Top 10 Best Commercial Pressure Washers of 2017

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Best Commercial Pressure Washers 2017: Questions & Answers

What are commercial pressure washers used for?

A pressure washer (also known as a power washer) is essentially a really powerful hose. It’s extremely high pressure and is used to wash off mold, dust, mud, and dirt from the sides of a house, decks, boats, cars, lawn equipment, and driveways. It can also remove loose paint and clean out livestock stables, construction sites, and big commercial spaces, like warehouses.

How much power should an industrial pressure washer have?

The power on commercial or industrial pressure washers are most commonly measured in horsepower or volts and amps, if the engine is electric. The bigger the cleaning task, the more power is recommended. You should be careful about getting a pressure washer that’s too powerful, because the high-pressure water can actually damage cars and other items. You should also never spray a person with the hose. If you are cleaning a large commercial or industrial space, 10-12HP is a more than acceptable range.

What does PSI stand for?

After horsepower or volts, the next indication of a pressure washer’s power is the PSI. PSI stands for “pounds per square inch” and essentially measures how much force the water has. If you are just washing around your home (cars, boats, gutters, etc), a washer with a 1000-2000 PSI is a good place to start. For really difficult jobs, like stripping paint and for cleaning greasy, industrial spaces, the highest PSI is 3000-5000.

What are the benefits of a gas-powered pressure washer?

Gas-powered pressure washers have several advantages over electric ones. Gas-powered engines are generally a lot more powerful. They also don’t need to be plugged in, so you aren’t limited by the length of a cord. These two factors allow you to clean faster, which is better for large areas. Gas engines also tend to last longer than electric ones.

What are the benefits of an electric pressure washer?

The most obvious advantage of an electric pressure washer is that you don’t have to buy any fuel, and the washer doesn’t produce emissions. Electric engines are also smaller and lighter, which is important if you plan on moving around a lot with the washer as you clean. They are also a lot quieter.

How important is the pump on a heavy duty pressure washer?

The importance of a good pump really can’t be overstated. Without a good pump, your pressure washer will break down very quickly. All the high-pressure water comes through the pump, so if it isn’t strong and durable, that water will do a lot of damage to it. CAT makes really good pumps and are used by a lot of different brands. Pumps with a triplex design (which CAT uses) are also a good sign. These pumps use three plungers instead of one, and have a longer lifespan. They are also more efficient than other designs, and are commonly used in professional-grade pressure washers. The last piece to be aware of is the type of pistons the pump uses. Ceramic pistons allow the pump to operate at a cooler temperature, so the interior of the pump doesn’t wear out from the heat produced by the engine.

What should I look for in the hose?

Like the pump, the high-pressure water comes into direct contact with the hose, so the hose needs to be durable. Steel-braided hoses are very strong and don’t kink up. For convenience, a long hose is also a great feature to look for, as it allows you to move more freely without having to drag the actual body of the washer with you. A good hose will also include a durable spray gun and a variety of nozzle tips.

What are Quick-Connect tips?

Quick-Connect nozzle tips are nozzle heads that are usually located right on the pressure washer hose so you can snap them on and off, depending on your cleaning needs. These tips provide different water angles that are each suited to a specific cleaning job. This allows you more versatility and control over the speed and effectiveness of your cleaning. Some examples include a 15-degree, 25-degree, and 40-degree tips.

What kind of nozzle tips should I get?

Before you choose your nozzle tips, think about what kind of cleaning jobs you’ll have. For getting rid of stains, a 0-degree tip would be a good choice. This nozzle shoots out a pencil-thin stream of water, so small areas are hit very hard with the water. 15-degree tips use a fan pattern which can be used to get rid of paint and mildew. The 40-degree fan tip is great for more delicate jobs, since the water is dispersed over a wider area giving less power but covering more surface at once. Washing glass and cars require this kind of delicate touch.

How much do commercial power washers weigh?

Commercial pressure washers can be really heavy, as in the 80-100 pound range or even more for heavy duty power washers. This is especially true with gas-powered engines, which are by design heavier than electric ones. If you need an industrial power washer with a lot of power, the engine will be bigger, so the whole unit will weigh more. Wheels and carts for your washer can help take off some of that weight, so you aren’t struggling to move the washer.

What features should a professional pressure washer’s wheels and cart have?

Wheels are necessary to support the pressure washer, and make it easier for you to transport the machine. If you need your pressure washer on rougher terrain, like at a stable or construction site, you will really rely on good tires. Large, pneumatic tires are always a good choice because they are maneuver smoothly and provide a lot of stability. Features like a shock absorber are also very useful to have on the cart.

Should I get a hot water or a cold water one?

When you’re looking at professional pressure washers, you will notice that some use hot water. These units tend to be more expensive, but depending on the cleaning job, are significantly more efficient. When added to soap, hot water breaks down grease, which cold water is just not able to do. If you’re cleaning a commercial kitchen or warehouse where oil and grease is common, hot water is the way to go. However, if you’re just planning on using your power washer for dirt, mud, and so on, cold water is able to do the job, and costs less.

How much do commercial pressure washers cost?

Pressure washers are considered pretty heavy-duty equipment, so they can be expensive. In general, the most affordable pressure washer you can get will cost you about $300-$500. This includes washers with gas-powered engines. You can probably find even cheaper electric ones with really low PSI. Washers start to get more expensive the larger their engines get. A high PSI also means more money. These are the truly commercial-grade washers meant for large professional cleaning jobs. These can cost between $1K and $2K, and even get close to $3000 or more for the most advanced and high pressured power washers.

What to look for when buying a Commercial Pressure Washer

Motor

Commercial pressure washer engines come in both gas or electric. Gas engines offer a lot more power than electric engines, and also have the benefit of not needing a cord. For those who are energy-conscious and thoe who do not want to spend a lot of money, OHV engines (overhead valve engines) are smaller and require less gas, so they are efficient. Features like an automatic Idle Down also help reduce gas consumption. There are also CARB-compliant pressure washers, which adhere to California’s standards about energy-efficiency and emissions. If you want a zero-emission commercial pressure washer, electric engines use no gas and weigh less.

Power

When looking at a commercial pressure washer’s power, there are two things to look out for: PSI (pounds per square inch), horsepower (for gas), or volts (for electric engines). Gas engines are frequently measured by size, which is abbreviated as “cc,” which stands for cubic centimeters. In recent years, engines have forgone the horsepower measurement and just show the engine size. A powerful gas engine will have over 10 horsepower (or 200+ cc) and a PSI of 3,000 or over.The PSI determines the power of the water pressure, so a higher PSI means your pressure washer can handle really tough jobs, like stripping paint or cleaning construction equipment. Those really hard jobs require a PSI of 3000-5000.

Pumps

One of the most important parts of a commercial pressure washer is the pump. It has to handle a large amount of very high-pressure water, so durability is a big issue. Pumps essentially look like several small pipes stuck to a cylinder, and contain plungers, rods, pistons, and ball-bearings. Ceramic pistons allow the pump to work at cooler temperature, so the heat doesn’t wear down the pump. CAT brand pumps, such as the Pro-Grade Triplex pump, can last up to four times longer than other brands. These types of pumps are designed to muffle vibrations and distribute heat so the overall pump stays cooler.

Hose tips

Commercial pressure washers use a hose and hose tip where the high-pressure washer comes out. Tips allow for more versatility and flexibility with different cleaning jobs. Common hose tips include 0-degree, 15-degree, 40-degree, and Soap. 0-degree tips are very narrow, so all of the high-pressure washer comes out in a very small area. The water area expands as the degrees go up, so 40-degree tips disperse as a fan. This tip is ideal for washing cars and other pieces of equipment that need a more delicate clean. Quick-Connect tips in particular are useful because they are stored on the pressure washer itself and are easy to take on and off the hose. Some hose tips include 5-in-1 functions and pivots, so you can swivel the hose around.

Usability

The biggest concern with commercial pressure washer usability is weight. They can be very heavy and weigh in the 80-100 pound range. Gas-powered pressure washers tend to be the heaviest, because of the engine. This is why sturdy tires are important. Carts are also useful for support and transport. For a wide cleaning radius, look for long hoses. Many hoses are 50-feet long, which is important because of how heavy pressure washers often are. Some other signs of a good hose include a steel-braided design, so all the high-pressure water doesn’t break the hose’s structure down.

Tires

Depending on where you use a commercial pressure washer, the ground might be uneven or rough. A good set of tires will keep the pressure washer stable and balanced. Look for large, pneumatic tires (13-16 inches) or tires with agricultural tread. Never-Flat design helps tires stay strong against a pressure washer’s weight. Tires with shock absorbers are also beneficial because pressure washers tend to vibrate. Shock absorbers reduce the noise level of the washer, as well.

Our Recommended Brands

Generac- The Generac brand was founded in 1959 and was the first company to sell home generators. They are also responsible for making commercial power washers accessible to the residential sphere. Their washers include OHV engines and low-oil protection, which is not standard to every pressure washer.

Simpson- Simpson started making pressure washers for painters in the 1960’s, and has continued creating reliable and powerful washers for both commercial and residential needs. They sell both electric and gas-powered pressure washers. Some of their specific Simpson washers include Mega Shot and King Brute.

NorthStar- Northern Tool and Equipment, NorthStar’s parent company, began in Minnesota and was originally a scrap yard. They began adding products and in 1991, they began a manufacturing business named NorthStar that made generators, log splitters, and commercial pressure washers.

Campbell Hausfeld- Campbell Hausfeld has been creating agricultural equipment for 175 years. They moved from horse-drawn wagons to air tools, paint sprayers, and pressure washers. If you are looking for affordable pressure washers, Campbell Hausfeld has a wide range of products for every price range.

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