Gas vs. Electric Pressure Washers: All Features Compared

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By Kirsi Jansa

Pressure washers make cleaning easy for homeowners and professionals. The most important thing to consider while buying a pressure washer is its power; gas or electric.

This guide compares gas and electric pressure washers to help you select the right one for your needs.

Electric Pressure Washers 

Electric pressure washers use an electric-power motor to run the pump to generate a high-pressure water stream. These washers are best for lightweight jobs such as washing your car, driveway, sidewalk, and deck.

as washing your car, driveway, sidewalk and deck.

Pros

  • Light, portable and user-friendly
  • Unlimited runtime
  • Cheaper than gas pressure washers
  • Low maintenance machines
  • Silent operation
  • It can be used in enclosed spaces

Cons

  • Cannot handle large and heavy-duty cleaning jobs
  • Requires AC output to function
  • Cord management is a hassle
  • Hazardous: water & electricity don’t go well together

Gas Pressure Washers 

Gas-powered pressure washers generate power from a small engine. They are more powerful than their electric counterparts and slightly difficult to maintain. However, gas-powered washers are ideal for heavy-duty cleaning jobs such as stripping paint, commercial cleaning, large buildings, roads, and walls.

such as stripping paint, commercial cleaning, large buildings, roads and walls.

Read More: How to Start and Use a Gas Powered Pressure Washer?

Pros

  • Powerful machines for heavy-duty cleaning tasks
  • Versatile; can be used anywhere
  • No risk of water and electricity mix-up
  • No cord management
  • Cleans quicker than an electric pressure washer
  • Smaller models are portable
  • Durable than electric washers
  • You may not need detergent

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Noisy
  • Frequent maintenance
  • Gasoline management
  • Not for indoor jobs
  • Requires reserve fuel for longer jobs

Similar Topic: How to Drain Gas from a Pressure Washer?

Gas vs. Electric Pressure Washers: A Quick Comparison 

Study the table below to understand how key variables differ in both variants

Feature Gas-Powered Pressure Washer Electric Pressure Washer
Pressure (PSI) 2000 – 5000 1000 – 2500
Flow Rate (GPM) 1.0 – 4.5 1.0 – 2.0
Cleaning Units (CU) 5200 – 16500 800 – 3400
Water Temperature Cold/hot Cold/hot
Price Range $250 – $800 $150 – $400

Gas vs. Electric Pressure Washers: Detailed Comparison 

Water Pressure 

Water pressure is the rate at which water flows out of the washer. Gas-powered pressure washers can deliver up to 5000 PSI. It is so fast that it can tear apart many surfaces, hurt humans and living things. But it can also be used for heavy-duty applications like a job site, stripping pains, and cleaning stubborn grime from sidewalks and roads.

Electric Pressure washers can generate up to 2500 PSI water pressure. Even this pressure is more than what you need to clean your vehicles, porch, sidewalk, or regular cleaning jobs.

Flow Rate 

Gas models deliver more water per minute because they have a more powerful pump than electric washers.

Cleaning Units 

Cleaning units (CU) are obtained by multiplying the water pressure with the flow rate. It is important to assess the pressure washer’s cleaning power. Gas-powered pressure washers have higher CUs and clean better.

Water Temperature 

The water temperature is not based on fuel type but varies from model to model. An electric pressure washer may or may not have a hot water feature. It depends on specifications and not fuel type.

Upfront Price 

Budget buyers are suggested to buy an electric pressure washer because it is cheaper than gas models. Moreover, it doesn’t require frequent maintenance and gas.

Ease of Use & Maintenance

Electric pressure washers are user-friendly compared to gas washers. You just have to connect it to the AC outlet. Gas models require 4-5 steps before you can get underway.

Electric washers are quieter than gas ones. It is also more difficult to maintain a gas-powered washer than an electric one.

Gas-Powered Pressure Washer Maintenance: How to Winterize a Gas Powered Pressure Washer?

Portability

Electric washers are comparatively more portable than gas-powered ones. However, the power cords limit their mobility. Overall, they are lightweight and can easily move from one site to another.

Gas-powered washers are heavier than electric ones, but most are mounted on wheels for easy mobility. Secondly, they don’t require AC outlets to function. Some smaller gas models are more portable than electric ones.

Durability 

Gas-powered pressure washers are more durable and long-lasting than electric pressure washers. The parts are cheap and can be repaired or replaced easily compared to electric washers.

The right choice; Electric or Gas-Powered 

The right choice depends on your cleaning needs. An electric washer is best for occasional and lightweight cleaning jobs around your home. A gas-powered washer is best for handling tough grime, stripping paints, and cleaning large driveways and sidewalks.

Which is better for cleaning the deck; an electric or gas pressure washer?

It is recommended to use the lowest pressure setting to clean a wooden deck. Softwood decks made from cedar or pine need 500 to 600 PSI. Harder woods can tolerate up to 1200 to 1500 PSI.

An electric pressure washer would be better for cleaning your home’s decks. You can also use a gas-powered washer to clean decks on the lowest pressure setting.

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