Things to Know Before Buying a Petrol Pressure Washer
Pressure washers are fantastic. I imagine we’ve all at least heard about the amazingly satisfying results they can so easily deliver.
They can remove layers of caked-on grime, or get the car shining like new, with very little effort.
Petrol pressure washers are extremely powerful, generally more so than electric versions. So, if you’ve got some serious pressure washing to do – these models are going to be your true allies in the fight against grime.
There are a few considerations to bear in mind when choosing the best petrol pressure washer, so take a look at the tips below to help you make an informed decision:
Petrol Pressure Washers Vs. Electric
Whilst electric pressure washers are certainly useful pieces of kit in the home environment, petrol-powered pressure washers hold a number of advantages.
The biggest advantage is that petrol-powered machines are fully portable. Unlike a mains-powered electric model you don’t need a power socket, just petrol and oil. This can be a huge benefit if you’re trying to clean something away from the house or shed.
You’ll also find they are more powerful than electric models. Even the petrol-powered machines with the lowest available bar pressure will top electric ones. That gives more power and water flow to get the job done quickly
That said, petrol models are noisier than electric machines so you may have to be considerate about what time of day you use it. Petrol pressure washers also emit fumes so they are not considered to be as environmentally friendly as electric ones.
Choosing the Right Engine Power
A top CC engine like the Wilks’ USA TX750i Petrol pressure washer will generally have around 5 – 10 horsepower, helping you get extensive mucky jobs done quickly. Just imagine the power of that many horses behind you as you hose down your patio.
The way petrol pressure washers work is the engines power the water pump. The water pump is in charge of building up the water pressure. So, the more engine power, the higher your bar pressure can climb.
A bigger engine will require more fuel, so you should probably look for an engine which is just enough to get your jobs done, but isn’t excessively more powerful for no reason. Otherwise you may find that you’re spending more money on petrol than necessary.
How to Decide on Water Pressure
Water pressure is important – it’s what shifts the filth.
Petrol pressure washers usually have a higher water pressure than electric machines.
For deep-cleaning or commercial jobs, look for pressure washers with minimum of 220 bars – for example, the Wilks Genuine brand or the Waspper Petrol Pressure Washer.
You need a lot of power to get cleaning jobs done spotlessly and quickly. These washers are therefore particularly useful if you’re trying to shift a lot of grime from concrete or paving and don’t want to spend a lot of time on the job.
For cleaning your car, you want a pressure washer which can deliver around 110 – 180 bars. You should be mindful of using too powerful a pressure washer as it could damage the paintwork.
The Importance of Flow Rate
More water flowing through your machine means cleaning jobs are completed faster.
Petrol-powered pressure washers often have a higher flow rate, but there is some overlap between the high-end electric models and the budget petrol machines.
The higher the flow rate the faster the job. Look for at least 360 L per hour for a home environment. For commercial purposes, Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer with 660 litres per hour flow rate, is the best option.
Detergent Systems and Other Accessories
Some petrol pressure washers come with an in-built detergent system. It’s not a deal breaker, but it’s certainly something you might want to look out for to make your life easier. If you’re keen to use detergent when doing your cleaning jobs – particularly if you’re targeting mould and don’t want it spreading, this is made all the more easy if the unit has a detergent tank. If not, you can always try squirting detergent from a spray bottle directly to the surface – this isn’t always a lot of fun when you have cold, wet hands.
It’s great when pressure washers come with a range of nozzles. These can help you complete specific jobs. Angled spray heads are great for cleaning under wheel arches and getting into guttering. The more options you have, the easier you’ll find a wide range of cleaning jobs.
Manoeuvrability is Important Too
Petrol pressure washers come with big wheels and a sturdy frame so you can move them around easily.
Look for rubber wheels as they protect the engine and pump from uneven ground. 25 cm+ wheels are best.
Also keep an eye on how the hosepipe and accessories are stored. It’s a pain trekking out to an animal pen or fence if you need to carry a second bag stuffed with the lance, hose, and accessories as well as the washer itself.
The best petrol pressure washers have onboard storage that makes them easy to manoeuvre.
Check If it Has a Warranty
Top of the range petrol pressure washers are usually tough, durable pieces of kit because they are dragged over rough ground and used in commercial environments.
That said, you should always look for a long warranty as the machines are used roughly and pieces can break no matter how careful you are – especially the hosepipe.
Good makes often have long warranties. If the warranty is short or doesn’t exist at all, think twice.
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