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PSI vs. GPM: Which is More Important for Industrial Pressure Washers?

Many specifications, requirements, and operational capacities can influence which industrial pressure washer is best for your planned cleaning job. Two of the most important are PSI and GPM.

What is the Difference Between PSI & GPM for Pressure Washers?

PSI and GPM are the two primary units of measurement for the capabilities of any given pressure washer. PSI, or pounds per square inch, measures the pressure of water leaving your cleaning equipment. GPM, or gallons per minute, refers to the amount of water that passes through the equipment. Which value is more important will depend on the goals of your job. 

Why Does GPM Matter for Industrial Pressure Washers?

Pressure washer GPM matters when you are seeking to quickly wash surfaces, machinery, or other assemblies, as GPM measures the amount of water moving through your industrial pressure washer. The higher the GPM, the faster your job will be completed, such as dealing with a buildup of mud, dirt, and debris that needs to be flushed away.

Examples of applications where the GPM value is generally more important than PSI ratings include, but are not limited to:

What is the Importance of PSI for Industrial Pressure Washers?

PSI measures the pressure, sometimes called the intensity, of water leaving a pressure washer nozzle. The higher the PSI, the more intense and pressurized the water stream becomes. High PSI industrial pressure washers are best used for tough messes on durable equipment as the highly focused stream of water can damage delicate components. Pressure washers with higher PSI can also have a higher GPM.
When comparing GPM vs. PSI, PSI is the more important value in many applications, such as:

Using GPM & PSI to Choose the Right Industrial Pressure Washer

All industrial pressure washers feature a GPM and PSI value. By multiplying the PSI rating with the GPM rating, you can determine a pressure washer’s cleaning units (CU), a standardized measurement of the overall unit efficiency that can help as you consider your options. However, two pressure washers can have the same CU value but deliver different results. 

For example, a pressure washer with 3000 PSI and 2.0 GPM will have 6000 CU. A pressure washer with 2000 PSI and 3.0 GPM will also have 6000 CU. An application requiring paint stripping or other high-power capabilities will be better satisfied with the first option. A job looking to flush more debris from the item or area being cleaned will be more efficiently accomplished by choosing the second.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for choosing a pressure washer. Visit our Ultimate Guide to Pressure Washers for more information on selecting the best GPM or PSI for your pressure washing equipment and to discover other specification considerations. 

Cam Spray is Your #1 Source for Pressure Washing Resources & Equipment

If you would like assistance evaluating pressure washer GPM vs. PSI, choosing a pressure washer, or designing a completely custom pressure washer to meet your exact specifications, Cam Spray is here to help. Contact us or request a quote today. A friendly and knowledgeable representative will be in touch to discuss your planned use and locate your best solution.
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