Electric Pressure Washer Buying Guide
Now that you have decided to move away from the realm of gas pressure washers into electric washers, it is time to get down to the nitty-gritty of choosing one. Consider this more of a checklist than a buyer’s guide. We shall first discuss the various types of pressure washers in the electric realm and then talk of some considerations to take regardless of what you finally purchase.
Four Basic Classifications
There are just four types of pressure washers in the market, particularly in the electric realm. They are handheld, cold water, hot water and wall mounted washers. Now, handheld washers have strong motors and are quite portable but they don’t usually have sufficient pressure or power to handle large jobs. If you need pressure in the range of 2000 psi or more then opt for cold or hot water electric pressure washers.
Cold pressure washers are great for daily applications and 3000psi washers usually have enough power and force to strip paint layers. However, if you will be dealing mostly with grease, slime and oil then choose a hot water pressure washer. The final category, called wall mounted washers, is ideal for large garages and manufacturing plants. They depend on a 3 phase power inlet and draw a lot of power and water. Usually, domestic and most commercial places do not require so much of power and pressure.
Cleaning Power Units
It is not all about PSI or GPM (PSI stands for Pounds per Square Inch and GPM stands for Gallons Per Minute). In fact, to determine the cleaning efficiency you cannot solely depend on one of these readings. The best way to measure cleaning power is to multiply the two units together. So PSI x GPM will give you an accurate reading of the power. Now once you have got this reading, use it to determine how much power you will need. For most applications a 6000 to 8000 cleaning units is sufficient.
Hot Or Cold Water?
A very valid question, do you need hot or cold water to pressure wash? Its all about what you will be washing. If you mostly deal with oil, grease or stubborn stains then opt for hot water. Moreover, hot water tends to decrease time, activate chemicals in detergents better and even sanitizes areas.
If you do choose a hot water pressure washer then make sure that it uses a heating coil with a ½ inch diameter or more. Narrower coils tend to reduce the effective pressure of the machine. Moreover, the coil design should be spiral rather than straight or elliptical to avoid soot build-up over time.
Portable Or Stationary Pressure Washer?
Again it is all about what kind of application you have in mind. If you do not need to move the pressure washer around and are thinking of keeping it confined to one room, a stationary unit will be the best option. However, remember that maintenance and upkeep is usually costlier with stationary units. On the other hand, a portable unit is more convenient to clean within multiple areas. They usually have a heavy top and rely on rubber tires to roll.
Safety Features Matter
Regardless of what kind of pressure washer you choose, you should ensure that the following safety features are present.
- Auto Shut Off Switch – It helps in turning the heat source off when there is a lack of water supply.
- Trigger Gun – A trigger gun is always better as it lets the user have complete control over the water jet.
- Thermostat – Having a thermostat gives complete control over the water temperature, something that comes handy in case you plan on cold washing and hot washing with the same pressure washer.
- Float Tank – This prevents contamination of the water source and helps clean better.
- Ground Fault Interrupter – Having the pressure washer grounded is vital to prevent electrocution of the user from unexpected power spikes.
- Safety Valve – This valve will let you shut off water supply to the pressure washer form the heater when during spills, ruptures or any other emergency situation.