August 23


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Are Pressure Washer Hoses Universal?

universal pressure washer hoses


Pressure washer hoses are not universal so before buying a replacement hose, check the length, diameter, material and connection to get the right one. 

Are Pressure Washer Hoses Universal?

Pressure washers are great, but when you need a new hose, buying the right one is essential. Most often, the question that will come up is, are pressure washer hoses a universal size? The answer to that question is, no, they are not. In fact, hoses for pressure washers come in many different sizes, including different lengths and diameters, so you’ll have to know what size you need before you head out to the hardware or home improvement store.

As a general rule, there are four aspects of a pressure washer hose you need to look for, and they are as follows.

1. Length of the Hose

The length of your hose is going to depend on how far away from the power source you have to move as you’re working with your power washer. If you use an electric pressure washer with a power source close to the house, but the area you’ll be cleaning is at the other end of your home, you’ll naturally need a very long hose.

pressure washer hose

Shorter hoses may be fine for smaller one-story homes, but a bigger or two-story home is very likely to need a hose that is much longer. When you’re shopping for hoses for your pressure washer, you’ll notice there are tons of them to choose from, and it’s up to you to decide which one you need.

The 50-foot hoses are very useful because they can accommodate homes of most sizes and designs. There is no “one size fits all” type of pressure washer hose, nor is there a hose considered the “best.” The length you’ll choose all depends on your needs and nothing else.

2. The Diameter of the Hose

Pressure washer hoses usually come in three different diameters – 1/4 inch, which normally handles up to 2,700 psi; 5/16 inch, which put out 2,700 to 3,400 psi; and 3/8 inch hoses, which can handle up to 5,000 psi and accommodate most pressure washers.

The small (1/4 inch) hoses are the most common and are made for both consumer-grade electric and gas pressure washers. Some of these hoses can accommodate up to 3,200 psi, but you’ll have to check your particular model to see if this applies.

Mid-sized (5/16 inch) hoses are the least common hoses. They are made mostly for prosumer-grade gas pressure washers that can withstand 2,700 to 3,600 psi of pressure. If your pressure washer is a professional model, you may need a large (3/8 inch) hose instead. These hoses are thicker and allow more gallons of water per minute to flow through, and the strongest ones can accommodate up to 10,000 psi.

3. The Material of the Hose

Pressure washer hoses are normally made out of one of the following types of materials:

pressure washer hose size
  • PVC plastic. This is the most common type of material for pressure washer hoses but is a tough type of plastic. These hoses are not very flexible and sometimes tricky to work with, although they are very sturdy and long-lasting
  • Rubber. Rubber hoses are more flexible than plastic hoses, but they are also heavier. In addition, you have to be careful with rubber hoses because they can leave scuff marks on your wet surfaces.
  • Polyurethane. These steel braided hoses are usually coated in some type of plastic material, but they bend easily, which is good, and they don’t usually leave scuff marks on concrete or other surfaces.

4. The Connection Type of the Hose

To determine which type of connection your pressure washer hose needs, look at two things:

  • Does the pressure washer need a connection that snaps into place or screws into place?
  • Does the gun have a male or female connector? Normally, male connectors are easier to work with.

The way pressure washers work is simple. Every hose has two connections.

One of those connects to the pump, and another connects to the spray gun. You can only connect the hose to the pump by either snapping or twisting them together. That being said, you can connect the hose to the gun in numerous ways, including:

  • Male M22
  • Female M22
  • Male QC plug
  • Female QC plug
  • Female 3/8 inch NPT

To learn which one you’ll need, just look at the inlet on your gun. Most will have a threaded male connector sticking out, but not all of them. Some are female and others are quick-connect plugs. For the threaded male connectors, just buy a replacement hose that has two M22 threaded female connectors. You’ll screw one end into the pump and the other into the gun.

If your gun has a male quick-connect plug instead, all you need to do is buy a professional-grade hose that has a 3/8 inch female snap coupler. The important thing to remember is to take a good look at your hose carefully before you replace it. After all, this isn’t the original hose that came with your pressure washer, it’s a replacement hose, which means it should be easy to tell exactly what you need simply by looking at the old one.

In Summary

Pressure washer hoses are not universal but now when you consider at the length, material, diameter and connection type you can correctly identify which replacement hose you need. 

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