5 Best Generators For Pressure Washers

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Portable generators can help you run your pressure washers without excessive extension cords and in more locations. Discover the best models.

Best generators for pressure washers top picks

Pressure washer brands are not always the clearest about whether the power details of their tools are peak or running needs.

To add a margin of safety, I included generators that can handle the amps and volts next to them while running (and thus more in peak power).

When in doubt about the peak power needs of your pressure washer, you can contact customer support, get a stronger generator, and/or start the tool at low pressure.

  1. WEN 56225i 2250 – Best generator for 15 amp, 120 volt pressure washers
  2. WEN 56380i 3800 – Best generator for 20 amp, 120 volt pressure washers
  3. Westinghouse iGen4500 – Best generator for 30 amp, 120 volt pressure washers
  4. Champion 201067 9000 – Best generator for 30 amp, 240 volt pressure washers
  5. Predator 3500 – Runner-up for 20 amp, 120 volt pressure washers

These are all inverter generators to make sure your pressure washers don’t get damaged by “dirty” high THD power.

Fuel efficiency and long generator run times are valuable too. Especially in commercial situations.

How we selected our top picks

Our experts spent a lot of time looking at and comparing all the different important factors of the best portable generators for pressure washers.

Some of the things that were taken into consideration when making our selection include:

  • Run time, power needs of popular pressure washer sizes, power capacity, outlets, portability, noise levels, etc.
  • User reviews
  • Anecdotal reviews from experts
  • Price
  • Brand trustability and reputation
  • The performance categories below

If a pick seems interesting click it to see the online prices.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
Run
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
PortabilityPrice
Category
Current
Price
WEN 56225i 22506.589<1.2%97.579.5$Check Price
WEN 56380i 38007.598.5<1.2%9988$Check Price
Westinghouse iGen45008.59.59<3%8.58.588$$Check Price
Champion 201067 90009.57.55<3%9887$$$Check Price
Predator 35007.588.5Clean
THD
8.5788$$Check Price
Best generators for pressure washers performance on a score of 10 in important categories*

*Compared to similar generators and sometimes based on customer input

5 Best generators for pressure washers reviewed

If you more or less know the power needs of your pressure washer, the list of top picks is likely enough to choose the best generator for your situation.

At the same time, you may also want to see the more in-depth reviews of these generators before making your investment.

1. WEN 56225i 2250 – For 15 amp, 120 volt pressure washers

Smaller 15 amp, 120 volt electric pressure washers (often around 1000 to 1200 Psi) generally do not need that much power.

The 2250 starting watts, 1800 running watts, solid features, and budget-friendly price make the WEN 56225i the best generator to run pressure washers like this.

WEN 56225i

Something that positively stands out is that the low noise levels should not disturb neighbors or car detailing clients too much.

The clean low THD power from the WEN 56225i should also be enough to keep your pressure washer safe.

Pros

  • WEN 56225i offers 2250 starting watts, 1800 running watts, 15 amps, and 120 volts
  • Parallel capability
  • Relatively low noise levels of 53 dBA
  • Nice run time of 6 hours at 50% load
  • Less than 1.2% THD
  • Light weight of 48.5 lb (22 kg)
  • Relatively positive customer reviews
  • 2 years limited residential and 90 days limited commercial warranties
  • A lot of customers
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Relatively short commercial warranty
  • Uses a lot of oil

Additionally, the run time of 6 hours at 50% load is good for a 2200 watt generator and should be long enough to not disturb your pressure washer cleaning sessions too much.

You may also like the portability of the 48.5 lb (22 kg) weight over stronger but heavier generators on this list.

Two downsides to keep in mind are the short commercial warranty and high oil consumption of the WEN 56225i.

That being said, these things should generally not mess too much with your experience of the WEN 56225i as the many happy customers can affirm.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
Run
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
PortabilityPrice
Category
Current
Price
WEN 56225i 22506.589<1.2%97.579.5$Check Price
WEN 56225i 2250 performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

2. WEN 56380i 3800 – For 20 amp, 120 volt pressure washers

When you step up the Psi of your pressure washer, its power needs will increase too.

In turn, it can be necessary to go for the WEN 56380i 3800 which can handle a nice amount more than 20 running amps at 120 volts.

WEN 56380i

While models vary, this will often be enough for pressure washers with around 1500 Psi and 2 GPM.

The 3400 running watts may sound too much for a tool that theoretically only requires 2400 running watts.

Pros

  • WEN 56380i offers 3800 starting watts, 3400 running watts, 30 amps, and 120 volts
  • Parallel capability
  • Relatively low noise levels of 57 dBA
  • Good run time of 8.5 hours at 50% load
  • Less than 1.2% THD
  • Electric start
  • Weight of 99.2 lb (45 kg)
  • Relatively positive customer reviews
  • 2 years limited residential and 90 days limited commercial warranties
  • A lot of customers
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Relatively short commercial warranty
  • Rolling over uneven terrain can be challenging

However, the WEN 56380i 3800 is so high-quality and reasonably priced that you will likely prefer it over these alternatives.

The clean 1.2% THD power, nice 8.5 hours run time at 50% load, and relatively low noise levels of 57 dBA will definitely make your pressure washing sessions safer and more convenient.

Moving the WEN 56380i 3800 around may be somewhat more challenging with its small wheels and somewhat higher weight.

That being said, again, the positive customer reviews imply that these downsides are not enough to pass on the WEN 56380i 3800.

Especially not if you want to run a pressure washer with power needs of 20 running amps at 120 volts or just a bit less.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
Run
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
PortabilityPrice
Category
Current
Price
WEN 56380i 38007.598.5<1.2%9988$Check Price
WEN 56380i 3800 performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

3. Westinghouse iGen4500 – For 30 amp, 120 volt pressure washers

To my knowledge, most pressure washers actually only go up to 20 amps.

However, you may want to play it safe with any peak energy requirements or run other tools during something like a car detailing session.

In these cases, a bigger generator like the Westinghouse iGen4500 with its 4500 peak watts and 3700 running watts could be useful.

Westinghouse iGen4500

Being able to run 18 hours at 25% load is another detail that may convince you. This long run time allows you to avoid refueling sessions during your pressure washer sessions.

Pros

  • Westinghouse iGen4500 offers 4500 starting watts, 3700 running watts, 30 amps, and 120 volts.
  • Relatively low noise levels of 52 dBA
  • Long run time of 18 hours at 25% load
  • Less than 3% THD
  • A lot of performance tracking metrics
  • Optional remote start or CO sensor
  • Weight of 104.7 lbs (47.5 kg)
  • Relatively positive customer reviews
  • 3 years limited residential and 1 year limited commercial warranties
  • A lot of customers

Cons

  • Navigating bumpy terrain can be inconvenient
  • Some customers find changing the oil challenging

Additionally, the low decibel rating of 52 dBA makes the Westinghouse iGen4500 a good pressure washer generator for people who don’t want to disturb their neighbors (or their own ears) too much.

Owners of car detailing businesses or people in other commercial situations may also like the full one year commercial warranty which is not always there for smaller inverters.

The generator and wheel design may make the Westinghouse iGen4500 slightly more challenging in terms of oil refills and moving on uneven terrain.

However, in the end, this is still a great pressure washer generator for people who want some extra power for their tools or other purposes.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
Run
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
PortabilityPrice
Category
Current
Price
Westinghouse iGen45008.59.59<3%8.58.588$$Check Price
Westinghouse iGen4500 performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

4. Champion 201067 9000 – For 30 amp, 240 volt pressure washers

It is unlikely that you have a pressure washer of the size and Psi where this Champion 201067 9000 is necessary.

However, for the exceptions or people who want to run multiple car detailing or other tools together, this 9000 watt inverter generator deserves a quick mention.

With 7250 running watts, the Champion 201067 9000 could run tools that need 30 running amps at 240 volts.

Even if this does not apply to your pressure washer, it also means the Champion 201067 can be useful for other purposes like running strong tools, home backup power, or camping.

Pros

  • Champion 201067 9000 offers 9000 starting watts, 7250 running watts, 50 amps, and 240 volts
  • Noise levels of 72 dBA
  • Run time of 10.5 hours at 25% load
  • Less than 3% THD
  • Electric start
  • CO sensor
  • Four GFCI outlets
  • Weight of 152.2 lb (69 kg)
  • Relatively positive customer reviews
  • 3 years limited residential and 270 days limited commercial warranties
  • A lot of customers

Cons

  • It is unlikely you will need this much power for your pressure washer
  • Fuel efficiency and run time are not the most impressive for power level

Going for a generator of this size will obviously also come with downsides compared to smaller pressure washer generators.

The investment required is a lot bigger than the first two options on this list.

Moving around the 152.2 lb (69 kg) and tolerating the 72 dBA of the Champion 201067 9000 will also be more challenging.

In short, the Champion 201067 9000 is typically too big for pressure washer needs alone.

At the same time, it could still be the best option if you have other tools or plans for your generator too.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
Run
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
PortabilityPrice
Category
Current
Price
Champion 201067 90009.57.55<3%9887$$$Check Price
Champion 201067 9000 performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

5. Predator 3500 – Runner-up for 20 amp, 120 volt pressure washers

As I explain in the Predator 3500 vs WEN 56380i 3800 comparison, people will typically prefer the WEN model.

That being said, you may like the Harbor Freight brand or want to know what other options you have when it comes to the best generators for 20 amp, 120 volt pressure washers.

In these cases, the Predator 3500 is still a reasonable choice.

Its 3000 running watts and 11 hours run time at 25% load should be enough to get in a good cleaning session with your pressure washer.

Pros

  • Predator 3500 offers 3500 starting watts, 3000 running watts, 29.17 amps, and 120 volts
  • Parallel capability
  • Relatively low noise levels of 56 dBA
  • Run time of 11 hours at 25% load
  • Clean THD power
  • Electric start
  • CO sensor
  • Weight of 102 lb (46.3 kg)
  • Relatively positive customer reviews
  • 2 years limited emissions control system and 90 days limited product warranties
  • A lot of customers

Cons

  • Short warranties
  • Generally not the most durable generator
  • Can be a bit challenging to move around

At the same time, using the Predator 3500 is also relatively safe and convenient with its inverter THD, CO sensor, and noise levels of 56 dBA.

One potential downside to note is that Predator generators currently do not have the best durability reputation and the short warranties do not help with this.

On the flip side, the customer reviews of the Predator 3500 are still relatively positive.

In turn, the Predator 3500 looks like a good portable generator for certain pressure washers although I still think you will prefer the WEN 56380i 3800 instead.

Brand ModelPower
Capacity
Run
Time
Quiet
Operation
THDReliability
Reputation
Fuel
Efficiency
Ease
Of Use
PortabilityPrice
Category
Current
Price
Predator 35007.588.5Clean
THD
8.5788$$Check Price
Predator 3500 performance on a score of 10 compared to similar alternatives

Pressure washer generators that did not make the list

There are some fan-favorite generators that people expect to see on top generator lists. However, these do not always make the list of top picks.

More specifically, the Honda EU2200i did not make the list of the best generators for pressure washers because of how pricey it is and how good the WEN 56225i 2250 is.

In some situations, the extra reliability of the Honda EU2200i can be worth it but for running a pressure washer this is less valuable.

FAQ

What size inverter generator do I need to run a pressure washer?

The power needs of pressure washers can vary a lot from model to model. In turn, the size inverter generator you need can vary a lot too.

If there is no specific mention of watts, you can use the Watts = Amps x Volts formula to get an idea.

For example, a 30 peak amp pressure washer running at 120 volts would need an inverter generator with 3600 peak watts.

After this initial burst, pressure washers tend to use less energy but if there are no running watts mentioned you likely want to play it safe and get a stronger generator.

How many watts do I need to run a pressure washer?

How many watts you need to run a pressure washer depends on the model you have.

For example, if a 1500 Psi pressure washer needs 30 peak amps at 120 volts, you can calculate that it will need 3600 (30 x 120) peak watts to start running.

Can a 1800 watt generator run a pressure washer?

At 120 volts, a 1800 peak watt generator should be able to run a 15 peak amp pressure washer.

If the pressure washer needs 1800 continuous watts, your generator will generally need something like 2200 peak watts or more.

Starting up your pressure washer at the lowest pressure can help you avoid overloading your generator.

Our top pick

The WEN 56225i 2250 is the best generator for 15 amp, 120 volt pressure washers but you may have a tool with a different size.

If you have a 20 amp, 120 volt pressure washer instead, the WEN 56380i 3800 is likely the better choice.

You can also consider the Westinghouse iGen4500 if you want 30 amps and 120 volts for your pressure washer.

Even if it is just to play things safe and make sure you will have more than enough power.

WEN 56225i
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Author:

Mats is the founder and head editor of Generator Decision. With a combination of critical thinking, tireless research, and a healthy interest in electronics he helps people find the right generators and how to use these. At this point in the journey, Mats has done research on hundreds of portable generators.