Best Generac Pressure Washers

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

11 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
296 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best Generac pressure washers

Last Updated September 2020

For some cleaning jobs, the typical methods just won’t do. Perhaps it’s mud caked on a driveway or oil stains on a brick patio. Maybe it’s old paint that won’t quite come off or mold in a hard to reach spot. For situations like these, a pressure washer offers the powerful, thorough cleaning you need to get the job done right. 

Generac has a long history in residential power equipment, and it offers some of the best pressure washers available. It’s a brand that manufactures its own gas engines in-house, allowing Generac to integrate clever features that are purpose-built for consumer needs.

With a catalog ranging from light-duty models to heavy-duty, feature-packed powerhouses, there’s a Generac pressure washer for every customer and every job. So whether you need to strip a fence or wash your car, there’s a solution just a few clicks away. Interested in learning more about Generac pressure washers? Read our full buying guide below and take a look at some of our favorites.

Experts recommend setting a pressure-washing schedule to keep your surfaces in good condition. For stone or brick areas, such as patios and walkways, wash every three years. For vinyl siding, do it every two years. Wooden decks? Give it a once-over every year or so and adjust as needed.

Key considerations

Cleaning power

Above all else, your main consideration when shopping for a pressure washer is its cleaning ability. This ability is measured in cleaning units (CU). A simple equation to determine a pressure washer’s cleaning efficiency is cleaning units equal pounds per square inch times gallons per minute: CU = psi x gpm.

In a nutshell, pounds per square inch measures the intensity of the water pressure, and gallons per minute measures the output flow rate. This means a medium-duty pressure washer with 2,900 pounds per square inch and 2.4 gallons per minute boasts 6,960 cleaning units.

More cleaning units are better, of course, because a more powerful pressure washer can clean more quickly and more thoroughly than a less powerful one. Keep in mind, however, that larger engines weigh more, making a larger tool harder to maneuver.

Generac’s website offers a helpful guide that breaks down the ideal pounds per square inch for various tasks, ranging from car and boat cleaning to cement and brick beautification. There’s even a level for industrial uses, so if you’re having trouble gauging how powerful a pressure washer you need, check there first.

Nozzle tips

A pressure washer’s engine size and cleaning units all factor into how effective it is at its job. That said, you can still tailor the machine to do what you want with several nozzle tips for different widths in the spray pattern. The most common nozzles are below:

0° red nozzle: This nozzle shoots a concentrated stream of water straight out of the wand. The most powerful type available, red nozzles should be used carefully.

15° yellow nozzle: Yellow is slightly less powerful than red but still made for heavy-duty cleaning. Use it to remove paint or tough grime from hard surfaces.

25° green nozzle: A very common nozzle, green offers a healthy dose of indirect power. Great for driveways, decks, and some vehicles.

40° white nozzle: This is a gentle, low-pressure spray for more delicate surfaces like windows. White nozzles can also be used to wash cars but be careful not to get too close to painted surfaces.

65° black nozzle: You can use this very low-pressure nozzle to apply soap, detergent, and other cleaning agents.

Hose

Whether you hook your pressure washer up to a water tank or your home’s spigot, you’ll need a pressure washer hose to make a proper connection. The length of the hose dictates your range. Before buying a Generac pressure washer, confirm how long the included hose is and upgrade if you think you’ll need to. Without the proper hose, you might have to leave a job half finished.

EXPERT TIP

Pressure washing often entails chemical or detergent injection, because water on its own may not be powerful enough to remove stains, oils, or heavy muck. Applicable pressure washers use separate onboard tanks for these cleaners.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Push-button start

You can’t finish a job without starting it first, and sometimes that’s harder than it should be. To simplify the whole process, select Generac pressure washers include a push-button start, which combines an auto-choke feature with an electric start. This system utilizes a lithium-ion battery that provides up to 50 starts per charge.

PowerDial

The character of a pressure washer can be tailored by changing out the nozzle tips, but for on-the-fly changes, you need a feature like the Generac PowerDial. Put simply, PowerDial allows you to control your output pressure via a simple dial on the handle. Switch between modes for cars, wood, concrete, heavy-duty jobs, and soap and you’re good to go. It’s like having five pressure washers in one!

SpeedWash

To expand a pressure washer’s functionality, Generac offers a collection of clever tools under the SpeedWash banner. SpeedWash includes an oscillating Turbo Nozzle for high-pressure, wide-angle cleaning, a soap-blaster nozzle for washing vehicles, and a trick Power Broom attachment. In a nutshell, the Power Broom spreads out your power washer’s spray in a broom-like pattern, allowing you to beautify wide patios and driveways in no time.

DID YOU KNOW?

Generac offers a Turbo Nozzle that offers fantastic pressure and coverage at the same time. Using a rotating jet, the nozzle offers the same pressure as a 0° red tip with the coverage of a 25° green tip. It’s a real time-saver.

Generac pressure washer prices

Inexpensive: Entry-level Generac pressure washers are available for as little as $300 to $400, and you may be surprised by what you get for the money. These light- and medium-duty machines produce up to 3,100 psi and 2.8 gpm and even include features like SpeedWash and PowerDial.

Mid-range: Spend $400 to $600 and you’ll find a higher concentration of medium-duty pressure waters with improved cleaning abilities and professional-grade pumps. Features like electric start and welded cage frames are common in this range as well.

Expensive: At the top of the price range, expect to pay $600 to $1,000 for high-end, feature-packed, near commercial-grade products. Specs jump up to 4,200 psi and 4.0 gpm in this category, and some boast belt-drive systems for longer pump life.

EXPERT TIP

When cleaning a vertical surface or roof, clean from the bottom to the top. Afterward, rinse from the top down to prevent streaks.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Wear personal protective gear when operating a pressure washer. This includes ear protection for louder units and eye protection to safeguard against kicked-up debris.
  • Stand on a stable surface when using a pressure washer. Never stand on a ladder, table, or stool because the pressure from the washer could knock you off balance.
  • Start about 18 inches away from your target with low pressure. Presoak the surface, letting detergent or degreaser sit before going over it again. Decrease the distance and increase the pressure as needed but stay farther than 6 inches away to prevent damage. Move in an overlapping, side-to-side motion at a 45° angle.
  • Do not use hot water in a cold-water pressure washer. Many professional-grade pressure washers use hot water to clean more efficiently but using hot water in a cold-water unit can damage the pump or other components. Currently, Generac does not offer any models that use hot water.
Generac pressure washer engines are built in-house and come standard with a low-oil shutoff feature. That way, if you forget to top off the oil, the engine will shut down to protect itself, extending its life.

FAQ

Q. Can I wash my car with a pressure washer?
A.
Pressure washers are powerful machines, but it’s completely safe to use one to wash your car if you do so properly. First, start with plain water and use a low-pressure nozzle like a white tip. Even then resist the urge to get too close to your vehicle’s paint or windows. Use this time to remove loose debris and dirt.

Next, switch to a soap nozzle like a black tip. Apply your chosen detergent, and work from the bottom up in wide, overlapping strokes. We still recommend using a scrub brush for tough spots and increased clarity, though. Finally, switch back to your white tip and rinse from the top down. Dry, then apply wax or polish as you see fit.


Q. What shouldn’t I wash with my pressure washer?
A.
Pressure washing is extremely effective, but it’s not the best method for every surface. For instance, drywall and fabric take a very long time to dry out and can develop mold and fungus even after a thorough pressure wash. In addition, pressure washing isn’t always recommended for wood siding. While it can be done, water that gets underneath the siding can soak into the wood and foster mold growth. Worse, it could potentially harm insulation or wiring inside the wall.

Other areas to avoid pressure washing include anything with complex or exposed electronics, such as electrical panels, meters, circuit breakers, and AC units. While these are designed to handle natural precipitation, high-pressure sprays can overwhelm the seals and cause damage.
 

Q. My nozzle is clogged. Why does this happen, and how can I fix it?
A.
If you notice subpar pressure out of your power washer, or if the spray is erratic, you may have a clogged nozzle. This happens when debris passes through the system and gets stuck in the nozzle, or when buildup or corrosion occurs. If yours is clogged, it requires your attention immediately. An ignored clog can decrease the flow of pressure, potentially damaging the pump. Most clogs can be removed with the nozzle-cleaning wire provided by the manufacturer. If you don’t have one, an unfolded paper clip will do.
 

Q. What are the benefits of an electric pressure washer?
A.
Generac doesn’t currently offer electric pressure washers, investing instead in innovative in-house engine designs and features. That doesn’t mean electric models don’t have advantages, though. They’re often cheaper than gas units, for one thing, and they’re significantly simpler, starting with the flip of a switch and requiring very little maintenance.

On the downside, electric pressure washers are less mobile than gas equivalents due to the power cord, and they typically boast less power as well. For light- to medium-duty jobs, however, one is an excellent choice.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
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