1/4 vs 5/16 Pressure Washer Hose

1/4 vs 5/16 Pressure Washer Hose

A good pressure washer hose is as vital as a good pressure washer machine. But getting the wrong hose may not work out.  One of the key factors in selecting a pressure washer hose is the diameter. People often get confused between 1/4 inch and 5/16 inch. Hence, we decided to do a detailed 1/4 vs 5/16 pressure washer hose comparison.

The key difference between a 1/4 and 5/16 pressure washer hose is the pressure rating. A 1/4 hose is suitable for pressure washers with a rating of 2700 PSI. On the other hand, a pressure washer with 3400 PSI is ideal for a 5/16 pressure washer hose.

You may have many questions regarding the pressure washer hose sizes and their usage. We have tried to answer all of your questions with a detailed comparison between the 1/4 and 5/16 pressure washers.

See More: 3/8 vs 1/4 Air Hose

A Guide to Pressure Washer Hose Sizes

When you are considering the size of a pressure washer hose, you need to check two things. They are the diameter and the length of the hose.

A detailed explanation of the diameter and the length is below:


The diameter of a pressure washer hose is essential. Usually, there are three options available:

  • 1/4 inch: Hoses with a diameter of ¼ inch are the smallest ones. They are suitable for residential pressure washers with a low-pressure rating.
  • 5/16 inch: Then comes 5/16 inch, slightly larger than the first one and works with a pressure washer with a medium pressure rating.
  • 3/8 inch: ⅜ inch diameter is the largest of the three. It is a heavy-duty pressure washer hose, and most professionals use this one.


Pressure washer hoses come in different lengths too. 25, 35, and 50 feet are some of the standard lengths for pressure washers. There are larger sizes available too.

Which length you choose depends on your necessity. For example, if you have an electric pressure washer, you need to get a longer hose as you need to keep the washer close to a power source. 

Another thing to consider here is the flow rate of the water. In general, lengthier hoses have a slightly lower water flow rate. But if you do need a bigger one, it is no problem as the difference in efficiency is not much.

1/4 vs 5/16 Pressure Washer Hose: Quick Comparison Chart

Basis of comparison1/4  pressure washer hose5/16 pressure washer hose
Pressure rating2700 PSI3400 PSI
CompatibilityWasher with a low working pressureWasher with a medium working pressure
Price$10 to $250$30 to $350

1/4 vs 5/16 Pressure Washer Hose: The Differences

Above, you can have a quick look at the differences. But you may not understand them properly. So, we have described them for you.

Following are the explanation of some of the key differences between 1/4 and 5/16 pressure washer hose:

Pressure Rating

As said in the beginning, the main difference between the hoses is the pressure rating. Pressure rating refers to the ability of the hoses to handle pressure. ¼ inch pressure washer hoses are the smallest ones and have a pressure rating of 2700 PSI. Then the 5/16 inch hoses are slightly larger and considered medium size. They have a pressure rating of 3400 PSI.


Due to their different pressure rating, their compatibility varies too. A ¼ inch hose is good with a gas or electric-powered home pressure washer as they have a lower pressure rating. If the pressure washer has a higher rating, then a 5/16 hose can be compatible.


So, 5/16 has a higher pressure rating; does that mean you need them? Well, the common usage of these hoses is also different. The smaller one is for use at home when you do not need too much pressure and do not have much work. But if you need high-pressure washing with medium-level work, go for the larger one. 

Can I Use a 1/4 Hose on a 5/16 Pressure Washer

Does hose size matter on a pressure washer? Yes, the size of the pressure washer matters as they are not all fit. For different washers, you may need different sizes of pressure washer hoses.

Many ask, can i use a 1/4 hose on a 5/16 pressure washer? No, you can not use a 1/4 hose on a 5/16 pressure washer because it will not fit.

Besides, a 5/16 pressure washer produces higher pressure. But the 1/4 hose can not withstand that much pressure. As a result, the hose will likely be damaged. That’s why they are not made in a way where you can exchange them.

Which Pressure Washer Hose Size Should I Get?

So, now the question is, which pressure washer hose size should you get?

If you have a pressure washer, you should go with the existing size. Most hoses mention the size on them. If you do not find the size there, then check the manual or search on the internet with the model number of your pressure washer.

Then go for the replacement. But if you do not have a pressure washer, but are planning to buy one, first decide why you need them and then buy one. A smaller washer should be enough for residential usage that will support a ¼ inch hose.

People usually go for 3/8 pressure washers for commercial usage. So you can say that only a few people go for the 5/16 models.

1/4 Pressure Washer

Do you need a 1/4 quick connect pressure washer? But can not understand where and which one to go for? Well, you can check the following items.

1. Tool Daily Pressure Washer Coupler 1/4 inche, Quick Connect Plug

Tool Daily Pressure Washer Coupler 1-4 inche

If you want a quick-connect plug with a high-pressure rating, then the stainless steel-made Tool Daily Pressure Washer Coupler, Quick Connect Plug, can be a great choice. You would like this because it is sturdy and fits most pressure washers. It has a ¼” female NPT.

2. RIDGE WASHER Pressure Washer Coupler, Brass Fittings, 1/4 Inch Quick Connect

RIDGE WASHER Pressure Washer Coupler 1/4 inch

If you require a 1/4 female quick connect pressure washer made of brass, then you can choose RIDGE WASHER Pressure Washer Coupler, Quick Connect. It is rated for working pressure with 5,000 PSI. No grit in the mechanism, easy to assemble and disassemble, and fits perfectly, are some of the reasons you will like this one. 

5/16 Pressure Washer

Are you confused about which 5/16 replacement pressure washer hose to buy? Then, you can select the following one:

1. Simpson Cleaning 40226 Morflex Series 3700 PSI Pressure Washer Hose 5/16 inch

Simpson Cleaning 40226 Morflex Series 3700 PSI Pressure Washer Hose 5/16 inch

If you have a 5/16 pressure washer and need a hose compatible with cold water, you can select the Simpson Cleaning Morflex Series Pressure Washer Hose. Why this one? The hose is kink-resistant and highly flexible. Then it has 4-inch bend protection on each to extend durability. It also includes 5/16 pressure washer hose quick connect tools.


The comparison between the 1/4 vs 5/16 pressure washer hose answers the question if different sizes of pressure washer hoses matter or not. If you have a small pressure washer at home, you will probably need the former. Still, check the size of the existing hose and then you can proceed to buy a new and replacement pressure washer hose.

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