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How often should you use a pressure washer?

Fact Checked By Daniel Wood | Post Updated On: May 5, 2023

When it comes to using pressure washers, there are a few things that you should know about them. These things include how often to change the oil of your pressure washer, its nozzle, and everything that accompanies this electrical machine. 

But one of the most essential things a pressure washer user should know is how often the pressure washer should be used. This is a fundamental question, as it addresses the root cause of many problems underlying a pressure washer’s performance. 

So let’s find out.

How fast does a pressure washer use water?

A standard pressure washer uses 2 to 4 GPM to complete most cleaning tasks. This means for each cleaning task, a pressure washer consumes 120 to 200+ gallons of water hourly. 

Given that a house and most cleaning tasks are required every 6 to 12 months, we can say that the frequency of a pressure washer’s usage should depend entirely on the purpose it is bought for + how regularly you change its oil, among many other things. The reasons for this will be discussed below.

Overheating Problems

Since pressure washers perform cleaning operations by creating a high-pressure water stream, they are likely to get overheated. Improper usage is the number one factor giving rise to overheating problems in pressure washers. 

But another thing that can cause overheating problems in pressure washers is the lack of proper cleaning after use. Many people tend to forget to clean their pressure washers because they might think that for small cleaning purposes, cleaning is not required. However, this is not true. 

Pressure washers need to be cleaned every time they are used. 

A hot water pressure washer requires breaks more frequently than gas pressure washers. Electric pressure washers require the least amount of breaks to do the job efficiently. 

Practical Tips for Maintaining and Extending the Performance of Your Pressure Washer

Know the Level of dirt and grime build-up.

Although massive levels of dirt and grime build-up might require more pressure washer time, it’s best to give your pressure washers periodic breaks. Testing your pressure washer on a small area before cleaning the actual site is a great idea to know the amount of pressure that the pressure washer is generating because it allows the user to adjust the nozzles and know the exact time that the break will be needed to sustain the performance of a pressure washer. 

Changing the Oil 

A pressure washer needs oil changes every 3 months. Manufacturers recommend it. Plus, some pressure washer manufacturers might also suggest specific oil for the pressure washer’s body. Make sure to read the manufacturing manual before changing the oil because, generally, pressure washer oils come into 2 types: Formulated oils and regular pump oils. That’s why knowing what type of oil your pressure washer requires is important. 

Do not expose your pressure washer to water.

Experts suggest that even if your pressure washer is rated for use in rain. Water can damage the pressure washer’s motor and shorten its lifespan. Therefore, a pressure washer should not be exposed to rain.


Determining the frequency of pressure washer use and oil changes is crucial for ensuring optimal performance and longevity. Factors such as the cleaning task at hand should be considered to help your pressure washer thrive.

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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