Useful Guide: How Much Water Does a Pressure Washer Use?

People conclude that pressure washers are water-wasting monsters. Is that true, though? There are a few physics laws that are counterintuitive that we should talk about when it comes to pressure washers.

As a consumer, you want to make sure that you are getting the best product, but you also want to make sure you aren’t wasting water.

You need to make sure that you are getting a product that meets the standards of the EPA, but also one that will effectively clean your surfaces.

Everything revolves around this one question of how much water does a pressure washer use.

The answer to that question isn’t as straightforward as it seems, but we can provide you with an estimation.

This blog will look at how much water a pressure washer uses as well as how you can reduce this amount to save your money and time.

PSI and GPM: What do they Mean?

Before knowing about how much water the pressure washer uses you must learn about PSI and GPM.

A pressure washer’s power and water usage are determined by two factors. PSI is the first (Pounds per Square Inch).

The PSI indicates how much force is ejected from the nozzle. In general, a greater PSI indicates more force and cleaning power.

GPM is the second metric (Gallons Per Minute). In essence, it determines how much water the pressure washer consumes and uses. One thing to keep in mind is that GPM and PSI go hand in hand.

Most people believe that a pressure washer’s power is only determined by its PSI, however, this is not the case. To determine the power of your pressure washer, multiply the PSI by the GPM.

For example, if:

Pressure Washer 1: Has a total of 7,500 cleaning units and produces 3,000 PSI and 2.5 GPM.

Pressure Washer 2: Produces 2,500 PSI at 4 GPM and has a total cleaning capacity of 10,000 cleaning units.

Most people would choose Pressure Washer 1 just because it has a higher PSI rating.

However, they are unaware that Pressure Washer 2 consumes more water per minute (GPM). It produces a higher cleaning unit even at a reduced PSI.

How Much Water Does a Pressure Washer Use?

This question basically asks us to focus entirely on the GPM unit, or the number of gallons of water utilized per minute.

If we’re talking about a light machine, pressure washers use roughly 2 gallons of water each minute. However, the model you use, the brand, and other factors all play a role.

For domestic use, the average high-quality unit will provide about 1.8 GPM, which equates to roughly 2100 PSI of maximum pressure.

The pressure washer’s GPM will vary depending on the brand, manufacturer, and model. “The majority of regular pressure washers use 2 to 4 GPM.”

A total of 120 to 240 gallons per hour is produced. To put it in context, a normal bathtub holds approximately 80 gallons of water.

You’d use the equivalent of two to three baths if you cleaned your house for an hour. You may think this is a lot of water, but some professional washers use even more.

Larger, more expensive power washers even have tanks that can consume 8 to 20 GPM. These pressure washers are quite enormous, and they’re frequently towed behind a trailer.

The more effective the machine is, the higher the water pressure it produces, and hence the less water it uses.


Does a Pressure Washer Consume more than a Garden Hose?

Many people believe that because a garden hose does not shoot as much water at such a high pressure, it will use less water.

In actuality, the situation is the polar opposite. Because of the lower pressure, using a garden hose will result in increased water usage per minute.

While some pressure washers may use as little as 2 gallons per minute, a garden hose may consume roughly 20 gallons.

A garden hose, on the other hand, will be less effective at cleaning something on a deeper level. As a result, you may be able to utilize the hose for longer periods of time and consume even more water.

If you want to preserve water and make sure your sidewalk is spotless, a pressure washer is a better option than a garden hose.

Factors that Affect Water Consumption

A pressure washer’s water consumption is influenced by a number of things.

The Way You Use It

When using a pressure unit, the amount of water consumed is influenced by the water flow force, heat, pressure, and cleaning solution utilized.

Essentially, they will have an impact on how quickly you can clean the surface. If you simply use cold water, for example, the filth will be considerably more difficult to remove.

Furthermore, the cold water forces you to use more cleaning solutions and requires more water and forced to clean well.

So, if you don’t pay attention to these details, you can wind up paying a higher water bill than you intended.


What you do with the pressure washer will have an impact on how much water you use. If you need to clean your sidewalk or driveway with a pressure washer, choose a medium or heavy-duty model.

These have a PSI range of 2,300 to 2,500 and a flow rate of 2.2 to 2.3 gallons per minute. In the meanwhile, if all you need is a pressure washer to clean your boat or automobile, a lightweight pressure washer would suffice.

The water used will be between 1.4 and 1.6 gallons per minute, with a PSI of between 1,400 and 1,750.

How to Reduce Water Consumption?

There are certain things you may do if you want to use a pressure unit while lowering the amount of water used as much as feasible.

Make Use of Hot Water

Cleaning various surfaces with a hot water pressure washer is more effective than cleaning with cold water.

Warm water is preferable since it aids in the removal of dirt more effectively. It also cuts down on cleaning time and the amount of cleaning solution needed.

You will use less water as a result. If at all possible, the water utilized should be between 160- and 210-degrees Fahrenheit.

If you simply require this machine for small domestic cleaning tasks, a lightweight hot water pressure unit that you will use less than 5 hours a week would suffice.

Wash with caution

If you know how to wash carefully, you will not discharge more water than is required, resulting in water conservation.

For example, before using any detergent, you should consider doing a short pre-soak on your car.

This will save you water because all you have to do when you’ve finished using the detergent is rinse it off and you’re good to go.

It will just take a few minutes to do this task. You can only drink between 9 and 15 gallons of water if you do it correctly.

Be Efffective in your Cleaning

Another simple way to save water is to pay attention to how you clean.

  • If you’re cleaning, don’t hold the trigger down all the time.
  • Do not play with it as if it were a toy (this can also be dangerous)
  • Clean in a particular pattern (side to side or up-down)

FAQs Related to the Topic

Do washers use a lot of water?

When compared to earlier washers, most high-efficiency washers consume only 15 to 30 gallons of water to wash the same number of clothes (29 to 45 gallons per load).
The most efficient washers have a capacity of fewer than 5 gallons per cubic foot. The clothes washer is more water-efficient if the water factor is low.

How much water does a 4000-psi pressure washer use?

The best pressure cleaners can reduce a faucet’s flow to about 5 gallons per minute.
This is the average performance of a 4000 PSI cleaner, despite the fact that their price puts them out of reach for most people.


When knowing about how much water does a pressure washer use, it’s important to understand a smart investment.

As you can see pressure washer uses less water than a garden hose, making it a more efficient water saver in the long run. It’s also more efficient in terms of cleaning, so it’s a win-win situation.

If you only need your washer to clean your car or deck every now and again, you should choose a lightweight one that uses less water.

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