Connect a Garden Hose to a Pressure Washer: An Easy Guide

You can connect your garden hose to a pressure washer from your home’s water source, but you’ll need a second  that runs from the pressure washer to the pressure spray gun.

The second hose should be pressure washer rated, handling a PSI of at least 2700.   Most garden hoses, however, can only handle 300 – 500 PSI.

The Difference Between a Garden Hose and A Pressure Hose

A standard garden hose has a PSI rating of around 80 – 150 running PSI (pounds per square inch).   This works just fine for most household use – the water pressure coming out of a standard household water source is usually around 80 PSI.

You’ll even find some heavy-duty garden hoses that have burst resistance of 600PSI.  Meaning they can handle a higher surge in water pressure without bursting.

The water pressure coming from a pressure washer, however, is much higher.  That pressure ranges anywhere from 1000 to 6000 PSI, depending on the pressure washer.   You’ll need a hose specifically designed for high PSI to connect from your pressure washer to your spray gun.

You’d likely find that you can’t even connect your garden hose to the output gasket of your pressure washer.   It’s designed that way so that users won’t make the mistake of connecting a low PSI hose to a pressure washer by mistake.

Furthermore, any pressure washer you buy, unless it’s used, will likely come with a pressure washer rated hose that matches the PSI output of the machine.

The pressure washer is also likely designed to fit a quick connect coupling making it easier for you to attach and remove the hoses connecting to your washer.

Take a look at the fittings on the pressure hose we like below and you can clearly see the pressure hose won’t work on the same bib that a garden hose connects to.

Pressure washer hose

How to Connect A Garden Hose to a Pressure Washer:  The Setup

Here’s a simple step by step list and we’ll break it down into detail in the text below.

  1. Test GPM from water source
  2. Attach hose splitter to water source (optional)
  3. Install quick connect couplings
  4. Connect pressure washer using leader garden hose

The way you connect your garden hose to your pressure washer depends on what you’ll be using the pressure washer for and how often you’ll be using it.

If you have a workshop and plan on using it indoors and often, your setup may be slightly different than someone who uses the washer outdoors once every 3 months.

GPM Testing

Either way the first thing you’re going to want to check is the water flow from the spigot.

Most pressure washer washers require a flow rate of 2-3 gallons per minute.   You can test your flow rate by filling a 3-gallon bucket and timing how long it takes to fill it.  If it fills in less than a minute, you’re OK using that water source for your pressure washer.  Don’t skip this step as inadequate flow can damage the pressure washer!

Attach a Splitter

This step is optional but handy if you want to avoid having to disconnect your everyday garden hose from the water source every time you use your pressure washer.

Although this split valve will allow you to run your garden hose and pressure washer at the same time, you’ll want to avoid that as your GPM might reduce below the 2-3 GPM required to run the pressure washer.

Attach a Quick Connect Fitting

Whether you elect to use the split valve or not, you’ll want to install a quick connect coupling mating your water source and garden hose.  This will allow you to quickly unplug your pressure washer from the water source, making indoor storage a little easier.

You can find the quick connect parts at your local hardware store.  Here’s a quick video demonstrating how to install them.

Connect Leader Hose to Pressure Washer

Next, you’ll want to but a quality leader garden hose.  The shorter the better – no more than 25 feet!  A shorter hose will ensure a higher PSI keeping that flow rate where it needs to be to supply the pressure washer adequately.

If you don’t already have a short leader try this one from Flexzilla depicted below.  That’s a high-quality hose that you can designate as your pressure washer hose.


Flexzilla 5ft. leader hose

If you elect to buy a longer leader hose, because you’ll be using the washer far away from the water source, you might consider a garden hose reel to help extend the hose’s life.

Next connect your garden hose to the intake valve on your pressure washer.  Make sure your pressure hose is connected to the pressure washer and pressure nozzle and you should be ready to go!

You may consider adding another quick connect valve between the garden hose and pressure washer if your washer doesn’t come equipped with one. This will allow you to store your pressure washer disconnected from all hoses and avoiding water damage.

Pressure Washing on a Budget

Pressure washers, especially high quality gas powered washers like the Simpson Powershot depicted below are going to cost you a decent amount of money.

Simpson Powershot Gas Pressure Washer

Even if you go with a less expensive electric washer good for most household cleaning, like The Sun Joe SPX 3000 below, you’re still going to have to spend some money.  Especially if you want a high-quality pressure washer.

Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric Pressure Washer

But we get it.  Not only is it expensive, it’s one more thing that will take up space in your garage.

One way to avoid these costs and save space is to buy a high pressure spray attachment for your garden hose, like the Hydro Jet Power Spray Nozzle.

Hydro Jet Power Spray Nozzle for garden hose

It’s tempting to cut the big cost and save space in your garage buying a power washer.  But don’t expect products like these to replace a power washer as some advertisements suggest.

There’s simply not enough pressure provided by your house tap to match the PSI that a gas or electric power washer creates.

However if all you need is to marginally improve the pressure that a standard garden hose nozzle provides, it’s worth looking into.   It’s good for light cleaning of loose dust and debris on your deck or walkways.

Any further thoughts on good power washing hose advise?   Feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Here’s a video that might be useful if you’re trying to get more water pressure out of your garden hose:

4 thoughts on “Connect a Garden Hose to a Pressure Washer: An Easy Guide”

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