How Much Electricity Do Electric Pressure Washers Use?

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An electric pressure washer does a great job of cleaning driveways, patios, cars and windows among others. But at what cost does this come? If you have been thinking of buying an electric pressure washer but worried about the utility bill, this guide will explain how much power these tools consume.

A 12 amp pressure washer consumes 1440-1500 watts an hour, while a 15 amp model uses 1800 watts. To find out your pressure washer watt consumption, multiply the amps by 120. For example, 15 x 120 = 1800.

Electric Pressure Washer Power Usage Comparison

This table compares the power consumption of various electric pressure washers. Battery powered washers are not included, although some models can run on electricity too. Obviously gas pressure washers are not on this list.

BrandMaximum PsiAmpsWatts
Briggs and Stratton SP20001800-200015 1800
Sun Joe 2030 14.5 1740
Karcher k17001700 14 1680
Wholesun3000 13.3 1596
Westinghouse 2050 13 1560
Greenworks1500 13 1560
Stanley2150 13 1560

The power consumption given here are estimates. They also assume the pressure washer is running at maximum pressure for an hour. If you do not use maximum psi the power usage will be lower.

Power consumption does not strictly correlate with maximum pressure. The Wholesun pressure washer can reach up to 3000 psi but its power consumption is lower than the Briggs and Stratton, whose max psi is much lower.

These companies also manufacture a wide range of products with different specifications. Some are aimed at power users, others for light work and so on. If you are going to buy an electric pressure washer, think of what you will be using it for. This will give you an idea of how much power you will need.

Pressure washers will always state their psi and GPM on the product description page. If you shop online these two stats are among the first you will see. Some of them do not include the amps, but for 1500-3000 psi, the amps will be around 12-15.

How to Calculate Pressure Washer Power Usage

In order to determine much power your pressure washer consumes (watts per hour), we need three things: its amp draw, voltage and how long it is used. You can find the amp hours (ah) on the pressure washer manual or on the pump. If the power consumption is not in amps, it will be in watts.

Multiply the amp hours by its voltage and you get its power consumption in watts. In the United States the appliance voltage is 120 volts. So if your pressure washer draws 15 amps, multiply amps by volts:

15 amps x 120 volts = 1800 watts

The pressure washer consumes 1800 watts an hour. If you live in the UK where the voltage is 240, just replace 120 with 240.

Using this simple formula you can calculate how much power your pressure washer will end up using. You can use the same calculations for all your appliances and power tools, making it easy to check which uses the most watts. This applies to all pressure washers including the Simpson Cleaning MSH3125 MegaShot 3200 PSI.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind here. First, this calculation assumes you use the pressure washer for an hour. The truth is few people run their pressure washers for 60 minutes straight.

Typically a pressure washer runs for 3-5 minutes, turned off and then on again. And not all of them run for an hour. If you only use a 1800W pressure washer for 30 minutes, power usage drops to 800 watts. Of course if the washer runs for than an hour, its wattage will be higher.

The second thing is that modern pressure washers are energy efficient. You can run them without using too much power. For instance, a pressure washer might draw 15 amps only if set at maximum pressure. If you run it a lower psi , the power consumption will go lower.

Are Electric Pressure Washers Energy Efficient?

Pressure washers are more energy efficient compared to gas operated models. While gas pressure washers are more powerful, they cost more in the long run.

Electricity costs around 12 cents per kWh hour. Assume you use a 2000W pressure washer to clean your car every two weeks for an hour.

That is only 48 cents a month, or $5.76 a year. If the cost of power goes up to 20 cents per kWh, it still costs less than $10 a year to pressure wash a car.

Most people only pressure wash their driveway once or twice a year. So even if you power wash your car and driveway, the monthly and yearly costs is low. In contrast, buying gas for a pressure washer and maintenance is going to set you back a lot more. The bottom line is you can get a lot done with an electric pressure washer for less.

Image: Jonn Leffmann

Electric pressure washers range from 1500-3000 psi, whereas gas powered washers are typically 25000-4000 psi and higher. Electric pressure washer GPM ranges from 1.5-2.5 and for gas it is 2.5-4.0 GPM.

The question is, do you really need up to 4000 psi? As this guide shows, an electric pressure washer can handle most cleaning jobs at home.

  • Driveway: 2800-3000 psi
  • Small car: 3000 psi
  • Windows: 1500 psi
  • Softwood deck: 500-600 psi
  • Hardwood deck: 1000-2000 psi
  • Vinyl siding: 1300-1600 psi

Unless your driveway or car is caked with dirt, a 3000 psi pressure washer will do the job. For light duty cleaning you can use 1500 psi. And if you buy an energy efficient model it will save you even more money.

Electric Pressure Washer Care and Maintenance

Without proper care an electric pressure washer will not run, similar to a flooded gas powered washer. So if you want to get the most out it, maintenance is essential. Electric pressure washers do not need as much upkeep as gas pressure washers, but the following helps.

Power cord. Make sure the power cord is secure. Look for signs of wear and tear, scratches or any damage. Never use a power cord that is loose or worn out.

Wires. The wiring has to have a casing over them for protection. Replace any faulty cables immediately.

Water leakage problems. This is usually due to an improper spray gun connection. Inspect the connection if you notice any performance issues. When doing maintenance work, check the trigger gun, arrestor and other parts.

Use only as directed. The owner’s manual has instructions on how to properly use the pressure washer. Do not use it in any way other than what is stated there. Not doing so will void the warranty and you risk damaging the pressure washer.

Safety Tips for Using an Electric Pressure Washer

There is always a risk involved when you use electrical tools. While pressure washers come with many safety features, you should always exercise caution.

Read the manual. Follow the safety guidelines as directed. Do not use the pressure washer until you are completely familiar with its features.

Wear safety gear. Put on wraparound goggles, gloves and boots.

Do not put the pressure washer on a wet surface. Even if the manual says it is water resistant, do not take the chance. Water coming out of the pressure washer is fine, but do not let the machine itself get drenched.

Keep away from combustible objects. This applies to all electric devices. If something is flammable, move it away from the pressure washer.

Use with caution. Pressure washers generate much more force than you might imagine. If you have set it to the maximum psi, do not point it at a person or animal. That force is enough to cause damage or injury.

You should also take note of any changes in the way the pressure washer works. For instance, these machines run quietly. If you hear any loud noises, there is a problem with the motor or pump. Turn it off right away and check for signs of damage.