For the most part, using a pressure washer is pretty easy. You simply pull out the hose, attach an extension wand if you need to, set the right psi, and you’re good to go.
But what if you don’t know what psi to set it at?
That’s what we’re going to be talking about here today.
The crux of the matter is that what psi you should be using depends on entirely what you are washing, and what you are trying to remove.
In this article, we’re going to look at what psi you should use on your pressure washer in a range of different circumstances.
Don’t worry, if you don’t have time to read the article, just scroll down to the bit you need (we don’t mind).
What is psi?
PSI stands for pounds per square inch. It describes the pressure with which water is pushed out from your pressure washer. The higher the psi, the higher the water pressure.
Why is psi important to get right?
With too low a pressure or psi, you don’t have enough force to remove stubborn stains from the surface you are washing.
With too high a pressure or psi, you could risk causing damage to the surface you are pressure washing.
Just about every situation you use a pressure washer in has a different sweet spot. And here we’re going to cover a few of these for you one by one.
Best psi to set to pressure wash your decking
The good news is that pressure washing a wooden deck doesn’t require a really high water pressure.
However, it’s important to note at this point that the psi you should use depends on the softness or hardness of the wood used in the decking.
For softwoods, such as pine or cedar, etc, a low psi of just 500 to 600 should do the trick.
On the other hand, however, to properly pressure wash decking composed of harder woods, we would recommend a psi between 1200 and 1500.
You must also ensure that you use the right tip for the job as well.
Best psi to set to pressure wash your driveway
In order to pressure was a concrete driveway, you will need a powerful pressure washer, able to deliver 3000 psi. This will clean even the dirtiest of concrete driveways effectively.
And it’s important to note at this point that most electric pressure washers aren’t usually up to such a powerful task, and you may have to invest in a gas pressure washer.
However, a word of caution. Power washing can degrade a concrete surface. Using the wrong nozzle, excessive pressure, and spraying too close can cause real damage. Always keep and always check the user manual.
Best psi to set to pressure wash your car
The good news is that a pressure washer is safe to use to clean your car provided, however, that you use the right amount of pressure.
We would recommend a psi between 1200 and 1900 to pressure wash your car, or any other type of vehicle.
Any pressure above the 1900 psi mark could quite easily cause serious damage to your car’s paint job.
Remember also to not get too close the paint surface with your nozzle and use a wider angle nozzle so as not to do any damage.
Best psi to set to wash the exterior house walls
As you might imagine the best psi for pressure washing your walls depends on what these said walls are made out of.
Painted soft-grain wood siding, and aluminum siding should be washed at 1200 to 1500 psi.
On the other hand, however, rugged unpainted building materials such as brick, stone, vinyl, and steel, will need to be pressure washed at a psi of 2500 to 3000.
Best psi to set to pressure wash garden walls
When it comes to pressure washing garden walls that are made of brick or made of concrete, we would recommend using a psi of 3000.
You would also be well advised to use the tip with the widest possible angle in order to prevent any unnecessary degrading of the wall.
Best psi to set to pressure wash your patio
Pressure washing your patio is pretty similar to pressure washing your driveway. To get the job done right you need a psi of about 3000.
Best psi to set to remove dried on gum from the ground
When gum has been stuck on the ground and trodden over many years, you may be concerned that it won’t ever come off.
However, the good news is that you can get rid of it. But you will need a very psi of 3000.
Fortunately, though, it doesn’t need to be hot water. Even cold water can manage it at that psi.
Best psi to set to remove moss
To remove unwanted moss from the ground or the bottom of walls, you will need to set your pressure washer to 2000 to 2800 psi.
What psi range do I need my pressure washer to have?
If you wish to get yourself a pressure washer that you intend to use on multiple surfaces, then, clearly, you must get one that features adjustable pressure.
A pressure washer that’s able to tackle all the surfaces we mentioned above would have to be adjustable between 600 and 3000 psi.
A pressure washer that can work at a psi of 3000 should be more than sufficient for most jobs.
So, in terms of answering the question “What is a good psi for a pressure washer?”, the best answer is that it depends.
Washing wooden decking doesn’t require anywhere near as high a psi as you’d need for pressure washing concrete. And you should also be careful not to use too high a psi on your car.
If you’re pressure washing wooden surfaces only, then a pressure washer that can handle 2000 psi will be sufficient. If, however, you plan on pressure washing concrete or brick, then you will need a machine that can handle 3000 psi.