Difference Between Pressure Washer and Water Blaster

In many households, a pressure washer is provided. Only a few understand the reason for its presence. The use of colloquial terms has been a part of science for ages. Thus, it is important to know the exact meaning of these terms to avoid any confusion. Examples of these terms are pressure washers & water blasters.

Knowing the difference between these two will allow you to make a correct choice for your use. Pressure washer & water blaster, both are used to clean floors, bays, and driveaways.

Pressure Washer vs Water Blaster

The main difference between pressure washer and water blaster is the water pressure they generate as in most cases, the way pressure is generated is also different.

Pressure Washer vs Water Blaster

A pressure washer is also sometimes called Power Washer. It sprays water at moderately high pressure to provide cleaning of the surfaces. For cleaning activity, pressure washer nozzles need not be small, instead, they are preferred slightly larger. Pressure washers amplify the usual pipe water pressure (around 3.5-4 bar).

Water blaster is a type of high-pressure water washing which is used to remove dirt, dust, and a thin layer of surface material. The only major difference between a water blaster & pressure washer is in the nozzle size which increases the water pressure. A water blaster can be employed to change the surface quality.

Comparison Table Between Pressure Washer and Water Blaster

Parameters of ComparisonPressure WasherWater Blaster
DefinitionPressure Washer is the equipment used for pressurized water discharge at low-medium pressures. (500 to 6000 PSI)Water Blaster is the equipment used for pressurized water discharge at higher pressures. (1000 to 20,000 PSI)
Different Types of Parts UsedElectric or fuel-driven motor, water pump, wands, hoses, hose reels, nozzles, pressure relief valve, by-pass system, control panelElectric or fuel-driven motor, water pump, wands, high pressure hoses, hose reels, nozzles, pressure regulator, pressure gauge, pressure relief valve, by-pass system, control panel
Different Types of Accessories UsedMesh hose, fan nozzle, rotary nozzle, turbo nozzle, frames or supports, saber guns, detergent tankFan jet nozzle, straight jet nozzle, rotary nozzle, turbo nozzle, rotating nozzle, unloader, trigger operated gun, detergent tank, troller or mount, PPE like safety goggles 
Applications & UsesCleaning of gardens, walls, tiles, sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, vehicles, doors, windows, patios, furniture, decks, gutters, roofs, cladding Ship cleaning, hydro blasting, hydro demolition, removal of tough stains, paint & sticky chemicals from surfaces, surface refurbishment, removal of fouling, rust & dirt from pipes, industrial & factory cleaning, storage tank cleaning, moss removal
Advantages of the respective equipmentRequires less labor, conserves up to 90% water (when compared to water hose), provides a simple solution of domestic & residential cleaning, saves time, is easy to use & provides better safetyRequires less labor, conserves up to 80% water (when compared to water hose), provides a simple solution of cleaning before resurfacing, removes tough stains, moss, and paint with ease, saves time, eliminates the use of toxic & hazardous chemicals

What is a Pressure Washer?

Pressure Washer is also sometimes called Power Washer. It sprays water at high pressure to provide cleaning of the surfaces. For cleaning activity, pressure washer nozzles need not be small, instead, they are preferred slightly larger. 

The main role of a pressure washer is to increase the pressure of water to remove any dirt or unwanted material from the surfaces. The pressurized flow of water is enough for cleaning the surfaces. Using a pressure washer is comparatively easy & doesn’t require too much practice or even technique. A pressure washer is safe to use and is present in most households.

In general, a pressure washer and water blaster run on a motor that is either electric or fuel-driven. Along with this, it also has a water pump, nozzle, wands, and hoses. The nozzle is used to push the water at high pressure. Nozzle size determines the water pressure, such that the smaller the nozzle, the greater the pressure. Wands are used to control the flow while hoses are required for the passage of pressurized water.

What is a Water Blaster?

Water blaster is a type of high-pressure water washing which is used to remove dirt, dust, and a thin layer of surface material. The only major difference between a water blaster & pressure washer is in the nozzle size which increases the water pressure. A water blaster can be employed to change the surface quality. 

As a narrow nozzle is used in water blasters, it provides a better cleaning performance. Using a water blaster requires a lot of practice and a proper technique needs to be followed. In the case of improper use of the water blaster, it doesn’t provide the desired results & in worst-case scenarios, may even damage the surface. Water blasters can cause some serious harm due to the higher pressure of water. One needs to wear PPE like safety goggles while using a water blaster. 

Water blasters can be used in both enclosed & open areas and they provide a better result than pressure washer as it reaches out to the usual inaccessible areas as well.

Note: Using a water blaster requires experience. Even a slight mistake can disrupt the work & damage the surface. 

Main Differences Between Pressure Washer and Water Blaster

  1. The main difference between a pressure washer & water blaster is the way pressure is achieved.
  2. Another major difference is the pressure they can provide.
  3. Due to less water pressure, pressure washer is less severe & easy to handle. On the other hand, water blasters require practice & experience, and a single error can cause damage or injury.  
  4. Pressure washers can be used on every surface, while due to high pressure, water blasters cannot be used on every surface.
  5. Water blasters are used for industrial cleaning to remove tough stains while pressure washers are used in domestic & residential cleaning purposes.

Conclusion

Selection between Pressure Washer & Water Blasters is based on the application and the water pressure required. It is interesting to know that both these types of equipment have similar (& in most cases same) parts. The main difference is in the size of the nozzle which determines the pressure. From a safety point of view, a pressure washer is much safer than a water blaster due to the lower water pressure that’s applied. This is the reason it is used for residential & domestic cleaning purposes. Also, pressure washers are much easier to handle and require minimal practice. 

A water blaster is employed for the removal of tough stains, paint, and chemicals. They are used for industrial cleaning. Handling a water blaster requires experience, else one wrong move can damage the surface or object which is being cleaned or may injure the handler or someone on the premises. Both, pressure washers & water blasters can further be selected based on four parameters, intended duration of use, type of application, the flow rate of water, and PSI.

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1442-2026.2002.00355.x
  2. https://www.pressurewashersdirect.com/manuals/maxnmx5222_manual.pdf

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