How does a pressure washer work? Do you want to pressure wash your car at home? Or do you want to pressure wash your house and backyard yourself?

To reduce the tiresome and tediousness of the cleaning job this is definitely a good decision until you completely know how to pressure wash without any difficulty. For that purpose, we have detailed information on this topic here for you.

On the other hand, it is also very important to know how a pressure washer works because in case of any fault or emergency during the pressure washing, you must know how to deal with it.

Therefore, it is best for you to learn the basic principle of working of the pressure washer. It will help you in troubleshooting easily which will eventually help in increasing the life of the washer.

What is a Pressure Washer and How Does It Works

A pressure washer is a powerful tool that has changed the century-old meanings of scrubbing, cleaning, and washing. The old method of rubbing and scrubbing is the talk of the past. Now we have a smart machine that blasts away tough stains, dirt, and grime from a variety of surfaces.

Various uses of pressure washers have made them some of the fastest-selling machines across the world. You can wash your home, decks, garages, patio, furniture, vehicles, and so on.

Pressure washers use water and an energy source for their functioning. The energy makes high pressure in the pump which along with water is pumped out for cleaning purposes on a variety of surfaces.

For a more appropriate understanding of the process, you must know its components and important terms related to it. But first, we will discuss the major types of pressure washers.

Types Of Pressure Washers

Basically, pressure washers are classified into two types according to their power usage.

  • Electric Pressure Washers
  • Gas Pressure Washers

Have a little insight into these washers below,

Electric Pressure Washer

Obviously, the name says it all. The washers which use electricity as a source of energy for their water pump are known as electric washers.

  • There are no harmful emissions and less noise due to their electric motor.
  • Lightweight and easy to handle.
  • Electric motors are not so powerful as gas ones, so they are less eager to damage your property.
  • Less portable as compared to Gas pressure washers because they have limited power cords.

Gas Pressure Washer

A gas pressure washer on the other hand requires gas like diesel or petrol for its operations.

  • A gas pressure washer can be easily moved to any location because there are no strings attached to them.
  • They have powerful engines running on fuels.
  • High power means high pressure, which eventually leads to better cleaning and better stain removing capacity.
  • These washers emit toxic fumes that are dangerous to health. That is a reason they are not a good choice for enclosed spaces like homes.
  • They produce some noise, obviously more than electric pressure washers.

Classification By Water Temperature:

Sometimes pressure washers are also classified according to the temperature of the water they use for washing. They are

  • Hot Water Pressure Washer
  • Cold Water Pressure Washer

Hot Pressure Washers

Thinking of washing with hot water feels very relaxing as it can remove grime and grease more efficiently than cold water. This type of pressure washer uses hot water having a maximum temperature of 311 degrees Fahrenheit for its standard operations.

Hot pressure washers are mostly used for heavier tasks where layers of dirt and grime constitute more often. For that hefty task, these washers increase the temperature of the water. As a result, they consume a lot of energy making them an expensive item for the common man.

Cold Pressure Washers

These are the most common types of pressure washers being used these days. They work excellent with water having a temperature of fewer than 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

They are definitely not as powerful as hot pressure washers but it doesn’t mean they are not useful at all. As we said earlier, they are the most widely used pressure washers because they have enough efficiency to wash your car, home, decks, patios, furniture, and much more. Many commercial pressure washing businesses also use cold pressure washers for providing services to their clients.

Moreover, they are easy to handle and very affordable as compared to their hot counterparts.

Now that we have discussed all the major classifications of pressure washers, we will guide you through the list of major components without which there is no concept of a pressure washer.

Components And Parts Of Pressure Washer:

Generally, a pressure washer has the following basic components which are essential for its functioning. Without these, we cannot imagine a pressure washer, that will be something else.

Water Pump

This is the most important part of the pressure washer. The water pump exerts pressure on the water which is forcibly pumped out of the washer through a high-pressure hose and a nozzle. The water pump is powered either by an electric motor or a gas fuel engine.

Water from the pump is typically pumped between 1 GPM (Gallon per minute) to 4 GPM

Fuel-Powered Engine or Electric Motor

This is the driving part of the machine and more importantly, the water pump. Pressure washers get their power for working from either a gas-powered engine or an electric motor whichever is suitable. Normally, the electric motor is used for small to medium powered pressure washers for homes and small tasks. And Gas-powered engines are used in powerful pressure washers for heavy-duty and outdoor tasks.

High-Pressure Hoses

This is the tube or a hose that is responsible to pump high-pressure water out of the washer i.e, from the water pump to the surface which is to be cleaned. Normal water hoses cannot withstand that high pressured water coming out of the water pump. So a strengthful high-quality hose is assigned with a job here.

This high-pressure hose is made from two or three layers of high-quality plastic material. But these days, it is mostly reinforced with wire mesh for better safety and protection.


These are the other essential components for maintaining the pressure coming out of the water pump. They are connected at the outer end of the triggering gun for the required projection of the water stream.

A variety of nozzles come with the washer for different uses. Some have narrow-angle for the fastest and most damaging water jet and others have a wider angle for delicate cleaning.

Water Inlet supply System

A water inlet is a hose that connects the pressure washer with an outer source of water for pressure cleaning. Some washers have filters added to the water inlet that protect it from any debris or grit coming in. And that is definitely protection, much required.

Triggering Gun

The trigger gun is attached to the outer end of the water hose. It has a valve inside it, on pressing this valve the water gushes out of it through one of the nozzles attached to its tip.

How Does A Pressure Washer Work

The working principle of a pressure washer is as simple as any water pump except few things which are described below step by step.

  • Water from an outer source is constantly injected into the water pump through an inlet.
  • The water pump is powered by an electric motor or a gas engine that accelerates the water to make a high-pressure stream. These pumps can squirt water from 1 to 4 gallons per minute.
  • The high-pressured water is then pumped out through an attached high-pressure hose.
  • The hose is further connected with a wand or a trigger gun at the end. On triggering the gun, the stream of water gushes out for blasting away dirt and grime out to the drain.

That’s all. There is no rocket science in the working of a pressure washer. That’s why it is becoming a very fast selling item in the cleaning appliances. It is easy to use and easy to handle.

How Does A Pressure Washer Work? – Related Questions

Do you need a hose for a pressure washer?

If you’re using a pressure washer, you’ll need a hose that can withstand the high pressure of the water. Pressure washer hoses are available in a variety of lengths and diameters, so you’ll need to choose the right size for your needs.

You’ll also need to decide on the material of the hose – plastic, rubber, or metal – and whether you want a single- or double-walled hose.

How does a pump on a pressure washer work?

A pump on a pressure washer is responsible for pumping pressurized water out of the machine. The pump is powered by an electric motor, and it works by drawing water from a source (such as a tank or a garden hose) and then pumping it under high pressure through the machine.

Pumps on pressure washers can vary in size and power, but they all work in essentially the same way. The main difference between pumps is the amount of water they can flow per minute and the amount of pressure they can generate.

What’s the difference between a pressure washer and a power washer?

A pressure washer is a device that uses high-pressure water to remove dirt and grime from surfaces. A power washer is a type of pressure washer that uses heat to increase the cleaning power of the water. Power washers are typically more expensive than pressure washers and are used for tougher cleaning jobs.

Can you damage concrete with a power washer?

Concrete is a sturdy material that is designed to withstand a lot of wear and tear. However, it is possible to damage concrete with a power washer if you are not careful. The high-powered water stream from a power washer can strip away the top layer of concrete, exposing the underlying aggregate material. This can cause the concrete to become weaker and more prone to damage.

If you need to clean concrete with a power washer, it is important to be careful and use the lowest possible setting. You should also avoid using a power washer on fragile or damaged concrete.


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