One of the most commonly asked questions in the pressure washing community is definitely “how much water does a pressure water use?”.
This is an important area of concern as water usage will have a significant effect on business owner’s costs, as well as the water bill of individuals opting to do their own work and use their home’s water supply.
The best way to measure the amount of water that a pressure washer uses is to pay close attention to the GPM (gallons of water used per minute) values.
The relative gallons of water used per minute will often vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and machine to machine.
The other important metric to be aware of is PSI (pounds per square inch), which indicates how much force is generated by the jet stream coming out of the nozzle. Generally, a higher PSI will enable more raw cleaning power, but will also result in more water consumption.
Let’s discuss the ins and outs of pressure washer water usage, and cover some of the important aspects of the associated cost, as well as some useful spending minimization methods.
Do Pressure Washers Use A Lot Of Water?
Pressure washers are powerful machines that make cleaning many heavily soiled surfaces a lot easier than doing it by hand.
One of the important aspects to consider is how much using a pressure washer will affect your budget as a business owner or water bill as a homeowner.
Let’s talk a little bit about the relative water consumption of a typical pressure washer in comparison to other equipment.
The average pressure washer uses approximately around 1.5 gallons of water per minute (GPM), which is the important unit of measurement we discussed earlier.
In comparison, a run of the mill garden hose setup uses right around 8.5 gallons per minute of water. This tells us that a regular garden hose will use on average almost 7 times more water per minute than a pressure washer!
Quite the revelation as it would be logically assumed that a high powered pressure washer would surely consume more water than your typical garden hose.
So why is this the case? Well, there are a few aspects or characteristics of a pressure washer that make this possible. The first would definitely be the fact that a pressure washer has a nozzle on its hose that is significantly smaller than that of a garden hose.
The narrow nozzle allows for higher pressure jet streams that can be used to effectively dislodge and wash away tough dirt and grime. In essence, this unique narrow-nozzle design allows for high quality cleaning, but also serves to reduce the amount of water that pressure washers will consume.
With this being said, running a pressure washer will still end up using a significant amount of water, especially the heavy duty high pressure machines. Pressure washing businesses often have multiple machines running daily, and as such will be inevitably using a large amount of water.
How Much Can I Expect To Spend On Water?
In order to estimate how much it will cost in terms of water consumption to run your pressure washer, consider how many gallons per minute your machine uses, and multiply that by running time.
Let’s say for example that your pressure washer uses approximately 1.75 gallons of water per minute while running steadily.
You are doing a full cleaning of the siding on your house and are estimating that you will need right around 4 hours to get the entire job done. This means you will be using something like 420 gallons of water to complete your pressure washing job (1.75 gallons x 60 minutes/hr = 105 gallons/hr x 4 hours = 420 gallons).
The second important factor to consider is the actual cost of water in your specific region or area. Water consumption costs will often vary from location to location. Across the United States, there are significant discrepancies in water prices.
Florida, Wisconsin and Vermont are known to have the lowest water costs, while West Virginia, Connecticut and California are known to have the highest. A U.S household using about 400 gallons of water per day will pay around 70 dollars for water every month.
Your area’s water cost should be factored into your calculations in order to properly estimate how much you can expect to spend on water for a pressure washing job.
How To Minimize Spending On Water
There are a number of things you can do in order to minimize spending on water for pressure washer usage.
Let’s discuss a few of the most effective cost reducing methods.
Purchase A Low GPM Pressure Washer
GPM (gallons per minute) is a direct measurement of how much water is being used while actively running your pressure washer. As a result, in order to use less water, be sure to purchase a pressure washer that has a low GPM!
Use A Heated Pressure Washer
Hot water will naturally clean faster and more efficiently than cold water.
As a result, using hot water will reduce the amount of water needed to do the job. Adding soap to your hot water will also increase efficiency and further decrease water consumption.
Practice efficient cleaning strategies to help reduce the amount of water being used:
- Lay off the trigger when you are not actively cleaning
- Clean in an efficient pattern that minimizes overlap (top to bottom)
- Reduce PSI when high pressure is not necessary
- Actively watch for and repair leaks or other water line malfunctions
One of the main topics of concern with regards to pressure washing is the amount of water used and the relative cost of consumption.
We have discussed pressure washer water consumption relative to other equipment, as well as provided insight as to potential spending, and best practices for saving water while using these machines.