Gas-powered washers used to be the only option for people who are looking to take on difficult and big cleanup jobs that only a pressure washer can handle. Even though they’re great at cleaning, they’re also loud and generate toxic emissions. On top of that, their tag price, operation, and maintenance can be costly.
Fortunately, as technology evolved, consumers were introduced to the electric-powered power washer. Today, homeowners and business owners choose them over gas power washers for numerous reasons. Aside from being cheaper to buy and maintain, most homeowners are now more aware of the environmental effects of the home cleaning products they are purchasing.
If you’re on the market for an electric pressure washer, there are three things you need to keep in mind to narrow down your top-list of e-powered pressure washers (120 V, 60 Hz):
- Your budget.
- The required cleaning power.
- The pressure washer brand you’re eyeing.
Pressure washers are extremely useful for a wide range of tasks in your home, so purchasing the right one suitable for your needs is vital.
Electric-Powered Power Washer Features To Consider
- Extra nozzles. Look for a machine that comes with different types of nozzles. You’ll require a variety of nozzles for cleaning various types of surfaces without damaging them.
- Weight. Most units weigh around 15 to 35 pounds. There are machines that weigh 35 pounds but does not come with wheels which will make it even harder to maneuver.
- Wand. Make sure that the wand is made from the more durable stainless steel instead of plastic.
- Electric cord and hose length. If the length is less than 20 feet, look for another unit.
- Horse reel. This will depend on your personal preference. Others like it for keeping the hose organized while others think it’s a bit cumbersome and kinks the hose.
- Wheels. Be mindful of units that weigh a lot but does not come with wheels for maneuverability.
- Nozzle storage. There are some models that come with this nice extra feature.
- PSI and GPM. Your budget may limit the PSI and GPM of your unit when it comes to electric power washers. You can buy a light or medium duty for $150 or less, or spend as much as $2,000 for a powerful heavy-duty machine.
Gas vs. Electric Pressure Washers: Which One To Choose?
Since gas power washers have further cleaning power, they can handle tougher and bigger jobs a lot quicker than electric-powered power washers. Cleaning power refers to the cleaning machine’s ability to force more grime and dirt from the work surface due to having more water pressure. It also means that more water is flowing every minute for flushing away grime and dirt. Although the electric models can still take on every cleaning job possible, it’ll take you a bit longer to finish them.
When choosing between the two power washers, most people base their decision on how frequently they’ll pressure wash. If you’ll do it every week, it’s better to go with a gas power washer. But if you’ll power wash on a monthly basis or less, an electric power washer is an ideal choice.
Electric Power Washer Pros and Cons
If you only have plans of doing small jobs frequently and perform bigger ones once a month or 1 to 2 times a year, electric-powered washers are your best bet.
- More affordable.
- Best for handling outdoor furniture, small patios, decks, and other smaller cleanups that only need cleaning rather than stain removals.
- Quieter, more lightweight, requires little maintenance and does not produce exhaust emissions.
- It conveniently starts and stops.
- You can bring it outdoors without the need to winterize.
- Easy to store.
- Less power means the cleaning time will take longer.
- Their nozzles and wands are usually made of plastic material which is less sturdy.
- The cleaning area you can tackle will be limited to the length of its cord. The length of their hoses are normally between 25 to 30 feet, while their power cords are about 35 feet.
Gas Power Washer Pros and Cons
Buy this model if you plan to clean every weekend and will save you a lot of time. Here are its pros and cons that you can weigh in:
- The water pressure it delivers is higher.
- You can clean sidings, driveways, decks, and other larger surface quicker.
- It can easily remove tough gunk like tree sap and chewing gums.
- They are more portable because they have their own energy supply and don’t need a nearby electric outlet to run.
- Due to more pressure, you will be able to set its nozzle at a wider angle and clean just as good as you would with an electric power model running in a narrower setting.
- Quite heavy and noisy.
- You need to fill it up with gas.
- It’s not safe to use indoors and requires more maintenance and tune-ups.
- The pump can overheat if idle for hours which may ruin the equipment if there’s a failure in its safety valve.
- When the weather is cold, you need antifreeze to winterize its pumps since these machines are not recommended to be stored inside the house.
- More power can also mean a higher risk of injuries, also accidentally chipping paint, splintering, etching surfaces of wood, or gouging.
Power washers injured approximately 6,000 users in 2014, so it’s extremely important to learn pressure washing safety before going ahead with a cleanup. The water’s velocity can tear through your skin as well as the tissues underneath it, which may lead to bacterial infection.
To ensure you will not end up in the emergency room, here are some safety tips to remember:
- Always go through the manufacturer’s manual before using your electric power washer.
- Wear safety gear and clothing such as gloves, goggles, sturdy footwear, and long pants. Be wary of slippery, wet surfaces at all times.
- Make sure to always begin with the spray angle at its widest setting. Start by working with its nozzle at least 2 feet away from your work area. Only move closer if necessary.
- If you need to replace the spray tip, turn off the machine first, remove excess water by pressing the trigger, and then change the tip.
- Do a pressure wash test in a less noticeable spot of the surface until you’re comfortable with the machine.