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Gas-Powered Pressure Washers vs. An Electric Pressure Washer

by Hotsy
on June 15, 2018

As with most products built to make your life easier, there are pros and cons to both a gas-powered and electric pressure washer. The way you plan on using the machine will inform the kind of pressure washer you need. So, let’s talk it out and weigh your options.


Before we get into the differences between pressure washers, you’ll need to know a couple of key terms: PSI and GPM. When we use the term “PSI,” we’re referring to pounds per square inch. This is what gives the water the pressure to penetrate dirty surfaces and refers to the water pressure measured at output. When we discuss “GPM,” we’re talking about gallons per minute. This is how much water is used—the amount that’s brought into the machine. This gives the machine the power to actually break down the dirt, oil, etc. on surfaces.

What are Gas-Powered Pressure Washers?

There are light-, medium-, and heavy-duty pressure washers that use a gas-fueled engines. That engine supplies power to the water pump that’s connected to a water hose to produce the pressure needed to wash anything from cars to buildings.


The nice thing about gas-powered pressure washers is that they’re much more portable than their electric counterparts. This is due to the fact that they don’t need to be plugged into a power source to operate.


Like anything, gas-powered pressure washers require routine maintenance. This isn’t really a problem if you keep up with it as recommended by the manufacturer. Something else to think about is that, due to the fumes, you shouldn’t be using gas-powered pressure washers in enclosed spaces. They’re also typically louder than electric pressure washers, so you may want to take that into account, too.

What are Electric Pressure Washers?

Powered by electricity, these pressure washers need a working electrical outlet to function. Water is delivered by hose or attached tank, depending on the model. It’s typical to see water tanks on larger electric models.


Electric pressure washers can plug into a power outlet and don’t require gas to function. This means you won’t need to have fuel on hand for the machine to run. Since they don’t produce exhaust, they can be used indoors, when needed. That makes them perfect for use in a warehouse or car wash. They also do well around the home and are great for cleaning patios, driveways, and more.


Of course, since an electrical outlet is needed with electric pressure washers, they’ll need to be in close proximity to one in order to work. Typically, this isn’t a problem, but if you’re doing a lot of off-site work with infrequent access to an electrical source, a gas-powered pressure washer is your best bet.

Safety when Using Pressure Washers

Regardless of the type of pressure washer you choose, you should always follow standard safety practices. Because debris can become airborne when using a pressure washer, goggles are your friend. If you’re using a noisier model, ear plugs are recommended. Be sure to get acquainted with the user manual before you start cleaning, to protect your property and yourself.

How to Choose the Right Pressure Washer

If you’re not sure which pressure washer is right for you, the Iowa Hotsy Consultants are here for you! Feel free to take a look at our washer selector tool or simply contact us today. We’re ready to help you find right machine.