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Benefits of Pressure Washing

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Pressure Washer Types

Flat Surface Cleaners

It's Gonna get Dirty Again


Things you can Clean

Hot vs Cold


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Cleaning Wood

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Pricing Up Work



Oil Changes and Maintenance

Jet Sizes


Pump Speed

Repetitive Strain Injury

Record Keeping/Paying Tax




On this page I’m going to list the four main types of pressure washer and their various strengths and weaknesses.

The four main types:

Petrol driven: These are the machines most commonly used by professional driveway cleaners.

Diesel driven: More expensive and larger/heavier than their petrol-driven counterparts.

Single Phase Electric: These are the small, low powered pressure washers you’ll use for occasional domestic use and small jobs.

3 Phase Electric: Heavy duty electric-powered machines.



Petrol Driven

On the left is a portable petrol-driven cold pressure washer. These are the most common types of industrial pressure washers you'll see in the UK. I have something very similar to this machine. These are the mainstay of the professional driveway and patio cleaners.

Powerful, reliable and cheaper to purchase compared to diesel machines, they are noisy however, and can't be used in an enclosed environment because of the dangerous carbon monoxide fumes they release.

You don't have to have a portable machine like this one; you can instead have it fitted into a trailer or van. I personally think it's better to have a portable one even though you could argue a trailer setup looks more professional.



Diesel Driven

Essentially diesel machines have the same benefits as the petrol driven pressure washers. I don't think these give off as much carbon monoxide as a petrol driven machine, but you still wouldn't be able to use them in an enclosed space for long without choking/coughing on the fumes.

These are more expensive to purchase in general, but then because they are diesel-fuelled they are cheaper to run and will probably also last longer.



Single Phase Electric

Relatively quiet and can be used in an enclosed space, as well as small, light and easy to manoeuvre.

A single phase electric pressure washer will run on your domestic 240v power supply from the same 13amp wall sockets your TV will be plugged into. This means however that these pressure washers aren't very powerful because there isn't enough energy from your home electricity supply, to give you a machine that produces a flow of more than 10lpm at around 135bar.

Many of these types of pressure washers are cheap but badly made and not built to last. The brand of Kranzle Pressure Washers is one of the exceptions to this rule, producing high quality single phase electric models, although they'll cost you more money.

3 Phase Electric

These pressure washers are more expensive than your single phase electric models, but capable of producing as much power as petrol and diesel driven machines.

The only problem with these pressure washers is that they need a 3 phase electric power supply (415 volts) to get them to function. The majority of power supplies are single phase (240volts).

So, in order to run the electric motors on these machines, you will need to buy a single to 3 phase convertor that changes a single phase power supply into a 3 phase one. You’ll want to take a look on Google for phase convertors.

Also, depending on the power of the machine it will use either, 16, 32 or 63 amp plugs with 2.5mm2 cable.


Petrol vs Electric

There is no single answer to this: in certain situations you’re better off with a petrol machine and in others an electric one is better.

If you are going to be cleaning exterior surfaces with your pressure washer, which I believe is what makes up the vast majority of pressure washing work out there, you’ll probably want a petrol-driven machine.

However, electric pressure washers tend to be a fair bit cheaper, so if you think you’ll only be doing the very occasional small pressure washing job, then you might be better off going electric. Note: 3 phase machines won't be cheaper.


Petrol/Diesel Benefits

Power: Petrol driven pressure washers are usually more powerful than their electric cousins. Because they are more powerful it allows you work faster.

Dependability: Petrol-driven pressure washers are usually more reliable and built to a much better quality with components that are designed to last. An electric pressure washer is more likely to fail with prolonged use. If a petrol pressure washer is maintained correctly it should run all day with no problems. You’ll get sick of pressure washing before the pressure washer does. Kranzle make reliable single phase electric pressure washers however, so you certainly can’t write off all electric models.

Don’t Need a Power Supply: Because they don’t rely on using your customer’s electricity, the customer doesn’t have to be present to allow you access to their power. This means you can just get on with the work, provided you have access to a water supply.

Look more Professional: I think a petrol pressure washer looks superior to an electric one. Electric pressure washers tend to be plastic and cheap looking.
But then on the other hand a 3 phase pressure washer will look just as professional and be just as powerful as a petrol one, the only drawback being it needs a 3 phase electricity supply, or a phase convertor.


Electric Benefits

Able to work in enclosed spaces without worry of dangerous petrol fumes.

They are usually smaller and lighter, so much easier to move about than petrol-driven pressure washers.

Generally less desirable, so thieves less likely to steal them.










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