• Thu. Sep 28th, 2023

What is the Difference Between a Power Washer and a Pressure Washer

ByGhalib Ashrafi

Sep 29, 2021
What's the difference between a pressure washer and a power washer

There is usually a toss between a power washer and a pressure washer when deciding which equipment to pick for stubborn cleaning tasks. To many people, power washers and pressure washers sound similar. Many even use them interchangeably. However, both clean your home, car, or patio with a powerful spray of water. However, they differentiate from each other in terms of their functioning and application. The power washer employs a strong stream of hot water to clean away the real dirt and grime, whereas the pressure washer applies the highest psi pressure to normal temperature water to get rid of stubborn dirt. 

Therefore, consider your cleaning needs and the type of work you need to accomplish before choosing the one. Let’s differentiate both the equipment based on various aspects. Knowing the apparent differences between them will help you decide which equipment you require for fresh and clean surroundings. 

Introduction to a power washer and pressure washer 

A power washer is a machine that uses hot water under high pressure to remove dirt, mold, grime, oil stains, and other contaminants. It’s great for cleaning decks, patios, or any outdoor surface. These are best suited for smaller jobs because they don’t use as much water as pressure cleaners. 

A pressure washer is a machine that uses more water than power cleaners. It means using normal temperature water takes longer to complete its job, but it does an excellent job with more extensive areas like patios, sidewalks, etc. The added benefit of using this type of machine is that it doesn’t require any chemicals to get rid of stains or dirt on surfaces, so there won’t be any harmful residue left behind after using either type of cleaner! It can be either gas-operated or electricity-driven. 


How do the power washer and pressure washer work? 

A power washer uses an electric motor to turn the pump during a pressure washer engine. The engine on a pressure washer is usually gasoline-powered, but some models use diesel or natural gas. Power washing equipment typically runs on electricity from standard wall outlets. Pressure washing equipment can be used in remote locations without access to electrical service by using either battery powered pressure washers or by using generators for power.

The name “pressure washing” comes from the fact that there is an internal pump inside the machine that increases water pressure before it leaves through nozzles on top of the unit. On the other hand, a power washer does not have any pump inside – instead, it relies on electricity to produce high-speed jets (or sprays) of hot water under extremely high pressures (upwards 100 pounds per square inch). 

Power and pressure 

A power washer uses normal pressure, while a pressure washer uses high-pressure water. The main difference is that the power washers use less water than pressure washing machines. This makes them more efficient when cleaning surfaces such as wood decks, driveways, and sidewalks. Pressure washing machines are better for removing dirt from concrete or brick surfaces because they can remove stains that a power wash machine would not release. Power washing machines also have adjustable nozzles, so you can choose how much water comes out of it at once, depending on what surface you’re working with. Pressure washing machines don’t have this feature since they only work with high-pressure water. 


The jet wash in a power washing machine uses heated water, whereas the water in traditional pressure washers is cold. This means that it can be used to clean surfaces that are sensitive to temperature changes. It also means that it’s more effective at removing dirt and grime from tough-to-clean spaces like patios, driveways, and sidewalks.

Noise Level 

Both types of machines produce sound when they run, but there are ways to make them quieter depending on what cleaning job you need to do. For example, using cold water instead of hot will decrease the amount of steam produced, significantly reducing its overall noise output. Therefore, a pressure washer creates less noise than a power washer. The noise level of a power washer ranges anywhere from 60 decibels to 90 dB, depending on how powerful your machine is. A typical pressure washer’s sound level is around 50dB.

Using less detergent will also help keep things quiet, as well as using an extension cord rather than running it directly into an outlet near where you’re working since cords tend to absorb more sound than hardwired outlets do. You can also use earplugs or other hearing protection devices when operating either type of machine too just in case they become louder than expected during operation – especially around concrete surfaces like sidewalks and driveways because their reflective properties amplify sounds made by these machines making them seem much louder than they are at times (especially after pressure washers are also quieter than power washers. 


Power Washer 

Power washing is known for its power washing technique involving boiling water under normal pressure to remove dirt from various surfaces. It is better suited for residential applications. For example, if your house has brick exterior walls, it would be better to use the power washing technique because hot water will help kill any mold spores present on them, which might cause problems later down the road (e.g., allergies). 

Pressure Washer

A pressure washer, an electric or gas-powered machine, uses high-pressure water to clean surfaces such as vehicles, buildings, concrete sidewalks, and driveways. It is more suitable for commercial purposes. For example, if your commercial building has vinyl siding, it would be best to use a pressure washer because using hot water through a power washing technique could damage it over time. Rest can clean surfaces like driveways, decks, and siding by blasting them with water at high speeds. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. What is the utility of pressure washers? 

Pressure washers use high-pressure water to clean surfaces. They’re great for cleaning outdoor areas like patios, decks, and walkways. You can also use a pressure washer to clean your car or boat!

2. How should PSI be considered while buying a pressure washer? 

PSI stands for pounds per square inch, and it measures the force of a water stream from your power washer. The higher the psi, the more powerful your power washer will be at removing dirt and grime from surfaces like driveways, patios, sidewalks, decks, and more. Therefore, if you are looking to buy a good pressure washer, it is recommended to buy a pressure washer with a PSI between 2000-3200. 

3. How do PSI and GPM differ from each other?

When choosing a pressure washer, two main specs to consider are PSI (pounds per square inch) and GPM (gallons per minute). While these numbers may seem similar, they actually measure different things. PSI tells you how much water pressure a machine has, while the second number (GPM) tells you how much water volume a machine has per minute.  

4. Can power washing be done on its own? 

Power washing is a great way to get rid of dirt and grime, but it’s not something everyone should do themselves. There are many dangers involved with using pressure washers that could hurt you or damage your home. If you don’t have the right equipment, training, or experience, it might be best for someone like a professional to handle this job for you.

5. How often do surfaces need to be power washed? 

Power washing is a great way to keep your home looking beautiful and clean. It’s also an effective method for removing dirt, grime, mold, mildew, and other unsightly stains from hard surfaces like driveways and decks. However, if not done frequently or adequately enough, it can damage the surface of the material. That’s why we recommend hiring professionals after every six months to ensure that all of your exterior surfaces are spotless!

6. Can a high-pressure wash cause damage? 

 A high-pressure washer can remove dirt from even the most minor cracks in these materials without damaging them. It’s much less likely to cause damage than using a garden hose or other low-pressure water source.

The Bottom Line 

A pressure washer and power washer are two different types of equipment that can be used to clean surfaces. They both use water, but they work in slightly different ways. Pressure washers use high-pressure water jets to blast away dirt and grime from surfaces like driveways, decks, siding, and patio furniture. They are meant explicitly for commercial areas. They come in three varieties. Power washing has become an increasingly popular method for homeowners to clean their driveways and patios with stubborn dirt and grime because it uses hot water to clean the surface. It is mainly preferred for household cleaning errands. However, no matter which equipment you are using, some safety concerns come with this type of equipment, so it’s essential to use caution when operating one yourself! The best way is to hire professional assistance to get the job done. 

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