How Long Can You Run a Pressure Washer? – 3 Minute Read

Published by: | Updated: January 21, 2023
JCS Refresh How Long Can You Run A Pressure Washer

Pressure washers clean like no other, help you save time, and are a must-have for any responsible homeowner who wants to keep their property in tip-top shape. 

While this is true, a pressure washer (like any other machine) requires maintenance to ensure its longevity and efficiency. 

Since you know how to use a pressure washer, let’s continue on and understand how long a pressure washer can be used.

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About The Author

Meet the expert behind this article. 



Co-owner & Service Director

Hey there, I’m Cody. 

A decade of residential and commercial pressure washing led me to start JCS Refresh. Now I can share my knowledge with folks like you. 

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Quick Answer

So, how long can you run a pressure washer? 

The answer to this question depends on the type of machine and conditions. Generally, electric power washers run longer than gas pressure washers. 

  • The typical run time of a gas-powered pressure washer is 30 minutes
  • Electric models can last an hour or more. 

If you are power washing or using hot water to clean, we recommend giving the unit more breaks every 15 minutes. To learn more, read our guide: power washing vs pressure washing.

Of course, some pressure washers last significantly longer than others, depending on the brand and model.

Running your machine in hot weather will cause it to overheat faster. Likewise, a thorough cleaning will require you to work twice as hard and may require more breaks.

JCS Refresh - How Long Can You Run A Pressure Washer

Can you overuse a pressure washer?

Yes, running your pressure washer for an extended period can cause severe damage to your machine.

Overheating is the most immediate effect of prolonged machine use, resulting in internal component damage. 

Inevitably, your machine will begin to perform poorly, endangering the user and necessitating costly repairs and replacement.

Is it OK to let a pressure washer idle?

No, your pressure washer’s pump will be damaged if you allow it to sit idle for over two minutes without spraying water.

To learn more about the inner workings of a pressure washer, read our complete guide – how does a pressure washer work?

JCS Refresh - How Long Can You Run A Pressure Washer (2)

Can you run a pressure washer without water?

Although it is possible to operate the machine without water, the pump will have to work twice as hard, ultimately overheating and damaging its moving parts.

Can you start a pressure washer without water?

No, starting a pressure washer with a dry pump is not good because it will damage the engine. 

Without water, the motor will have to work harder than usual.


Aftercare is essential in pressure washing, so be sure to look after your machine. 

With these tips in mind, you get the most out of your machine and keep it running for years.

Thanks for reading! Don’t have the time or don’t have a pressure washer at home? JCS Refresh has experts to give your home a makeover. 

Are you reading from Washington State? Contact us for a quote today.