Three best electric pressure washers
It's hard to enjoy the outdoors with last season's grime still hanging around. Scrubbing your deck by hand can take hours -- and probably will not end in a job well done. A pressure washer can reduce the time it takes to blast dirt and muck off your patio furniture, pavers, and anything else in your corner of the great outdoors.
Electric pressure washers are relatively inexpensive and lightweight, yet they're heavy-duty enough to give your Adirondack chair a new lease on life, and fast. Our top pick in this category is the Karcher K5 Electric Pressure Washer. It comes with a pair of wands that can take on any job.
Considerations when choosing electric pressure washers
Electric pressure washers can clean virtually any outdoor surface, from plastic chairs to your asphalt driveway, as long as the cord can reach. Electric models are not as powerful as gas models, so cleaning jobs may take longer. But electric models are emission-free and are much easier to store when the job is complete.
Many electric pressure washers can reach an impressive PSI, or pounds-per-square inch, of water pressure. This rating indicates the amount of force the pressure washer applies to a square inch of surface area. Electric models in the range of 500 to 2000 PSI are quite effective for cleaning patio furniture, sidewalks, fencing, and siding -- even on your home's upper story.
Flow, measured in gallons per minute or GPM, is the other main measure pressure washer quality. Machines that are more powerful put out more water in a shorter time, so they're better at carrying dirt away quickly. Most electric pressure washers deliver about 1.5 gallons per minute, although we saw some around 1.8.
Electric pressure washers are necessarily tethered to the wall, so their hose length, in combination with their cord, needs to reach your intended target. Most hoses range from 20 to 25 feet; electric cords generally measure 35 feet. Extension cords should not be used with pressure washers, as they can cut your machine's life short and pose safety risks.
One size doesn't fit all. Pressure washers often come with a variety of nozzles and wands for cleaning different surfaces and angles. In electric models, many components, including hose connections, tend to be plastic. A few will have metal fittings, which tend to be more durable than plastic options.
Sometimes water alone can't get the job done. Many pressure washers include detergent tanks to hold formulas for cutting crud that's extra stubborn. Tanks that are removable are easier to clean, in case the last detergent you used is too harsh for your next project.
Electric pressure washers usually vary in price from around $100 to upwards of $250. Models at the low end usually have a lower PSI of around 500 to avoid stressing components. Or, they might offer a higher PSI but lack durability over time. Higher-quality models in the $200 range have PSI ratings of around 2,000 PSI. They also have higher-quality fixtures and construction that can support that kind of water pressure over time.
Q. What kind of safety precautions do I need to take while pressure washing?
A. Thousands of people are injured in incidents involving pressure washers each year. To avoid becoming a statistic, wear well-made shoes that grip wet, slippery surfaces. Safety goggles and long pants can help protect sensitive body parts against accidental sprays. Never point your pressure washer wand at a person or animal, and look for a pressure washer with automatic shutoff for an extra level of safety.
Electric pressure washers we recommend
Best of the best: Karcher K5 Premium Electric Power Pressure Washer
Our take: A high-performance electric unit with thoughtful components that will keep it running longer than most competitors.
What we like: Comes with a pair of wands for tougher and lighter cleaning jobs. Unique, water-cooled induction motor reduces stress on the machine, improving its performance and motor life.
What we dislike: We'd prefer a plastic hose connection that feels a little more sturdy.
Best bang for your buck: Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric Pressure Washer
Our take: Plenty of power for a price that's practical.
What we like: Includes a pair of detergent tanks as well as five different nozzles.
What we dislike: The hose fitting could be of higher quality.
Choice 3: Ivation Electric Pressure Washer
Our take: Brass fittings lend durability to a machine that's surprisingly powerful for its price.
What we like: Onboard storage for attachments. Simple snap-on hose valve.
What we dislike: Detergent tank cannot be removed for filling or cleaning.
Kristin Yarbrough is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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