A residential pressure washer delivers water under pressure and is suitable for home use. Fairly simple eh? In actual fact it sounds too simple for something many views as a complicated tool – but it makes life so much easier! A residential washer is one that you wouldn’t expect to run for extended periods of time – or daily but will take the regular usage that a household would need.
The gas models are more robust, want to blast away for hours? Treat yourself to gas – a bit more expensive, but fantastic results.
A pressure washer has a small motor, or in some cases not so small, which drives a pump to deliver the water.
Whether the motor is gas or electrically powered, this pump allows the pressure washer to take water, deliver it as a powerful jet and enable you to clean using water power only without scrubbing.
Many have the option to add detergent to improve the cleaning result, and most are available with various options to alter the angle or power of spray to cater to the job in hand.
We have looked here at the top-rated pressure washers and considered the information you will need to make your decision when considering the best pressure washer for your needs. We have stayed within the residential bracket, well pretty much any way, although some of the models we have reviewed will be perfectly fine for extended or frequent use.
All reviews here have considered the method of power – gas or electric, the water pressure at the point of delivery – which is reflected in the cleaning performance, and the cost of the unit. We have considered how easy it is to move the unit around, alongside the storage requirement. We don’t all have outbuildings and if you have to store it under the stairs then obviously you have to choose an electric model – no one wants a gas motor in their hallway.
To start with have a think about what you want to use your pressure washer for – do you have decking areas remote from the house? Do you want to clean the car on a Sunday and have no other outside areas? Does your house need guttering cleaning down regularly? Do you spend all weekends pedaling through deep mud and cleaning the bike off afterward?
Once you have thought about the use you will put your new pressure washer too, then read on, and see which will suit your needs best.
HOW TO USE A RESIDENTIAL PRESSURE WASHER
To use a residential pressure washer you need power and water. As with all matters that are engine driven, think about safety issues and take care of the maintenance on a regular basis.
- Purchase your residential pressure washer through a reputable company.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Register the purchase with the manufacturer so that any recall gets notified to you, and you get ongoing support with any problems.
- Make sure your electricity supply to the unit is safe – use an outdoor extension lead if necessary and never let water get near to the electrical connections.
- Check the safety features on your pressure washer.
When using your pressure washer:
- Don’t ever point towards any person.
- Don’t use in high winds.
- Clear the area of toys or small objects.
- Ensure that no electrical supplies are in the area you are spraying water.
- Always make sure that both you and the pressure washer are in a stable position before operating the jet spray. These things have some kick back!
- Make sure that you have adequate drainage in the area you are spraying, you don’t want it running down the drive and straight into your garage.
- Think about the direction of approach – you want to be chasing the dirt away from your working area and its always best to plan these things in advance. No one likes standing in a puddle.
- These things are noisy! Be thoughtful about when you use your pressure washer.
It is always easier if you have an external water supply to connect to the Pressure Washer. An electric pressure washer will need a power supply, a gas driven power washer will not, so you may want to think about how far from the electricity supply you want to be working.
HOW DOES A PRESSURE WASHER WORK?
Water is taken into the washer and this is accelerated to a high-pressure jet by the pump. This is then delivered through a triggered lance for the accuracy of use. There are various fittings available for the lance to enable you to clean specific things.
The water will generally enter the pump through an inlet valve fitted with a filter. Not only would incoming grit be bad for your engine, but you also don’t want to be sandblasting the paintwork on your pride and joy!
For most domestic applications we found that an electrically powered Power Washer will serve your purposes more than adequately. For those really tough and neglected areas, a gas-powered Power Washer will offer more power in the jet, and a better result. These gas engines are very similar to those found in lawn mowers.
The motor powers the gas pump – taking water in and then squirting it back out under pressure, in a similar manner to a hand operated groundwater pump, but much faster. You should expect your pump to deliver between 4 and 8 liters a minute.
The water is delivered via a high-pressure hose through a trigger operated lance.
BEST PRESSURE WASHER REVIEWS
01. Simpson Cleaning MSH3125 MegaShot Gas Pressure Washer-Best Residential for the Money
The Simpson MSH3125 is powered by a Honda GC190, 3200PSI at 2.5GPM. This fabulous little gas-powered pressure washer is easy to move around but delivers a really great powerful jet, when considering the best pressure washer for the money we could not fault this. A lot of pressure washer well within any reasonable budget.
The Megashot delivers 3200 PSI (Pounds per square inch) at 2.5GPM (gallons per minute), making it safe for all home applications – one of the highest we looked at and more than enough to give you a fabulous result.
It is fitted with the reliable Honda GC190 engine and an equally reliable OEM axial pump, no maintenance for you! The unit comes with ¼” x 25 feet of kink and abrasion resistant hose, the requisite spray gun along with 5 options of nozzle – more than enough to cope with anything you want to do in a residential setting. There is an optional soap lance but this isn’t supplied with the unit.
The 10” pneumatic tires fitted give great accessibility on even rough terrain – you can go off-road (or drive) with no problems at all. We loved this unit! Reasonably priced, reliable, and fantastic power.What We Love
- Great size.
- Superb water power.
- Sturdy design.
- Easy to start.
What We Don’t
- Looks quite chunky. Really, that’s it for cons, we truly couldn’t find any. You couldn’t do any better than to get one of these.
A gas pressure washer does give a noisier unit, but the trade-off is the power that this engine can deliver. This was fantastically reliable, small enough for any household – if you are serious about using then this will deliver anything you ask and then some.
02. Annovi Reverberi Pressure Washer.-Electric Pressure Washer for the money
This is the updated version of the AR383. To know that you have the right model make sure it is the SS – although the AR383 is pretty fabulous, the upgraded features make this the better choice. Annovi Reverberi is great at listening to customer feedback and addressing those small issues that were present in the earlier model.
The separate 28oz detergent tank makes this versatile to use without fiddly vacuum pumps. With a 30 foot high-pressure hose, you can really roam without having to keep moving the pressure washer. The pressure wand comes with four attachments to offer versatile water delivery and covers any cleaning job that you will want to tackle from hoardings to concrete.
A 13 amp motor delivers 1.5 HP (horsepower) generating 1,900 PSI and 1.3 GPM. This will take on your household cleaning without any problems. For an electric power washer, you won’t get better results at this price point.
If you try other electrically powered Pressure Washers, especially cheap pressure washers, then you will feel the difference the minute you switch this on. Quieter than any gas pressure washer this unobtrusive unit will be a pleasure to use. A truly fabulous little pressure washer, perfectly adequate for any home, and really delivering fantastic results on a lower budget.What We Love
- Detergent reservoir for cleaning.
- Lightweight and easy to handle.
- Fantastic water delivery.
- A very reliable unit from the well-respected manufacturer.
What We Don’t
- And again, really? This is our best find so Cons are really hard to come up with if you have to find fault;
- Slight wait on delivery on occasion.
We absolutely loved this electric power washer for home use, it’s powerful, easy to use, light to move about, and an all-around pleasure to use. The upgraded features (metal components where they used to be plastic) will resolve any earlier issues and we just cannot recommend this enough. You will not regret this purchase.
03. Simpson Cleaning PS3228 PowerShot Gas Pressure Washer.-The VERY BEST of the rest
Powered by a Honda G200 offering 3300 PSI at 2.5GPM – That is more pressure than you could ever need. This is a slight cheat to be completely honest – it’s the upscaled version of our favorite and would have made the top spot except for the clear fact that this article was for RESIDENTIAL pressure washers. Even adding it here is stretching the point a bit, but we just couldn’t resist popping it in because we loved it. It does offer maybe a bit more than your average household would be looking for, but if you love it, and you don’t mind being slightly over-horsed then this is the tool for you.
Delivers 6.5HP at 3500RPM’s and 9.2 ft lbs at 2500 RPMS, you can take on anything and get a quick and instant clean, so satisfying. The Honda GX200 engine comes with a stunning 3-year warranty (not that you’ll need it) but it will give you peace of mind. It is fitted with an AAA Industrial triplex plunger pump, this shoots a superb jet for water supply, and has a pump bypass mode for pump protection should you need it. You really can see where you have been with this.
5/16” 25-foot flex hose – kink and abrasion proof and with threaded fittings, you just do not have to worry about the hose when using this. Fitted with 10” pneumatic wheels which will take you anywhere you are ever likely to need it with ease. The commercial motor that is fitted will give you fabulous reliability and power. This unit comes with 5 nozzles on the lance allowing soap delivery as well, it was so easy to use. This comes with excellent guarantees, and for offering you peace of mind, and if you are looking for a professional level gas pressure washer on a home budget this is perfect for you.What We Love
- Honda engine runs quietly.
- Delivers excellent pressure.
- Excellent reliability and warranty.
- Can power up to 100ft of hose with no drop in pressure.
What We Don’t
- Detergent added via a suction hose, needs a separate container.
- A large unit to store.
We loved this – it drifts to a more commercial unit, otherwise it would be our top pick. It is the big brother of the top pick, costs a little more, but will deal with anything you are likely to throw at it and more. It is reliable, delivers fabulous power, and whilst noisier than an electric unit is not as noisy as some.
04. Briggs & Stratton Gas Pressure Washer
Delivering a really good 3100 PSI with 2.5GPM. We loved the look of this, and the stability of the unit – offering you the confidence that you could get on with the job without worrying about the pressure washer behind you. Briggs and Stratton are well respected, and we couldn’t wait to try this out and found that they really deserved their solid reputation.
Easy push-button start on a 190cc OHV 857iS series engine, no pulling the cord for you! This pressure washer has a five in one easy adjust nozzle for uninterrupted cleaning, no stopping to change the nozzles for you. It also has an integrated detergent tank fitted, that really does make cleaning cars, motorbikes and bikes so much easier because you just turn it on and go.
30-foot hose provided with the pressure washer, which is certainly long enough that you don’t have to worry.What We Love
- Electric starter.
- Foldable handle for storage.
- Adjustable lance.
What We Don’t
- Heavy at 66 pounds.
- We would have liked a larger fuel tank.
Briggs and Stratton are a name that creates an expectation, and we were no different in that respect. The good news is that this more than lived up to the reputation they have, and it turns out that it is well deserved! This is a really nice machine, it goes into storage really nicely and once you have it up and running it is really easy to use. A top machine.
05. Generac SpeedWash 7122
The Generac delivers 3100 PSI and 2.4 GPM. We loved the dial adjustment on this model and so will you, it has four settings you can easily alter it without having to pause and go find a different nozzle. The Generac has a half a gallon onboard detergent tank, more than enough for the largest of tasks without pause, and you will find that this is much less fiddly than needing a separate container for a vacuum hose. This was really easy to use the gas pressure washer and rated highly in our tests because it delivered such supreme cleaning results, whatever you point it at will be sparkly in no time!What We Love
- Half a gallon onboard detergent tank.
- Easy start engine.
- Great in low pressure water situations.
What We Don’t
- Noisy engine – use ear defenders.
- Weight 57 pounds.
Overall the Generac had more fans than detractors. It was a noisy unit, but with ear defenders, in place, it delivered an excellent quality result. Those that scored highly particularly liked the adjustable wand which meant that you could set about any job without interruption.
06. WEN PW31 Gas Pressure washer
3100 PSI with 2.5GPM – fitted with a 208cc engine.
This pumps 2.4 gallons a minute, more than enough for you to take on the toughest of jobs around the home and garden.
It has 12” Wheels, solid for all terrain access if you need to take it onto uneven ground, they will work fine with absolutely no maintenance – you will never have to repair a flat! The WEN PW31 offers you a robust and sturdy design. This comes with a 30-foot hose which gives that additional reach if you own a larger property. The WEN PW31 also has an onboard detergent tank which makes vehicle cleaning a dream for you and has an easy to use and assemble delivery lance with five different clip in, clip out nozzles – you can tackle anything from your hoardings to your pavers with complete confidence.
We loved the power this delivered – it even cleared gum which had walked into the driveway area, so if you need something that really lifts the grime this is the one for you. Powerful, attractive, and so far completely reliable – we just couldn’t leave it off of the list.What We Love
- Solid tires.
- 30-foot hose as standard.
- Fantastic power.
What We Don’t
- Needed to change the nozzle to use soap.
Apart from the slightly fiddly nozzle change (make sure that you have it firmly on or it fires the tip at speed!) this was fabulous. If the nozzle changing was addressed this would have been a lot higher on the list, as it is we couldn’t leave it off because the rest of the service that is delivered is so good.
The VERY BEST of the rest – ELECTRIC.
07. Karcher K5 Premium Electric Power Pressure Washer.
It was only a question of time before Karcher appeared on the list – a name synonymous with all things residential pressure washer. The K5 is nearer the top of the Karcher Range and you will definitely find it is worth the additional cost. You will not be disappointed in this jet washer no matter what project you tackle.
Offering 2,000 PSI and 1.4GPM this is man enough to clean up most problems that you may wish to set about – empty pool cleaning? Side Hoardings? All-terrain mountain biking? Nothing will remain unmoved by this Karcher. An onboard detergent tank makes cleaning up painless as the system is automatic when it’s loaded up. The most attractive benefit of the Karcher K5 Premium for us was the water-cooled motor which gives it a longer life, up to five times longer than a motor without the cooling system – you can be confident that the motor will not fail on you if you buy this. The patented N COR pump is non-corrosive, durable and maintenance free. To feel confident in your purchase, and know that you won’t suffer rapid breakdown this will work for you.
The 25-foot pressure hose gives a good length if you intend to tackle smaller and normal size projects without moving the unit, and the hose leads to a variable spray wand giving adjustable spray without having to change nozzles and offering all the options you are likely to need.
The K5 7.7” High Impact durable wheels made it great to move around, you will have no trouble moving freely and taking this with you – if you are a tall person then you will particularly like the higher-than-some handle which made it more comfortable.What We Love
- Great Pump and Motor.
- Light to move around.
- Onboard detergent reservoir.
- Karcher are known for their reliability within the market.
What We Don’t
- Electric motor not as powerful for heavy duty or extended periods of work.
- 25 foot pressure hose.
Karcher is the first name you think of when you consider a domestic pressure washer and that is for good reason. This unit offers a high spec within their range and will service the average household very well indeed. The electric units are quieter in a residential area and this one is no exception.