure washers are a godsend for exterior cleaning, but you have to respect them. To stay safe, be sure to check out our beginner’s guide to using pressure washers safely.

Here are some basic safety tips for electric pressure washers:

    Gfci socket.
  1. Read and follow the manual!
  2. Wear protective clothing – long pants, goggles, work boots or other sturdy closed-toed footwear
  3. Start spraying surfaces about 2 feet away and gradually move closer, no closer than 6 inches
  4. Stay off ladders!
  5. Never EVER point the nozzle at any part of you, other people, pets, or plants
  6. Do NOT use extension cords for electric pressure washers
  7. Always plug into a GFCI outlet

Nozzles and other attachments

Power Washers Nozzles

Most pressure washers come with interchangeable nozzles that allow varying widths of water streams.

The typical types are:

  • red (0 degree)
  • yellow (15 degree)
  • green (25 degree)
  • white (40 degree)
  • black (soap)

According to Consumer Reports, as soon as you open the box, you should TOSS the red (0 degree nozzle). It’s the highest pressure nozzle and shoots a very narrow stream of water, which makes it capable of serious physical injury and property damage. You will rarely, if ever, have a cleaning job that requires a 0 degree nozzle. Just pretend it was never there…

There are other attachments and accessories you may find helpful for your pressure washer. Some of these you have to buy from the washer’s manufacturer, while some are universal. Here are a few:

  • Surface cleaner
    Surface cleaner
    Spinning bar that delivers water stream over a big surface area. Good for large areas like a driveway.
  • Rotary nozzle
    Rotary nozzle
    Sometimes called a turbo nozzle, sometimes included as a bonus nozzle in the box. Produces a spinning narrow water spray. Good for stubborn stains and grime buildup.
  • Pressure washing broom
    Pressure washing broom
    Like the surface cleaner, splits single jet into two or three for cleaning large areas. Good for car or boat washing.
  • Wand extension
    Wand extension
    Helps you reach high areas so you don’t need a ladder.
  • Hose extension
    Hose extension
    For cleaners with shorter (20 ft or less) hoses, you may want a hose extension. Though this could lessen the pressure somewhat, it’s better than putting yourself in a dangerous position to reach an area for cleaning.

Troubleshooting Tips & Tricks

How to fix electric pressure washer

During our research, we came across customer and manufacturer suggestions for fixing various issues that may arise with a pressure washer. With electric models, the most common complaints involve the motor not starting and pressure loss. If you’re not confident with your fix-it skills, take your machine to a local repairman or call the manufacturer to see about a replacement. But for those fix-it folks among you, try these tricks.

For motors that no longer start:

  1. Check the reset button on the plug. It’s possible to trip it while plugging it into the power outlet outside.
  2. Try a pump protector lubricant after each use, like this one from Briggs & Stratton. Leftover water in the unit can seize up the pump’s internal gaskets. You screw the plastic threads on the lubricant bottle into the threaded garden hose inlet on the pressure washer and squeeze the trigger on the bottle. It’s especially good for use before extended storage (winter, for instance) and before first startup the next season.
  3. Check the GFCI plug first and replace if needed.
  4. There could be an electrical issue within the GFCI plug of the power washer itself, especially if it’s left out in the rain or where there’s lots of humidity. With the unit unplugged, use a screwdriver to take the cover off of the cleaner’s GFCI plug. If you see lots of moisture trapped in the plug, that can prevent it from running. You can buy a replacement plug at the hardware store or one like this Leviton brand online. Just reconnect the wires to the new GFCI plug (black wire to gold connector, white to silver) and turn the screws to secure the wires. Screw down the “U” shaped stress clamps that come with the new plug. Then attach the new cover, and try starting up the machine.

For pressure loss:

  1. The nozzle may have a blockage. Turn the pressure washer off, and bleed air out of the system. Remove the nozzle. Hold the nozzle by the sides with the front of the nozzle facing you. Using the spray tip cleaning tool or a straightened paper clip, try pushing the clog back the way it came. Rinse the nozzle thoroughly front and back. Replace the nozzle and try washing with it again. If the nozzle remains clogged, remove it and repeat the process. If still clogged, try soaking the nozzle in hot water and then try washing again.
  2. Air in the hose may be the source of the pulsating pressure.
  3. Try a different nozzle – you might not be using the right one.
  4. Look to see if the hoses are kinked and straighten them out.
  5. Check the inlet and un-loader valves. If clogged, clean them or replace with new valves.
  6. For pulsating pressure, turn off the machine and try bleeding air from the hose by squeezing the trigger.

 

Still having trouble? Try looking up troubleshooting videos like this one about troubleshooting a Karcher pressure washer. If all else fails, call the manufacturer if your warranty is still in effect to see if they can help. If your warranty has expired, you’ll probably just have to purchase a new one.
Alex Woodward
Author
Alex owns a home improvement and restoration company in Vancouver. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from Saskatchewan Polytechnic and is a NARI Certified Remodeler. His team does a wide range of home restoration products, both interior and exterior.
image description Comments
David
September 22, 2020 at 7:03 pm

What is a good electric powerwasher .that is over 3000 psi to buy

Dennis
September 28, 2020 at 6:11 am

You will have to go to 230 volt for that power level. Northern Tool sells one that meets your requirements.

Mike
April 7, 2020 at 11:16 pm

I’m looking at the Bauer 2000psi electric unit. It has a 4.8 star rating. Any comments?

David
February 11, 2020 at 10:08 pm

My parents are retired and not in the best of health. But they want a pressure washer to keep their walk and deck clean. What is better for them- the Sun Joe SPX3001 or AR Blue Clean AR390SS?

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
February 13, 2020 at 4:12 am

For older people or those with mobility issues, the AR Blue Clean probably has the advantage over the Sun Joe. It’s pretty lightweight at only 31 pounds and breaks down for compact storage when not needed.

It’s good for most light-moderate duty jobs around the home, which should meet their needs just fine unless there’s a heavy grime buildup. It comes with a rotary/turbo nozzle for the tougher dirt which won’t require as much time and physical effort. Due to its height, it can be a little top-heavy and prone to tip over if not kept level. But the total stop system automatically shuts off the spray when the trigger is released, which is a good safety measure in case the wand is dropped.

Cathy Batten
June 8, 2020 at 12:19 am

I only have 2 outdoor outlets. They are on the front and back of the house. What are your suggestions since you aren’t supposed to use extension cords? How do I reach the sides of the house? My house is a long ranch style.

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
June 9, 2020 at 9:20 am

Hello Cathy, sorry to hear you’re having such a hard time! While you generally should avoid using an extension cord whenever possible, it is okay to use them, provided you do it the right way. As long as your pressure washer is UL approved, you can safely use extension cords under 60ft long that are at least fourteen gauge. I hope that helps solve your dilemma!

John S
December 1, 2019 at 5:34 am

What do you think of the Sun Joe spx3501? Choosing between this and spx3001. Thanks for the help.

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
December 3, 2019 at 11:34 am

The SPX 3501 is a step up from the 3001 in price and additional power. The 3501 produces up to 2300 PSI at 1.48 GPM while the 3001 produces 2030 PSI at 1.76 GPM.

You do have a sturdier body style on the 3501 – wider on the bottom than the top, which may prevent the problems the 3001 has had with flipping over during use. The 3501 may be a little quieter at higher speeds with its brushless induction motor.

Other than that, they have the same specs in terms of cord and hose length and detergent capacity. So it’s kind of a toss up. If you want a little extra power, a steadier foundation, and don’t mind paying around $50 more, go with the 3501.

Juan Keeler
September 16, 2019 at 4:18 am

I have a lot of second story cleaning (windows/siding) to do, but I’m afraid my little light-duty Greenworks washer won’t cut it. What PSI do I need my pressure washer to have?

James (Cleanup.Expert Team)
September 16, 2019 at 10:49 am

Any kind of second-story work will take at least a mid – heavy duty pressure washer up to around 3000 PSI. The reason being, you’ll likely need a hose or wand extension, and adding extra length means lowering the pressure.

Since the Greenworks rings in at about 1600, you’ll definitely want more oomph. If you prefer an electric power washer, we’d recommend the AR Blue Clean AR390SS or the Karcher K5 Premium or Karcher K2000.

George C.
September 12, 2019 at 12:44 pm

I have access to both hot and cold water in my garage. For killing mildew and bacteria, I’d prefer to pressure wash with hot water, but can I use hot water in my pressure washer or not?

James (Cleanup.Expert Team)
September 12, 2019 at 5:16 pm

That depends on the pressure washer. There are pressure washers specifically designed for use with hot water or those that heat the water for you post-pump. For most models, though, the answer is no.

Hot water can damage pressure washers for a couple reasons. One, the seals around the pump and tubing could be damaged with water that’s over 100 degrees F. Also, your water pump depends on the water flow to help keep it cool. You risk overheating it if you run hot water through it.

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