For most people, buying a pressure washer is something of a confusing process. Pressure washers come in a wide range of different pressure ratings and with a wide variety of features. One of the first questions buyers encounter when they go looking for a pressure washer is whether they should purchase an electric or a gas-powered one. Here are just a few of the reasons that, for the average buyer, electric pressure washers are always a better choice than their gas counterparts.
Electric Pressure Washers Are Less Expensive
If you go shopping for a gas-powered pressure washer, it’s relatively easy to spend $500 or more. Electric pressure washers, on the other hand, tend to come in at $200 or less. To be clear, there are more expensive electric pressure washers made for specialized applications, but an inexpensive model is usually good enough for ordinary household use. Even if you’re buying for commercial purposes, you’ll still find that the prices of commercial-grade electric pressure washers are a bit lower than equivalent gas ones, though the difference isn’t quite as large at the commercial level.
Gas Pressure Washers Require Much More Maintenance
The biggest difference between electric and gas pressure washers is in the amount of maintenance they require. Gas pressure washers, though they can produce significant amounts of pressure, have a bad habit of breaking down frequently. The gasoline engines used to run them are typically small and prone to wear, while the pumps they are equipped with frequently have sealing issues. Electric pressure washers, by contrast, require very little maintenance over the course of their lifetimes. In large part, this fact is a result of cleaner-running electric motor technology, which doesn’t produce the buildup that usually occurs in small gas-powered engines. Storage maintenance, such as running the gas out of the engine to ensure it doesn’t go bad over the winter, is also a moot point with an electric pressure washer.
Electric Units Are Considerably Lighter and Easier to Move
Also a function of the difference between gas and electric motors is the fact that electric pressure washers are much lighter than gas-powered ones. If you need to carry your pressure washer up or down stairs or put it in a vehicle to move it around, an electric unit will be vastly more convenient for you. As a rule, electric pressure washers are also more compact, meaning that they can take up less space in the trunk of a car when you need to transport them. A large gas pressure washer, however, can require a truck or an SUV to move, making it very inconvenient if you need to use it anywhere but your own home.
Electric Pressure Washers Are Easier to Use
As with any piece of powered equipment, ease of use is a major factor in the decision to buy a pressure washer. Electric pressure washers are among the easiest pieces of equipment to use, as they literally only need to be plugged in, hooked to a hose and equipped with a proper nozzle. By contrast, many gas pressure washers still require priming, choke adjustment and pull-starting to even get started. If you’re looking for something that you can use without having to get used to the peculiarities of small gas engines, an electric pressure washer will be by far the better choice for you.
Running a Gas Pressure Washer is More Expensive and Involves More Downtime
A final advantage of electric pressure washers is the fact that they can run for the entire duration of your project without having to be stopped. A gas-powered pressure washer, on the other hand, will have a finite amount of fuel in it. When that fuel runs out, you’ll need to stop, refill the pressure washer and get it started again before you can continue with your work. Having to go through this process multiple times during a large project can involve quite a bit of downtime and delay the completion of the project itself. At the same time, filling and refilling the gas tank on your pressure washer can be somewhat expensive.
For these reasons and many others, people looking to purchase pressure washers are almost always better choosing an electric model over a gas-powered one. If you’re in the market for a pressure washer, an electric option will save you money, be more convenient and cause you far fewer maintenance headaches than one powered by a traditional gasoline engine.