If you live in an area where you have to pay for water, considerations always have to be made when doing something that has the potential to increase your water bill…such as pressure washing. But if you’ve never used a pressure washer before, its natural to wonder if doing so will cause a spike in your next bill.
Using a pressure washer will increase your water bill, but not by as much as you may think. Pressure washers use fewer gallons of water per minute than your standard garden hose, which is obviously a good thing if you pay for water by the gallon. Of course, any time you use water that you normally wouldn’t, such as when running a pressure washer, you’ll see a spike in your water bill.
How much of a spike you’ll see is largely determined by the exact gallon per minute rating of your pressure washer, how much you pay for water, and the length of time you run your pressure washer. All of which we’ll cover in this article.
How Much Water Does a Pressure Washer Use?
A pressure washer can use anywhere from two to eight gallons of water per minute (GPM), depending upon its size and style.
For most pressure washers designed for home use, a GPM of around 1 1/2 to 3 is to be expected. Industrial sized units, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars, use a lot more water, around 8 GPM.
Being that standard garden hoses use around 12-13 gallons per minute on average, using a pressure washer in its place (when practical) can actually help conserve water, thus making your water bill lower.
This is possible due to the increased PSI of a pressure washer. To put it simply, higher PSI equals higher efficiency. Pressure washers have a huge advantage here over garden hoses. The PSI of a typical pressure washer ranges from 1500-5000 whereas a garden hose is around 40-50.
Pressure Washing and Your Water Bill
As I mentioned earlier, the effect pressure washing will have on your water bill is largely determined by the GPM rating of your pressure washer, how much you pay for water, and the length of time you run your pressure washer.
Lets say, for example, your pressure washer has a GPM rating of 2.4. This means that for every minute you’re using your pressure washer, 2.4 gallons are being used. In one hour you will have used 144 gallons. If you pay .04 cents per gallon (as I used to), you’ll have spent $5.76 for that water. Not too bad, right?
If we were to use a garden hose for the same amount of time, with a GPM of 12, we would have used 720 gallons of water and paid $28.80. That’s 5 times the amount of water and cost when compared to a pressure washer!
So yes, using a pressure washer will increase your water bill but minimally. Especially if compared to using a standard garden hose to complete the same task.
Anytime you can use a pressure washer instead of your garden hose, it’ll save you money. Of course, it doesn’t make much sense to water the flowers with a pressure washer but you get my point!
If you’re planning on pressure washing your house or driveway, try to estimate the amount of time it’ll take you. Then you can calculate how much water you’ll use based on your pressure washers GPM rate. Simply multiply the GPM by the number of hours you’ll spend on the project to see the total number of gallons you’ll use. You can then multiply this by your cost per gallon to see how much you’ll spend in water.
Of course, it may or may not make financial sense to proceed. But in most cases, the amount of money you’ll spend on water is far less than what it would cost to hire a professional to do the same job.