How Much Electricity Do Electric Pressure Washers Use?

Approx Reading Time: 13 minutes

When it comes to putting money on a good electric appliance, gadget or machine, the foremost consideration is often the rate of electric consumption. In this case, the first question that comes to everyone’s mind regarding electric power washers is, do they use a lot of electricity?  We bet you don’t want to buy something that will cost you a lot of money in power bills, right? With electric pressure washers, you are looking at a machine that should turn cleaning tasks into a breeze. But if you end up with a washer that pushes up your power bill, it is not worth owning in the first place. You would rather go manual with a scrub/rug and detergent or hire a commercial cleaning service should that be the case.

Now, on answering the main question, we would say that the amount of electricity a pressure washer uses depends on its wattage rating. You will, however, note that typical washers use 1, 500 watts per hour. Most homes in places like the United Kingdom, save for a few countries, have a standard home voltage of 120 volts for domestic use. When you multiply that with 12.5 amperes these machines draw, you realize that the amount of energy electric pressure washers need is 1.5kw (1,500 watts).

How Much Electricity Do Electric Pressure Washers Use? 1

If you are a homesteader who uses power washers once in a while, knowing how much you will spend on electricity costs is, therefore, important. But for a novice looking to purchase power washers for the first time, the best information you should have at your fingertips beforehand is the cost of using these machines. While maintenance, repair, and servicing may take place once every six months, the high cost of energy consumption can be a real cause of financial strain.  

Do electric pressure washers use a lot of electricity?

The next question we wanted to help you answer is do electric pressure washers use a lot of electricity? Well, based on the above calculations, we would say, they are relatively economical with energy consumption. Electric pressure washers draw just enough current to keep them running efficiently. They can generate a maximum of 2100 psi, which is relatively low compared to about 5100 psi you get with gasoline-powered variants. Thus, contrary to what most people would want to imagine, electric pressure washers are not power-intensive. Most models deliver psi in the range of 1300 and 1400, which is sufficient for domestic cleaning duties.

To know how much power electric pressure washers draw apart from our calculations above, you should check the pump rating. The labeling is on the pump, near the point at which it connects with the main unit, indicating wattage of your machine. If the power consumption rating of these machines is not indicated in amperes, you will spot it in watts. Remember that the standard voltage for homes is 120. Now, multiply the voltage by amps to get the exact rate of power consumption.

Does a low power supply cause the motor in an electric pressure washer to stop working

First off, you should note that electric pressure washers are dependent on electric current. Once you power them on, you should ensure consistency in power supply. However, there may be instances of motor failure. When the motor stops suddenly in the middle of a washing routine, we advise that you do the following:

  • Is the power cord connected? If not, you should fix it right away. However, if the cord is properly connected, it means something else might be the problem.
  • Check the fuse box (the main one) for connection problems. You should fix the tripped circuit breaker right away.
  • Also, check GFCI. It could trip hence causing the motor in your electric pressure washer to stop.  However, there are a few things you must do when testing GFCI for faults. Start by plugging it into a working power outlet then reset the main switch. To ensure that repeated tripping does not occur after you power on the washer, do not connect a GFCI-protected outlet with a GFCI-protected power cord. That is a rule of the thumb you must have at your fingertips for safety’s sake.
How Much Electricity Do Electric Pressure Washers Use? 2

The bottom line is that every time an electric motor stops suddenly, cords, switches or GFCI is the most likely culprit. These machines require a constant power supply; hence ensure that amperage does not drop below optimal. Most importantly, make sure there is no gadget that draws in a lot of power connected to the same circuit with the power washer.

Some of the appliances that consume a lot of power are refrigerating units, heaters, coffee makers and motors. Any expert will tell you that overloaded circuits cause tripping and breakdown in the wiring system. Fuses will also blow when you overload a power unit.

Electric pressure washers: Are they dangerous?

Water and electricity do not mix, and so, you would want to ask, why do we use electric pressure washers after all?  Well, with every machine you would want to use at home, come vital safety tips. With power washers that use electricity, carelessness is, therefore, something you should guard against by all means necessary. From the risk of electrocution, circuit breaks, tripping to fire hazards, the danger is always lurking.

Does it, therefore, mean you should completely avoid electric pressure washers? Well, you only need to be extra careful. It is easy to avoid electrocution, especially if you take the following safety tips into consideration:

How Much Electricity Do Electric Pressure Washers Use? 3

Always wear protective gear/clothing

Before powering your electric washer, protecting yourself from harm’s way is an important precautionary measure. You need protective gear such as goggles, gloves, and knee-high boots. You may not need earplugs because compared to gasoline-powered washers, electric pressure washers are relatively quiet when in use. The boots should protect you from a real risk of electrocution.

Carefully read the user manual

A user manual should be the first thing you read after buying an electric pressure washer. It will not only educate you about a few tips on using the machine but also take you through vital safety tips. The instructions, especially those which touch on safety precaution, are often comprehensive and simple. You must also get acquainted with instructions that touch on an emergency. Take, for example, dealing with a fuse blow. How do you react? Let’s reserve that for another discussion.

Electric shock is a real threat with power washers

Whether mild or strong, electric shock is a common phenomenon with machines like pressure washers. But you can avoid it. You should not mix electricity with water. Parts with water, including the nozzles, should be far away from the section to which where an electric cord connects. It is on this premise that we strongly advise against using extension cords. Extension cords often lower the efficiency of the GFCI if not completely damaging your electric washer. Most importantly, cover exposed sections of the extension cord to avoid the risk of electrocution. 

How Much Electricity Do Electric Pressure Washers Use? 4

Do not place or use an electric washer on a wet surface

Let’s emphasize that water and electricity are two extremes that don’t mix. Any mishap that causes mixing would be catastrophic both to a cleaner and electric washer. If wet floors do not present a real risk of electrocution, there is a very high chance of sliding or falling down.

Do not climb ladders

Ladders are handy, especially when you want to clean high walls. We, however, advise against using them in this situation. You may fall due to a powerful kickback from an electric washer. Use a wand with extension as a safety measure.

Keep off alcohol and intoxicating drugs

Operating machines like an electric power washer while intoxicated presents real danger of electrocution. The impact of substance abuse on one’s mind is not something we want to talk about now. However, drinking before operating a machine will cause some really big problems if not death.

Keep pressure washer away from flammables

Another vital safety tip for using an electric pressure washer is to keep away from a flammable liquid. Anything that catches fire notwithstanding should be far from the machine.

Keep the machine from children

Electric pressure washers can also be a real threat to kids, especially the playful ones who would want to touch anything. For parents or adults who want to train children on how to use these machines, we recommend taking them through a comprehensive training session. Always emphasize the need to take precautions when using machines that use electricity.

Beware of high pressure and keep hold of the trigger.

While the maximum pressure you can get with an electric pressure washer is 2100psi, you should take precautions when it peaks. Take, for example, pointing power washer nozzle to your skin, an animal or anyone nearby. The power with which these machines eject water can cause considerable damage to surfaces.

You may also end up with a bruised skin when you direct the nozzle to your body. Thus, you should never lose control of the trigger.  When you are not running water into the unit, lock the trigger. And as soon as you finish washing your car or any surface using a power washer, release pressure from the unit by pulling the trigger.

How Much Electricity Do Electric Pressure Washers Use? 5

Do electric power washers save energy?

With the above safety tips on using electric pressure washers, the next question most people ask is, do these machines save energy? We already noted that they are utility machines that everyone or every homesteader needs but at what utility cost? Well, apart from owning one you should worry about high power bills.  Will using an electric washer increase the cost of energy cost? If so, how do you go about saving on energy costs?

Well, the wattage rating of these machines often varies. You may, therefore, want to go for a small unit. But considering the fact that these are machines you will use once in a while, their energy consumption rate is not something you should worry about. Washing your car using a power washer should take only a few minutes. For power-intensive cleaning tasks, we advise that you should not keep your machine running continuously. Only push the trigger gun when it is very necessary that you clean something.

Keeping your electric pressure in good condition: What you should know

Maintaining machines like electric pressure washers make them more efficient. After prolonged use, you should expect some components such as power cords to wear-out or tear. Some parts will also develop electric faults. With these concerns, comes another question. How do you ensure your power washers remains in good working condition?

First off, do not operate an electric pressure washer indoors. Keep your workstation dry to avoid the risk of electrocution. We know your hands will get wet sometimes but avoid the temptation of touching the electric plug.  When it comes to maintenance of electric pressure washers, the following tips should help:

  • Always check the trigger gun for faults. If it does not work properly, chances are high that there is a connection problem.
  • You should always pay close attention to sparks arrestor and a muffler, especially if your power wash has them.
  • Another maintenance tip for electric pressure washers is that you should check the spray gun to ascertain a proper connection to other components of the machine. Misconnections often cause water leakage, something you don’t want to experience with electrical machines.
  • Ensure proper wiring, both for safety and proper working of the unit. Use a plastic casing to cover open or broken wires before they cause electrocution.
  • Most importantly, read the user manual. It should teach you how to troubleshoot a washer should it malfunction. Handling an electric gadget is not something you want to do with little or no knowledge about the dangers of electricity. From our end of the bargain, we recommend visiting a service center to get your machine checked for damage and repair.

Advantages of electric pressure washers over gasoline-powered washers

When you have a power washer at your disposal, cleaning tough stains on driveways, outdoor cooking area and even your car becomes a breeze. However, the level of efficiency you will get with a gasoline-powered washer and an electric variant is never the same. The next question, therefore, is which advantages do electric washers have over gasoline-powered variants? Well, we researched this too and found out the following:

They save money

Everyone wants to save money, isn’t it? Of course, we do, and so is anyone else who wants to buy a good pressure washer that is affordable and yet, make the most of it. But given that gasoline-powered washers are best suited to commercial/industrial use, not to mention their high pressure out, they cost a lot of money.

On leading e-commerce platforms, you can find a good electric pressure washer for less than $150. It is also cheaper owning these machines compared to hiring cleaning services at an average cost of $200 or more. Gasoline-powered variants cost more, and given that they depend on fuel, your operational cost will double, if not triple. Thus, if you are looking to invest money in power washers, we recommend electric ones given that they are economical on many fronts.

They are less noisy

Most, if not all gasoline-powered machines produce a lot of noise. Some will force you to wear earplugs to secure your eardrums from potential damage. Moreover, if you are not complaining about the high rate of fuel consumption or problems with portability due to their massive sizes, the noise will be too much to handle even for neighbors. On the contrary, electric washers often run quietly.

Promote the use of clean energy

At a time when the world is working towards the realization of clean and renewable energy, you don’t want to take the opposite direction. Gasoline-powered pressure washers contribute to environmental pollution. They are not only noise pollutants but also release a considerable amount of CFCs into the atmosphere. Should the world take global warming seriously, we may never have gasoline-powered machines like pressure washers in shops.  

The best for home cleaning

You do not need a high-powered pressure washer to clean decks, driveways, outdoor grills, and cars. Thus, a good electric pressure washer is good enough to blast off stubborn stains. Even more important is the fact they are portable hence easy to store.

What is cycling in electric pressure washers?

First off, take note that cycling only occurs in electric power washers because of the pressure switch. There is no pressure switch in gasoline-powered variants. Cycling happens when even without pulling the trigger, the motor starts then stops. It happens because of power water leakage. Check the unit, including o-rings and connection points to ascertain the cause before taking further action.

Final Thoughts

In the end, a good electric pressure washer should not only make cleaning tasks easier for you but also save you money. They consume an average of 1.5kw, which is not a lot considering the fact that you will not power on your pressure washer every day. For companies that provide cleaning services, at a cost, of course, the cost of energy that comes with using power washes is a little high compared to the amount of money they earn every day.