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Do Pressure Washers Use A Lot of Water? The Surprising Truth

pressure washer illustration

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Water, the life-sustaining elixir, is a priceless resource that connects us all. Water is essential to our daily lives. It quenches our thirst and nourishes our crops. It is important to both conserve and appreciate water. If you own a pressure washer, you must have wondered do pressure washers use a lot of water.

While pressure washing is undeniably efficient, how does it affect our water usage? Can we use pressure washing while still protecting the integrity of our water resources? 

Water Consumption of Pressure Washers: The Facts

Pressure washers, on average, use 70–80% less water than a typical garden hose.

This is because the nozzles of pressure washers have extremely small openings. High pressure is used to drive water through those nozzles, improving its cleaning power.

On average 2 to 4 GPM of water is used by pressure washers.

The following table compares the water usage of several GPM pressure washers compared to a garden hose:

DeviceGPM (Gallons per Minute)Water Consumption in 10 Minutes (Gallons)Water Consumption in 30 Minutes (Gallons)
Garden Hose7-1070-100210-300
2 GPM Pressure Washer22060
4 GPM Pressure Washer440120

Factors That Affect Water Consumption of Pressure Washers

There are a few factors that can affect the amount of water used throughout your cleaning duties when it comes to pressure washer usage. Let’s look at these factors and how they affect water usage.

Pounds per Square Inch (PSI)

The pressure exerted by the water flowing out of the pressure washer is measured in PSI. A higher PSI indicates more water pressure, which may result in the use of more water. 

However, higher pressure equals faster and more efficient cleaning, so striking a balance between water usage and cleaning efficiency is critical.

Gallons Per Minute (GPM)

As previously stated, GPM is a measurement of the pressure washer’s water flow rate.

It is essential to choose a pressure washer that meets your needs without wasting water. This is because different models have different GPM ratings. 

Models and Settings for Pressure Washers

The model of your pressure washer and the pressure levels you select might also have an impact on water usage. Some versions are intended to be more water-efficient, while others may be more focused on cleaning power. 

Furthermore, altering the pressure settings according to the cleaning work at hand can help you save water. Using a lower pressure setting, for example, for lighter cleaning jobs, such as car washing, can help you save water. 

Increase pressure for harder tasks, such as washing concrete. This will use more water, but the job will be done better.

Benefits of Pressure Washers in Water Conservation

As previously demonstrated, pressure washers can be a more water-efficient alternative to typical garden hoses. But what does this mean for you, and why should you think about utilizing a pressure washer to clean?

Water Conservation

As previously stated, pressure washers can use up to 80% less water than a standard garden hose.

Utilizing a pressure washer for cleaning helps conserve water. This is especially important in areas facing water shortages or droughts.

Water Bill Savings

Using less water benefits both the environment and your money. By using pressure washers for cleaning, homeowners and businesses can possibly save money on their water bills. 

With utility costs rising, reducing your water consumption can make a considerable difference in your monthly expenses.

Tips for Minimizing Water Usage with Pressure Washers

Use a pressure washer with a low GPM

As previously stated, a lower GPM value equals less water usage. When selecting a pressure washer, choose one with a lower GPM rating to save water. 

Remember that a lower GPM may require a longer cleaning time. It is important to find a balance that works for your personal needs.

time vs gpm chart for pressure washers
The cleaning time gradually decreases as GPM is increased

Read our review of the Ryobi 1800 PSI, the best low GPM pressure washer available in the market for home users.

Change the Pressure Settings According to the Job

You may save water by using the right pressure level for each cleaning activity. Use a lower-pressure setting for lightweight cleaning activities, such as washing your car or outdoor furniture. 

A greater pressure setting may be required for more difficult operations, such as cleaning concrete or eliminating tenacious stains. You can prevent using more water than necessary for each task by adjusting the pressure settings accordingly.

Making Use of Hot Water

Using hot water in a pressure washer can save a lot of water while still providing good cleaning results. When opposed to cold water, hot water is more effective at breaking down and removing dirt, grease, and filth. 

Hot water enables a pressure washer to clean more quickly and efficiently. This means that less water is used for a given job. 

Hot water pressure washers need lower pressure settings to clean as effectively as cold water pressure washers. This helps conserve water. 

Make use of Water Reclamation Systems

Incorporating a water reclamation system into your pressure washing equipment can help you save a lot of water. A water reclamation system collects, filters, and recycles pressure-washing water, allowing it to be reused for subsequent cleaning activities. 

It also prevents wastewater from entering storm drains and polluting the environment. Furthermore, using a water reclamation system can be especially useful in locations with strict water usage rules or limited water supplies. 

Invest in a water reclamation system. This will help save water and cut expenses. Moreover, it will encourage responsible and eco-friendly pressure-washing practices.

water reclamation system for pressure washing
Water reclamation systems designed for pressure washing

Pre-treat surfaces

Apply a cleaning solution or detergent to the surface before pressure washing. This will help loosen dirt and grime, making the cleaning process easier.

It will also reduce the amount of water required. We recommend using the pressure washer-safe Sun Joe SPX-HDC1G House and Deck All-Purpose Cleaner for excellent results.

Use a Consistent Technique

To achieve even and efficient cleaning, keep a consistent distance and angle while pressure washing.

The need for repeated passes can be avoided with this method, which also lowers water usage.

Cleaning Schedule

Minimize water evaporation and improve cleaning efficiency by scheduling pressure washing jobs during cooler hours of the day.

Alternatively, do the jobs when the sun is not directly overhead.

Maintaining Your Pressure Washer on a Regular Basis

Proper pressure washer maintenance is critical to ensuring optimal performance and water usage.

  • Check for leaks regularly.
  • Clean the nozzles.
  • Inspect the hoses.

Use Water Meters

Utilizing water meters while pressure washing is an effective way to monitor water usage and promote responsible water consumption.

By tracking the gallons per minute (GPM) used during pressure washing, homeowners and businesses can gain valuable insights into their water consumption patterns.

Furthermore, water meters can help detect leaks or malfunctions in pressure washer systems, ensuring that water is not being wasted unnecessarily.

Final Thoughts

We can reduce water usage by up to 80% by choosing pressure washers instead of traditional garden hoses. This can make a significant difference to our water bills and the environment. 

As responsible citizens and businesses, we must embrace water-efficient practices and technologies like pressure washing to minimize our ecological footprint. 

Investing in water reclamation systems is a game-changer for pressure-washing businesses. They can capture, filter, and reuse water on-site. This further enhances their commitment to sustainability. 

So, the next time you need to clean something, think about using a pressure washer to save water, time, and effort. Happy cleaning, and keep in mind that every drop counts!

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