Finding the Right Pressure Washer Rental

Pressure Washer

When a regular hose just won’t do, you need to bring in a pressure washer. As the name implies, a pressure washer creates a high-pressure blast of water through a hose and either a spray tip or nozzle. The pressure washer is powered by a pump, which is fueled by either gasoline or electricity.

If you’re looking to rent a pressure washer, you have several options. Generally speaking, pressure washers are divided into three categories: residential, commercial and heated. Washers have a variety of other options you need to consider as well including fuel type, accessories and overall power capacity.

No matter what type of pressure washer you select, you’ll need to know how to safely use it. Pressure washers shoot out water an incredible rate which can potentially cause injury. Different pressure washer accessories have different safety requirements.

What to Consider When Comparing Pressure Washer Rentals

When searching for a pressure washer, you want to consider two important factors: the PSI and the GPM. PSI stands for pounds per inch and is the amount of total pressure output the washer is capable of. The higher the number, the greater the pressure. GPM stands for gallons per minute. This is the total water flow rate. To determine the total cleaning power of a washer, you want to combine the PSI and the GPM.

How to Choose a Residential Pressure Washer Rental

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Residential and commercial washers function in basically the same way. But they have different degrees of total cleaning power. A residential pressure washer will typically have a PSI under 1900 and a GPM under eight. As the name implies, residential washers are good for average chores around the house such as cleaning your deck, driveway or preparing your house for a new coat of paint. Residential washers usually aren’t designed for all day, everyday use. Instead, they’re designed to handle a few hours of use per week.

Here are a few advantages of residential power washers.

  • They’re less expensive than commercial washers.
  • They’re the most portable type of washer on the market.
  • They’re suitable for most common household jobs.

If you’re a homeowner who has an occasional need for a pressure washer, you’ll likely want to rent a residential pressure washer. There’s simply no need to pay the higher rental fee for a commercial washer if you don’t need that extra power. A residential washer is also more portable and usually easier to use than a commercial washer.

Commercial Pressure Washers

Commercial pressure washers are designed to put in a full day’s work all week long. These are the machines used by professionals including professional housepainters and contractors. Commercial washers are also commonly found in industrial environments, commercial kitchens and construction areas.

Commercial washers can be divided into two subcategories:

  • 2000 – 2900 PSI – This strength is suitable for washing houses, airplanes, bricks, commercial trucks, patios and sidewalks.
  • 3000 – 5000+ PSI – This strength is suitable for industrial uses, paint stripping, and heavy stain removal on concrete.

A 5,000 or 4,000 PSI pressure washer is actually pretty rare. Instead, many professionals prefer a slightly lower PSI with a higher GPM. A pressure washer 3,000 PSI will remove most grime fairly easily. The trick is washing the dirt away as fast as possible. A high GPM – between five and eight – means more water is available on the surface, which results in faster cleaning.

Let’s take a look at gas vs electric pressure washers:

These are the two ways a pressure washer can be powered. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Electric – Electric is safer indoors because there are no harmful fumes. This makes them a preferred choice for kitchens and factories. Electric washers are usually quieter as well. On the downside, an electric machine has a cord. You have to be careful to avoid getting water near any electrical components, both to prevent damage to your machine and yourself. (Although there are safeguards in place for electric pressure washers, you still need to use caution.)

Gas – Gasoline engines are better suited for outdoor, open areas. Their main advantage is their portability. With no cords, you can easily take a gas-powered washer on watercraft, deep into the woods and anywhere else far from electrical outlets. Also, gas engines are more powerful than electric. If power is a primary concern, you’ll want a gas engine. On the downside, this type of power washer is affected by gas prices. Plus, gas-powered washers tend to be on the loud side.

You’ll usually find more options in the electric category than gas. But the expert in pressure washer rental at Lowes should be able to provide you with plenty of choices in both gas and electric.

Let’s take a look at heated pressure washer vs cold water washers:

Pressure washers are available in hot water, cold water, team and tri-mode variations. Residential washers are generally limited to cold water only, while more sophisticated industrial and commercial washers will tend to have more water temperature options. Your water needs will vary depending on the specifics of your job.
Residential washers

Cold water uses less energy (electricity or gasoline, depending on the type of washer). This means cold water washers are cheaper to run in the long term. Cold water is most effective on dirt, mud, sap, dust and other natural materials.

A hot water pressure washer is more effective on stubborn stains such as oil, emulsion, sugar and chemicals. Most hot pressure washers are electrical. The water can reach temperatures up to 330°F. Because the water needs to be heated inside the washer, hot water pressure washers are typically more expensive to run.

Pressure Washer Accessories

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Depending on your job, you’ll likely want to rent a few pressure washer accessories. They can help with cleaning, accessibility and water formation. For instance, a pressure washer extension wand is a must if you’re cleaning a two-story house.

Here are a few common accessories you might need when renting a pressure washer:

  • Brushes – Help you scrub away dirt and stains
  • Pressure Washer Wand Extension – A pressure washer extension is perfect for cleaning home exteriors or other tall buildings.
  • Surface Cleaners – Spinning jets help you clean sidewalks and driveways.
  • Cleaning Chemicals – Wide variety of cleaning agents for various surfaces.
  • Nozzles – Change the spray tip from focused and narrow to wide-spread and lighter.


When it’s time to rent a pressure washer, you want to be informed. Understand the type of job you need the power washer for and rent accordingly. If you’re working indoors, you probably want an electrical washer. If working outdoors, you’ll likely want gas-powered.

Residential washers are a good choice for household projects while commercial washers are better suited for large, industrial jobs. Mobility, total cleaning power and water temperature will all be dictated by the specifics of the job you need done. Don’t waste your money renting a pressure washer which is too large, powerful or unwieldy. With a little bit of info, you can rent the machine which is perfect for your specific needs.

No matter whether you have an expert-level of knowledge in generators or are totally new to them, we can help. We have a wide variety of generators for rent – contact us today to get started. We look forward to hearing from you.

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