Best Corded Electric Pressure Washers (2019)
Do you have a stained siding or a dirt crusted driveway to clean often? A pressure washer may be the solution to your problem. Pressure washers connect to your garden hose and spray out water under pressure through a nozzle. Compared to cleaning by hand, pressure washers are a quick and efficient way to clean heavily soiled areas. Surprisingly, a typical pressure washer will use less water than just using your garden hose, which typically uses around 8 gallons per minute (GPM) at very low pressure, while a typical pressure washer will supply 1.5 - 2 GPM at very high pressure. This ultimately means cleaning much more efficiently.
However, with pressure washers noise can be a problem for some users, but the electric models reviewed here address this issue and are typically about as loud as a domestic vacuum cleaner. Care should be taken when cleaning painted or coated surfaces, as the high pressure water stream can remove the paint altogether. Generally you shouldn’t let the tip contact the surface directly, and test on an inconspicuous area first. Also, before adding detergents, check the product manual to make sure you get a detergent as specified by the manufacturer.
Our top choice is the Sun Joe SPX3000 due its overall performance. It has a superb PSI and is the perfect choice for residential uses.
Following this is our budget choice, the Greenworks GPW1501. Its small size and complete efficiency makes it befitting as the second choice, as well as the budget choice, for light uses around a limited area.
Best Electric Pressure Washers In Comparison
#1 Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric pressure washer
Our Top Choice
The Sun Joe SPX3000 is equipped with a powerful 14.5-amp, 1800-watt motor and can spray up to 1.76 gallons of water per minute at 2030 psi maximum. It weighs 31 Lbs. but this hefty weight is compensated by the wheels, which make it portable. The washer has a trigger gun with a spray wand holder and can be easily connected to your normal garden hose. The machine is remarkably quiet, considering its power and speed, and does a notable job with cleaning cars and driveways in particular. The hose is 20 feet long and the cord it comes with is 35 feet, allowing you to cover an ample area.
Sun Joe did an impressive job with the design of this unit; it can be organized and stored neatly. But the assembly does require time and patience. What ties up the whole product as our top choice are the additional features that come along. One of them includes the 2 separate detergent tanks. It allows you to carry out more complex jobs without stopping; you could load a degreaser in one and detergent in the other for instance. Following this are the 5 different nozzle tips, including 0-degree, 15-degree, 25-degree and 40-degree nozzles and soap nozzle; which are also color coded.
Sun Joe back this washer with a 2 year warranty, which can be extended up to 5 years for a price.
WE DON'T LIKE:
#2 - Greenworks GPW1501 Electric pressure washer
Our Budget Choice
The Greenworks GPW1501 is our budget pick. It has a 13-amp electric motor and sprays water at up to 1500 psi, moving up to 1.1 gallons per minute. It is portable & lightweight at around 17 Lbs. with a water resistant universal electric motor. The unit comes with one 25 degree and one 40 degree quick-connect nozzles and has an onboard tool storage. Some users reported that other quarter inch quick-connect nozzles care compatible as well. A soap applicator is included with the package for efficient cleaning.
The machine is not particularly loud but has a distinct high-pitched whirring sound from the motor. Which some consumers might not like. Its hose and cord lengths are 20 and 35 feet respectively, which is quite sufficient to cover an area without having to move the unit. Although it is not as big as the others in this list and does not have wheels, it can still be carried around easily if the need arises. Do not be fooled by the size and the price, this washer’s performance is a rather pleasant surprise.
This pressure washer is recommended for light to medium duty applications, such as cleaning cars, windows and decks. If you have regular, heavier-duty requirements, you should consider a more powerful model, such as the 2000 psi vertical pressure washer (model 5102002). Greenworks is a member of the Pressure Washer Manufacturers' Association (PWMA), which sets standards for pressure washers and ensures the stated maximum pressure and water flow are accurate.
This unit is backed by only a one year warranty.
WE DON'T LIKE:
#3 - AR Blue Clean AR383 Electric pressure washer
The AR Blue Clean AR383 was our previous top pick, but we feel the Sun Joe and Greenworks models provide better value in recent times. If our top two aren’t available or don’t meet your requirements, and if you can get this model for a good price, settling with this choice would still be worth it.
This consumer targeted washer delivers a 1900 psi, 1.5 gallon per minute performance. It comes with a high-pressure washer spray gun, a 20 feet high pressure hose and 2 high-pressure quick change wands, namely adjustable spray wand and turbo wand. The simple design allows easy connection of the quick-coupler fitting with the hose and wands. The washer is equipped with Total Stop System (TSS) which automatically shuts off the pressure washer when trigger is not engaged; this prolongs the longevity of the pump. The pressure shut off is located at the head of the pump and has an automatic safety valve.
Alongside adjustable nozzles, this unit also comes with on-board storage for the 35 feet long power cord and accessories. The washer is outfitted with wheels, making it portable, and the packaging includes one 14 oz. detergent bottle and a quick-connect garden hose adapter. Be sure to use detergents as suggested by the user manual for best results.
This washer has a 1-year ‘bumper to bumper’ warranty.
WE DON'T LIKE:
#4 - Karcher K5 Premium Electric pressure washer
The Premium Choice
Like the above models, the Karcher K5 premium is intended for residential use. It produces 2000 psi of pressure and delivers water at 1.4 gallons per minute. It has a water-cooled induction motor, which Karcher claims ‘increases the life of the motor by up to 5X (compared to un-cooled or air-cooled motors)’. Its pressure hose is 25 feet long, with a reel for easy storage, and the 35 feet power cord has a built in GFCI for safety. Users report less problems (such as water leaks) than cheaper rivals. Assembly is quick and easy (around 10 minutes), though the assembly instructions could have been clearer.
The washer comes with a pressure-adjustable Vario Power Spray (VPS) wand and a patented DirtBlaster turbo spray wand for excellent results. A single on-board detergent tank is also present. It is a bit bulky compared to many pressure washer, but users seem to excuse this issue on account of the high-impact wheel, tall handle and its overall admirable performance.
Karcher backs this pressure washer with a limited 2 year warranty and the industry-leading Rapid Exchange Program which offers consumers with a free replacement washer during the warranty period.
WE DON'T LIKE:
#5 - Briggs & Stratton 020667 Electric Pressure Washer
The Briggs & Stratton 020667 should be the best washer in this category, on paper at least. Made by a company renowned for gas engines and gas-powered garden tools, this washer has an almost-commercial look and feel to it – you don’t expect it to fall apart within a couple of years, which you could with other cheaper models. This washer delivers much more water than its rivals, a whopping 3.5 gallon per minute, at a similar pressure of 2000 psi. Instead of separate tips, Briggs and Stratton supply a single adjustable tip with 7 options, which is intended to work for all circumstances.
Its structure comprises a durable welded steel frame which holds a patented pump and a brushless induction motor. The washer is relatively quiet and has a convenient fold-away design for easy storage. Like the other products in this list, this too has a 35 feet long cord and a 20 feet long hose. Its spraying gun is designed with a soft grip and has a built-in detergent tank for ease of use.
Unfortunately, there are a couple of issues with this washer. Some users have commented that it doesn’t feel as powerful as similar washers, despite using more water. Also, the adjustable tip has caused problems for a few. If you are looking for a washer that will last you many years, this washer is worth trying, as long as you are aware of, and able to waive, some these minor issues. Nonetheless, this product is in accordance with the PWMA standards, therefore it should not have any claim it cannot backup or any issue it cannot solve promptly.
The 020667 is backed up by a 1 year limited warranty.
WE DON'T LIKE:
How should i decide on one?
For any tool or machine, which one to buy depends on the task and its intensity. It is the same for pressure washers; first figure out what are the things you will be cleaning, how frequently and how dirty they get. Keeping these in mind, look for the following features to decide on one:
A pressure of 2000 psi and at least 3200 psi is recommended for residential and commercial use respectively. Having the correct pressure and power is vital. But using one with excessive psi can consume more electricity and water, ultimately costing you more in the long run.
The amount of pressure is rated by a thing called BAR rating. Washers with a top bar of 100 is an entry level one, suitable for cleaning lightly soiled patio, bikes or other small items. Washers of a bar from 100 to 120 are mid-level and can clean some more and large items. Heavy duty washers over 120 are best for cleaning heavily sullied surfaces and larger items.
Gallons per minute (GPM) is another factor to check. It states the rate which water flows and thus a higher GPM means getting the job done quicker.
2) Water pump
Majority of entry-level washers contain a wobble pump, which is affixed in such way that it is impossible to replace or repair it. But it can work fully for up to 3 years. Mid-level residential pressure washers come with an axial pump most of the time which can last up to 3 times longer than a wobble pump. Heavy-duty washers use a triplex plunger pump which can last for over 15 years with proper maintenance.
3) Pump protection
Electric pressure washers with pump protection facilitates stopping the pump as soon as the trigger is released. This prevents overheating, which is one of the top culprits behind the pump malfunctioning.
4) Hose and nozzles
Most washers utilize a 0.25 inch hose with varying length and material. Commercial ones mostly use 0.375 inch hoses which gives a higher flow rate.
Pressure washers can have one spray with adjustable pressure settings or multiple tips delivering varying pressure. It is best to go with washers which offer a wide range of pressures to tackle a series of tasks.
5) Weight and portability
Generally electric pressure washers are relatively lightweight, ranging up to 40 pounds. They are easy to carry around and work with. But lightweight does not always mean durability. The key is the equilibrium between the weight and the material quality. Choose a product with a correct balance of weight, manufactured with durable substance.
Features like large wheels, a comfortable handle and a long power cord make the portability even easier.
Maintenance is key
The following points, listed according to the frequency they need to performed, will ensure your machine has a long and healthy life.
1) Inspect before every use
Always check the fuel and water levels before using a pressure washer. Typically the oil or fuel caps come with a dipstick and you can check the level of the fluid using this. After unscrewing the cap, clean the stick dry and put it back in without screwing it. Take it out and see how far the fluid covers the stick; if it is below the recommended / marked level, refuel it.
See if there are any leaks anywhere; check the body for any oil dripping or any residue under the machine and start with a low water pressure to check for possible water seepages. If you do find any, monitor it for a couple of days as to figure how severe the damage is, followed by taking necessary actions to fix it. Also, don’t forget to check the air filters as well.
2) Drain after every use
To prevent contaminant or mineral buildup, it is important to drain the washer completely before shutting it down. There is a protocol in doing so instead of mere flicks of switches. After using detergent while washing, first replace the soap nozzle with a normal spraying tip and run water through it for about a minute to get rid of any remaining soap from the system. Then, turn off the main water source and continue pulling the spray trigger for a few seconds to remove any leftover water and pressure.
Only after these steps, disconnect the pressure hose from the spraying unit and the pump along with the water source hose. Hang up the hoses on hooks for proper storage and for further draining automatically. With everything disconnected run the motor / engine for about a minute to further drain the pump of any liquid.
3) Engine oil
Usually manufacturers recommend changing the engine oil after certain hours of usage. Go through the specific user manual to learn about your machine’s requirement and change the oil accordingly.
4) Air filters
As mentioned above, it is best to check and clean air filters regularly. But after using the washer for a specific time, you are required to clean the filters thoroughly. Generally, doing this yearly will suffice. But then again, read the manual for your machine’s exact needs and change the filters correspondingly for best results.
Unless mentioned otherwise in the user manual, it is good practice to check the fuel lines and replace the air and fuel filters every two years. Cleaning and changing air filters are very straightforward, simply take them out of their casing, tap it lightly against a surface to remove dirt or debris, and put it back in. Small engine air filters are readily available; you can easily buy one and put it in its place.
For fuel lines, check for any possible cracks or fraying. Carefully assess the connecting ends so as to detect any possible leaking. Also check the surface of fuel tanks for cracks or other damages.
6) Protect the pump for long term storage
Left over water in the pump can aid in corrosion as contaminants or minerals buildup, which will result in wearing out the pump seals and pistons. And when this happens, it will definitely leave a dent in your wallet. Therefore, it is imperative to flush out the pump after every use and buying a pump lubricant or antifreeze solution will help you with this. These products fill up the cavities inside the pump and eliminate the possibility of mineral buildup, protecting the pump, along with its pistons and seals.
Fix the pump lubricant to the garden hose inlet and press the trigger until you see the released lubricant shooting out of the outlet. We have a detailed article on how to winterize pressure washers which covers all the necessary steps to store the machine properly. Do take a look to know more.
These are just some of the basic steps you should take to sustain a pressure washer. There could be additional measures to follow depending on your machine, for which it is indispensable to go through and adhere to the user manual regularly.
How do i use a pressure washer?
1) Read the manual, it cannot be reiterated enough. It will help you in knowing your machine better and so enable you in handling it properly.
2) Prepare the area and yourself by wearing proper clothing, by covering windows, vents, electrical items, etc. and by removing fragile items from the surrounding. Also remove any potential tripping hazards.
3) Assemble the gun and hose, ensuring they are tightly fit.
4) Adjust the nozzle, choose the lowest pressure and move your way up gradually after getting a hold of it.
5) Attach the garden hose to you washer inlet and secure it properly.
6) Run the water from the source.
7) Turn the pressure washer on.
8) Test a small area before starting to clean your intended area or object.
Are Electric pressure washer safe?
Yes, as long as you are handling it with care. Safety, using any outdoor tool, is no joke, and there is no such thing as too much safety. A concentrated stream of water at such high pressures is pretty dangerous to create lacerations and subsequent infections as well. A psi of about 1200 is enough to punch a hole on the human skin. The red, zero degree nozzle is especially risky and utmost care should be taken when using it; avoid using it unless absolutely necessary. Usually the green and yellow nozzles can do the cleaning just as fine, but will take few minutes more, which we think is very much acceptable.
The following pictures are not intended to scare you but to show you how unsafe the machine can be in instances where your common sense decides to take a walk.
This happened when one user thought of washing some dirt off her hand.
And this happened when this user thought of clearing a bug crawling down his legs.
Some basic steps to take as safety include:
1) READING THE MANUAL.
2) Considering your health and the task area. Make sure you are feeling perfectly well before starting the task; being under the weather or a post work-out weakness might let you mow the lawn, but it is not the same in case of using the pressure washer. It takes proper strength and balance to control the hose at such high pressures.
Clear the area for any potential hazards – bikes, toys, pets, etc. Make sure there is nothing around that would cause you to tip over. Keep away any electrical items, open windows or vents.
3) Wearing protective outfit. Don’t just head out wearing your flip-flops; wear enclosed shoes. Also avoid shorts; wear full pants to protect your legs from flying debris or any other possible injuries. Other items include gloves, goggles and ear protections.
4) Starting with the widest angle and then adjust it, along with the distance, depending on the task. It is best to avoid the red or zero degree nozzle unless the situation specifically calls for it. If it does, be extra careful.
5) Avoiding tasks at a height. If need be, use an extension wand.
Following these steps and being careful at all times when using a pressure washer will prevent any such injuries or accidents from happening and allow your machine to be a safe one.
what can you clean with pressure washers?
1) Driveway and garage floors, since they are used almost every day. Our vehicles pick up dirt or mud from the road and transfers them onto these surfaces, leading to a gradual buildup.
2) Decks and patios, like driveways, get dirty due to constant treading with dirty shoes and boots. Pressure washer often give them a completely new look which you might have long forgotten about.
3) Exteriors and roofing can be cleaned as well. Wood, brick or stone walls can be washed thoroughly using the appropriate soap and water pressure.
4) Vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, etc. can cleaned using pressure washer, but be wary not to use the extreme powerful setting as it could chip off the paint layer.
5) Fencing, often prone to weathering and discoloration, can have deposits of organic matters or moss over time. Pressure washers can breathe back life into their appearance but do keep the pressure in check depending on the material and paint on the fences.
6) Gardening tools, like lawn mowers for instance, might need occasional blasts of water as well.
7) Fresh produce, for ardent gardeners who prefer growing their own fruits and vegetables, can also be ridden of the soil and dirt. Disclaimer: use the lowest pressure setting and maintain distance.
8) Outdoor miscellaneous, like camping grills, seating arrangements, sculptures, trash cans and many more, can be effortlessly and meticulously cleaned with pressure washers.
Whatever it is you choose to clean, always consider the material and build of the item first and adjust the pressure and distance accordingly to prevent any unwanted damage.
If you are in need of a very high power, heavy duty power washer and wondering what a gas pressure washer might be like, consider learning about the differences between a gas and an electric pressure washer first.
Do you own any of the pressure washers mentioned here? Did you choose a different one? Let us know in the comments!