It’s easy to see why it is convenient to purchase a pressure washer: it is the best solution to clean spaces, objects and surfaces effectively.
Less easy, however, is to understand how to choose the most suitable pressure washer for your needs. In this article, therefore, we will discover how to choose a pressure washer, analyzing the characteristics and advantages of the various models on the market.
With a pressure washer we can clean any space: from the courtyard floor, to the balcony of a house, to the facade of a building under construction, to the stables of a breeding farm or the premises of a production plant. In the same way, we can wash from garden chairs to cars, to large transport and construction site vehicles. In this huge scenario, which is the best pressure washer to choose?
The best pressure washer does not exist, but there is the best pressure washer for each specific purpose, and that's why the different ranges on the market offer numerous models, having various powers, sizes and structures. They range from the smallest, suitable for home use, to professional and semi-professional ones, and the technologies have evolved more and more to satisfy the different needs.
Starting from the very beginning, a first fundamental choice can be made between pressure washers with endothermic engine (commonly called combustion engine) and electric pressure washers.
The main advantages of using a pressure washer are, however, common to all models. Compare the results obtainable with the traditional water hose: time saving, less fatigue and deeper cleaning, thanks to the pressure water jet; water saving up to 75% and drastic reduction in the use of detergents, safeguarding the environment and ecology.
These advantages can be obtained with traditional cold water pressure washers and amplified even more in hot water pressure washers, equipped with a coil that heats the water pumped by the pistons to let it out of the nozzles at a temperature that dissolves grease and oil without the addition of detergent products and additives. The choice between a cold or hot water pressure washer, therefore, depends mainly on the type of dirt you have to deal with.
Of course, the choice also depends on the budget, which grows in direct proportion to the performance of the pressure washer: water pressure, water flow rate, engine power, electric power and the quality of materials of the various components and accessories.
The more pressure the water has at outlet, the more effective the action of the pressure washer will be on the dirt. Pressure is the force with which the water hits a surface or an object: it is measured in bar and with special pressure gauges. For home use, pressure washers from 100 to 160 bar can be used, while for professional use pressure washers up to 700 bar can be used.
THE WATER FLOW RATE
The amount of water delivered by a pressure washer during its operation is called flow rate and is measured in liters per hour or minute. Pressure being equal, the more water emitted, the more effective and stronger will be the washing capacity. The flow rate of home and semi-professional pressure washers does not exceed 10 liters per minute, while in professional pressure washers the values are much higher. Pressure being equal, a higher flow rate corresponds to a shorter cleaning time.
THE POWER AND TYPE OF THE INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE
As for the models powered by combustion engine, the rotation speed of the engine varies between 3000 and 5000 rpm. On professional machines often used for continuous work, a manual or automatic engine speed gearbox/regulator is installed, which allows reducing the endothermic engine rotation speed when there is no power demand.
THE POWER AND TYPE OF ELECTRIC MOTOR
For electrically powered pressure washers, the power in KiloWatt absorbed by the machine and the type of electric system to which it must be connected should be taken into account: up to 3 Kilowatt, in fact, you can use a single-phase home system (230 V), otherwise you need the three-phase system (400 V) generally used in the semiprofessional/professional field for machines with high flow rate/pressure. Another very important feature to consider when purchasing an electric pressure washer is the type of motor: brush or induction.
The brush motor is often installed on hobby pressure washers (medium-low price range), intended for occasional and infrequent use. This type of motor offers good performance in relation to the cost, but is not suitable to carry out long continuous work sessions, otherwise the life of the same will be reduced.
The induction motor instead is characteristic of semi-professional/professional machines, it has a much higher resistance able to withstand several hours of continuous work. Among the induction motors there are the liquid cooled ones which are able to ensure the ideal working temperatures even for long working sessions and higher reliability in the long term, avoiding overheating and breakage.
PRESSURE WASHER: BIG OR SMALL?
Among the other factors that affect the choice of the pressure washer - and its cost - there is, inevitably, its structure, which can be made of plastic or metal; the latter are essential to withstand "hard" environments such as, for example, a construction site.
Finally, we should not forget the accessories, such as hoses, lances, guns and nozzles, to be chosen according to the materials and specific needs of use.
Now you know everything in depth to find the best pressure washer for your needs: make the good choice!