What You Need to Know Before Buying A Water Blaster

If you’re looking for a superior level of cleanliness for your outdoor area, you can’t really walk past a water blaster. Unlike an ordinary hose, a water blaster saves on the water whilst producing an enormous amount of pressure, blasting away dirt much more easily than a trickle from a hose.

However, not all water blasters perform the same. Depending on what they’re designed for (whether a domestic or commercial cleaning project), a water blaster will differ greatly in strength and size. As experts in the field of all things washing-related, including water blasters and pressure washing services in Christchurch, we’ll run you through what you need to know about this powerful cleaning assistant.


Firstly, what might you use a water blaster for?

For use around the property, a water blaster can give you amazing results, providing you know what you’re doing. For one thing, they’re proven to be very effective for quickly removing stubborn dirt from your driveway. They’ll also help make your weatherboards look as good as new, as they can easily get into those crevices.

They’re also incredibly effective at getting at hard-to-reach or high areas which are normally unsafe. While we always recommend having proper scaffolding and safety equipment on hand, water blasters can reach higher and require less elbow grease, which decreases the risk to you.


What should you consider before buying a water blaster?

The most important thing to think about before you buy a water blaster is what you need it for. If you have a long driveway or stretch of pavement, you might want something that’s more powerful to finish the job quickly and reduce the amount of bending required. In that case, you’ll need to know the water pressure of the mode you’re after, which is measured in PSI (Pound-force per Square Inch). The more PSI available, the more powerful the hose. A low-PSI water blaster, for example, is perfect to clean up around the house.


How is my water blaster powered?

Water blasters can be powered by a battery, electric, or petrol motor. Here are a couple of other factors to consider:

  • While battery variants provide portability and mobility, they are often less potent. They tend to have a shorter lifespan (about 15 to 20 minutes) and a lower level of power (usually a psi of only around 300). As a result, they’re only suitable for small tasks like washing windows or outdoor furniture.
  • Electric variants have more power and are suitable for every household task. These types can be used for a variety of domestic tasks, including cleaning dirt off pavement and properties.
  • When it comes to power and capability, the petrol-powered versions rule the roost. For commercial use, these high-powered variants are quite popular and come in handy for a wide range of household tasks where other water blasters fear to tread!

The following should also be considered when selecting a petrol-powered water blaster:

  • Costs of fuel, oil, and upkeep
  • Cost of Maintenance.
  • Ventilation (petrol models emit exhaust fumes)
  • Noisiness

Things to consider while purchasing or renting a water blaster

When buying a water blaster, keep the following pointers in mind:

Ease of use
A water blaster is only as good as its ability to get around. Before buying a brand new model, get in touch and seek the help of experts who have experience in pressure washing services — they will help you get a sense of how each model works.

If you’re a complete newbie, you might not want to start with the biggest model on the market — they get pretty powerful! You should also keep in mind the design’s functionality, including:

  • Are the settings easy to understand?
  • Do you have to stop the job midway to adjust the system a bit?
  • Do you need to pause to adjust the pressure through a digital display on the pistol grip?
  • How smooth are the wheels and handle(s)?

The condition of the cart's wheels and the handle is also important. You don't want the cart to tip over or to have to struggle to move smoothly while you're pushing it around.



During summers, some parts of NZ face regular water shortages. On those occasions, it’s important to be careful and use your water efficiently. The type of water blaster you buy won’t matter as much, as all water blasters are meant to save water. The way you use it will be the biggest factor in water conservation.

The water flow rate and PSI are also important factors to keep in mind. In the case of a shortage, it may take longer to clean surrounding areas because your water blaster has a lower flow rate and PSI. If you run your water blaster for a long time, it may not save any water, as compared to doing a quicker job.


Understanding the nozzles and spray options
Your water blaster might have a number of different nozzle heads and spray options. Either way, you need to make sure that your model has enough features to do all the different things you want to do. Check if you can add detergent to the water flow or if there are special attachments that can be used for certain jobs, like clearing blocked drains or cars and bicycles.

What to look out for
Consider the following factors to assess a water blaster based on your needs:


While water pressure (measured in PSI) is a figure that water blaster manufacturers typically use, the water flow rate (Litres Per Minute, or LPM) is what really defines how effective a machine is at cleaning.

If your model has a lot of pressure but not enough water, then it won’t be of any use to you. A high-flow rate with low water pressure, on the other hand, will transform your water blaster into a fancy hose.

So, put simply, PSI isn't the only figure you should consider. Even if two models have the same PSI, or if one has a much lower water flow rate, it won’t perform as well. Generally speaking, the higher the flow rate of your water, the more efficient the cleaning procedure. And if you can complete a task in less time, you may be able to lower your total water use overall.

Added costs

If you choose a petrol water blaster, you'll have to consider various factors, such as;

  • Gas
  • Oil
  • Its maintenance

However, if you opt for an electric one, you'll need a decent extension cord. Unfortunately, you won't be able to walk away with a cheap one for a few bucks. Instead, you'll need a heavy-duty model built for outdoor usage.

Assess the battery-life

A domestic water blaster cannot operate non-stop. Ideally, you should only make use of its functions for a couple of hours at a stretch. But after that, it’ll start to overheat, and you'll need to put it away for a while.

Most low-cost water blasters utilise an air-cooled pump, but you may need a water-cooled pump if you want your model to survive longer. Whether you’re hiring or shopping for a new model, you should enquire about a cooling system. 

This will, in turn, help you assess the model better with respect to your needs. The more effective the pump is in cooling itself, the longer your water blaster will be able to work, regardless of what model you purchase.

It’s all about safety: Things to know before you begin

While spraying water about may sound like an easy job, a few things can work against you, while using a water blaster. So, here are a few tips to keep you safe (so that you don’t have to go through the trouble).

A high-stress scenario
Water blasters have the potential to cause a lot of damage when left unattended (or with the power ON). You should also never direct a water blaster towards someone since a blast from one of these can be highly dangerous and even remove the skin.

Before you go all in, test it out

If the pressure on your water blaster is too high, you risk destroying whatever you're blasting. This is especially true if you're using a focused nozzle that only covers a tiny area. So, don't go too near at first, and try it on a small area to begin.

Furthermore, you should constantly be cautious of the surface you’re working on. Don't use too much pressure while cleaning your windows, and don't go all-in on your weatherboards from close range with the same pressure as your concrete.

For example, timber decks prove to be particularly sensitive to water blasters, which can cause permanent damage to the wood. If you have to, then do it by setting it at low pressure and using a broad nozzle, never going closer to the deck than 300mm. Alternatively, you may purchase a nozzle head made especially for cleaning decks.

If you face any doubts, it's always a good idea to consult the pressure washing services experts in your town.

Always use an RCD
Water and electricity aren’t exactly best friends. So, always use a residual circuit device (RCD) while handling an electric water blaster to protect yourself against any electrical hazard.

Follow the instructions in the right order

It's never a good idea to let a water blaster run dry, so you should always turn on the hose before turning on the electricity. Other things to take into consideration are; 

  • You should never leave it running unattended. If you're not spraying, the machine's water pressure may rapidly build up and damage your property (and wastewater). So remember to switch it off if you're not spraying.
  • Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a good idea to leave your water blaster moist, so make sure it’s bone dry when you turn off your machine.
  • Furthermore, don’t try to clean your water blaster with another water blaster.
  • Lastly, always read the handbook before using any such machine for the first time, and if you're uncertain, consult an expert before buying something.


Get professional help

If you have more questions about how to use a water blaster or you want to seek the help of an expert, feel free to get in touch with us today