Top 10 Pressure Washer Terms You Should Know About

Top 10 Pressure Washer Terms You Should Know About

The pressure washer terms can often be confusing to some. For instance, most people cannot differentiate GPM from PSI. Furthermore, knowing the terminology is crucial if you want to troubleshoot any pressure cleaning machine error. Thus, this article will help you understand the various pressure washing machine terms.

1. The flow rate of your pressure washer

The flow rate of a pressure washing machine refers to the amount of water your device can process in a minute. You can also measure the flow rate on the basis of an hour. The lower the flow rate, the less water you will spend in a specific time.

2. RPM

RPM stands for revolutions per minute. It refers to the amount of full turns your engine can make in a minute.

3. Belt drive

The machine's pump uses the belt unit to slow down its speed. For example, if your engine spins at 4000RPM, the machine's pump will slow down to 2000RPM. Furthermore, the belt drive unit ensures that the pump's bearing does not wear, thus promoting pump durability. The belt also separates the engine and the pump. Therefore, the pump does not collide with any heat from the engine. The belt's main merit is that it encourages a long pump life.

4. Direct drive in a pressure washer

Direct drive is the opposite of the belt drive. Manufacturers ensure that the machine's engine and pump directly connect in the direct drive. In addition, the engine and the pump spin at the same RPM. A direct-drive pressure washer has an incredibly simple design. However, if you compare it to the belt-driven one, the direct drive experiences more wear.

5. Engine

Engine's definition is relatively easy. The pressure washing engine is responsible for powering up the machine. Whether the cleaner is an electric or a gas one, both engines share the same responsibility.

6. Chemical injector

The chemical injector is responsible for allowing chemicals or soap solutions to get into the water stream. Many pressure washing machines have the chemical injector as a must-have. The injector coordinates well with the wand in controlling chemical flow.

7. The PSI of a pressure washer

PSI in full stands for pressure per square inch. It is one of the most common terms you hear in a pressure washing machine. It measures the maximum amount of pressure your device can produce. The higher the PSI, the better the cleaning efficiency. However, note that very high PSI can damage some home equipment, like furniture.


GFCI stands for Ground Fault Current Interrupter (GFCI). You will primarily hear or read the term from an electric-powered pressure cleaner. GFCI will protect you from any electrocution when handling the machine.

9. GPM

GPM is also one of the standard terms you will hear about the machine. It stands for gallons per minute. The higher the GPM, the faster the washing process will be.

10. Variable pressure control

Depending on the job, variable pressure control allows the machine's operator to control the water pressure. Therefore, it allows for efficiency.


Understanding the pressure washer terms is crucial for any machine operator. It will help you know how to operate it better. Furthermore, the terminologies will also help you troubleshoot the machine for issues.