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Can you use a garden hose on a pressure washer? Helpful tips

To maintain the beauty of your yard, you need the appropriate tools. One of the more valuable tools is a pressure washer. It will help to clean a lot of surfaces and objects in your garden. Using a pressure washer is easy, but sometimes you want to use a long hose to reach certain areas. A cheap option would be to use a long regular garden hose.

In general, garden hoses can be used with a pressure washer. Particular for the hose that supplies the water to the pressure washer. It is possible to use a regular garden hose from the pressure washer to the spray gun, but only if the pressure washer’s pressure is set to a lower value. Most garden hoses have a maximum pressure between 70 and 150 PSI. Some heavy-duty garden hoses can be used up to 500 PSI.

This article will look at the various options to use a garden hose for your pressure washer. What factors do you need to consider? Can I use a 100 ft hose for my pressure washer? And what would be the maximum hose length?

What kind of garden hose do I need for a pressure washer?

Your pressure washer needs two types of hoses. One is connecting the faucet with the pressure washer. This is the low-pressure hose. And the other is connecting the spray gun with the pressure washer. This is the high-pressure hose.

● The Low-pressure hose connecting the pressure washer with your Fauchet.

You can use a generic garden hose for the low-pressure hose that runs from your fachet to your pressure washer. The hose needs to be able to handle the water supply pressure of around 35 to 45 PSI. Your actual water supply pressure will differ from location to location and the time of the day.

A typical US garden hose is available in three sizes, 1/2”, 5/8”, and 3/4”. You will find them mainly in length from 25ft to 100ft. The wider the hose, the more water it can handle. A the less pressure will be lost due to the hose resistance. A 3/4“ hose can be double the length of a 5/8“ hose, and still have the same pressure at the pressure washer.

I have made a list of some of the available hoses:

– Generic Garden Hose

Most generic garden hoses you can purchase can be used up to 70 to 150 PSI. They are fine to supply the water to your pressure washer.

Bionic Steel garden hose

The Bionic Steel garden hose provides you with the best control when used with pressure washers because of the on/off valve. It is made of 304 stainless steel, which gives more strength and durability. This garden hose has a length of 100 ft. and provides resistance against punctures, leaks, and cracks. The Bionic Steel garden hose is kink proof and allows up to 500 PSI of pressure.

HBLife expandable garden hose

The HBLife expandable water hose is made of polyester fabric, so it is very flexible and can be expanded up to 100 feet. The hose’s diameter is ¼ inches, and it can work efficiently in the range of 60 to 180 PSI of pressure. It is a lightweight and kink-proof hose with many accessories, like different nozzles, a storage bag, and rubber seals. When working with this hose, make sure that the water pressure is within the range of 60 to 180 PSI so that the diameter of the hose can hold it.

Nifty grower garden hose

The Nifty grower garden hose is made of durable material, and can be used for pressure washers. The hose is 34 ft. long, but its reach can be extended up to 100 ft. The Nifty grower garden hose is available with ¾ inch brass connectors. It is lightweight, and easy to use. The working pressure of the Nifty grower hose ranges from 40 to 80 PSI and has a working temperature of 41 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flexzilla hose

The Flexzilla pressure washer hose is a fine choice at an affordable price. It is a durable and flexible garden hose that can withstand working temperatures ranging from -40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It is made from hybrid polymer, is kink-free, and is rated for 3 to 100 PSI.

● The high-pressure hose connecting the spray gun with the pressure washer

The hose that runs from the pressure washer to the spray gun is a different story. That hose needs to handle much higher pressure. Typical pressure washers have an output pressure of 1500 PSI and up. If you want to use a garden hose, you need to ensure that the output pressure is lower than the hose can handle.

Yamatic kink-resistant hose

The Yamatic kink-resistant hose is a fine choice if you are looking for a 50 ft. hose. This universal high-pressure hose is most compatible with pressure washers, and it works efficiently with higher pressures.

As its name suggests, it is kink-resistant. It is made of non-kinking durable material that assists the hose in maintaining its efficiency against pressure washers working at 3200 PSI. Because of these qualities, the Yamatic kink-resistant hose is suitable to use with both electric and gas pressure washers.

Greenworks washer hose

Greenworks produces many different gardening tools. That is why they are one of the leading industries in the market. The Greenwork hose is 25 ft. long and is made of durable materials to stand against wear and tear. The hose has a ¼ inch diameter. This hose is rated up to 2000 PSI and weighs only 1.21 pounds. It Is leak and kink-proof.

Twinkle Star hose

The Twinkle Star garden hose is made of rubber with a steel-wire braid. It can handle a pressure of 4000 PSI. The maximum working temperature of the Twinkle Star hose is 176 degrees Fahrenheit.

What are the things I need to consider for the best garden hose?

The first thing you need to consider when purchasing a garden hose is the maximum pressure it can handle. This should match the PSI rating of the pressure washer. In most cases, you can not use the maximum pressure setting of the pressure washer. The length of the hose and the water temperature also plays a role. Most hoses can not be used with a power washer.

Pressure washers use high water pressure to clean different areas of the house like driveways and vinyl sidings. To find the best garden hose for a pressure washer, you need to consider certain specifications. A garden hose can handle a lot less pressure compared with a pressure washer hose.

Here are the factors that you need to consider before buying a garden hose for your pressure washer.

Factor 1: Maximum Pressure

Since garden hoses cannot withstand the high pressure of most pressure washers, you must consider the maximum pressure your hose can sustain. Some garden hoses will be too weak for your pressure washer. Some garden hoses can withstand higher pressure of up to 500 PSI. Special hoses that connect the spray gun with the pressure washer are build to handle a much larger pressure of 3500 PSI or more.

Factor 2: Length and Diameter of the hose

The length of the hose is also an essential factor to consider. It will determine the area that you can cover around your house. It is much more convenient for some jobs to leave the pressure washer at a certain location and only move the spray gun. Like cleaning a roof or cleaning your driveway.

The diameter of the hose also plays an important role. The wide the hose, the less water resistance. A 3/4” can be twice as long as a 5/8” hose and give the same output pressure. The hose should also be able to supply the needed amount of water. Some pressure washers have a higher GPM rating (Gallons per Minute) and need a higher water supply. Standard garden hoses are often available in different sizes (1/2”, 5/8”, and 3/4”). Choose the one corresponding to the GMP rating of your pressure washer.

Factor 3: Temperature 

Every hose has its temperature range in which it can work properly. If you use hot water, like from a power washer, the hose needs to handle the used water temperature. Else it may weaken over time and rupture.

Factor 4: Nozzle and connectors

If you use a hose to supply water to your pressure washer, you can use a regular faucet connector on one side. And a quick connect on the side of the pressure washer. If you want to use a garden hose on the high-pressure side, you need a quick connector on the side of the pressure washer. And on the other side, you can connect a suitable nozzle. If you want to use your pressure washer spray gun, you will need to mount a quick connector as well.

Can you use a 100 ft garden hose on a pressure washer?

Using a 100 ft garden hose on your pressure washer is no problem. A longer hose will decrease the water pressure, but slowly. For a typical 5/8″ hose supplying the water to your pressure washer, the decrease will be less than 4 PSI per 100 feet. The average US faucet water pressure is between 35 and 45 PSI. This means that the pressure reaching your machine is around 31 to 41 PSI. Still, more than enough as most pressure washers recommended 20 PSI water supply pressure.

The hose that connects the spray gun with the pressure washer is normally less wide. The pressure loss for a 3/8″ hose will be 25 to 50 PSI per 100 ft. But as the output pressure from a pressure washer, with 1500 PSI or more, this loss does not matter. Keep in mind that you will move this hose around all the time and that a 100 ft hose with water in it will have a significant weight.

I have worked with much longer supply hoses without any problem. Most pressure washers will work fine, even when the pressure is below the manufacturer’s minimum rating of 20 PSI. But I do find working with long hoses impractical, as they can be hard to handle. I do recommend using a good quality hose with a wide diameter, preferable 3/4″.  A wider hose will increase the amount of water it can transport. Also, try to minimize the number of bents, as they will decrease the pressure as well.

Does Hose Length Affect a Pressure Washer?

Except when they are extremely long, the length of the hose does not affect a pressure washer. The longer the hose, the lower the pressure that arrives at the pressure washer. You can expect a decrease of around 4 PSI per 100 ft for an average 5/8″ supply hose. According to most manufacturers, a pressure washer needs a minimum of 20 PSI. This means that from the average US faucet water pressure of 35 and 45 PSI, you can connect a long hose before the pressure drops such that your pressure washer will notice it. My experience is that a typical pressure washer will even work fine when the input pressure is lower than 20 PSI.

The hose that connects the spray gun with the pressure washer affects the pressure washer’s output pressure. A typical 3/8” hose lowers the output pressure with 20 to 50 PSI. But with a higher output pressure of 1500 PSI or more, you need an extremely long hose before you notice the effect. If you use a 200 ft hose, it will lower the 1500 PSI to 1400 PSI. Or from 2500 PSI to 2400 PSI, still enough to do most jobs.

What’s the limit on hose length when pressure washing?

If you have a general faucet pressure of around 40 PSI, the hose limit for a typical 5/8” hose would be 500 ft. But my experience that you can even go higher. Of course, the faucet pressure will differ from location to location so that the maximum hose length will vary as well. The wider the hose, the lower the loss. A 3/4” hose can be twice the length of a 5/8” hose to have the same output pressure.

The limit for the hose the connects the pressure washer with the spray gun can be even longer. Expect a drop in pressure for a 3/8” hose of around 25 to 50 PSI. That means that with a 500 ft hose, the pressure will drop from 2500 PSI to 2250 PSI. If your job requires a pressure of 2000 PSI, it means you can even go for a longer hose. But these lengths are not practical anymore. The weight of the hose due to the water in them makes handling difficult. It is much easier to move the pressure washer and use a shorter hose. Also, here, the wider the hose the less pressure will be lost.

Do you need a special hose for a pressure washer?

In general, you can use a typical garden hose to connect your pressure washer with a faucet. For the hose that connects the spray gun with the pressure washer, I recommend using a special pressure washer hose. They are built to handle the much higher pressures from 1500 PSI and up.