If you have a heavy-duty cleaning project ahead of you, you might wonder if you should invest in a pressure washer to get the job done. If you’re considering sticking with using a hose to clean up, you may want to think again. While they are sometimes a large initial investment, pressure washers save you a massive amount of time, money, and water. Consider this: a garden hose usually dispenses between 6 to 10 GPM (gallons of water per minute) and has nowhere near the force of a washer. Alternatively, a typical pressure washer will use anywhere from 2 to 5 GPM. This means that by using a pressure washer for the same job, you can use 50% to 70% less water and also clean your surface faster and more thoroughly.
Using a pressure washer for large residential, commercial, or industrial jobs is a no-brainer, but choosing the right pressure washer can take a bit more time to determine. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve listed a few factors that may help narrow down your options.
What Are You Washing and Where?
Not all pressure washers are designed to clean everything; some washers are better than others for some applications. Fortunately, you have plenty of options, so simply consider what features might be most helpful in how you plan to use your pressure washer. For example, will you be moving around a lot? If so, you may want to purchase a portable model, a model with wheels, or one that can be trailer mounted. Furthermore, if you won’t have easy access to electricity, then you obviously shouldn’t use an electric-powered washer since you won’t be able to plug it in. In this instance, a gas or diesel-powered pressure washer would be a better fit.
Hot Water or Cold Water?
One of the first distinctions you may notice when pressure washer shopping is that models come in either hot water or cold water varieties. You may wonder if one is “better” than the other, but the reality is that both have their strengths and are simply good for different applications. Cold water pressure washers are adept at removing dirt from a variety of surfaces. They are versatile and often quite easy to maintain. They also come in a wide range of strengths, so most cleaning jobs will be easily taken care of with a cold water pressure washer. Hot water pressure washers, on the other hand, are excellent at cutting through grease, grime, oil, fuel, and tough stains. Think about if you were washing a pan after cooking: you wouldn’t use cold water because that would just move the grease around. You would use hot water to effectively remove any oils clinging to the dish. The same rule applies to pressure washing.
Light-Duty or Heavy-Duty?
If you’re doing more than just cleaning around the house, then you might be interested in a heavier-duty model. A higher powered washer will be able to tackle residential, commercial, and industrial cleaning jobs with ease. As you’ve probably noticed, there are many different makes and models of pressure washer. The best model for you depends on the size of the work you need done and how frequently you plan on using your washer. If you only plan to use your pressure washer for about 10-15 hours total, you’ll do fine with a commercial-grade washer. Industrial models are designed to last for up to 2,000 hours, so if you will be using your washer quite often, it’s worth investing in higher quality.
As you browse through product descriptions, you’ll see two different figures that are often listed: PSI and GPM. If you’re not sure what these terms mean, here are some basic definitions.
- PSI (Pounds per Square Inch): This number refers to the water pressure of the washer. Landa pressure washers have models that deliver up to 5,000 PSI.
- GPM (Gallons Per Minute): This is the volume of water the unit dispenses.
- PSI x GPM = cleaning power. This refers to the overall efficiency and performance of the pressure washer, which can help a customer decide if it’s the right fit for their needs. The larger the intensity of the cleaning power, the heavier-duty work the washer can perform.
So how do you know what jobs qualify as “light” and which are “heavy?” Well, typically for more “consumer” type jobs (like washing an unfinished basement floor, a vehicle, patio furniture, or a fence), a lightweight gas or electric pressure washer will suffice. However, for bigger jobs like oil or graffiti removal and washing siding, machinery, sidewalks/driveways, or warehouses, opt for a heavier duty pressure washer.
If you have questions or still aren’t sure which pressure washer model would be best for you or your business, contact Cape Cod Cleaning Systems today for assistance!