5/16 VS 1/4 Pressure Washer Hose – Full Comparison

I got a new pressure washer hose and It did not work as I expected. So, I started looking for reasons. Turns out, those hoses come in different sizes and they have different usage. Let’s explore what you need to consider before getting a pressure washer hose. 

The two main types of pressure hoses offered in the stores are 1/4  and 5/16. So, below, let’s compare those two. The comparisons will make it easier for you to choose the one that you need. As a result, you will avoid making mistakes. 

The main difference between a 5/16 and 1/4 pressure washer hose is their pressure levels. They can provide low and medium pressures. Therefore, they have different uses. Those two hose types can not be used interchangeably. 

What Is A 5/16 Pressure Washer Hose?

5/16 inch pressure washer hoses are larger hoses that can provide a medium pressure rating. Therefore, 5/16 hose is generally intended for higher ratings, such as 3400 PSI.

What Is A 1/4 Pressure Washer Hose?

1/4  inch pressure washer hose is the smallest available type. It comes with the lowest pressure rating. It works fine with the washers that come with a rating of 2700 PSI. 

How Are 5/16 And 1/4 Different?

It is essential to choose the size correctly when making a purchase. The key factors when making a choice are diameter and length.

As we mentioned above, one of the differences between the 1/16 and 1/4 pressure washer hoses is the rating of pressure. 

Other than the pressure rating difference, those two types also have diverse compatibility. Pressure washer hoses are not universal. Individual models of pressure washers require specific size hoses. 1/4 and 5/16 inch diameter hoses can not replace each other. They simply will not fit into machines they are not intended for. 

Even if they fit, they would not work. If 1/4 hose was used instead of 5/16, it won’t be able to hold high pressure. Hose will get damaged and can bring harm to the machine itself. 


5/16 and 1/4 pressure washer hoses can come at different prices. Typically, a 5/16 hose is more expensive than 1/4. Yet, price depends on length, material, and other various factors. The cost of a 5/16 hose can be between $30 to $350. On the other hand, the price of 1/4 can range from $10 to $250.

How Are 5/16 And 1/4 Similar?


5/16 and 1/4 hoses have similar material options. Those are plastic, rubber, polyurethane, and PVC. Materials determine the durability and flexibility of the hoses. 

The most common type of material used in washer hoses is plastic. It may not be the most flexible one, but does the job. If you wish to have a more flexible hose, then consider moving on rubber or polyurethane material. 

Hoses made from rubber material are more flexible and typically heavier. As a result, curling and kinking do not happen. The downfall is that they may mark the concrete. On the other hand, polyurethane material hoses are most flexible and preferred by professionals. However, they can be pretty expensive. 

Hose Length

Length of pressure washer hoses can be 25, 35, or 50 feet long. Those three are standard versions that you can get in-store. Yet, other sizes are also available and can be found in specific places.

Choice of length depends on purpose and necessity. For example, my neighbor got an electric pressure washer. When he asked the experienced people, they recommended a longer hose. The reason for this is to keep the machine as close to the power source as possible.

What Are The Advantages Of A 5/16 Pressure Washer?

A higher pressure rating of 5/16 hoses typically is designed for medium-level works. This one can be used for commercial and residential purposes. 

What Are The Advantages Of A 1/4 Pressure Washer?

Because a 1/4-inch hose comes with a low-pressure rating, it can work just fine with home washers, which are electrically powered.  It is suitable for home and residential use. 

When Should You Get A 5/16 Pressure Washer Hose?

You should get a 5/16 pressure washer hose when there is a need for moderate pressure. It is a medium-sized hose. These pressure washer hoses can be used for commercial purposes.

When Should You Get A 1/4 Pressure Washer Hose?

1/4 Pressure hose is needed when a small pressure level is required. They offer lower PSI and are intended for home and residential use. 

Comparison Table

5/16 pressure washer hose1/4 pressure washer Hose
Pressure rating3400 PSI2700 PSI
MaterialsPlastic, rubber, polyurethane,  PVCPlastic, rubber, polyurethane, PVC