Can an Air Compressor Be Used as a Pressure Washer?[Solved!]

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Are you wondering if your air compressor can be used as a pressure washer? Well, the simple answer is “YES.”

Note that you can’t wholly convert your air compressor into a pressure washer. But with the right attachments, you can use it as a substitute for a pressure washer.

A modified air compressor can easily carry out some basic house cleaning tasks requiring pressure washing.

Converting your air compressor into a power washer can be done quickly by anyone. It requires minimal technical skills, and you should be able to do it with the proper guidance.

Continue reading this article to learn how to convert your air compressor modified into a pressure washer. We will provide you with all the information you need.

Can an Air Compressor Be Used as a Pressure Washer

Can An Air Compressor Become A Pressure Washer?

When it comes to cleaning hard-to-remove dirt on walls, wooden decks, patios, driveways, and even cars, a pressure washer will be the best option. But, in situations where we can’t readily access one, we must improvise. If you have an air compressor, it can be easily modified to serve as a pressure washer.

To fully understand how an air compressor can be used as a pressure washer, we need to know how a pressure washer and an air compressor work.

The pressure washer produces a high-pressure blast of water capable of removing most materials stuck to surfaces. You can view them as normal water pumps powered by either electricity or gas. It takes in water and increases its pressure by accelerating it. It then expels or squirts the fast-moving water through a water hose controlled by a trigger gun.

An air compressor works by releasing pressurized air trapped in a container. This compressed air being released can be controlled using an air compressor gun.

So, for this idea to work, we need to find a way to connect our garden hose to the air compressor. This we can achieve by using a nozzle or spray gun to connect and control water and compressed air flow. So, an air compressor used as a pressure washer works by using pressurized compressed air to push or blast out water.

When Can I Use an Air Compressor Instead of a Pressure Washer?

It is important to note that using a modified air compressor in place of a pressure washer won’t yield the same result. This is because pressure washers are mainly designed with a starting pressure of around 1300 psi. With a modified air compressor, you are looking to get an output pressure of approximately 100 to 200 PSI.

With this low pressure, the modified air compressors are suitable for use on delicate surfaces. Therefore, you can use your modified air compressor when doing simple home maintenance—for instance, cleaning fragile surfaces like glasses or radiators in your car.

They are also great for cleaning fresh dirt and stains. However, it is advisable to get a proper pressure washer to clean tougher stains.

How To Convert An Air Compressor To A Pressure Water Washer?

To convert your air compressor to a pressure washer, you will need a pressure washer adapter. The pressure washer adapter will be responsible for connecting the compressed air with water.

It is important to note that the size of the air compressor used will determine the pressure with which water flows out through the nozzle. A small air compressor will produce less pressure than a larger and more powerful one. But still, no matter the size of the compressor you have at home, a pressure washer will be the best option for serious cleaning. Follow these steps to turn your air compressor into a pressure washer.

Follow these steps to turn your air compressor into a pressure washer.

Purchase A Pressure Washer Adapter.

The primary tool you will need will be your pressure washer adapter. A good example would be the snap-on jet washer kit. It combines and also separates water and compressed air. The base has a trigger, a threaded hose and air connection, and a nozzle. It also comes with a quick-connect adaptor for those whose garden hose supports it.

Connect Your Air Compressor Hose to the Washer Adapter.

Using an air tip, connect your hose supplying the compressed air to the base of the washer adapter. First, use a wrench to tighten one end of the air tip to the washer adapter and then connect the hose to the other end.

Connect Your Garden Hose To The Washer Adapter.

If your garden hose supports quick connect, you can make use of the quick connect adaptor. Screw the garden hose into the hose connector at the bottom. Ensure it is firm to prevent leakage. Following these steps, you will convert your air compressor into a pressure washer.

Following these steps, you will convert your air compressor into a pressure washer.

How To Use An Air Compressor As A Pressure Washer?

Once you’ve connected the pressure washer to the air compressor and water source, it is ready for use. By now, you should have your garden and air hose firmly connected to the pressure washer attachment.

The first step involves turning on your air compressor. Next, connect the air compressor to a socket outlet. Ensure the outlet is located at a safe distance from where you will be working. This measure is to prevent an electric shock from occurring due to water getting in contact with electricity.

Allow the compressor to build up pressure. After turning the compressor on, allow it to sit for a while so the pressure can mount up. Monitor the PSI through the gauge of the compressor. Allow it to reach a minimum of 50 PSI before you proceed.

Connect your garden hose to a tap or faucet. Next, connect or attach the other side of the garden hose to a tap or faucet. Use a running tap with good pressure. Once firmly secured, turn on the tap.

Direct the nozzle to the location you wish to clean. Open the garden hose valve to allow water to flow through the nozzle. Next, direct the nozzle to the various areas you intend to clean. Also, depress the trigger to increase the pressure of the water.

Safety Tips And Warning

Irrespective of the equipment you choose to use for cleaning, it is essential that you always put safety first. Here are some safety tips for using an air compressor.

  • Always wear protective clothing when operating your air compressor. Make sure you wear safety goggles to protect your eyes, hearing protection for your ears, and industrial gloves for your hands.
  • Keep your work environment and equipment cool and dry at all times. Monitor your air compressor to prevent it from overheating. To avoid electric shock, keep your electric compressor away from water.
  • Always work outside and in an area free from obstructions.
  • Keep your air compressor clean at all times.
  • Shut down the equipment when not in use.

Benefits of Using an Air Compressor for Pressure Washing

Air compressors are useful when cleaning off dirt, paint, grime, and more from both outdoor and indoor surfaces.

They are also great for cleaning large surfaces in a short time. This is because their nozzles have a large spread and can easily cover a large surface area.

Due to the lower PSI produced by air compressor machines, they are perfect for cleaning delicate and soft surfaces. They can be used to clean out cars’ cooling systems without causing damage to their radiators.

Comparison Between Air Compressors And Pressure Washers

One significant difference between the air compressor washer and the pressure washer is the pressure output by both devices.

Pressure washers are capable of producing high-pressure output, making them great for cleaning hard stains and dirt. It’s also great for cleaning patios, wood decking, and walls with lots of dirt. While the air compressor used as a pressure washer produces low-output water pressure, this low-pressure water is suitable for simple cleaning jobs that do not require lots of pressure to come off.

Alternatives to Pressure Washers

Two alternatives to the pressure washer are power washing and soft washing.

Power washing is very similar to pressure washing, with just one major difference: the water used in power washing is pre-heated. A power washer blasts a hot stream of pressurized water on surfaces to help remove dirt and stains. To avoid injuries, ensure you don’t use a power washer on anything living, like plants, animals, or humans.

Another alternative is soft washing, which involves using low-pressure water to clean surfaces. Its water is mixed with chemical cleaning agents such as bleach and soap to help clean up surfaces faster.


What PSI Is Suitable For A Pressure Washer?

The ideal PSI of your pressure washer will depend on the type of cleaning you want to do. For example, a pressure washer with 3,200 to 4,200 PSI is an excellent choice for removing tough stains.

Can An Air Compressor Be Used For Water?

Yes. An air compressor can be used as a pressure washer by using a pressure washer attachment to connect both the water and pressurized air.

Can I Turn My Garden Hose Into A Pressure Washer?

Most garden hoses have a PSI of 50 to 100. Therefore, they are not qualified as pressure washers. But you can use the pinching trick to help add a little pressure to your garden hose.


As we’ve seen above, you can use your air compressor as a pressure washer by making use of a pressure washer attachment. Ensure that all connection points on your pressure washer attachment are tight and firm to prevent leakage.

Also, ensure you follow all safety guidelines. For example, do not keep your compressor close to water to prevent electric shock. In addition, wear protective gear when using the compressor and turn it off when not in use. Finally, only use the air compressor to do maintenance cleaning. For more arduous cleaning, get a proper pressure washer.

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