what size pressure washer do i need

What Size Pressure Washer Do I Need?

As a business owner, you constantly seek ways to optimize your operations. Understanding the ins and outs of power washers is crucial, as a suitably sized machine can help you save time, reduce manual labor, and achieve a cleanliness unmatched by other tools. 

But with so many power washers on the market, what size pressure washer do I need, and how do I find a suitable machine for my business?

We’ll discuss all of these decisions to guide you while shopping. You’ll even learn to choose between gas and electric engines, which accessories and soap to use, and more.

If you have any questions after this guide, our team at RJP Hotsy is here to help! As the trusted source for industrial pressure washer rental in NJ, we’ve helped thousands of local businesses transform their cleaning routines with high-quality Hotsy machines and our expertise.

For now, let’s get started by exploring pressure washer sizing!

How are Pressure Washers Sized?

Between figuring out what is the best GPM for a pressure washer to consider factors like engine size or flow rate, learning the nitty-gritty details of sizing can seem daunting. 

However, there’s a massive payoff for learning how it all works. After all, this knowledge can be a game-changer for your business if you get a suitable machine for your cleaning tasks.

PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch)

Pressure washer sizing primarily revolves around two crucial acronyms: PSI and GPM.

Figuring out how much PSI for a pressure washer is critical, as it directly influences your machine’s cleaning power.

PSI refers to the amount of force behind your machine’s water stream. The higher your PSI, the more capable your machine will be at eradicating stubborn stains like embedded grease or grime.

PSI generally starts at 1,000 and can escalate well above 4,000. While some machines have modular PSI, others are set at one particular PSI without much leeway.

Additionally, it is vital to understand that more PSI is not always better. In worst-case scenarios, higher PSI values can damage delicate underlying surfaces.

GPM (Gallons Per Minute)

If PSI refers to the amount of power behind a jet stream, then what does GPM mean on a pressure washer?

GPM covers the volume of water your machine can produce at any moment. The higher your GPM, the quicker you can clean your cleaning tasks. This is because higher amounts of water allow you to cover more surface area and spend less time on stubborn stains. 

What is the best GPM for a pressure washer, then? Higher GPM values can become overkill past a particular benchmark. A GPM of 2 to 4 covers most business needs, though more powerful machines can reach up to 10 GPM!

The Relationship Between PSI and GPM

Once you have the basics of PSI and GPM down, you have almost all the necessary knowledge! There’s one more crucial thing to consider: the relationship between the two.

Think of GPM and PSI like salt and pepper. Too much of one without the other means you won’t get the result you’re looking for.

A machine with high PSI but low GPM will have all the cleaning power you need… except you won’t have much water to remove the stain. The inverse of high GPM and low PSI is similarly inadequate, as you will have enough water to wash away the stain but won’t be able to break it up in the first place.

Therefore, you will need to research all of your typical cleaning tasks and ensure that both metrics are suitable for the job to achieve that speedy and spotless cleaning your business is searching for.

What Size Pressure Washer Do I Need?

So, what size pressure washer do I need?

Figuring out the ideal power washer size requires you to fully assess your cleaning needs. You must consider what materials you are cleaning, common stains, and your desired cleaning frequency.

Recommendations for Light-Duty Applications

Okay, what size pressure washer do I need for light tasks like washing cars, cleaning outdoor furniture, or rinsing off walkways?

For these light-duty cleaning tasks, we consider pressure washers with a GPM of 2 to 3 and a range of 1,500 to 1,900 PSI an excellent starting point. This will provide all the necessary cleaning power while keeping your delicate underlying surfaces safe.

Recommendations for Medium-Duty Applications

Medium-duty tasks will require you to increase cleaning power while being conscious of your underlying surfaces. These tasks include cleaning building exteriors, wooden fences and docks, and some industrial use cases.

Look for machines with 2,000 to 3,000 PSI and a GPM of 3 to 4. If you wish to prioritize speed, some stubborn stains or vast surface areas may require slightly higher GPM.

Recommendations for Heavy-Duty Applications

But what size pressure washer do I need for intensive cleaning use cases?

Heavy-duty tasks involve the toughest stains and surfaces, so you’ll need all the power you can get. These include stripping paint, cleaning biofilm in maritime settings, removing graffiti, and eradicating embedded oil or grease.

You’ll need a top-quality commercial pressure washer with more than 3,000 PSI. 4,000 PSI is a great stopping point for most businesses, but some tasks require you to go higher. GPM should start at 4 GPM, with higher values up to 8 preferred for large surfaces.

Overall, the perfect pressure washer size is entirely dependent on your needs. Let’s cover the rest of the necessary knowledge to make the right shopping choice.

More Tips on Choosing the Right Power Washer for Your Unique Needs

After determining what is the best GPM for a pressure washer, you’ll need to consider a few more specifications.

This includes engine types, temperature such as hot water vs cold water pressure washers, mobility and accessories, and durability.

Power Source & Water Temperature

While PSI and GPM give you an idea of how powerful your machine should be, the engine type and water temperature of your machine are equally crucial in making a decision. As with size, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer, so let’s break it down.

Regarding engine type, we’ll be focusing on electric vs gas pressure washers. Electric pressure washers are quieter, lighter, and more environmentally friendly than gas-powered models of a similar size. They are the go-to choice when you have many indoor and light-duty tasks.

Conversely, gas-powered pressure washers tend to be larger and more powerful. They also provide unparalleled mobility since they do not need to be plugged into an outlet, making them a great choice for heavy-duty tasks that require covering large outdoor surface areas.

Water temperature is a similarly valuable metric. Heated pressure washers provide extra cleaning power, especially for embedded stubborn stains like grease and oil. Cold water pressure washers are weaker but more straightforward, safe for most surfaces, and cheaper to purchase and maintain in the long run.

Mobility and Portability

Between size, power source, and water temperature, you will have functionally everything you need to find a machine that fits your needs. If there are still a few different models you are deciding between, mobility can be an excellent tiebreaker.

We recommend a compact and portable model for businesses with limited storage space. This will allow you to move the machine between locations without taking up precious room.

Choose a wheeled model if you are dealing with heavy-duty tasks and need more versatility. This is especially vital if you need a pressure washer trailer for a large-scale outdoor task, like cleaning parking lots or sprucing up a job site.

Reliability and Durability

Whether you buy or rent, you want to ensure the machine you choose can withstand even the most challenging use cases.

Look for machines made from reliable brands with a strong track record, like Hotsy. These models feature high-quality materials and designs that deliver consistently powerful cleaning for years.

For example, Hotsy has been in business for over five decades and is trusted by brands worldwide. Their machines and parts are backed by comprehensive warranties and plenty of positive reviews. 

Hotsy’s pressure washer pumps often have three times the seal life of similar pumps in the industry. Investing in a reliable machine will lower the time your business needs to spend waiting for repairs and grant you peace of mind.

Attachments and Detergent

Once you’ve nailed down all of your machine’s inner workings, you can invest in a few accessories to complete the package.

Attachments can be an excellent way to handle demanding cleaning tasks even faster than your machine’s standard nozzles.

Consider the dimensions and layout of the areas you wish to clean. Are you tackling building exteriors multiple stories high, or do you need to get under industrial machinery?

Perhaps you would opt for something like Hotsy’s Extension Wand for those elevated places or their Surface Cleaner for getting into tight spaces.

Detergent is similarly vital to cleaning success. Specially formulated soaps do far more heavy lifting than standard detergent, and you can find blends for any type of stain.

For example, Hotsy Transport is the perfect soap for cleaning vehicle exteriors since it is powerful enough to remove stains without stripping paint or damaging the underlying surface. Conversely, Hotsy Brown is a caustic blend for clearing road film, exhaust stains, grease, and oil from concrete surfaces. It is powerful, though you want to avoid it on delicate surfaces like metal.

We’ve covered almost everything you need to know to start shopping, but there’s one more thing to keep in mind: where to rent a pressure washer so you can experience this fantastic cleaning power for yourself.

Thankfully, the #1 home for industrial hot water pressure washers in New Jersey is right before you!

Let RJP Hotsy Help You Pick the Perfect Industrial Pressure Washer Size!

There’s one name you must know when it comes to pressure washing: RJP Hotsy New Jersey. As the Garden State’s only authorized Hotsy dealer and repair center, we are the place to be if you want to unlock the transformative power of commercial power washing.

We’ve been in the industry for years, working with hundreds of businesses, from massive brands like Nestle, Ryder, and the Phillies to small mom-and-pop shops. 

When you work with us for rental, purchase, or industrial pressure washer leasing in NJ, you’ll gain a trusted business partner who prioritizes your success.

We know the industry like the back of our hands and will provide the knowledge you need to succeed. We’ll work with you to find the perfect fit for your needs within our extensive inventory of power washer models and industrial pressure washer trailers in NJ.

Our support doesn’t end when you hang up the phone after placing an order. We’re here for you every step of the way, whether you want advice on handling a specific stain or need tips for upkeep.

RJP Hotsy is also the #1 home for speedy industrial pressure washer repair in NJ, including warranty servicing and upkeep for non-Hotsy models! We even provide temporary rentals to ensure your business doesn’t have to worry about downtime while we work tirelessly to get you back up and running.

Wrapping Up Our Guide to Pressure Washer Sizing

Let’s recap. What size pressure washer do I need?

Overall, pressure washer sizing comes down to a few simple concepts. You’ll need to strike the right balance of PSI and GPM to ensure enough power and water flow without going overboard and damaging your underlying surfaces.

It can be a lot to handle between size and other factors like engine type or water temperature. Thankfully, our team at RJP Hotsy is here to help. As the premier home for industrial pressure washers in New Jersey, we are poised to take your business’ cleaning needs to new heights. 

Whether you want a personalized recommendation for your business or want to learn more about how to repair pressure washers, our friendly team is always available to help.

If you enjoyed learning about pressure washer specifications like what is the best GPM for a pressure washer, check out our blog for more!

Other helpful articles you will find explore topics like the cost to repair a pressure washer, how to set up a pressure washer trailer, and how much does it cost to rent a power washer.

Otherwise, RJP Hotsy is here to help you get started with an industrial cold water pressure washer in New Jersey. Call us or visit our New Egypt store for a personalized recommendation today!