Which Type of Pressure Washer Is Right For You?

If you're looking to clean large surface areas, a pressure washer can make the task considerably less time-consuming and tiring. Pressure washers can blast off large amounts of dirt and grime that would otherwise take many hours of hard graft, and suppliers now offer consumers and businesses a range of models, including electric, petrol and diesel driven appliances. If you're not sure which type of machine is right for you, consider the following buying factors.

Size of the job

A single phase electric pressure washer is often suitable for small, simple tasks. For example, if you needed a pressure washer for one, relatively simple indoor job (like cleaning a kitchen floor), a single phase electric model would probably work well.

If you need a washer to do lots of different jobs, the power of a single electric pressure washer might make the task more difficult. If you needed to clean a large driveway or courtyard, an electric washer may not have the power to get rid of all the dirt, and the job could take you twice as along a petrol or diesel driven model could manage.

Indoors or outdoors

Diesel or petrol driven pressure washers create fumes that could cause problems in an enclosed space. Carbon monoxide from these machines will quickly fill up a small, or medium-sized room, which can make it impossible to get the job done safely, particularly in some workplaces. For example, if you needed to pressure wash the floor of a restaurant or office, it simply isn't practical to use a diesel or petrol driven washer.

For outdoor spaces, ventilation isn't an issue, and a diesel or petrol driven washer is also more versatile. For large driveways or courtyards, it's also generally impractical to connect an electric pressure washer to the power supply, and you may need the independence of a diesel or petrol machine.

Type of job

Pressure washers are very versatile, and you can use these machines for fairly light jobs (like cleaning up a patio or decking) or for intensive jobs like stripping paint. According to what you need a pressure washer to do, you'll need to make sure that the device is powerful enough.

You can measure the power of a pressure washer in pounds per square inch (psi). Some manufacturers also measure the power in litres per minute (lpm) or bar (1.5 bar is the same as 21 psi). Higher psi, lpm or bar machines are more powerful, and can generally take on the toughest jobs, like paint stripping.

For some jobs, you will need a washer that can use hot water, and other accessories. For example, if you need to remove graffiti from a wall, you'll need a hot water pressure washer, and you'll also need special chemicals to dissolve the paint. You may even need to buy a sand blasting kit.

Note that some jobs are not suitable for pressure washers. For example, if you need to clean a conservatory, you should only use a pressure washer to clean the finery on top of the building. If you pressure wash the outside, the roof panels are likely to spring a leak.

Price and long-term need

The price of pressure washers differs considerably, and diesel driven machines are generally the most expensive. That aside, these washers are often a good investment. Diesel fuel is generally cheaper than petrol, and the high-quality construction standard means that you will have many years of use from the machine. More expensive models may also have extra tools and features to make the job easier, such as thermal protection or automatic pressure regulation.

A diesel driven, industrial grade pressure washer is also relatively difficult to use. This is not a machine that the average consumer could necessarily use without training. A professional supplier can talk to you about ease of use and practicality.

Diesel driven pressure water cleaners are often able to take on the toughest cleaning jobs, but not everyone needs to invest in one of these machines. Carefully consider your requirements, and talk to a specialist about the right model for you.