Whether you are buying a replacement part for a pressure washer you already own or are looking to put together a custom power washer for yourself, knowing which hoses to buy for your needs is very important as they are an integral part of your machine working well. This buying guide can help you pick the right hose and keep your pressure washer working at its best.

What You Need to Know

Before you make any moves to buying a new pressure washer hose, you’ll need to know the following things about which hose you want to buy:

  1. Length: Selecting the length of your power washer hose is fairly straightforward. If you need to work in a larger area, you’ll probably want a longer hose. If you’re working within a smaller confined space, you’ll likely want a shorter hose so you’re not tripping over it. Consider whether you have an electric pressure washer or a gas-powered pressure washer. Moving electric pressure washers are slightly more complicated because they need to be plugged in, so you’ll probably want to consider a longer hose. With gas power washers, you can easily move your machine, so a shorter hose can serve you just fine. Generally, people tend to buy hoses between 20’ to 50’.
  2. Diameter: Hoses typically come in three widths—1/4”, 5/16”, and 3/8”. Check your pressure washer to see what diameter hose it requires before buying a new one as not all hoses will fit all machines. Generally, for machines up to 2700 PSI, use a 1/4” diameter hose. For machines with PSI from 2700 to 3400, use a 5/16” diameter hose. The largest and most commonly used hose diameter is 3/8”, which can handle up to 5000 PSI of water pressure.
  3. Connection: Your hose has two connections—one side that goes into the machine and one side that connects to the spray gun. For the connection to your pressure washer, hoses will either twist or snap together. For the connection to the spray gun, hoses can can connect one of four ways so you’ll want to carefully inspect this. Check whether your spray gun has a male or female connector. (It is typically easier to work with male-type connectors.) If your spray gun has a male thread, you will only need to buy an ordinary replacement hose with two M22 threaded (female) connectors. One end will screw into the pump and the other into the gun. If your gun has a quick-connect male plug, you can easily buy a hose with a 3/8” female snap coupler. If you have a Karcher electric gun, these specifically require you to buy the Karcher K3 replacement hose, which is designed to snap into Karcher electric trigger guns. If your gun has a female thread, buy an ordinary female/female replacement hose with a hose/gun adapter.
  4. Material: High-pressure hoses are typically made of three materials—PVC plastic, rubber, or polyurethane. PVC hoses are the most common, but these hard plastic hoses are not very flexible so if you find yourself getting frustrated wrestling with your hose you might want to consider a rubber or polyurethane hose instead. Rubber hoses tend to be more flexible, but heavier. They do not curl or kink as easily, however, they do have a tendency to mark surfaces if you slide them around (in the same way a black-soled sneaker might mark up a gym floor). Polyurethane hoses are rather new to the market. These steel-braided hoses are usually covered in a clear, flexible plastic. Many professionals like these hoses because they offer the flexibility and ease of a rubber hose without leaving any marks.

A good pressure washer hose is just as important as the machine itself. Selecting the right hose isn’t as easy as walking into your local hardware store and buying any old garden hose though, so hopefully this guide has offered you some good buying tips so you can make the right choice.