- Who Needs a Quiet Pressure Washer?
- Quiet Pressure Washers Comparison Chart
- Quiet Pressure Washer Reviews
- Measuring Noise Levels
- Quiet Pressure Washer Buying Guide
- FAQ About Quiet Pressure Washers
- Wrap Up
At the end of the day, there is a very simple version as to why most people tend to prefer quiet pressure washers. It’s the noise they generate, whether you’ve been on the receiving end as your neighbors wash their cars LOUDLY on a Saturday morning. Or perhaps you’ve just had enough of the drone from your pressure washer, having to shout if you want to hold a conversation while cleaning your siding. It doesn’t matter what the reason is; what does matters, however, is that there is a whole new market emerging which is focused on that issue. Because of this, we can finally get a quieter pressure washer without sacrificing too much power.
Who Needs a Quiet Pressure Washer?
A regular pressure washer is a loud machine. If you’ve never heard or used one, then the closest thing to compare it to is your vacuum cleaner. Now your typical home-use vacuum cleaner produces somewhere between 70 and 80 dB of noise. However, your average pressure washer can produce up to 105 dB of constant noise while in use.
That 20 or 30 dB extra may not sound like a big enough, but the difference is huge and pair that to the fact that your pressure washer produces the most annoying drone, well I can see why people are looking for a more quiet option.
Don’t get me wrong, using a loud machine every now and then isn’t going to be harmful. However, if you work with that same machine for an extended period, such as a few hours at a time, it can wreak havoc on your hearing, and trust me, it doesn’t set you up for a good mood.
If you are someone who just needs a pressure washer to do their seasonal yard clean-up, then the chances are that you aren’t going to be bothered by a loud electric pressure washer because you are only using it for short periods and only once in a while.
However, if you use your pressure washer on a regular basis, such as a more than once every couple of weeks, then a quiet model might be just what the doctor ordered. Why? Well, to keep your hearing and potentially your nerves intact. Whether you are using pressurized water to wash your bicycle, garage, car, pool, siding, deck, patio, or anything else for that matter, if you do it on a regular basis, then investing in a high-quality and quiet machine is going to keep you happy.
Have you tried to sleep through the morning when there’s construction happening in a neighbor’s garden nearby? Perhaps even a construction site, did you know that a gas-powered pressure washer is only 10 dB quieter than a bulldozer. Think about that for a second!
This is why some people go for a quiet pressure washer; they don’t want to bother their family or neighbors. Even though you use this tool outside, the noise it generates is loud enough to travel to the homes around you, and this is something that will annoying everyone on a weekend morning.
Contractors are starting to migrate over to the quieter versions of pressure washer models for two reasons:
- The comfort of any residents near the site
- The health of the workers who have to operate these machines
Nobody wants to be remembered as the constructed that caused a neighborhood uproar over a simple vinyl siding cleaning job, especially as it could hurt future work. Plus, avoiding potential lawsuits over hearing issues caused by working with a loud machine is well avoided.
Noise over 85 dB can cause damage to your hearing in as little as 8 hours. If you are using, for example, a gas pressure washer, the chances are high that the machine is much louder than 85 dB. This means that your workers are exposed to what can be considered as dangerous levels of noise every single workday. Unfortunately, there isn’t a huge selection of commercial pressure washers that are both quiet and produce huge output pressures over extended periods. One of the limiting factors is that gas pressure washers are rarely quiet, but if you are able to use an electric pressure washer on those less demanding jobs, you may end up securing more work from regular customers and potentially their neighbors.
If you don’t have space in the budget to get new quieter pressure washers, it’s important to make sure that your workers wear the appropriate hearing protection. Earmuffs and earplugs can reduce the noise that reaches the eardrum by 15 to 30 dB, which is enough to keep hearing intact for most cases.
Quiet Pressure Washers Comparison Chart
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Quiet Pressure Washer Reviews
- POWERFUL: 14.5-Amp/1800-watt motor generates up to 2030 PSI (at initial discharge per CSA internal pressure testing) and 1.76 GPM (with nozzle open at minimum pressure) of water flow
- VERSATILE: Tackle a variety of cleaning tasks: homes, buildings, RV’s, cars, trucks, boats, decks, driveways, patios, lawn equipment, and more. With two 0.9 L onboard detergent tanks, removable tanks carry and store different types of detergent to simultaneously tackle different cleaning projects.
- TSS (Total Stop System): Automatically shuts off pump when trigger is not engaged to save energy and prolong pump life.
You may not know this, but Sun Joe is one of the most famous brands of pressure washers on the market. And this model is one of the most popular among users. This isn’t only for its impeccable performance and very reasonable price, but also for the fact that it’s very easy on the ears.
The SPX3000 is out of the quietest models on the market. Even at it’s most peak performance, it only lets out of a faint hum. This is exactly why I recommend this model to anyone looking for something that won’t bother your neighbors, your family, or yourself.
Performance-wise, this is a rather powerful model. It uses a 14.5-amp motor, which can produce around 2000 PSI, and it uses only 1.76 gallons of water per minute. You also get two onboard detergent tanks with each detergent tank measuring at 0.9 L, perfect for most residential needs.
The power cord is 35 feet long, and the hose is 20 feet long, giving you excellent portability.
You also get a 34-inch extension wand, a garden hose adapter, and 5 color-coded quick-connect spray tips.
- This a very quiet pressure washer, which lets out an even and undisturbing hum
- Two onboard detergent tanks
- A total of 55 feet of reachability thanks to the hose and power cord.
- This unit uses a plastic water connector, which is prone to wear. It’s worth investing in a brass connector, which you can get directly from Sun Joe.
Next up on the list is the very popular Karcher K5, manufactured by one of the most popular, superstar, even brands within the world of power cleaning, Karcher. This is a German brand which is very well known for their pressure washers and their impeccable engineering.
The K5 is a huge step from the brands rather famously quiet K4 model (which I also recommend). This is a pressure washer, which is ever so slightly on the higher-end price-wise, but when you factor in its durability, power, and quietness, that quickly makes up for the price.
The K5 can pressurize water up to 2000 PSI while using only 1.4 GPM of water, which is good for the environment, so if you are an environmentally conscious individual, then you’re going to love the fact that you aren’t only reducing noise pollution, but also saving water without sacrificing the cleaning power or ease.
The K5 is a rather advanced model that has a cooling system for its induction motor using water. This is an amazing design that actually improves the longevity of the motor. So you are getting durability and impeccable work from this machine throughout its lifetime. Karcher pressure washers tend to use the brand’s bespoke spray wand design, which doesn’t use the quick connect nozzle tip system, and this model is no exception to that. You get their regular wand, which simply needs a twist to change the pressure, and there’s a special turbo nozzle wand included, which is designed for tackling tough built-in dirt. You also get a build in onboard detergent tank.
- A powerful and very quiet machine
- low water use thanks to it’s 1.4 GPM
- Its water-cooled induction motor increases durability and longevity
- No hose reel which can make storing the hose a bit of pain
- POWERFUL MOTOR: Exerts up to 2800 PSI at 1.76 GPM for superior cleaning power, stripping away even the most caked-on dirt in seconds; an excellent cleaning tool with a variety of cleaning applications, including sidewalks, sidings, garden furniture, bricks, cars, fences, windows and more
- TOTAL STOP SYSTEM: An advanced TSS automatically shuts off the pump when the trigger is not engaged, saving energy and prolonging the pump’s life; built-in overheating and overcurrent protections further ensure safety and durability
- SAFE & RELIABLE: The IPX5 waterproof pressure washer comes with a UL listed GFCI plug to prevent electrical leaks, allowing you to confidently let the water do all the hard work without any safety concerns
This brand isn’t among the well-established power washer brands… yet! Though I doubt it’ll be long before they are if they continue to produce these reliable and inexpensive machines such as this one from WestForce.
The SCEPWV1700-A (quite a mouthful) is one of the most powerful pressure washer models on this list that you can operate without needing to wear protective hearing equipment. In fact, WestForce proudly states that their machines operate with such a low vibration that it only products as little as 78 dB of noise during work.
It’s spraying capabilities are incredible. At its maximum of 2800 PSI and 1.76 GPM, you will tear through tough grease with no hassle at all. A very interesting feature of this model is that you don’t need a tap. Just place your hose into a bucket of water, and it’ll work just fine.
Asides from being as powerful as it is, this is a very lightweight unit making it incredibly portable. This thing weighs less than 20 pounds, which is ~10 pounds less than your average electric pressure washer. Plus, you don’t need to carry it around thanks to it’s upright designed with a suitcase-style handle and two large rear wheels. You get a 20-foot long high-pressure hose and a 33-foot long power cord.
- Incredibly lightweight, very portable and most of all quiet
- capable of using a tap as a water source but also a bucket filled with water
- Cheap.. inexpensive.. frugal purchase
- Producing heavy duty power
- No onboard hose or nozzle storage, which is a pain
- Perfect size for cleaning cars, brick, cement, decks, furniture, and more
- Variable flow nozzle allows users to adjust the spray width of the pressure washer
- 13-amp motor blasts water at rates of up to 1.6 gallons per minute
If you are looking for a cracking deal, then this compact little pressure washer, which has been made by Wen, might be exactly what you are looking for. This is the perfect machine for your patio, car, or even house siding. It’ll make these look almost brand new, for a rather attractive price.
The design of this model is rather unique, it doesn’t feature wheels, it’s not designed to be dragged about, no, this is a model that you carry, and you can carry this thing anywhere. It’s very lightweight, coming in at around 14 pounds, which is less than half the weight of a regular electric pressure washer.
This thing is packed full of convenience with it’s plastic molded handle perfect for easy moving. It’s only 12 inches in height and 16 inches wide, so you can store this almost anywhere. Thanks to its power cord, which is 36 feet long and 16.5 foot-long reinforced pressure hose, you can reach up to 53 feet away from the power outlet.
This is powered by a 13 amp motor, which can turn 1.6 gallons of water per minute into a whopping 2000 PSI. That’s huge for such a small device. It comes with its own unique variable flow spray lance, which like with Karcher models, simply needs to be rotated to change the pressure. I love quick-connect spray tips, but I’ll be honest, being able to quickly change the pressure at a twist, that’s incredible, plus you have no risk of losing a spray tip. This is a unique design, so the lance on its own isn’t capable of using regular spray foam cannons, however not to worry as Wen throws in a compatible one.
- Incredibly affordable option
- Portable – this thing is small, lightweight and even comes with a carry handle
- While Wen claims 2000 PSI, customers doubt it can hit that and suggest it’s closer to 1600 PSI, I used it, I loved it and saw no issues with its ability
- 2019 NEW HIGH-TECH INDUCTION MOTOR: Guaranteed the best product in the market, made with the best latest technology and design. You will acquire an induction motor power washer up to 2200 PSI for the same price of the old brushed motor pressure washer. That is true! A much better product for the same amount of money. GUARANTEED! Besides, our Power Pressure Washer comes in a completely new design never seen before. Beautiful, Powerful, Portable: Just Perfect for the job!
- POWER EFFICIENCY & 4 TIMES MORE LIFESPAN: Induction motors generate less heat and require less current to generate higher power than universal (brushed) motors. This is another reason why our Power Pressure Washer is by far the best product in the market. In addition, the induction technology gives the product 4 times more lifespan! And you will NOT pay more for that!
- IMPORTANT FEATURES: The next generation of power washers come with a 30ft long power cord and 20ft long hose. It also includes a soap dispenser (not built in, tough). This pressure washer is equipped with a micro switch sensitive to water flow. This Total Stop System (TSS) senses water flow in the pump. When the trigger is released, water stops flowing through the pump. The TSS then automatically turns the motor off to protect the pump from overheating.
The thing about pressure washers is that, for the most part, they are usually rather clunky but robust machines. Manufacturers usually follow the same design, adding their own colors, but usually overlook the overall visual appearance of the machine.
The same can’t be said for Power Products USA. This company took a rather powerful electric pressure washer and packaged it up in a very stylish and small unit, and this thing works like a dream.
When you first cast your eye over the NXG-2200, it may look like a toy because of its eye-catching color choice and compact design. But once you turn this thing on, you’ll know that it’s not a toy; this can output as much as 2200 PSI while blasting 1.76 gallons of water every minute. It’s powered by a 14.5 amp induction motor, yet it stays surprisingly quiet while in use.
Power Products USA claims that the reason it’s so quiet is thanks to its induction motor. Despite its compact design, this thing comes in at around 30-pounds in weight. Fortunately, it has a large set of suitcase-style wheels to aid in portability, and it can reach up to 50 feet from the power outlet thanks to its 20-foot high-pressure hose and 30-foot of power cord.
- Incredibly compact and stylish design
- 14.5 amp induction motor ensures a quiet operation
- The onboard storage isn’t all that good for the hose and power cord
Measuring Noise Levels
1. Decibel Rating
Measuring noise isn’t very straightforward. There is a standardized measurement unit that we use, and it’s called Decibel (dB). This is measured on a logarithmic scale. This basically means that something which is twice as loud as, for example, 20 dB is not 40 dB, but is somewhere between 26 and 30 dB.
It’s because of this which makes understanding exactly how loud something is, or how much quieter or louder the sound generated by something is compared to another sound. Instead, it focuses on the possibility of comparing one sound to another and seeing how their perceived volumes change in comparison.
2. What It Sounds Like
The following numbers and the examples given are entirely approximations but based on scientific evidence.
- If you can hear yourself when you breathe or hear a fire crackling, then your surroundings are around 10 dB.
- If you are listening to the birds outside and hear your neighbor talking or light rain falling, the surrounding noise levels will be around 40 dB.
- Believe it or not, but your refrigerator will constantly make a noise of around 50 dB, but it’s so constant it becomes background noise, and you barely notice it.
- When you arrive at your office and have a casual conversation with two of your work colleagues, you will produce around 60 and up to 70 dB.
- Even though your vacuum cleaner seems really loud and annoying to the person using it (and anyone else in the room), a typical residential model will most likely only made 80 dB of noise.
- The traffic from cars and bikes in your typical business district will reach around 85 dB when it’s perceived by a person in a car. Prolonged exposure to sounds above 85 dB without hearing protection can cause gradual and permanent hearing loss.
- Your typical residential electric pressure washers will produce around 80-85 dB, with gas pressure washers averaging around 95 dB. Though pressure washers themselves sit in a huge chasm in terms of noise level from the quietest to the noisiest pressure washers. They sit in a range of 70 dB for the quietest power washers and reach up to 105 dB for the loudest.
- A power mower will make around 105 dB of noise, while a chainsaw that’s around 3 feet away will produce 110 dB.
- Remember that logarithmic scale? Well, at 125 dB, you will feel physical pain from experiencing noise at such loud levels. If you were to stand next to an ambulance siren for a while, you’d notice that it’s unbearably loud. I notice this as they fly past me in the street. An ambulance makes around 120 dB, while a jet engine during take-off or a gun being shot tops at around 140 dB.
You really should keep in mind that hearing loss can occur when exposed to sounds over 85 dB for extended periods. I highly suggest wearing hearing protection, such as earmuffs or plugs. Personally, I use these whenever I used my pressure washer for more than a few hours. At 88 dB, it takes as little as 4 hours to cause hearing loss, and at 100 dB (gas models), you’d need hearing protection around the 15th-minute mark to prevent damage.
Most pressure washers are loud, so seriously, I highly recommend you wear some form of protective equipment. If you can’t, then stand as far away from the machine as possible, perhaps getting a longer high-pressure hose. Investing in a quiet pressure washer will protect your hearing, your neighborly relations, and your mood.
3. How Quiet are Quiet Pressure Washers?
Unfortunately, your pressure washer will never be like your refrigerator with its pleasant humming that drifts into the background, becoming noticeable.
Your pressure washer is a machine that will blast water out at huge levels of pressure, and to do that, it needs a strong motor. While these machines are loud by their very nature, not all are burst your eardrums load.
A pressure washer is considered to be quiet when it produces less than 85 dB during average use. At that level and lower, you can (though I don’t advise to) use the machine without any hearing protection. A pressure washer that was marketed as quiet will produce around 70-80 dB. Sun Joe does a fantastic car washer at that level.
Quiet Pressure Washer Buying Guide
The decibel rating or the noise level isn’t something that a lot of pressure washer manufacturers tend to disclose in their product descriptions. So it can feel a little impossible to know exactly how loud a pressure washer will be once it arrives, and you start to use it. Aside from the often-overlooked noise level label, there are a few other things that you should always consider when looking to buy a pressure washer. Which is why I’ve put together this buying guide.
1. Water Pressure
The pressure washer pump is the part that’s responsible for pressurizing the water within the machine; it itself is powered by the unit’s motor. Since the motor is the component that makes the most noise, quieter pressure washers tend to produce a weak output in terms of pressure; that said, the difference isn’t too significant.
The overall cleaning power of a pressure washer is measured by two important units – PSI and GPM.
The first unit PSI stands for “pounds per square inch” and it’s this number which indicates exactly how much the unit will pressurize the water when it blasts it out of the pressure washer wand. The PSI rating will range anywhere between 1500 to 3000 PSI in electric pressure washers, and from 3000 to 5000 or more in gas-powered power washers. In most cases, the quieter units don’t lag too far behind their louder counterparts. These tend to be in the 2000-2500 range.
The other unit GPM stands for “gallons per minute” and this shows you the volume of water that your washer’s pump needs to produce the PSI range of the machine. This number will vary somewhere between 1 and 3 in domestic versions, and most electric pressure washers requiring around 1.5 to 2 gallons of water per minute. This doesn’t change for a quiet pressure washer. While they may produce less PSI, they still require the same amount of water.
GPM and PSI get combined into a single measurement unit, which gives you an overall idea of the power washers strength. This unit is called CP, which stands for “cleaning power” you take the multiple of PSI and GPM (PSI x GPM) to get a single number. So if you have a quiet electric power washer that outputs 2000 PSI and 1.5 GPM, this gives the unit a total cleaning power of 3000 CP.
A pressure washers portability can be very important, but it depends entirely on your particular needs.
The majority of people only need to move their pressure washer from their garage out into their yard, which is made very simple as most pressure washers have some form of wheels. But if you are a contractor, then things get a bit more difficult. Lugging around a heavy unit from one site to another isn’t an easy task.
Whether you are moving from one work site to another, or you simply don’t want to drag a heavy machine around, a good idea is to go for electric pressure washers simply because these are much more lightweight when compared to their gas-powered counterparts. All quiet power washers are electric, with them weighing around 30 pounds.
2.2. Cord and Hose Length
When it comes to portability, there is no beating the gas-powered washer. They don’t use electricity, so they aren’t tied to an outlet. But they are the loudest machines on the market, so if you want a quiet or perhaps silent pressure washer, then you should opt for an electric model. Though these do come with some limitations.
Cord and hose lengths become very important because these restrict your movement on a worksite or yard. It’s the combination of these two that limit how far away from the electrical outlet you can go. You need to take the cord and hose length into consideration when choosing the best length for your home.
Though a word of warning, longer isn’t always better, especially not when it comes to a power cord. If the cord is too long, it’ll end up getting coiled up during use, and the cord itself can overheat. Also, the hose length will affect how much your power washer pressure will be. I suggest that you work out what your maximum distance from an outlet will be and factor that into your buying decision.
If you end up with a pressure washer with an incredibly long hose and power cord, it will make your life easy if the pressure washer has onboard storage for both.
3. Unit Size
Talking about onboard storage. You should make sure that you have enough storage space in your garage, under the stairs, or storage room for your pressure washer.
The majority of electric models, including the quiet ones, are often very compact—a typical electric power washer, which features an upright design. I.e., being taller than it is wide, has been designed to be conveniently stored. Though if you have a smaller storage space that features shelving, it’s worth checking that your shelving is tall enough to accommodate the model you are looking at.
FAQ About Quiet Pressure Washers
1. Which are quieter – gas or electric pressure washers?
If you are looking for a quiet machine, then a gas pressure washer is not a good choice. While a gas-powered washer is a very powerful and portable machine, it massively falls short when it comes to working quietly. Most gas pressure washers require some form of hearing protection during use.
Because of this, you should always go for an electric model if you are after quiet operation. No matter what electric model you go for, it will be quieter than a gas one, and there are even special electric models that have been designed to be particularly quiet. Check out the reviews above to find one which best suits your needs.
2. How can I protect my hearing if I have a loud pressure washer?
If you have a pressure washer, which is working well except that its loud, then there are a few things you can do without investing money into a newer, quieter unit.
Firstly, I highly suggest you protect your hearing while you operate the unit. You can achieve this with a pair of earmuffs or earplugs. I personally use these. These are incredible devices, some simpler than others that are capable of reducing the noise that reaches your eardrum by a massive 30 dB. This takes a loud pressure washer and makes it sound like a quiet office conversation. If you don’t have ear muffs or earplugs, then some cotton balls can help.
Taking rest breaks is also important, even more so if you don’t have any hearing protection. It’s the length of the exposure that determines the hearing loss. If you are working with a machine that is 90 dB or so, it’s enough to simply take a break after each elapsed hour. This won’t just protect your hearing, but also do wonders for the machine as it’ll get a chance to cool down.
Pressure washers are a fantastic invention that has entered the domestic market, making cleaning jobs a breeze. I love these machines. They are powerful while also being lightweight. For the most part, a residential model is inexpensive. The only problem is that they are rather loud.
Fortunately for us, manufacturers have noticed this issue, and these days they are starting to produce new quieter pressure washer models that will give you a sparkling clean car, while also ensuring that your hearing and mood remain intact. In this article, we’ve taken an in-depth look at the most important differences between standard and quiet models, so you know exactly what you are looking for in your quiet pressure washer.
Last update on 2021-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API