Can You Use An Expandable Hose With a Pressure Washer - Backyard Boss
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Can You Use An Expandable Hose With a Pressure Washer

Expandable garden hoses address most of the main issues of a regular hose. If used properly, they will make your life a lot easier. If you’re wondering do expandable hoses work, read our post for all the details.

However, if used incorrectly, you might damage your collapsible hose, void the warranty on your other appliances, and get soaking wet.

That’s why today we want to find out if you can use an expandable water hose with a pressure washer. Since answers to questions of this nature are rarely straightforward, we’re going to discuss instances when it would work when it wouldn’t. We will also explain what you need to consider before connecting your expandable hose to your pressure washer.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about expandable garden hoses and pressure washers.

The Short Answer

Orange cat and green garden hose against blue wall
Image credits: Rodrigo Pereira via Unsplash

As long as your expandable hose is running between your home or garden faucet and the water inlet of your pressure washer, then yes, you can use an expandable hose with a pressure washer without any adverse effects. 

Do not use an expandable hose between the water outlet of your pressure washer and the spray gun. The water pressure coming out of the pressure washer may be too much for the expandable hose to handle and may lead to a burst hose and a voided warranty on the pressure washer.

The Nitty Gritty

Brass faucet on a wall
Image credits: Harry Grout via Unsplash

When looking at the technical details of this question, water pressure, measured in PSI (pounds per square inch), is the most relevant metric we should use to make an informed decision. Expandable hoses can only handle a certain level of water pressure. As you’re about to find out below, pressure washers pressurize water to a level much higher than an expandable hose is designed to handle.

It is why you should only use a collapsible hose between the water mains and the pressure washer water inlet. Most homes pump water out at anywhere between 45-55 PSI. A collapsible hose can handle up to about 200 PSI. It varies between products, so check product specifications.

So as you can see, the water pressure coming from the water mains is well within the threshold of safe, operable water pressure for a collapsible hose. Expandable garden hoses require a certain level of water pressure for them to function correctly. If you’re unsure, it’s safer to stick with a traditional garden hose.

However, for a pressure washer to do what pressure washers do, it needs to pressurize the water on the way to the spray nozzle. It means that the water pressure coming from the water outlet of the pressure washer towards the spray nozzle can reach almost 3500 PSI of water pressure.

It is much higher than the safe working pressure of an expandable hose and would surely result in a burst hose, rendering it useless.

A pressure washer hose is specifically designed to deal with these high pressures. Not even a conventional hose would be able to deal with these high pressures. That’s why a pressure washer hose is stiffer, thicker, and not as pliable as garden hoses. A pressure washer hose is made out of very durable material. It results in a heavy-duty hose that can easily handle very high water pressures.

Do Your Own Research

Garden faucet with hose fittings
Image credits: RitaE via Pixabay

Another thing to consider here is warranties. Some pressure washers may have a clause in their warranty that prohibits the use of expandable hoses for their products.

It will be a case-by-case scenario, and you’ll have to follow your manufacturers’ guidelines to be sure. I’m sure that most pressure washer manufacturers would prohibit the use of expandable hoses on the outlet side of the pressure washer pump.

Doing this will result in a burst hose. It might even result in a damaged pressure washer with a voided warranty, so I highly recommend you don’t do this.

It’s always a good idea to use solid brass fittings for your equipment. Hose nozzles and other hose fittings will have a longer life span with the right fittings.

Stainless steel fittings are expensive but last a lot longer than most alternatives. Plastic fittings tend to get cross-threaded easily over time after repeated screwing and unscrewing.

One of the great things about collapsible hoses is that they take up hardly any storage space. What’s more, they are many times lighter than any other hose. Even a 50-foot hose will take up a fraction of the space of a conventional hose of an equivalent length.

If you’re looking for a hose that will fit into any compact storage space, a collapsible hose could be the solution for you. You can even store them on your regular hose hanger if you so wish.

The Final Say

All that to say, if used correctly, you absolutely can use an expandable hose with a pressure washer. If you’re convinced and need an expandable hose, read our roundup of the best expandable garden hoses to help with your decision.

It’s important to do your own research and double-check the manufacturers’ recommendations before using any product. This post is meant as a guide to point you in the right direction. If you’re unsure, stick with a regular hose until you find out what the manufacturer recommends.

What do you think? Will you be attaching your expandable hose to your pressure washer? Comment below and let us know if it made your life easier.