How Much Water does a Pressure Washer Use – Don’t Waste Water!

Fact Checked By Daniel Wood | Post Updated On:

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The amount of water a pressure washer uses needs to be calculated to know if the amount of water your machine consumes is worth the amount of cleaning that it does to avoid wastage of water.

It’s a common question whether my machine is consuming much water or how much water does a pressure washer use.

A pressure washing machine converts normal water flow into a high-speed water flow that hits dirt, stain, grease, mold and cleans them without much effort. The main material you need to supply to a pressure washer is water, and the shortage of water has become an important issue worldwide.

For this reason, all of us are trying to reduce its wastage to secure a better future. In this situation, we are using water to create powerful force and drive our dirt away. There is nothing wrong with the process if you have a machine that uses less water and does greater work. This is why it’s important to measure the amount of water a machine uses and the amount of output it provides.

Understanding PSI and GPM

A pressure washer’s power and water supply can be measured by these two measurement units PSI and GPM.

PSI stands for Pounds per Square Inch which shows how much force or power will be provided in one square inch area at a time. So more the PSI of a machine indicates a higher the power generated by the pressure washer.

In general, you will find commercial pressure washing machines with increased PSI, whereas residential machines contain lower PSI. It’s because, in the commercial area, the dirt and obstacles are comparatively tougher, which need the greater force of water to clean. On the other hand, residential machines are featured with lower PSI because they are used for light and medium cleaning.

GPM stands for Gallon Per Minute which shows how much water the machine will throw in one minute. For instance, your machine will consume one gallon of water in a minute and deliver it with high-pressure force to clean any dirt. Different machines are featured with different GPM; commercial devices have higher GPM, and they consume more water, whereas residential devices contain lower GPM consuming less water.

A machine’s GPM is determined by matching with the force that it will provide. Generally, higher PSI machines have higher GPM, and lower PSI machines have lower GPM.

Read More: Choosing The Right GPM For A Pressure Washer

How Much Water Does a Pressure Washer Use?

Let’s measure the usage of water by considering a real-life experience. Suppose you have a garden hose and a spray gun attached to the end of it, and you want to clean your patio. You get a water supply of around 5 GPM, and you continued the process for 10 minutes. The entire process will consume 5 x 10 = 50 gallons of water, and at the end of your cleaning, you will see that the patio is not cleaned enough.

On another day, you take out your pressure washer that has the features of 1850 PSI and 2.0 GPM. You use the machine for the same amount of time, cleaning the same amount of area. In this 10 minutes, your machine will consume 2 x 10 = 20 gallons of water, but the cleaning you will get will be much effective than your previous one.

A pressure washer always uses less water compared to garden hoses. So We recommend you to use a pressure washer instead of other cleaning solutions.

how much water does a pressure washer use

When you use a pressure washer, the spray nozzles that you use also affect the GPM of your machine. With some nozzles, a machine will consume less water, whereas, with the others, more water will be needed though it cannot be more than the machine’s GPM capacity.

The easiest way to measure your machine’s water consumption by multiplying the minutes you use it with the GPM it has. Suppose your machine has 3.00 GPM capacity and you use it for 10 minutes, so your total consumption will be 3 x 10 = 30 gallons of water.

Pick the Right Nozzle

As stated earlier, the nozzles you use with your machine also affect the water consumption by your machine. The concentrated nozzles comparatively use more water. For instance, your 0-degree pencil jet nozzle will consume more water than the 40-degree wide nozzle. It happens because the powerful pencil jet nozzle needs more water to deliver at a certain time.

This might discourage you from using your concentrated nozzle, which is not the intention of this article. However, it would help if you used the appropriate nozzle for your different types of work; else, your cleaning will not be effective. You just have to be sure that you change your nozzle every time and match it rightly with your cleaning type.

Does Pressure Washer Save Water

Yes, of course! Generally, using a pressure washer to clean a surface consumes less water than cleaning it with a garden hose or a bucket. Water is the most important thing in our lives, and it needs to be preserved as much as possible for our future and next generation. Here preserving means not to waste water as it will make the shortage of supply when needed.

We can even be careful in using the appropriate type of nozzles for various types of cleaning. It’s always advisable not to clean a surface until it gets dirty and not to play around with water.


It’s important to know how much water a pressure washer consumes so that you can be cautious to avoid water wastage when you use your machine next time. Water is a fundamental element for a pressure washer because using water force it cleans a surface. We cannot stop this usage, but we can be careful and use it properly.

About Daniel Wood

Daniel has completed his graduation mechanical engineering from a reputed university in US. He worked as a technical engineer in a pressure washer manufacturing plant for four years. He has a great passion for mechanical devices and has opened a workshop where he does research on various machines in his leisure time. His high interest in technology made him an expert in commercial and residential pressure washers.

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