When choosing the right pressure washer for your commercial or industrial application, there are several aspects to consider. Engine power, water pressure, and flow impact the quality and performance of your commercial pressure washer. We will go through what you need to know before you buy. Then at the end, we will cover a few potential applications so you know just how much power you might need before you are ready to shop products.
Gas or Electric?
There are two ways a pressure washer receives power, electricity and gas. Performance aside, you might consider an electric pressure washer because there is no emission of exhaust, less maintenance, and the unit is quieter. Electric pressure washers are also lighter than the equivalent gas-powered washers, due to them housing fewer parts. For electric to be an option, you need access to either an outlet or an alternate source of power, like a portable generator. Alternatively, you might consider a gas pressure washer because it offers enhanced portability and easy access to fuel.
Regarding performance, gas powered pressure washers typically last longer but are more expensive. Performance is also related to application. An electric pressure washer is the right choice for inside cleaning while extensive outdoor work, particularly in remote locations, needs to be gas-powered. Carbon monoxide is the exhaust coming from gas powered pressure washers and it should be used outside rather than inside.
When contemplating professional-grade pressure washers, both electric and gas-powered units are going to handle tough jobs. The quality of work does not vary significantly between electric and gas pressure washers like they may with consumer options. On the other hand, a gas-powered model has a slight advantage long-term because it is not dependent on electrical connections to run. It is also harder to repair a malfunction on an electric machine. But a gas-powered pressure washer with its own engine could last years with regular maintenance. And even with a part malfunction, it can often be repaired or replaced, and continue to work well for many more years.
Cold Water or Hot Water?
The water temperature of your pressure washer matters. Hot water pressure washers deliver results on tougher oil and grease stains while cold water pressure washers are for removing everyday stains and mold.
Benefits of Hot Water
Heat energy accelerates the cleaning process and improves machine efficiency. An increase in temperature is known to increase reaction times for dirt and lubricants therefore reducing total cleaning time. While detergents can help, heated pressure washers often fight demanding cleaning tasks well on their own. In some cases, detergents and even scrubbing may not produce the desired cleaning result for tough applications, whereas blasting hot water alone will do the job.
For commercial-grade products, cold water can generally achieve similar cleaning results to hot water on tougher stains when combined with a cleaning detergent. These are effective cleaning solutions for stubborn dirt and debris.
Pressure Washer Power
Outside of the water temperature of the pressure washer itself, three factors for understanding performance capability of the pressure washer include:
- PSI – Stains can be difficult to remove. Water pressure is what releases stains from a surface. Water pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). The more difficult the stain, the more water pressure is needed. However, keep in mind that an excessive PSI can damage the surface you are trying to clean. Washers with a high PSI rating are also more taxing to use.
- GPM – Alternatively, water flow is the amount of water supplied by your pressure washer, and relates to rinsing performance. This is measured in gallons per minute (GPM).
- CU – Cleaning units are intended to give a measure of performance and efficiency of the pressure washer. They are calculated by multiplying PSI and GPM.
Horsepower (HP) is an additional factor that explains engine performance. Your engine’s power will be divided between generating volume and pressure. Therefore the water flow and water pressure will be counterbalanced based on however much horsepower the engine produces. For example, if GPM (water flow) is reduced then PSI (water pressure) will often increase or vice versa.
Electric Power Phases
For electric-powered pressure washers, you can have single-phase electric powering between 120V to 230V and three-phase electric needing between 230V – 460V. Most professional-grade machines are three-phase as they enable more power transfer to support improved unit efficiency and increased water pressure. In general, single-phase pressure washers are for residential purposes. Although, some single-phase pressure washers might work for everyday cleaning in commercial and industrial settings.
Types of Pressure Washers
Once you have evaluated the standard benefits of gas vs electric, cold vs hot, and options for power, then you can look at different types of pressure washers. These are based on your situation and application as to where, when, and how you want to blast water off of things.
Electric Hand-Held Products
Our HE Shark series professional hand-held power washers by Karcher are more reliable than standard consumer brands. Their durable frame is made of steel and they offer a reliable engine. We offer two options for water pressure, 1000 PSI and 1400 PSI. These industrial hand-held electric pressure washers are excellent cold water cleaners and portable when within reach of an electrical source.
Electric Wall Mount
The HE Shark wall mount pressure washer is a great option for industrial applications. A cold water product with 1400 PSI and a 2 horsepower pump offers quiet production. This is a reliable cleaning solution for shops including auto shops, maintenance, labs, golf courses, and paint stores.
Electric Cold Water Pressure Washer
Cold Water electric pressure washers are the best option for everyday use. You can use one with wheels to easily move them around and the electric motor does not produce and emit carbon monoxide so they can be used indoors. We offer 1000 – 5000 PSI models for cleaning dirt and debris.
Electric Hot Water Pressure Washer
Hot water pressure washers melt grease and grime while cold water simply pushes it around. Whatever cold water cleans, hot water will clean better and faster. Hot water units are typically more expensive due to the coils and heating components. But the efficiency of these units reduces the labor time required and lessens the amount of detergent needed, which can save money in the long run.
Gas Cold Water Pressure Washer
Cold water gas pressure washers are made for portable cleaning of dirt and debris. These are a convenient option for daily use if necessary. They are typically used outside due to the gas exhaust, but are very versatile since they are not dependent on an electrical source.
Gas Hot Water Pressure Washer
Hot water works against the toughest stains and grease. The water flow and pressure of these machines make for a dependable cleaning option. The benefit of a gas option is the same as the gas cold water pressure washer. First, a self-contained power source allows you to go without electricity. Second, the capability to do maintenance and repairs as needed increases the life of the machine.
Water Pressure Applications by PSI
With professional quality pressure washers, both electric and gas are capable of handling tough jobs. When considering how much power is needed for different applications, the main factors are water pressure and flow. Here are some typical cold water applications based on the amount of power produced by your pressure washer:
- 1000 – 2500 PSI pressure washers are excellent cleaners for stained concrete, moldy siding, decks, or a fence.
- 3000+ PSI pressure washers have enough power to strip paint, clean industrial equipment, boats and ATV’s, home siding, and concrete asphalt driveways.
- 4000 – 5000 PSI models are specialty machines for cleaning a variety of grungy applications such as the bottoms of boats, concrete mixers and handling equipment.
Remember that hot water can remove dirt and grime faster and melt grease. Hot water pressure washers offer efficient cleaning, removing water soluble stains more quickly. Oily stains need the addition of detergent in order to dissolve.
Purchase your Pressure Washer from ISC Sales
ISC Sales has been in business for over 30 years, serving the industrial sector with expert solutions and products. Call us at (877) 602-0010 to let us help you identify the best pressure washer for your needs.