How Much Does It Cost To Run A Pressure Washer

When it comes to buying a pressure washer, it’s not just the purchase price that needs to be considered. Granted the initial outlay will be the greatest cost, but you will need to factor in running costs, power costs, water costs and any maintenance costs to keep it running properly. These additional costs will vary depending on your power supplier, water supplier and if you own a petrol-powered pressure washer, petrol prices.

To help you to calculate these added costs we’ve put together this price guide using price averages across the board. This will give you some idea of the extra outlay you’ll need to find apart from the pressure washer cost.

How Much Does Using A Pressure Washer Add To Your Water Bill?

This is the bone of contention with many pressure washer critics. They like to imply that pressure washers waste water but, is that true? To test this fairly, let’s compare a pressure washer with a garden hose. Most people already own a garden hose so you’ll be familiar with how one works but just how much water a hose uses might just surprise you.

How Much Water Does A Garden Hose Use?

The average garden hose uses between 12 to 13 gallons of water per minute, commonly written as GPM. Let’s round that down to an easy number to work with and call it 10 GPM, assuming it takes you 10 minutes to clean your driveway that’s 100 gallons of water in 10 minutes. That’s not so bad eh?

How Much Water Does A Pressure Washer Use?

Pressure washers work differently to the garden hose, they use the water supplied by a garden hose, but then an internal pump increases the pressure of the water. Let’s assume an average of 1450 Pounds per Square inch (PSi) of pressure, with a controlled flow rate of 1.24 GPM.  That same 10-minute driveway cleaning session will use 12 gallons of water, that’s a reduction of 88 gallons.

So using a pressure washer saves on average, around 80% of the water used in cleaning a driveway compared to a garden hose. According to the United Kingdom figures the cost of one litre of water is 0.1 pence so here’s a short calculation to work out the cost of a 10-minute pressure wash of your drive.

1 gallon = 4.5 litres x 0.1 pence = 0.45 pence x 12 = 5.4 pence

So to summarise, the cost of a 10-minute pressure wash of your drive in terms of water costs is on average 5 ½ pence. Using the same basis on costs and mathematic equations, the cost of water for cleaning the same drive with a just a hose is 45 pence. Over the period of a year that’s a huge saving.

How Much Does It Cost To Power An Electric Pressure Washer?

pressure washing

Now we know how much the water will cost us, how about the electricity? Taking the average usage of an electric-powered pressure washer we rounded the figure up to 1,500 Watts per hour. In the UK the average cost of electricity is around 16 pence per KWH (KiloWatt per Hour) here’s the calculation.

15,00 Watts =1.5 KiloWatts
1.5 x 16 = 24
24 divided by 60= 0.4 x 10 = 4

So to explain this rather complicated equation, we first converted watts into kilowatts. Then multiplied the kilowatts by the unit price of electricity, then divided that by 60 to get the figure for 1 minute. We then multiplied that figure by 10 to get the total cost of using a 1,500 Watt pressure washer for 10 minutes at 16pence per unit of electricity and that total cost was 4 pence.

How Much Does It Cost To Power A Gas/Petrol Pressure Washer?

Gas Pressure Washer

To work this one out we need the average size of a petrol-powered pressure washer engine. We took the average size as around a 13 horsepower engine which typically uses around 1 gallon per hour. In the UK a gallon of petrol will cost around £4.50 on average, using our same 10-minute driveway cleaning, the calculation looks like this.

4.50 divided by 60 multiplied by 10 = 75 pence

That’s the price of 1 gallon of fuel at £4.50 divided by minutes in an hour (60), times by total time spent pressure washing 10 minutes and the total cost was 75 pence.

How Much Does It Cost To Maintain A Pressure Washer?

Pressure Washer Maintenance

Maintenance costs for pressure washers can vary considerably depending on which type of pressure washer you own and on how often you use it.

What’s The Cost Of Maintenance On An Electric-Powered Pressure Washer? 

Electric-powered pressure washers have no working parts (engine wise), so there’s no need to carry out any maintenance apart from checking for water leaks, which can be done at home. If a hose connector washer is faulty, a replacement washer will cost around 3-5 pence.

If the water pump breaks down they can be replaced but in all honesty, it’s probably easier and makes more financial sense to buy a new pressure washer. Replacement parts can be expensive and you’ll still have an old machine. The same goes for repairing electric-powered pressure washers, the average repair costs are between ½ to ¾ the price of a new model.

What’s The Cost Of Maintenance On A Petrol-Powered Pressure Washer?

Petrol-powered pressure washers have many moving parts that need regular maintenance. The engine needs oil to keep all parts running smoothly. The water pump also needs oil changes and top-ups. These are jobs that can be performed at home and cost the price of engine oil, pump oil and your time. Then there are the filters, oil filters on the engine, water filters on the pump, and the air filter on the carburettor.  These need regular changes to keep the machine running smoothly.

There’s also the spark plug that will need cleaning regularly and changing probably every year at least. If you intend leaving petrol in the tank over winter, it is advisable to add a fuel stabiliser to prevent the fuel from breaking down.

How Much Do Replacement Parts Cost For A Petrol-Powered Pressure Washer?

Here’s a rough guide for the prices you can expect to pay for replacement parts when servicing your petrol-powered pressure washer.

PartPrice ( in UK pounds)
Oil Filter£5 to £10
Spark Plug£2 to £4  (depending on the brand)
1 litre of Engine oil£5 to £28 (depending on the brand)
1 litre of water pump oil£15
Water pump£60 to £150 (depending on the type, make and model)
Air filter£5 to £20 (depending on the type, make and model)
Fuel stabiliser£6 to £14 (depending on the brand)

How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Pressure Washer?

Best Pressure Washers

Petrol-powered pressure washers are generally more expensive than electric-powered pressure washers. On average an electric-powered budget model will last a couple of years, whereas a petrol-powered model if regularly maintained can last 5, 10 even 15 years. Let’s look at the average cost of both machines.

How Much Does An Electric-Powered Pressure Washer Cost?

Different makes and models have different features and that affects the price. We’ve looked at a whole range of models and here are the average prices you can expect to pay for the following electric-powered pressure washer models.

At the budget end of the price range, you can pick up a 1,800 Watt, 120 bar model with a hose reel and onboard tool storage for around £50.

 At the other end of the price range is a  2000PSi, 1.4 GPM, model with a water-cooled induction engine, onboard tool storage and a hose reel for just over £2,000.

A mid-range model that is suitable for regular domestic usage will cost you around the £100 mark and includes 1,400 watts, 110 bar, patio cleaner, extension lance onboard tool storage and a 2-year guarantee.

How Much Does A Petrol-Powered Pressure Washer Cost?

Once again the price of petrol-powered pressure washers is dependent on type, specifications and make. Budget models tend to start at around £230 for a 7 horsepower, 4 stroke engine, 240 bar, with auto stop/start, onboard tool storage and 3480 Psi.

Top of the range models are around the £2,000 mark with an 8.5 horsepower diesel engine, 2,000 PSi twin lance, adjustable pressure output and only 72 kgs in weight.

Mid-range models are around £300 and include a 4 stroke air cooled engine, 240 bar, thermal relief valve, and 2 years warranty.

How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Pressure Washer?

If you don’t own a pressure washer and would like to try one at home, or, if you don’t have the space to store one, they are available to hire from various tool hire shops. Prices vary from company to company and area to area, but the average costs for hiring a pressure washer in the UK are shown below.

Average Prices For Pressure Washer Rentals Per Day

Electric£24 per day£40 per day.
Petrol£57 per day£190 per day
Diesel£125 per day£390 per day

All prices are subject to terms and conditions and regional variations apply. There are also special weekend/weekly deals available too. Check in your local tool hire centre for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much electricity does a pressure washer use?

The amount of electricity a pressure washer uses depends on the size of the motor and the wattage. The average electric-powered pressure washer uses around 1.5 KiloWatts per hour (KWH).

How much does pressure washing cost per hour?

An electric-powered pressure washer costs around 24 pence per hour in electricity usage.

Does pressure washing increase the water bill?

Anything that uses water will increase the water bill if you are on a metered supply, but using a pressure washer saves up to 80% of the water used by just using a garden hose. A 10-minute session pressure washing your driveway will cost around 5 pence.

Is it cheaper to buy or rent a pressure washer?

Buying a pressure washer can work out considerably cheaper for those who need to use the appliance frequently. For those who are looking to use a pressure washer for a one-off job, renting is cheaper.

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