How much water does a pressure washer use?

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Hello, I am Santy, the funder of I have been in cleaning machinery field for more than 5 years now, and the purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to pressure washer from a Chinese supplier's perspective.

In some pressure washing communities, such as Reddit’s sub r/pressurewashing, one of the frequently talked about topics is “how much water does a pressure washer use”? Obviously, whether it is from the perspective of environmental protection or cost saving, the water consumption of a high-pressure cleaner is a factor that you have to consider when you decide to buy high-pressure cleaning equipment.

Pressure washers are used for personal and domestic use, and water usage can also determine your water bill. As a manufacturer engaged in the production of high pressure washers, Bison has experience in manufacturing various types of high pressure washers. In the following guide, Bison will tell you how much water is used by different types of high pressure washers.

The best way to measure your pressure washer’s water usage is to monitor the GPM (gallons per minute) value.

how much water does pressure washer use

Relative gallons per minute of water use will vary by manufacturer and machine.

Another critical metric to look out for is PSI (pounds per square inch), which indicates how much force the jet exerts from the nozzle. Generally speaking, a higher PSI will provide more raw cleaning power and consume more water. Let’s discuss the ins and outs of pressure washer water and cover some essential aspects of the associated costs, along with some helpful ways to minimize your spending.

Do pressure washers use a lot of water?

pressure washer water usage

Pressure washers are really powerful machines that can easily clean heavily soiled surfaces by hand. One of the critical aspects to consider is how much the use of a pressure washer will affect your budget as a business owner or your water bill as a homeowner. Let’s talk about the relative water consumption of a typical pressure washer compared to other equipment.

On average, a pressure washer consumes about 1.5 gallons of water per minute (GPM), an essential measurement unit we discussed earlier. The average garden hose unit consumes about 8.5 gallons of water per minute. This tells us that the average garden hose uses seven times more water per minute than a pressure washer! This was quite a revelation because a high-powered pressure washer would consume more water than a typical garden hose.

So why is this happening? Well, several aspects or features of a pressure washer make this possible. The first is the nozzle on the pressure washer’s hose, which is much smaller than the nozzle of the garden hose.

The narrow nozzle creates a high-pressure jet that removes and washes away stubborn dirt and grime. Essentially, this unique narrow nozzle design not only allows for high-quality cleaning but also reduces the water consumption of the pressure washer.

Running a pressure washer can still use water, especially a heavy-duty high-pressure machine. A high-pressure cleaning business typically has multiple machines running daily, so they will inevitably use water.

How much can I expect to spend on the water?

How much water does a pressure washer use

To estimate the water consumption of running a pressure washer, consider how many gallons per minute the machine uses and multiply that by the run time.

For example, when running steadily, your pressure washer uses approximately 1.5 gallons of water per minute.

You are cleaning the siding on your home and expect to take about 4 hours to complete the job. This means you will use 420 gallons of water to do the pressure washing job (1.5 gallons x 60 min/hour = 90 gallons/hour x 4 hours = 360 gallons).

A second important factor to consider is the actual cost of water in your particular area or region. Water costs often vary from location to location. Water prices vary significantly across the United States. Florida, Wisconsin, and Vermont had the lowest water rates, while West Virginia, Connecticut, and California had the highest. An American household that uses about 400 gallons of water daily pays about $70 monthly in water bills.

Water rates in your area should be factored into your calculations to estimate how much you can spend on water on pressure washing jobs.

Why use a pressure washer in the first place?

A pressure washer is an excellent way to clean debris and grime from tools, construction equipment, yards, homes, and other hard surfaces.

Using high pressure, they clean the dirtiest, hard-to-remove substances with ease.

A pressure washer can increase your cleaning power and do the job faster.

Used by homeowners and professional cleaning companies alike, pressure washers are everyone’s best friend.

How Much Water Does A Pressure Washer Use To Wash A Car


Wondering how much it costs you to clean your car with a pressure washer? Well, let Bison tell you.
If you choose the traditional hose method, it typically takes about 20 minutes and consumes an average of 8 gallons per minute (GPM). That adds up to a total of 160 gallons of water! However, if you switch to a trusty pressure washer, you can get the same sudsing results using only about 40 gallons of water. A significant reduction of 75% compared to the hose method. So when you decide to wash your car yourself at home, consider getting a pressure washer to help you save money.

How Much Water Does A Pressure Washer Use To Clean A Patio

power washer

The size of the patio, the material of the floor, the level of dirt, and the type of stain all play a role in how well it can be cleaned, so determining the exact amount of water to use for a pressure washer to clean your patio is not an easy task. However, BISON can give you a rough reference, assuming we are dealing with a common size patio that would require about 50 minutes of pressure cleaning. At a flow rate of 2 GPM (gallons per minute), this process will consume approximately 100 gallons of water. Note that this is only a rough estimate. So if you’re looking to beautify your yard, remember to take water usage into account.

How Much Water Does A Pressure Washer Use To Clean A Driveway

pressure wash driveway

When determining how much water your pressure washer needs to clean your driveway, the size and shape of your driveway, the material of your driveway, and how dirty it is will all determine how much you need to spend.

With some average level of dirtiness and a standard size driveway, it usually takes about an hour to clean. If you are using a pressure washer with a flow rate of 2 gallons per minute (GPM), you will be using about 120 gallons of water.
While 120 gallons is not a small amount of water, it is compared to using a standard garden hose with a flow rate of 20 GPM. It takes 1,200 gallons of water to achieve the same effect on the same driveway, is 120 gallons acceptable

How Much Water Does A Pressure Washer Use To Clean Concrete

pressure wash concrete

The amount of water needed to pressure clean concrete varies based on a number of factors, including washer size, power, water pressure settings, duration, and the state of the concrete.
For light cleaning tasks, such as removing dirt and debris from small pieces of concrete, lower water flow rates are sufficient. However, for stubborn stain removal or deep cleaning of large concrete surfaces, higher water flow rates may be required for effective results.

To effectively clean concrete, BISON recommends using a pressure washer with a pressure rating of at least 3000 PSI, 4GPM. On average, a pressure washer consumes about 8 gallons of water per minute, and a 30-minute wash will consume 240 gallons of water.

How Much Water Does A Pressure Washer Use To Clean A House

How To Pressure Wash house

The amount of water a pressure washer uses to clean your home can vary greatly depending on factors such as the size of your home, the level of dirt buildup, washer flow rate (GPM), and the cleaning method chosen.

In general, pressure washers typically use about 1.5 to 2.5 gallons (or 5.7 to 9.5 liters) of water per minute (GPM).

To give a ballpark figure, let’s say we have an average sized home and a pressure washer running at about 2.0 GPM. If you decide to landscaping the entire exterior, including walls, windows, and other surfaces, it may take several hours. During this time, you may use anywhere from 180 to 300 gallons (or 681 to 1135 liters).

However, it’s important to note that these numbers can vary significantly depending on the variables discussed above. If saving water is a top priority for you, consider taking steps to reduce waste, such as:
Reduce the flow rate of the pressure washer where practical.
Use the right nozzle and method to improve cleaning results.
Clean only necessary areas and not the entire surface.
Collect and reuse water runoff during cleaning to reduce water waste.

In addition, some pressure washers are equipped with features designed to conserve water, such as systems that mix detergent into the water, allowing for more effective cleaning with less water. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for your pressure washer model.

How Much Pressure Is Safe

When we use a high-pressure cleaner, different pressure levels need to be considered for cleaning surfaces of different materials, which is an important factor that cannot be ignored in the safe use of a high-pressure cleaner. Some common materials in life, such as wood, when the wood is wet, if it is still pressure-washed when it is dry, it is easy to damage and fall off. So, in order to ensure the longevity of the items being cleaned, it is important to know some common and safe pressure levels.

safe pressure for pressure washer

In order to determine the appropriate pressure for your task, please refer to the pressure benchmark guide provided by BISON. These parameters represent the maximum PSI suitable for each specific task and it is recommended not to exceed these thresholds in order to avoid losses. Fortunately, most pressure washers on the market (including Bison’s, of course) allow you to adjust the pressure per square inch by changing the nozzle or adjusting the spray flow.

How to minimize your water spending

You can do several things to minimize your pressure washer water bill.

Let’s discuss some of the most effective ways to reduce costs.

a) Purchasing a low GPM pressure washer

GPM (gallons per minute) directly measures water usage when a pressure washer is actively running. So, to reduce water use, purchase a pressure washer with a low GPM!

b) Using a heated pressure washer

Hot water naturally cleans faster and more effectively than cold water.

So using hot water will reduce the water needed to do the job. Adding soap to hot water can also increase efficiency and reduce water consumption.

c) Efficient cleaning

Implement effective cleaning strategies to help reduce water:

  • When you’re not actively cleaning, keep the trigger off
  • Clean in an efficient pattern minimizing overlap (top to bottom)
  • Reduce PSI when high pressure is not required
  • Actively watch for and fix leaks or other plumbing failures

Benefits of pressure washers

Easy to use

Let’s face it. Cleaning is not a complicated process. But power washing makes the process much easier. Pressure washers have wheels, which means they can clean just about anywhere. They’re also so easy to handle and use that even kids can do it! Last but not least, they can be easily stored.

 Save time

The power of a pressure washer and the combination of soap and heat means that a pressure washer is the best tool for cleaning your surroundings. You can even hit places like the roof hard.

Imagine using a garden hose instead. It takes you a long time to clean your house or RV. You can clean anything in a fraction of the time!

Conserve water

As mentioned above, the average water consumption of a pressure washer is only around 2-4 GPM. That’s about the same as the sink in your home, which averages about 2.2 GPM. Compared to a hose that puts out more than 10 GPM. Low GPM and powerful, quick clean means less water usage overall.

They work

As anyone who has ever used a pressure washer, pressure washers have been a game changer. Dirt and debris can hardly handle the power and strength of 2,000+ PSI. They can be used to clean almost anything.

By following these guidelines and prioritizing safety considerations, you can use your pressure washer effectively without causing any unnecessary damage. Remember, it’s important to be careful when it comes to stress levels.

If you have any further questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact us. BISON is here to help you get the most out of your pressure washer.


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