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Electric vs. Gas Pressure Washer: What Are the Differences?

Did you know that the global pressure washer market is expected to grow at a CAGR rate of over 4% from 2020 to 2026?

Now’s as good a time as any to become a professional power washer. But which tool is better for a power washer: gas or electric?

In the following electric & gas pressure washer guide, we look at what to expect with an electric vs. gas pressure washer and how to decide on which one you’ll use.

Electric vs. Gas Pressure Washer

Each type of pressure washer has a few notable differences. Let’s take a look!

How It’s Powered

The most obvious difference is how each pressure washer is powered. Electric pressures washers are powered by an electric source like an outlet or battery. A gas pressure washer runs on fuel.

If you’re looking to be more eco-friendly, an electric pressure washer greener because it doesn’t emit gases.

Pressure Amount

Each type also offers a different amount of pressure. Pressure is measured in PSI: pound per square inch.

Electric pressure washers have a lower pressure rating. They usually operate between 500 and 2000 PSI, which makes them better for lighter cleaning.

Gas pressure washers are usually between 3000 and 4000 PSI. You usually won’t find one under 2500 PSI. This makes gas pressure washers more suitable for heavy-duty jobs.

However, keep in mind that the higher amount of pressure makes gas pressure washers more dangerous to use. Make sure you are comfortable with your gas pressure washer before using it for clients.

Cost

Partly because of the difference in pressure, gas pressure washers will typically be more expensive than their electric counterparts.

However, gas pressure washers have more capabilities than electric ones and usually last longer. This may make them a more worthwhile investment for you.

Durability

Speaking of lasting longer, gas pressure washers do typically last longer than electric ones. They have metal pumps and components that are easy to replace and maintain.

Meanwhile, electric pressure washers are more difficult to repair. In certain cases, it benefits you to just replace them altogether.

Pros & Cons: Electric vs. Gas Washer

Now that we’ve explained some of the differences between electric and gas washers, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each. Understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each pressure washer will help you know what to expect.

Electric Pressure Washer

An electric pressure washer is great for residential use. If you’re mostly serving homes, this will be a helpful tool to have. They’re lightweight and easier to maneuver for smaller properties.

They’re also the more affordable option. You may be able to get the best electric pressure washer for just $100.

That being said, they are only a starting point if you are offering commercial pressure washing services. They operate on less power and are not as durable. You’ll also need to be near an outlet to use one.

Gas Pressure Washer

Choosing gas has numerous advantages over choosing an electric pressure washer.

Ultimately, they have much more power. You can go up to 4000 PSI so you can get enough pressure for serious cleaning. This makes them great for commercial cleaning, and they can also be used for domestic purposes if you use their large amounts of power carefully.

You may also be able to cut down on detergent because of the high pressure from the gas pressure washer. This also helps reduce the harsh chemicals that detergent often has.

Not to mention, you will be able to clean surfaces much more quickly because of the increased amount of power. If you have a business, gas pressure washers will allow you to be more efficient with your time.

That being said, gas pressures washers are heavy and noisy. They may be difficult to drag around during a large project, and they will make a significant amount of noise.

Gas pressure washers also have running costs. You will need to have fuel or oil on hand in order for the pressure washer to run. This can add up over time.

Which Pressure Washer Is Best?

Both electric and gas pressure washers have their benefits, but it all comes down to the jobs you’re taking on.

Electric is usually best for residential and domestic jobs because electric has a lower PSI. You won’t run as much of a risk of damaging house siding or cars.

If you’re using a pressure washer for a car, electric is usually the best choice. In some cases, you could choose gas if you stand far from the car and use a wide nozzle.

Gas pressure washers are great for commercial use, especially for heavy-duty jobs. The larger investment price is worth the tool’s power and capabilities.

You’ll be able to use the gas pressure washer for a long time, and it will be great for heavy-use areas, like frequently visited sidewalks or parking lots.

Additional Considerations

Pressure washer power is also measured in gallons per minute and cleaning units in addition to using PSI. Pressure washer power can be determined by calculating GPM x PSI to find the cleaning units.

Hot vs. cold pressure washers also make a difference. Typically, hot water cleans better, but it does depend on the job.

Hot water pressure washers are great for cleaning grease, washing away oils, disinfecting surfaces, and de-icing.

Cold water pressure washers are ideal for stripping and removing paint. They also are effective for removing mildew, cleaning sidewalks, and refreshing surfaces.

Also take into account the wands, nozzles, and hoses you use. Pressure ratings should match the pressure washer’s output. Smaller nozzles will deliver more power but can damage surfaces.

Using Gas & Electric Pressure Washers 

When making the decision of using an electric vs. gas pressure washer, you need to think about your projects and how often you’ll be using your pressure washer.

Gas pressure washers are the right tool for heavy commercial use, while electric pressure washers come in handy for less frequent residential use.

Did this gas & electric pressure washer guide help?

Visit our blog to hear more advice and tips for professional power washers. Speak to our experts for advice and pressure washer repair.

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