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Which pressure washer brand?

Most reliable pressure washer brands

By Victoria Pearson

Article 1 of 4

We've surveyed thousands of pressure washer owners to uncover the most and least reliable brands. Find out which brands top our table

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We've rated pressure washer brands for reliability to guide you to brands that should provide years of reliable service, and away from those prone to developing faults.

To do this, in January 2018 we surveyed 2,277 Which? members who own pressure washers, quizzing them about any problems they’ve encountered. We used this feedback to create reliability ratings for each pressure washer brand.

The table below reveals reliability ratings for the three main pressure washer brands. The highest scoring pressure washer brands have a great five-star reliability rating, while another has a more average three stars. 

Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

Pressure washer brands rated for reliability
Brand Reliability rating Reliability score
Table notes
Ratings based on a survey of over 2,277 Which? members who owned pressure washers in January 2018.


Member Content

Which pressure washer brand stays fault-free longest?

Our graph and table below shows the pressure washer brands that stay fault free the longest.

Which pressure washer brand stays fault-free for longest?
Brand % faults after 1 year % faults after 3 years % faults after 6 years
96% 92% 90%
97% 92% 85%
97% 86% 83%
95% 86% 83%
Table notes
Ratings based on a survey of over 2,277 Which? members who owned pressure washers in January 2018.


Member Content

How pressure washer brands compare

Overall, pressure washers are reasonably reliable, with an average reliability score of 78%. Some garden products score much lower – petrol lawnmower brands have an average reliability rating of 62%, for example.

78%The average reliability score for pressure washer brands

We calculate our reliability scores based on the proportion of pressure washers with problems per brand in our customer survey, against those from the same brand without problems. The faults are weighted so that more serious problems have a greater effect on the score. The resulting star ratings show a brand’s reliability compared with other brands in the same category. So that newer or older models don’t influence the score unfairly, we adjust scores to account for age.

Not sure about Bosch, Nilfisk or Karcher? Visit our reviews of Vax pressure washers, Stihl pressure washers or Mac Allister pressure washers.

Common pressure washer problems

When we surveyed Which? members about the problems they’d encountered with their pressure washer, these were reported the most often:

  • Water leaks from within the washer 22%
  • Lance failed 12%
  • Loses pressure 11%

Why does my pressure washer leak water?

This fault frequently appears after a pressure washer has been left idle over the winter and is often caused by water in the pressure washer freezing, expanding and then splitting the plastic components inside the pump. 

How to avoid a leaky pressure washer

Drain your pressure washer before you put it away for the winter – check the manufacturer’s instructions for how to do this. Make sure you store it in a frost-free place so it doesn’t freeze.

It's possible to buy replacement parts for the plastic components and pumps of some pressure washers – check the manufacturer’s website for further details.

Why doesn't my pressure washer's lance work?

If there’s no water coming out of the lance, it might be that the nozzle is blocked. 

If the lance itself is leaking, it's probably due to splits in the plastic or failures of the seals caused by wear and tear. 

How to avoid broken pressure washer lances

Always check that your lance and nozzles are assembled properly before turning on the trigger, to avoid straining the seals between them. Avoid dropping your lance on the floor while you are using it and always check that the nozzles are free of debris – machines are usually supplied with a cleaning pin for unclogging blocked nozzles. If your pressure washer has storage slots for the lance and nozzles, use these when you are cleaning, instead of propping the lance on the floor.

Why does my pressure washer lose pressure?

There can be a number of problems that cause this symptom, such as a blocked nozzle or water inlet, inadequate water supply, air in the inlet water-supply hose or the pump. 

How to avoid losing pressure

If the pressure is pulsing, it’s worth first checking that the water supply is fully turned on and that the hose supplying the pressure washer is not squeezed or kinked. Then clean the water filter. 

To get rid of air, run the pressure washer with an open spray handle and nozzle at low pressure until regular working pressure resumes. If the pressure is steady but low, it can indicate a worn stop/start valve – squeeze the trigger five times in quick succession to get it working again.

Otherwise it might be a worn nozzle, which should be replaced.