They are also quieter, costs less to maintain and environment-friendly (no fumes, exhaust, or fuel spills).
California this year is tightening regulations on gas pressure washer emissions by requiring engines powering these devices to be less polluting and no evaporation of fuel. The amount of gasoline escaping from ordinary fuel tanks and lines can be surprisingly high.
An electric pressure washer typically generates 1,300 to 3,000 pounds of water pressure per square inch (PSI) and flows an average of 1.5-3.0 gallons per minute (GPM). This is less than the 4,000 to 6,000 PSI and 3.5 to 8.0 GPM capacity of bigger, gas-powered models which has enough force for cleaning a large deck or washing siding. One thing to keep in mind when choosing an electric unit is the voltage. Smaller units will operate at 120 V, 20 amp outlet, but the large machines will require a 220V (1 or 3 phase) voltage supply. Please check your electrical outlet to determine what kind of power is available to you.
But at the rated capacities, electric pressure washers can effectively transform a muddy car into a gleaming machine, face down a moldy deck, or sweep away grime from patio furniture. They are also cheaper; prices (except for industrial models) vs. $1,200 for a typical gas models. Electric power washers are safer too since there is no fuel tank to refill and maintain. It is perfect for those who have young children scurrying around.
Even then, you shouldn’t allow the kids to play with the machine. While they are less powerful than their gas brethren, they do inflict injuries. Take common sense precautions like wearing working shoes and eye protection. Consider them lethal weapons by not taking aim at anybody—ever.
Electric pressure washers are suited to small jobs like rinsing the car or house siding cleaning. They are also lighter which makes them easy to move about and store.
Electric pressure washers do have limitations other that the water pressure generated. They need to be used within 100 feet of an electrical outlet, require a 20-amp circuit and should be grounded. Internal grounding (GFCI) is usually built into the power cord.
You need also to examine the quality of the pump used. Oftentimes, a good quality pump serves you for a long time. Electric pressure washers containing them may last ten times longer than those dubbed “throwaways” because the pump can be serviced over and over again during the lifetime of the engine.
Seasoned users estimate that an electric pressure washer rated at 2000 PSI and 2 GPM can easily clean five to seven square feet a minute. One can opt for a 3 GPM which could slice the time for a given job by half which may be worth the added price.
Go for electric powered units. You won’t regret it.
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