What to Think About When Purchasing a Pressure Washer

The Right Tool for the Job

As with any other type of specialized cleaning product, it's important to consider your particular needs when choosing the right power washing equipment. Important factors you should consider include your budget, the environment in which you're going to use the equipment, and your anticipated frequency of use.

Different Types of Power Washing Equipment

You'll find electric pressure washers as well as gas and diesel power washers available online and in stores. Electric ones are usually designed to remain stationary and should be positioned where water is readily available. Gas and diesel models are more often used when pressure washing equipment must be mobile.

However, if you need to use the unit to clean up oil and grease, then hot water electric pressure washers are likely to be your choice, since these units run on electricity and won't contribute to the very mess you're trying to remove. Steam cleaners make a better alternative if you're going to be cleaning up difficult messes from carpets. Still, you can clean up oil and grease with cold water pressure cleaning equipment if you add pressure washing chemicals to your power washing supplies.

Flow Considerations

Flow is an important factor. You might not be cleaning something that is particularly difficult to remove, but you may have a high volume of waste to rinse away. Animal stalls are a good example. In such a case, a unit with a high flow rate is preferable. However, if excess water could be a problem, then a unit with low flow but high pressure may be a better choice.

Belt Pumps and Direct Drive Pumps

Direct drive pumps run at a higher rpm, but that means they also burn out more quickly. Therefore, pressure washers using direct drive pumps are usually reserved for households, where they are used only occasionally. Belt pumps are more expensive because their components are of superior quality, which makes them better suited for the kind of heavy use that washers get in commercial or industrial settings. However, if you are on a tight budget, the direct drive pump will probably serve you just fine.

Horizontal and Vertical Coils

Horizontal coils are normally found on premium pressure washers because vertical coils can trap water and soot. Also, vertical coils are placed closer to the ground, which exposes them to more environmental hazards. Gas pressure washers usually use vertical coils due to their design.

Short Term and Long Term Costs

As with vacuums and other cleaning equipment, the sturdier the power washer you buy, the more expensive it will be. That said, a well-built unit may save you money in the long run. A separate heating unit (as opposed to one that's immersed in water) won't rust or erode nearly as quickly. However, an exposed flame may be unsafe in certain environments, and thermo probes will automatically shut down pumps if the temperature gets too high.

Though your budget may prevent you from purchasing the exact pressure washing equipment you want, you will still find plenty of pressure cleaners on the market that will deliver the features you need to get the job done.

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