Can an Air Compressor Become a Pressure Washer-Full Guide

Are you tired of using a pressure washer for all your cleaning needs? Well, what if we told you that an air compressor can become a pressure washer?

Yes, that’s right! An air compressor is not just limited to powering pneumatic tools but can also be used as a washing machine. With the right attachment and technique, you can turn your trusty air compressor into a powerful pressure washer and achieve sparkling clean results in no time.

In this article, we will guide you through everything you need to know about turning your air compressor into a pressure washer- from understanding how it works to step-by-step instructions on how to use it with ease. So let’s get started!

Can An Air Compressor Become A Pressure Washer?

An air compressor is a versatile tool that can be used for various tasks, from inflating tires to powering pneumatic tools. But can it replace a pressure washer? The answer is yes! With the right attachment and technique, an air compressor can become a high-pressure water sprayer.

To understand how this works, we need to know about the two types of pressure washers- electric and gas-powered. Electric power washers use motors to pump water at high pressure while gas-powered ones use an engine. On the other hand, an air compressor compresses air which creates pressurized airflow.

By attaching a pressure washer gun or wand to your air compressor’s hose connection, you are now able to regulate both the flow rate and pressure of water using your compressed air supply. This means you can adjust both the force and amount of water released with precision control.

What Is An Air Compressor?

An air compressor is a mechanical device that compresses air and stores it in a tank. It has many uses, from powering tools to inflating tires. An air compressor works by using an electric motor or gasoline engine to power a pump that compresses the air.

The compressed air is then stored in a tank until it’s needed for use. When the user wants to use the compressed air, they release it through hoses or pipes attached to the tank.

Air compressors come in various sizes and designs, ranging from small portable ones used for household tasks like inflating tires to large industrial ones used for manufacturing purposes. They can be powered by electricity, gasoline or diesel fuel.

An air compressor is an efficient tool that can save time and money on numerous projects. One of its most common uses includes powering pneumatic tools such as nail guns and paint sprayers – making them more powerful than traditional hand-held tools while also reducing operator fatigue during extended periods of usage.

How Do Air Compressors Work?

Air compressors are machines that take air from the surroundings, compress it, and store it in a tank for later use. They work on the principle of Boyle’s Law which states that increasing pressure on a gas reduces its volume.

The compressor consists of an electric motor or engine that powers the pump to draw in air through an intake valve. The air is then compressed into a smaller area by pistons or rotary screws creating high-pressure energy.

After compression, the compressed air travels through hoses and pipes where it can be used for various tasks such as powering tools like pneumatic drills, sanders or even spray guns.

To ensure efficient operation and longer lifespan of the machine, regular maintenance must be carried out; cleaning filters and checking oil levels is crucial. Air compressors come with a safety relief valve which releases excess pressure if it exceeds safe limits ensuring safety while using them.

Can An Air Compressor Become A Pressure Washer?

Air compressors and pressure washers are two different tools that serve distinct purposes. However, some people may wonder if it’s possible to use an air compressor as a pressure washer. While the short answer is yes, there are certain limitations.

Firstly, let’s understand what an air compressor is. An air compressor converts power into potential energy stored in pressurized air. It can be used for various tasks such as powering pneumatic tools or inflating tires.

On the other hand, a pressure washer uses high-pressure water to clean surfaces such as cars, sidewalks and decks effectively.

So how can you turn your air compressor into a makeshift pressure washer? You’ll need to attach a special nozzle designed for this purpose onto your air compressor hose and connect it to your garden hose through which water will flow.

When Can I Replace A Pressure Washer With An Air Compressor?

Wondering when you can replace a pressure washer with an air compressor? The answer is it depends on your cleaning needs. If you have light-duty cleaning tasks such as washing your car or patio furniture, then an air compressor might suffice. However, if you have tougher jobs like cleaning concrete or removing paint from surfaces, then a pressure washer is still the way to go.

One of the main differences between an air compressor and a pressure washer is the water flow rate. Pressure washers typically offer higher water flow rates that are necessary for more heavy-duty tasks. Air compressors may be able to provide enough power but they don’t deliver enough volume of water needed for bigger jobs.

Another factor to consider before replacing a pressure washer with an air compressor is the cost-effectiveness of using one over the other. While buying an air compressor might seem like a cheaper option initially, adding attachments to turn it into a makeshift pressure washer could end up costing just as much or even more than buying a dedicated machine.

How to Use a Pressure Washer Attachment With An Air Compressor (Ultimate guide).

Using a pressure washer attachment with an air compressor is a great way to clean your home without having to invest in a separate pressure washer. Here’s how you can do it.

1. Start The Air Compressor

Starting the air compressor is the first step in using it as a pressure washer. Before starting, ensure that you have all the necessary attachments for your pressure washer. Plug in the compressor and switch it on.

Allow it to run for a few minutes until it reaches its maximum pressure capacity. Check if there are any leaks or damage to the hoses before proceeding with attaching them.

Connect one end of your garden hose (the water supply) to your source and attach the other end to your pressure washer attachment’s inlet valve.

Next, connect your pressure washing wand or nozzle to the attachment outlet valve tightly, ensuring that there are no leaks between connections.

Once everything is connected correctly, turn on both the faucet and compressor switches. Let some water flow out of your spray gun at low-pressure while holding down its trigger before switching over high-pressured cleaning mode.

With this simple guide, you can easily start up an air compressor as a makeshift pressure washer without much hustle!

2. Connect The Garden Hose (the water supply)

To use your air compressor as a pressure washer, you will need to connect it to a water source. This is typically done using a garden hose.

Firstly, make sure the garden hose is clean and free from dirt or debris that could damage your equipment. Next, attach the end of the hose to the input port on your pressure washer attachment.

Make sure that the connection between the garden hose and attachment is tight enough to prevent any leaks. A loose connection can reduce water pressure and render your cleaning efforts ineffective.

If you’re using an electric pressure washer attachment with an air compressor, ensure that it’s rated for outdoor use since they are likely exposed directly to rain or other weather elements when attached outside.

Once everything is connected properly, turn on both your faucet and air compressor while leaving them running together. The combination of these two machines should produce adequate water flow through their outlet ports so you can start cleaning surfaces around your home in no time!

3. Attach The Pressure Washer Attachment To The Pressure Washers

Attaching the pressure washer attachment to the air compressor is one of the crucial steps in using it as a pressure washer. You need to ensure that you have all the necessary materials and tools before starting this process.

First, locate the inlet valve on your air compressor unit. This valve should be clearly marked and easy to find. Once you’ve located it, attach your pressure washer attachment to it securely.

Next, make sure that you have tightened all connections properly so that there are no leaks or loose parts during use. Take extra care when tightening any threaded parts as these can easily become stripped if not done correctly.

Once everything is secure, turn on your water supply and test out your new pressure washing setup by spraying some water onto a nearby surface at low power settings first before increasing intensity gradually until satisfied with results achieved!

By following these simple steps for attaching a pressure washer attachment to an air compressor unit, anyone can quickly and easily convert their existing equipment into a multi-functional cleaning tool without needing separate units!

4. Tightly Fasten It

Once you have attached the pressure washer attachment to your air compressor, it’s important to ensure that it is tightly fastened. This will prevent any leaks or loss of pressure during use.

To tighten the attachment, use a wrench or pliers to turn the coupling nuts in a clockwise direction until they are snug and secure. It’s important not to over-tighten them as this can cause damage to both the attachment and your air compressor.

Before using your newly-created pressure washer, it’s a good idea to check all connections for tightness and leaks. If you notice any issues, stop using the machine immediately and address them before continuing.

Making sure that your pressure washer attachment is tightly fastened is an essential step in creating an effective cleaning tool with your air compressor. With proper care and attention paid to all aspects of assembly, you can enjoy powerful cleaning capabilities without investing in a separate pressure washer machine.

5. Turn On The Faucet To See If It Works

After you’ve attached the pressure washer attachment to your air compressor, it’s time to turn on the faucet. This step is crucial because it allows water to flow through the hose and into the attachment. Without enough water pressure, your cleaning task might not be as effective.

As you turn on the faucet, keep an eye out for any leaks or malfunctions in your set up. If there are no issues, then congratulations! You’re almost ready to start cleaning with your makeshift pressure washer.

However, if something doesn’t seem quite right during this step, don’t panic just yet. Try tightening all connections and making sure everything is properly secured before trying again.

It’s also important to note that some compressors may not produce enough PSI (pounds per square inch) or GPM (gallons per minute) for a pressure washing job. In such cases, consider investing in a proper pressure washer instead of relying solely on an air compressor.

Turning on the faucet is a simple but necessary step in using an air compressor as a makeshift pressure washer. With careful attention paid throughout each stage of setup and preparation, you’ll be well-equipped for all sorts of outdoor cleaning tasks ahead!

6. Clean Your Home

Now that you’ve successfully attached your pressure washer attachment to the air compressor, it’s time to start cleaning your home. Before starting, make sure to wear appropriate clothing and protective gear.

Begin by adjusting the pressure of the water according to the surface that needs cleaning. For example, for a delicate surface such as wooden furniture or glass windows, lower pressure is recommended while higher pressure is suitable for heavy-duty tasks such as removing paint from walls.

For effective cleaning, use sweeping motions instead of focusing on one spot for too long. This will ensure even coverage and prevent damage caused by concentrated water streams.

When moving onto different areas always remember to turn off the faucet before detaching and reattaching attachments or nozzles. This step will help avoid any accidents involving pressurized water if a hose becomes detached accidentally.

After finishing with your task make sure to detach all the attachments correctly and store them safely until next use. Regular maintenance of both air compressors and pressure washers can increase their longevity and save costs in replacement parts over time.


After learning about the possibility of using an air compressor as a pressure washer, it’s clear that this can be a great alternative for those who don’t want to invest in a separate pressure washer. However, it’s important to note that not all air compressors are suitable for this purpose. It is essential to choose one with enough power and capacity.

When using an air compressor as a pressure washer, you need to ensure that you have the right attachment and follow the steps carefully. This includes starting up your air compressor correctly and connecting it securely with your garden hose.


Can an air compressor spray water?

One of the frequently asked questions when it comes to using an air compressor as a pressure washer is whether it can spray water. The answer is yes, but only if you have the right attachments and accessories.

Air compressors are primarily designed to compress air, not liquids. However, with a proper attachment called a pressure washer gun or wand, you can use your air compressor to create pressurized sprays of water or other liquids.

The key here is ensuring that the attachments are compatible with both your air compressor and the liquid that you want to use. Some attachments may work better than others depending on your specific needs.

It’s important to note that using an air compressor as a makeshift pressure washer does come with some limitations. For example, most air compressors aren’t powerful enough to produce high-pressure streams of water like traditional pressure washers do.

While an air compressor can technically be used for spraying water or other liquids, it’s essential to use caution and ensure that all components are appropriately rated for the job at hand.

Can compressors handle liquid?

An air compressor can become a pressure washer with the help of a pressure washer attachment. It is important to note that not all types of air compressors are compatible with this method and it may not be as effective as using an actual pressure washer. However, for those who already own an air compressor and need occasional cleaning power, it can be a cost-effective solution.

As for the question of whether compressors can handle liquid, the answer is both yes and no. While some compressors may have features or attachments that allow them to handle liquids such as water or oil, others may not be designed for this purpose and attempting to use them in this way could cause damage or even danger. It’s always important to consult the manufacturer’s instructions before attempting any new use for your compressor.



  • Lucas

    Hi I am, a passionate and self-sufficient ‘USA’ resident who never depends on others to clean cars, other vehicles, decks, patios, driveways, sidewalks, and the exterior of my house. When I’m not busy always love to research new techniques to improve my cleaning skills and spend time maintaining pressure washers to keep them in top condition.

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