Electric pressure washers are affordable, easy to use and have enough power for most jobs around the house. We’ll show you what to look for when buying, including recommended products based on our research of 300+ models.
Sun Joe SPX3000
- 2,030 PSI and 1.76 GPM
- Universal motor (120V, 14.5A)
- Wobble pump
- 20 ft. hose, 12″ wand and 5 nozzles
- Two 30 oz. removable detergent tanks
- 2-year warranty
- 1,500 PSI and 1.2 GPM
- Universal motor (120V, 13A)
- Wobble pump
- 20 ft. hose, 12″ wand and 3 nozzles
- 20 oz. soap dispenser
- 1-year warranty
The best electric pressure washer: Sun Joe SPX3000
We believe the Sun Joe SPX3000 is the best electric pressure washer for most homeowners. It has the best balance of power, convenience and cost, making it the most reasonable purchase for the average use case and budget. It’s the #1 best-selling pressure washer on the market, with tens of thousands of positive customer reviews across every major retailer.
Sun Joe SPX3000
The SPX3000 has an 88% recommendation rate (based on 18,000+ verified reviews from seven sources). It’s the best-selling pressure washer on the market, with the top position at Amazon and Walmart, and top five at Home Depot and Lowe’s.
The Sun Joe SPX3000 has a good combination of pressure and volume. At 2,030 PSI and 1.76 GPM, it has plenty of cleaning power to tackle most chores, including cars, decks and siding. Realistically, the only jobs you may have trouble with are substances that have set in over time, like oil stains. You should still be able to remove a decent amount for a fresher appearance, though.
Most electric pressure washers under $200 are powered by a universal motor and wobble pump, including the SPX3000. These are considered entry-level parts. They get the job done while keeping costs low, but they are known to wear quicker. Sun Joe addresses this with a feature called Total Stop System, or TSS, which detects water flow in the pump and shuts it down when it’s not in use. This nearly doubles pump life, giving you better reliability without extra cost.
The SPX3000 includes a bundle of accessories and several premium features that give you more options while cleaning. There are five nozzles that snap on and off for varying water stream and pressure, plus a long 34” steel wand that extends the tip’s reach. Detergent can be injected into the stream to assist certain surfaces and substances, with the ability to toggle between two 30 oz. tanks if you want to use two types of detergent.
Although Sun Joe’s SPX3000 is lightweight and has wheels for easier transport, there is one design flaw that makes it somewhat awkward to move. The hose and power cord are connected on opposite sides (front and back). You get used to this over time, but it’s helpful to keep your eye on both connections as you move around the yard.
See how the SPX3000 compares to other categories in our guide to the best pressure washers.
The best budget electric pressure washer: Greenworks GPW1501
We believe the Greenworks GPW1501 is the best budget electric pressure washer. In fact, with a retail price under $100, it’s the cheapest pressure washer you can buy (from a trusted brand, at least). It has decent power and accessories for the money, which has earned it the Amazon’s Choice label along with a #3 spot on the retailer’s best-sellers list.
The GPW1501 has an 88% recommendation rate (based on 2,000+ verified reviews from four sources). It’s one of the most popular pressure washers at Amazon, rounding out the top five.
The Greenworks GPW1501 has low pressure that’s adequate for light surface cleaning and other simple jobs. At 1,500 PSI and 1.2 GPM, it’s still around 30 times more powerful than a garden hose, making it a good electric pressure washer for washing cars, patio furniture and outdoor areas that don’t have serious grime buildup.
Greenworks uses a cheaper motor and pump to power the GPW1501. This is reasonable given the price point, but know that lower quality parts come with limitations. Universal motors and wobble pumps have a shorter life span (estimated 2-3 years with average use), and they can overheat if they’re used for long periods. If you can keep use under 60 minutes at a time, you shouldn’t experience any issues.
Ease of use is a big selling point for the GPW1501. With a large handle and less than 20 lbs total weight, it’s perfect for jobs where you’ll be moving around often. There’s a 16” wand for a small reach extension, plus two quick-connect nozzles with 25° and 40° stream patterns. There is no midstream detergent injection, so a foam cannon is included for dispensing soap and other cleaning chemicals.
Being a budget product, the GPW1501 has a couple reported issues, but none are serious and all narrow down to the same cause. The fittings that connect accessories have poor threading, so water can leak and accessories sometimes stick together. Be careful when tightening and loosening connections to get the most secure fit without stripping threads.
The best premium electric pressure washer: Ryobi RY142300
We believe the Ryobi RY142300 is the best premium electric pressure washer. If you want better reliability from higher quality components and you don’t mind a higher price tag, this is your best choice. It’s the #1 highest-rated electric pressure washer by customers and a top five best-seller, despite only being available at one retailer (Home Depot).
The RY142300 has a 95% recommendation rate (based on 4,000+ verified reviews from three sources). It’s the best-selling electric pressure washer at Home Depot and a favorite among many third parties.
With 2,300 PSI and 1.2 GPM, the Ryobi RY142300 has higher pressure than most electric models in the residential category. It’s not by much, but every pound of pressure makes a difference when you’re dealing with tougher grime. It has a slightly lower flow rate, which can slow your ability to move thicker substances, but any lost time is quickly made up by its above-average pressure.
Reliability is what makes the RY142300 worth the extra cost. Using a brushless induction motor and axial cam pump, it’s estimated to last 2-3 times longer than cheaper models, plus it can be used for hours at a time without the worry of overload. This puts it up to par with the life span and usability of the average gas pressure washer, without the extra maintenance.
Ryobi gives the RY142300 further value with a durable design and entirely premium accessories. The frame is aluminum and rolls on 12” wheels, the largest of all electric pressure washers on the market. The spray gun is tough and longer than average, giving you a 31” total reach when combined with the 16” steel extension wand. Three quick-connect nozzles are included, with one being a turbo nozzle and another designed for use with the extra-large 128 oz. detergent tank.
Ryobi’s most powerful electric pressure washer has one small design flaw with its detergent tank. It’s not transparent and it’s not removable, so you don’t know how much detergent is left and it’s hard to check because it’s integrated. This isn’t a serious headache by any means, but it’s worth noting if you plan to use soap or cleaning agents frequently.
How to choose an electric pressure washer
Learn what to look for when buying an electric pressure washer. We’ll show you expected PSI and GPM ranges, as well as advantages and disadvantages over gas-powered models. We’ll also explain important electrical components and common parts and accessories.
PSI, GPM and CU/CP
Pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI) and volume is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). Together, these two figures determine a pressure washer’s overall cleaning power, which is sometimes displayed as CU (cleaning units) or CP (cleaning power).
For electric pressure washers, expect around 1,500-2,000 PSI and 1.2-1.5 GPM. Higher PSI and GPM is available, but at a much higher cost that generally isn’t worth the money unless you absolutely require electric power over gas power.
Electric vs. gas
Electric pressure washers are commonly degraded for being less powerful than gas models. While this is true, you don’t need serious power for every job. Not to mention, power isn’t the only consideration to make when buying. Compare both types below to be sure an electric model is suitable for your use case.
- Electric models are easier to use because they don’t require fuel or routine maintenance, plus they start at the push of a button.
- Electric models are easier to move around the yard because they’re smaller and lighter weight.
- Electric models can be used both outdoors and indoors because motors are quieter and don’t produce exhaust fumes.
- Electric models are more affordable, making them ideal for lower budgets.
- Electric models don’t clean as deeply or quickly because motors produce lower PSI and GPM.
- Electric models can’t be used as frequently or for long hours because motors are less durable than engines.
- Electric models can’t be used anywhere because they require an electrical outlet, and most don’t allow use of an extension cord.
Features to look for
Certain features are unique to electric pressure washers due to their use of electricity, while others are common due to their lower price range. Review the following features to buy the best electric pressure washer, especially the parts and accessories to avoid.
- Reliable motor and pump. There are two types of electric motors: universal and induction. There are three types of pumps: wobble, axial and triplex. Universal motors and wobble pumps are more common because they’re lower cost and reliable enough for regular home use, but they’re less durable which results in a shorter life span. Induction motors and axial pumps cost more, but they are more durable, doubling life span and allowing use under more demanding conditions. Triplex pumps are only found on commercial models.
- Longer power cord and hose. The combined length of these two parts defines your operating area, or how far you can be from an electrical outlet while cleaning. Power cords are usually 30 ft. and hoses are usually 20 ft., which would provide an operating area of 50 ft. Longer is better, but the size of your yard and outlet locations will determine how much reach you actually need. If you need a vast operating area, you may think to use an extension cord. However, not all manufacturers allow it, so that’s another feature to verify before buying.
- Inline GFCI. Using electricity and water together introduces safety concerns, so power cords have a ground fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, that cuts power in the event of a current imbalance. GFCIs vary in size and can be built into the connector or inline (somewhere along the cord), with inline devices being more convenient. If the GFCI is bulky and at the connector, your power cord can be difficult to plug into outlets where space is tight.
- Bigger wheels. Electric pressure washers tend to have small, cheap wheels, which can be difficult to roll and easily jam. Bigger, wider wheels are better, preferably 6” or larger.
- Standard wand and nozzles. Wands and nozzles can be separate or combined as one (using an adjustable nozzle). We recommend keeping them separate so they can be used with other accessories you may buy later, plus adjustable nozzles usually don’t hold up well over time.
- Loose hose storage. Hoses can be stored several ways, with hose reels and looping brackets being common in the electric market. Any method where the hose is wound too tight can stress its material and fittings. A simple strap or hook is best.
- Removable detergent tanks. Higher-end electric models offer detergent injection using an onboard detergent tank. Tanks can be permanently attached or removable. Removable tanks are preferred because they’re easier to fill and clean.
Frequently asked questions about electric pressure washers
Some of the most common questions about buying an electric pressure washer are answered here. For questions about specific products, we’re happy to offer advice, but depending on the question, you may receive better information contacting the manufacturer.
Can an electric pressure washer clean cars, driveways, etc.?
An electric pressure washer can clean any surface or substance as long as it has enough pressure and volume. However, most models have low pressure and volume, so they’re usually only recommended for light-duty work. Heavy-duty electric pressure washers are available, but they’re uncommon because they’re significantly more expensive than a comparable gas product. Here’s an overview of common performance ranges to give you an idea of the best electric pressure washer for certain jobs.
- Light-duty cleaning power (up to 1,999 PSI and 1.9 GPM) is good for cleaning cars, motorcycles and other residential vehicles or equipment, plus windows, carpet and furniture.
- Medium-duty cleaning power (2,000-2,999 PSI and 2.0-2.9 GPM) is good for all light-duty jobs, plus decks, fences, siding and other wood, brick, stucco or vinyl surfaces.
- Heavy-duty cleaning power (above 3,000 PSI and 3.0 GPM) is good for all medium-duty jobs, plus driveways, garages, sidewalks and other concrete surfaces.
How long do electric pressure washers last?
This depends on the type of motor and pump used. Electric pressure washers with universal motors and wobble pumps have an estimated life span of 2-3 years assuming regular use of 1-2 hours per week. Induction motors and axial pumps usually last twice as long, or about 6-7 years. Water-cooled induction motors and triplex pumps last the longest, offering over 10 years of reliability with proper maintenance.
Are electric pressure washers dangerous?
Using electricity and water together can be dangerous, but most electric pressure washers have safeguards in place to minimize risk. Important components have water-resistant casings and power cords have GFCI devices. Still, for added safety, try not to spray water towards the machine, power cord or electrical outlets, and wear insulated rubber gloves designed for protection against electrical shock.