Hot Versus Cold
When buying pressure washer machines, the most basic decision is whether you want to use hot or cold water. Cold water generally works well for cleaning most surfaces. However, it will not dissolve petroleum-based substances. If you are cleaning driveways or concrete slabs, you will need hot water.Machines that produce hot water are a little more expensive. The benefit is that it has the ability to clean faster and it may reduce the need to purchase additional cleaning products. It also does a better overall job of removing grime.
How much of a workhorse do you need? In this instance, bigger isn’t necessarily better. If your goal is buying pressure washer horsepower, you might be disappointed with the results. You want to ensure that you are comparing apples to apples. In order to do this, you need to understand the basic terminology.
Pounds per Square Inch, or PSI, refer to the force of the water over one square inch of surface.
Gallons per Minute, or GPM, are the volume of water that the machine puts out for every minute of operation.
Cleaning Units, or CU, is a rating that tells you how efficient the unit is. It is calculated by multiplying the PSI by the GPM.
Buying pressure washer engines can also be complex. Most are powered by gasoline or electricity.Electric pressure washers are best for indoor applications. Machines that are outfitted with electric motors are fumeless, lightweight, and have a smaller footprint than its gas driven counterpart has. It is significantly quieter and cheaper.For commercial purposes, most professional choose gasoline or diesel engines. While these are much louder and bigger, they are also rugged and durable. It offers an advantage in that it cleans faster and more efficiently than the electric ones do. Care should be used if operating in a confines space, as gasoline fumes can be toxic.
Most often, the first component to go bad on a pressure washer is the pump. If cost is your primary concern, direct drive pumps lower equipment price. The downside to this is that it wears out almost twice as fast as a belt driven pump, which could leave you buying pressure washer replacement parts. Direct drive pumps are bolted directly to the engine shaft, so they turn in unison. This means more rotations per hour of use. If your machine will be used more than 30 hours per week, consider buying pressure washer equipment outfitted with a belt drive. Belt drive pumps are standard on industrial models. A system of pulleys and pumps turn the engine shaft, which reduces friction and vibration. Superior heat dissipation ensures that other components don’t get too hot.
It pays to do a little research before buying pressure washer brands. Some manufacturers offer better warranties than others do. Look at the fine print to see specifically what items are covered. Also, find out what their procedure is for servicing the equipment. The reward for your advance preparation will help keep your wallet a little greener.