It’s hard to know how much water does a pressure washer use because all pressure washers are different. The average pressure washer uses between five and eight gallons per minute (22 – 36 liters).
At Lakeland Pressure Washing we’ve been through our fair share of pressure washers and have investigated (and invested!) a lot into pressure washers. Here’s what you need to know.
Why Pressure Washers, Instead of a Garden Hose?
There are reasons why you should use a pressure washer instead of using a garden hose.
Pressure washing, sometimes called power washing or pressure cleaning, uses water pressure to minimize water consumption, cleaning time, and often the need for harsh chemicals.
Pressure washing cleans surfaces and dirt better. And pressure washers use less cleaning solution which can save money when cleaning large volumes of items or when cleaning a larger surface area.
Main reasons to use a pressure washer:
- More cleaning power. Pressure washers use maximum pressure to clean things that a standard garden hose or manual cleaning can’t. Because power washers have a much higher psi than a typical garden hose has, they are able to clean stubborn stains with more pounds per square inch than a low-pressure hose.
- Saves water and saves money. Pressure washers are more efficient and have a better flow rate than garden hoses. And better water savings means you save on your water bill.
- Saves time. Using a pressure washer is faster than using a regular garden hose. This is because garden hoses have a lower psi than high-pressure washers.
Important Note: A pressure washer can be used to clean most exterior surfaces with less water consumed. You also have more control over the water flow force to make adjustments for cleaning different things. It is important to know how to adjust the water pressure on your power washer because this will help you save water. The PSI and GPM are important to know about. Understanding PSI will help you know when to add more force, i.e. more water, and the Gallons Per Minute (GPM) will indicate how powerful your pressure washer is.
Pro Tip: You may want to use light water usage for cleaning more sensitive items, like when doing a vehicle cleaning. Use a light pre-soak with a mild cleaning solution and warm water to wash carefully the vehicle. This will use less water. Then you can adjust the pressure water up to a heavier flow, using cold water to rinse off the vehicle. Never use hot water in a power washer.
Here are some things you can pressure wash with a power washer:
- Rugs (Use cold water)
- Driveways and sidewalks
- Home exterior
- Swimming pools
Does a pressure washer use a lot of water?
To answer “Does a pressure washer use a lot of water?” first you need to define what is a lot of water. Our benchmark to compare a lot by is a standard water hose.
How much water do pressure washers use? Water consumption is far less when using a pressure washer rather than a garden hose. A pressure washer uses anywhere from 5 to 8 gallons per minute depending on the pounds per square inch (PSI) of force exerted.
The water consumption of a regular garden hose is about 12 gallons per minute. It’s dependent on the water supply pressure PSI coming out of the water pump. The gallons of water per minute will depend on the circumference of the hose and the flow rate measured.
Considering a pressure washer wastes less water and cleans better, the pressure washer wins for using less gallons of water per minute. And a pressure washer uses far less gallons of water than a garden hose uses. Therefore you’ll save water using a pressure washer.
But, you’ll also save money and save time while saving water.
Dirt, grime, and grease come out easier using a pressure washer and no hot water is needed — making the pressure washer your best friend when you need help cleaning your house, driveway, decks, and more.
In our book, the best answer is: No, a pressure washer does not use a lot of water.
Final Note: We might be a little bias! We love pressure washers and high-pressure water. And, power washers are our business and so is 100% customer satisfaction!
Frequently Asked Questions
How much water does a 2500 psi pressure washer use?
A 2500 psi pressure washer uses approximately 2.5 to 3 gallons of water per minute (GPM). To put this into perspective a 2,500 PSI pressure washer is considered to be a medium pressure washer. Anything over 2,800 is considered to be a heavy-duty pressure washer. And anything below 1,900 PSI is considered to be a low-pressure pressure washer. The lower the PSI the less water a pressure washer uses.
How to calculate water flow in gallons per minute?
To calculate the water flow in gallons per minute, use the following method:
Record how many seconds it takes to fill up a one-gallon container. Then take the total number of seconds and divide it into 60 seconds (1 minute). That’s your answer.
Example: It takes 7 seconds to fill up a gallon container of water. 60/7 = 8.57 gallons per minute. This is the water flow in gallons per minute.
Does pressure washing increase water bill?
The answer to this question is it depends on how much water you would use if you weren’t using a pressure washer. Pressure washing does increase water bill and this is because pressure washing requires more water than what is needed for typical cleaning.
Note: Using a normal garden hose to do the same cleanup job would increase your water bill given the flow rate of a garden hose is more than that of a standard pressure washer.
Does a pressure washer use more water than a hose?
No, a pressure washer uses less water than a hose. The flow rate of a hose is more than the flow rate of a pressure washer.
How much water does a pressure washer use to wash a car?
The amount of water that a pressure washer uses to wash a car depends on the type of pressure washer being used and how long it actually takes you to wash the car.
An average pressure cleaner uses 5 to 8 gallons of water per minute.
Example: If it takes you 7 minutes to wash your car with a power washer, you’ll use between 35 to 54 gallons of water.
How to adjust the pressure on a pressure washer?
If you are using a gas-powered pressure washer then turn the choke to the “On” setting.
If you are using an electric pressure washer then the pressure setting is usually self-adjusting.
Another option is to adjust pressure by changing the water flow to the pump.
Other options are to adjust the nozzle, adjust the valve on the hose, or by increasing or decreasing the pressure on the trigger.