If you are in the market for a hot water pressure washer, you will discover an abundance of options to choose from. If you are a first-time buyer this could feel especially overwhelming, but Energen is here to help! Below are some guidelines for choosing the right hot water pressure washer for your application.
What Brand Should I Buy?
Do your own research first. Read customer reviews for feedback on performance and manufacturer warranty statements to see what is covered. Some companies offer more than others. If you are not mechanically savvy, then warranty coverage might be more important to you than to someone who will be able to service their own equipment. Also research local pressure washing supply companies in your area and find out if they service equipment. If you are in the SC lowcountry, then Energen Carolina is here for all your parts and service needs!
What PSI & GPM Do I Need?
What will you be washing with your pressure washer? Some industries benefit more from higher pressure (psi) and some benefit more from higher water flow (gpm). For example, when washing vehicles, a unit with a lower pressure rating (under 2,500psi) will help to avoid damaging the vehicle and a higher water flow (3-5gpm) increases rinsing efficiency. For fleet washing, commercial vehicles and heavy equipment would benefit from a higher psi and gpm because they accumulate more grime and road film than consumer vehicles.
If you are unsure how much pressure you will need, then it is typically better to err on the side of higher pressure because it can almost always be adjusted down. Just make sure to ask your sales rep.
Belt Drive vs. Direct Drive
How often do you plan to use your pressure washer? Direct drive pressure washers are ideal for occasional use whereas belt drive units are better for frequent or everyday use. The difference is in how the pump is connected to the motor. On direct drive units the pump is mounted directly to the motor, and on belt drive units the pump is mounted remotely and is connected to the motor by a belt & pulley system. This setup reduces wear-and-tear to your pump because it cuts the RPMs in half, meaning your pump will not have to work as hard to put out maximum pressure, and it also helps prevent damage caused by the impact of vibrating constantly against the motor.
In sum, belt drive pressure washers are always going to last longer but are also more expensive. A belt drive unit is not always necessary if you do not plan to use your unit for extended periods of time.
Electric vs. Gas Powered
Where will your pressure washer be used and stored? If you plan to do all your pressure washing in one general location, then you might be better off with an electric unit. Some benefits of an electric unit include that they run much quieter than gas powered units and put out less emissions. Electric motors also require less maintenance than gas powered motors. Just keep in mind that you must have a proper power source to run it. Electric pressure washers are ideal for places like dealerships, marinas, and manufacturing facilities.
If you will need to transport your pressure washer to varying locations, then a gas-powered unit would likely suit your needs better since they can be used anywhere except indoors. Gas powered pressure washers are typically better for contractors, construction, industrial clean-up and residential pressure washers.
Diesel vs. Gas Fired Burner
Will you need to run your pressure washer inside or in an enclosed area? If so, a gas fired unit might be a good fit for you. Gas fired pressure washers run off propane or kerosene and are smoke free, making them safe for indoor use. These units are ideal for food and beverage processing, manufacturing facilities and municipal operations. Diesel fired pressure washers are to be used outdoors only because of the smoke emissions. These units are typically best for contracting industries, agriculture, industrial clean-up commercial shipping and commercial exterior cleaning.
If you have more questions about purchasing a hot water pressure washer then give us a call at 843-556-6506 or stop by 834 Dupont Rd., Charleston, SC 29407. We are happy to answer any questions and have plenty of equipment in stock for you to check out!