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In this buying guide we dive deep into how electric power washers work, what to look for when you’re shopping for an electric power washer, and we review five of the best electric power washers on the market.
Short of repainting the whole exterior, what’s the best way to clean up a house and improve it’s curb appeal?
A thorough cleaning! Washing away the grime and dirt that has been piling up for years gives any house a shiny new look.
However, scrubbing a house’s exterior, sidewalks or deck with brush and hose is painfully time-consuming. Just reaching the second or third story siding can be downright impossible.
A power washer is highly recommended for house renovation cleaning jobs. You’ll be amazed at the work an electric power washer can accomplish in a fraction of the time.
In a Hurry? Here Are 5 of the Best Electric Power Washers…
In our research we found these 5 best electric power washers. They have solid reviews from hundreds of real-life users. These have been put through the grind of everyday power washing jobs on everything from cars to major construction sites. Depending on your needs, this list is a great place to start.
|Power Washer||Image||Verdict||PSI / GPM||Our Rating|
|Highsell 3800 PSI||High power for a great price, best value for house renovation cleaning jobs||3800 / 2.8||4.7 / 5.0||Buy on Amazon|
|Briggs and Stratton 20601||Granular spray control for low pressure / high volume washing||1800 / 4.0||4.4 / 5.0||Buy on Amazon|
|Pressure Pro EE3530G||Contractor's dream machine. Powerful, tough and mobile to handle any job||3000 / 3.5||4.8 / 5.0||Buy on Amazon|
|KranzleUSA 98K599TST||Sophisticated German design built for heavy industrial use||2200 / 2.5||4.3 / 5.0||Buy on Amazon|
|NorthStar Electric Hot Pressure Washer||Best for washing away tough buildup and grease, overkill for typical jobs||2750 / 2.5||4.1 / 5.0||Buy on Amazon|
Electric Power Washers
Before we take a look at some power washer examples, let’s discuss what an electric power washer is and why is it important in the first place.
What Is an Electric Power Washer?
A “power washer” or “pressure washer” creates a powerful water jet for cleaning. It is powered by either an electric motor or gas engine to generate that pressure. A power washer normally uses liquid soap for better cleaning, along with the pressurized water.
Pressure washers can be gas pressure washers (click for our buyers guide) or electric power washers.
With an electric power washer you can quickly and safely wash away dirt, grime, mold, old paint, moss, and other unwanted buildup from:
- Exterior walls, stucco, bricks and siding
- Garage floors
- Patios and walkways
- Outdoor furniture
- Windows and window frames
- Tools, vehicles and equipment
- Trees and shrubs (old branches, leaves, moss and spider webs)
A power washer is an extremely versatile tool. It’s perfect for accomplishing the heavy cleaning jobs that come with house renovations. It’s a tremendous tool to maximize the appearance and value of your property.
How Does an Electric Power Washer Work?
A power washer works as a pump, pulling water from a main line and expelling it at much higher speed and pressure through a small nozzle. The real control comes from the nozzles, and in some cases, power washer wands.
The washer pulls soap from a separate container (usually incorporated in the washer design), mixes the soap and water according to a preset ratio, and squirts the combined liquid for maximum cleaning power.
Why Do You Need an Electric Power Washer?
A power washer is a very fast and efficient way to wash a house, windows, concrete, strip old paint, clean furniture and equipment, and a wide range of other cleaning jobs. Power washing easily gets rid of gunk and grime that would otherwise require significant time and effort with a brush and hose.
An electric power washer can also help you reach inaccessible places and get into small crevices like grilles and slats.
When you are renovating a house, the time saved with a power washer instead of manual scrubbing can be used for more important projects.
A thoroughly cleaned house makes for a much more desirable property. We all know that curb appeal equals more money!
Electric Power Washers vs. Gas Power Washers
Both gas and electric power washers have their strengths and weaknesses.
Gas power washers are more mobile, powerful, and allow more water flow. But they are also noisy, costly to maintain, polluting, and more expensive. Gas power washers are generally favored by professionals for heavy-duty industrial and commercial cleaning.
Electric power washers are more cost-friendly, quiet, and efficient. More powerful electric washers are on par with gas power washers, and are less bulky and lighter. Electric power washers also have an advantage for low-pressure washing jobs, like decks, railings, window frames and old wood siding you don’t want to damage.
Mobility is an important limitation of electric power washers. They need to be hooked to a power source, so you can only take them as far as your power connection and cord allows.
If your job site lacks power, you will need an onsite generator to power an electric washer. If you’re already running power tools and lights off a generator, then this won’t be an issue.
Things To Know Before Choosing an Electric Power Washer
There are some things to consider before buying an electric power washer. While choosing the most powerful one may seem smart, buying one that’s too strong to be used at full capacity is overkill (and expensive).
Pressure and Flow
Pressure and flow describe the relative strength of an electric power washer.
Pressure is measured in Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). PSI indicates how fast the water leaves the nozzle. House exterior and hardscape cleaning generally requires water pressure of 1500-2000 PSI.
Flow is denoted by gallons per minute (GPM). GPM indicates the volume of water a washer is capable of spraying in one minute.
When multiplied, PSI and GPM result in something called Cleaning Power (CP). This number is a gauge of a power washer’s strength and cleaning capacity.
Since the nozzle or gun of an electric power washer is connected to the pump unit, the distance away (or up) you can clean depends on the length of the hose. While you can attach an exterior garden hose to a power washer, it’s not recommended. At such high pressures you should stick with the hose provided by the manufacturer.
We recommend choosing a unit with a longer hose (50 feet is good). This important if you need to climb a ladder or scaffolding to wash away paint or grime from upper stories or eaves.
Power Washer Nozzles
Nozzle shape can have a powerful impact on a power washer’s cleaning ability.
Nozzles usually come in five standard types, 0-degree, 15-degree, 25-degree, 40-degree, and 65-degree. As nozzles increase in spread they gradually decrease in pressure.
40- and 65-degree nozzles are the least powerful with wide spreads. These are often referred to as “soak tips”. Wider nozzles help soak areas with soapy water first, then you can follow up and blow away the grime with a narrow nozzle.
15- and 25-degree nozzles are great for digging in and lifting substances like moss, mold and old paint. The narrow stream is also good for cleaning metal grid, wood slats, concrete joints, and outdoor furniture.
Zero-degree nozzles create a narrow jet, concentrating the water pressure into a narrow point. This is what you use to clean really stubborn stains and drive grease and gunk out of cracks and crevices.
Nozzles can be screw-on or quick-connect, depending on the manufacturer. They come in different shapes and sizes so you need to buy the right ones for your power washer.
Power Washer Design Features
Since portability is important with electric power washers, the design of the wheels and handles should also be considered. Hose and cord length are also major factors. We find longer is generally better for house renovation work because it reduces the need to find a new power outlet or stop and reposition the unit as you’re moving around.
A washer that incorporates the hose, all nozzles, and soap dispenser in a single unit is a generally a better choice. This helps you get around cluttered job sites easier, and reduces the likelihood of misplaced parts and hangups.
Another design consideration is transport and storage. Are there handles? Can you get the unit into the back of a truck easily? Does it store laying down or vertically? Will it tip over easily? Are there clear connection points to strap the washer down?
These design features are important if you’re going to live with your power washer for years down the road.
Some electric power washers allow you to use hot water for deeper / faster cleaning. But most are designed for cold water. House renovation projects don’t typically require hot water or steam cleaning unless you’ve got a heavy grease or chemical situation to deal with. Cold water and soap at high pressure usually does the trick with renovation cleanup jobs.
It’s imperative to heed the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding water temperature. Using hot water in a washer designed for cold water can damage the hose, seals, and internal mechanism of the washer.
Five of the Best Electric Power Washers
Here is our list of five of the best electric power washers for house renovation and hardscape cleaning.
1. Highsell 3800 PSI Electric Power Washer
Our first pick is a cool-looking beast of a machine – the Highsell 3800 PSI. It’s very powerful for an electric power washer, but it is also reasonably priced. This washer is a solid value that won’t put your wallet in “overkill” territory.
The Highsell washer employs a powerful 1800 Watt motor that produces 3800 PSI of pressure and 2.8 GPM of water flow. The hose is a solid 20 feet long. You wind up the hose with a reel on top of the washer, making it easily transportable.
The washer comes with five standard nozzles (0 to 45 degrees). The 35 foot power cord plus 20 foot hose gives you 55 feet of range from your power source. The pump unit has a Total Stop System, which shuts off the motor when the trigger is not engaged. This is energy efficient and extends the life of the washer.
The Highsell 3800 PSI can only be used with cold water, with temperature no more than 104 °F.
PROS of the Highsell 3800 PSI
1. Large soap bottle that doesn’t need to be refilled frequently.
2. Long hose allows better access into hard to reach places, and up to clean the top story and eaves of a house.
3. Easy pressure switching. The gun can easily be converted from high pressure for washing driveways and concrete to low pressure for washing wood, windows and decks.
4. The on-board reel allows for better hose management. It extends the life of the hose and prevents and kinks from forming.
5. Very reasonably priced.
CONS of the Highsell 3800 PSI
1. It cannot be used with hot water.
2. Use care with this washer. Its high pressure can damage soft wood and old window frames if you’re not paying attention. When in doubt, start with a wider nozzle and work your way down.
2. Briggs and Stratton 20601 Powerflow Plus 1800 PSI Electric Power Washer
The Briggs and Stratton 20601 offers less pressure than the Highsell at 1800 PSI. This is still sufficient for most home renovation cleaning jobs. More importantly, PSI is not the only measure of cleaning ability.
The main strength of the 20601 Powerflow Plus is its ability to produce a high flow rate of 4 GPM at low 100 PSI levels. In fact, at max pressure of 1800 PSI this washer actually delivers less water flow (1.1 GPM) than it does at lower PSI levels.
So what does this mean? The Briggs and Stratton is optimized for low pressure / high flow usage — exactly what is needed for most basic house renovation cleaning. The Briggs and Stratton 20601 is ideal for high water flow situations like washing away dirt from siding, windows and sidewalks. It’s also good for cleaning tools and vehicles.
The flip side is its lower PSI level limits the ability to peel away dried paint layers, mold, or other hard or scaly materials.
The Briggs and Stratton comes with three spray tips. It also features a seven-in-one nozzle option. This means you don’t need to switch nozzles — you can twist the head to change the nozzle angle on the fly. This makes switching spray pattern easy and reduces the likelihood that you will lose a nozzle.
The nozzle control is broken down into two categories, high-pressure mode, and high flow mode. This provides better control over your cleaning than a conventional five nozzle setup. Fine adjustability is another reason this washer is ideal for low water pressure / high volume tasks.
PROS of the Briggs and Stratton 20601
1. The high GPM / low PSI design provides noiseless operation and powerful washing action. Some customers find it cleans better than higher-powered gas washers.
2. Granular control over the pressure makes it ideal for gentle cleaning as well as hard outdoor jobs.
3. Its smaller 1800 PSI pump is less power-hungry and quieter than most washers.
4. It’s easy to set up. You’ll get on the job quickly, rather than wasting time fumbling around with parts and instructions.
CONS of the Briggs and Stratton 20601
1. Some users find the high-pressure outlet somewhat flimsy and prone to breaking. It is also not covered in the warranty. Be careful not to drop or bang it on hard surfaces.
2. This washer can be a bit hard to roll around. It’s best if you park the unit on a flat surface, rather than trying to drag it through dirt and mud.
3. Reduced pressure in wider nozzle modes makes cleaning heavy moss and stubborn mold difficult. You’ll need to use the narrow nozzle settings for tough jobs.
4. Some users have experienced leaks with this washer (it’s covered under warranty if it happens)
3. Pressure Pro EE3530G 3000 PSI Electric Power Washer
The Pressure Pro is a powerful electric washer with great capabilities for heavy duty house renovation and construction projects. This 7.5 horsepower electric washer provides a whopping 3000 PSI of pressure. The 3.5 GPM flow capacity is also impressive.
The Pressure Pro is designed from the ground up for ruggedness and stability. It features a solid aluminum frame with no welded joints. This gives it long life and makes it less prone to structural failures. The frame wraps around to protect the motor. It also provides multiple grip points to lift it in and out a of a truck, over ditches and debris, or up and down stairs.
This washer has two large pneumatic tires designed for all-terrain use and a wide third pad for stability. It’s basically a powerful pump on a wheelbarrow-like frame. This gives it good mobility and a low center of gravity that’s perfect for both dirt and flat surfaces.
This is the best electric power washer for heavy duty contractor-level renovation cleaning jobs among the washers reviewed here.
It comes with 5 standard nozzles (0, 15, 25, 40 and 65-degree), giving you the ability to do everything from soaking to chiseling. The nozzles are stored in dedicated slots, making them easy to access and secure so you don’t lose them.
The Pressure Pro’s hose is 50 feet long, giving you plenty of range to walk around and climb ladders and scaffolding. The hose is rated for 4000 PSI, a much higher pressure than the washer operates in. You can expect the hose to last for many years getting dragged across everything you can imagine.
You can find the Pressure Pro washer’s spec sheet here.
PROS of the Pressure Pro EE3530G
1. Long hose rated for much higher pressure offers a wide range and long life.
2. Very sturdy heavy-duty aluminum structure with a low center of gravity and large pneumatic tires. Ideal for rough multi-surface use.
3. High pressure and flow rate helps this washer power through stubborn grime, mold, grease, paint, etc.
4. Made to last in rough indoor/outdoor environments.
CONS of the Pressure Pro EE3530G
1. Very expensive. You only need to spend this amount of money for an electric power washer that will see heavy duty use and last a lifetime.
2. This is not a light machine. Heavy duty = heavy weight.
3. Nozzles can be interchanged, but there is no additional granular control over pressure and flow (like the Briggs and Stratton above). You will need to switch nozzles as you transition between cleaning jobs.
4. KränzleUSA 98K599TST 2200 PSI Electric Power Washer
The KränzleUSA electric power washer is designed in Germany with high quality and unique features. This electric power washer was designed for heavy commercial cleaning, including industrial and food processing plants. It can handle industrial gunk and greasy stains, and has no problem cleaning up the dirtiest houses, driveways and yards.
The Kränzle K599 is on the higher power end, with 2200 PSI pressure rating. It employs a 15 Amp, single-phase motor to generate water flow of 2.5 GPM. This washer only uses cold water. It has an advanced soap delivery system that gives it 20% more cleaning power than typical washers.
A key feature in this washer is its auto on/off gun jet control. This prolongs pump life and saves electricity.
The 65-foot hose is much longer than other power washers. This gives it awesome range for home renovation projects. There is no need to switch power sources or repeatedly drag the pump unit around behind you. The hose is wire-braided, making it super durable. It has a built-in reel that makes rolling up the long hose when you’re done easy.
Unlike other washers, the Kränzle electric power washer has four wheels. This makes it easier to maneuver and gives it extra stability on a variety of surfaces. It will pull along behind you reliably without tipping over or getting stuck.
The coolest thing about this washer is probably the names of its nozzles: “Gun Jet Lance”, “Knife Jet Nozzle”, and “Dirt Killer Rotary Nozzle”. Woohoo! Let’s destroy some grime!
You can find the Kränzle model K599 series detailed specs and manual here.
PROS of the KränzleUSA 98K599TST
1. Advanced pump design allows for long operation.
2. Very long hose (65 feet!) makes it easier to clean farther areas of a house and landscape without moving the washer unit itself.
3. High quality German design promises the washer will have a long life.
CONS of the KränzleUSA 98K599TST
1. Heavier than other washers with no grab handles, making it hard to lift in and out of a truck, up stairs, etc.
2. Nozzle assembly doesn’t allow for as much cleaning flexibility. If you want power and range, that’s what you get.
3. Good for high-pressure cleaning only. Great for powering through dirt on vinyl siding, bricks, and sidewalks, even greasy garage floors. But not a good electric power washer for delicate window frames, deck furniture or wood railings.
5. NorthStar 2750 PSI Electric Steam and Hot Water Pressure Washer
The last washer is the only hot water electric power washer in our review.
The NorthStar is an industrial-grade, heavy-duty power washer that generates 2750 PSI and 2.5 GPM flow of water and steam. It has a powerful 30 amp 5 horsepower motor that pumps out hot water steadily.
This washer can produce a stream of hot water and steam up to 250 degrees Farenheit. If you’re cleaning greasy surfaces and removing heavy paint or chemical residue, this is an excellent choice.
The pump and motor are both commercial grade and are very durable. Since it works with both steam and hot water, the internal components of this washer are higher grade than conventional cold water electric power washers. This includes ceramic plungers that handle high temperatures without overheating.
The NorthStar electric power washer comes with six nozzles (0, 15, 25 and 40-degree, a steam nozzle and a chemical nozzle.) The heavy duty 50 foot non-marking hose is specially designed for hot / cold water and steam.
PROS of the NorthStar hot power washer
1. Hot soapy water allows cleaning of a much broader range of grime, stains and contaminants than a normal cold water electric power washer.
2. This washer is ideal for cleaning oil-stained garage floors and greasy equipment and vehicles.
3. The frame is forged brass instead of aluminum, providing more structural integrity and resistance to oxidation.
4. Adjustable thermostat for temperature control.
5. Cleaning chemicals can be added to cut through or melt tough substances.
CONS of the NorthStar hot power washer
1. Expensive. Hot water capability is great but it’s reflected in the price.
2. Most suitable for industrial level cleaning — potentially overkill for house renovation jobs unless you’re dealing with heavy grease, mold, paint, oil or other stubborn contaminants.
3. No soap delivery. This electric power washer relies on heat and optional chemicals for cleaning.
4. Requires more maintenance than normal electric power washers
And the Winner Is…
Our choice comes down to two electric power washers for specific purposes:
- The Highsell 3800 PSI Electric Power Washer for all-around and DIY house renovation cleaning
- The Pressure Pro EE3530G 3000 PSI Electric Power Washer for heavy duty contractor house renovation work
Our Choice for the Best All-Around Electric Power Washer
The clear winner for all-around home renovation cleaning projects is the Highsell 3800 PSI Electric Power Washer.
The Highsell delivers great value and versatility for the money. It is more powerful than competing electric power washers in its price range. Its superior pressure and flow control makes it ideal for siding, stucco, windows, decks, ourdoor furniture, driveways and hardscape. It can handle both heavy and light cleaning jobs.
Our Choice for the Best Contractor-Grade Electric Power Washer
Our winner for contractors and owners of multiple investment properties is the Pressure Pro EE3530G 3000 PSI Electric Power Washer.
The Pressure Pro washer is optimized for heavy duty outdoor work. It has a sturdy one-piece frame, large pneumatic tires, low center of gravity and multiple grip points. It will roll over any surface without tipping, lasts a long time, and transports easily from job to job. And it has the power and range to handle any house renovation cleaning task you can throw at it.
Both these models tick all the boxes for the best electric power washer. They combine high PSI and a good flow rate for substantial cleaning power (CP). The hose lengths are great for house renovation cleaning. Both have a solid selection of nozzles to tackle any home renovation cleaning challenge. In short, these are solid electric power washers, very well made for the price.
We hope that this best electric power washers buying guide and reviews have given you enough information to pick out the best one yourself. Armed with the information here, you will be able to choose the best electric power washer that will serve you well for years.