How to Set Up an Electric Pressure Washer

Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Kyle Whitley

how to set up and electric pressure washer

Do you have an electric pressure washer at home? But you might be a little confused about how to get it set up and running.  If so, follow these six easy steps on how to set up an electric pressure washer.

What is a pressure washer used for?

A pressure washer is a machine that increases the water pressure from a residential water spigot to over 1,000 PSI.  This increase in pressure is created by an electric motor and a high pressure pump. Pressure washers have a gallons per minute rating or GPM, which shows much water the pressure washer move through it’s pump every minute.

There are also attachable pressure nozzles that direct the stream of water. Some are adjustable nozzles where you can switch from low-pressure stream to 0-degree high pressure stream.

You can use water pressure and an optional cleaning solution to remove unwanted dirt and grime from a variety of objects. You can use a pressure washer to clean a wide range of items, easily removing loose and stubborn dirt. They will easily handle your toughest cleaning tasks

  • Clean home siding and windows
  • Clean your driveway or sidewalks
  • Clean a patio composite or wooden deck
  • Clean patio or deck furniture
  • Wash your car, ATV, or boat

There are so many great uses for a pressure washer, but before you can use the electric pressure washer to its full potential, you have to get it set up.  If you have ever used a gas pressure washer the operation is very similar.  There are many great electric pressure washers available that make setup and use really easy.

Six Easy Steps on How to Set Up an Electric Pressure Washer

Step 1 – Connect the high-pressure hose to the pressure washer.

Electric pressure washers come with a high-pressure hose that attaches to the pressure washer wand/gun on one end and the pressure washer on the other.

Step 2 – Attach the garden hose

The electric pressure washer needs a water supply, so the best choice is to use your normal garden hose and connect it from a spigot or water faucet outside your home. Then connect the other end to the water inlet on the pressure washer.  Making sure to tighten both the ends on the spigot and in the pressure washer inlet.

Step 3 – Set up the spray gun/wand

Electric pressure washers come with a spray gun/wand.  Most come in two pieces.  You will need to attach the extension or lance onto the spray gun and twist it to lock it in place.  Most wands have interchangeable nozzle attachments with a quick attachment mechanism so that you can have different spray patterns.

Also, you will need to attach the high-pressure hose from Step 1 to the spray gun/wand, making sure all connections art tight.

Step 4 – Connect the electric pressure washer to your power outlet

Electric pressure washers require a connection to a power outlet either inside or outside of your home.  Most modern electric pressure washers come with a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) in line with the power cord attached to the pressure. Unfold your power cord and prepare to connect to an outdoor GFCI outlet.

Power cords for modern pressure washers are at least 30 -35 feet, you will have some distance between the pressure washer and outlet.  If the pressure washer is more than 30 feet away from your outlet,  you can use an extension cord with some models, but please reference your manufactures instructions as they are usually very specific about what type and gauge extension cord you can use.

Make sure the GFCI lights up when you plug it in.  Electricity and water don’t mix, so make sure this working correctly before you use your electric pressure washer. Safety first always.

Step 5 – Turn on the Water

Go back to where you attached your garden hose in Step 2 and turn the water on at the spigot or water faucet.  Water will begin to flow to the electric pressure washer inlet.  You do not want to run the electric pressure washer without a sufficient supply of water as it could damage the high-pressure water pump. The water source will need to remain on the entire time you are using the pressure washer.

Step 6 – Turn on the Electric Pressure Washer

Press the ON, START, or RUN power button.  This will turn the electric pressure washer on and make it available to use. Usually, it takes a few seconds for the water pressure to build up once you pull the trigger on the spray gun. Pulling the trigger all the way in will give you full power, and releasing the trigger will stop the flow of water, and the high-pressure pump will cut off.

Some newer models will remain on, to cool the brushless motor that is used in the pressure washer.

What do I do now that I am done?

Well, the good thing is you can follow the above steps in reverse order.

Step 1 – Turn off the Electric Pressure Washer

Press the OFF or STOP button.  This will turn off the electric pressure washer.  Press the trigger on the spray gun to release the pressure built up in the pressure washer.

Step 2 – Turn off the Water Supply

Turn off the water supply the is attached to the garden hose.  You might also want to press the trigger again on the spray gun/wand to remove any excess water in the high-pressure hose and spray gun.

Step 3 – Unplug the Electric Pressure Washer

Now unplug the electric pressure washer power plug from the power outlet.  Store your power cord and plug on your electric pressure washer.  Some models come with hooks or straps to store the power cord.

Step 4 – Unhook the Spray gun/wand

Unhook the spray gun from the high-pressure hose.  Store the spray gun on your pressure washer if it has a holster for the spray gun.  Most models do these days.

Step 5 – Detach the Garden Hose

Detach the garden hose from the pressure washer water inlet unit and the spigot from your house. You will want to also let the garden hose drain as well before putting the garden hose back up.

Step 6 – Remove the high-pressure hose

Finally, remove the high-pressure hose from the electric pressure washer unit.  Let the hose drain any excess water.  Store the hose on an electric pressure washer if it comes with a hose reel, hose loop, or hose strap.

I need to see that in action

If you are like me, you might want to see all of these steps in a visual.  Well, take a look at the following video, which shows these steps in action.

If you followed the steps above, you should be well on your way to how to set up an electric pressure washer. You can then take advantage of all the great cleaning power you can get from an electric pressure washer.  You won’t regret learning these easy steps and getting your personal cleaning machine ready for your next cleaning job.

Setting up an Electric Pressure Washer FAQ

What are the 4 essential parts of an electric pressure washer?

  1. Pressure washer gun/wand and high pressure hose which attaches to the pressure washer
  2. High pressure pump which forces the water out of the gun/wand for cleaning
  3. The electric motor which powers the high pressure pump
  4. The power cord which supplies power to the electric motor

Is an electric pressure washer better than a gas one?

Well, that really depends on what you are wanting to do with the pressure washer.  Gas pressure washers can generate higher psi numbers around 2500- 3000psi which will allow you to do some serious cleaning.

For the average homeowner who has power outlets on the outside of their home, an electric pressure washer will satisfy all their cleaning needs easily removing loose dirt from driveways and pool decks.  You can clean wooden decks prior to staining them and pressure wash vehicles too.

How do you maintain your electric power washer?

Maintaining an electric pressure washer is fairly simple.  You need to make sure that the high pressure hose remains kink free and without nicks or tears.  Pressure washer hoses that have tears or nicks can leak excessively and possibly burst while in use.

You need to also make sure the nozzles and wands are in good working order after each use and replace parts as needed.  Make sure any remaining water is removed from the wand after each use.

Power cords need to be safely secured and checked for any damage before and after using the electric pressure washer.

If the pressure washer is going to be stored and not used for an extended amount of time it would be good to add some pressure washer preserver into the pump so that corrosion and mineral build up can be prevented.

Do I need to keep the water running to the pressure washer when it is running?

Absolutely, you need to keep the water on when running any pressure washer.  If you don’t have a sufficient supply of water running to the pressure washer you will more than likely damage the high pressure pump and cause costly repairs or permanently damaging your pressure washer.

Electric Pressure Washer Manufactures 

Here is a list of a few electric pressure washer manufacturers that produce electric pressure washers.  I personally have two RYOBI pressure washers which are super easy to setup and use.




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