An Electric Pressure Washer for Light Duty Cleaning

Besides being quiet, simple and easy to use, an electric pressure washer won't give you sticker shock at the cash register.

Designed primarily for light- to medium-duty cleaning jobs, an electric power washer is almost as easy to use as a carpet cleaner - just attach the hose, add detergent and plug it in!

Since it doesn't have a gasoline tank you can easily store an electric pressure washer indoors without the worry of fumes or fire hazard. Economical to operate and usually less expensive than their gas counterparts with more powerful engines, they are available in both cold- and hot-water units.

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Pressure washer powerhouses like Karcher and Husky (sold through Home Depot stores) produce a full range of electric pressure washers geared for the home-use consumer. Check reviews online and elicit opinions from store personnel as to the best electric model for your needs. The pump is the most important part of the pressure washer, whether it's powered by gas or electricity - so be sure to ask about the type of pump built into your electric washer.

Electric power washers run the gamut from the smallest model with a low PSI (pounds per square inch, the measure of water pressure) for use in washing the care or patio furniture, to more powerful machines that can wash the vinyl siding on a two-story home. They produce water flows in the 1000 to 2000 PSI range, and can operate on standard 115- or 120-voltage from regular household outlets.

A long power cord increases the portability of an electric pressure cleaner, but don't be tempted to increase the range by using extension cords: your equipment should be plugged directly into an outlet, as using extension cords may pose a risk of shock or worse.

Electric motor power is rated in amperes ("amp") - a typical home-use machine will have a motor in the 13 to 22 amp range. Electric washers are outfitted with either universal or induction electric motors - with the latter being the lower-mainenance, longer-lasting of the two.

Electric Pressure Washer

The advantages:

  • Electric power washers are mostly smaller, lighter and easier to carry around.
  • They require less maintenance than gas-powered models.
  • Electric models are quieter than gas-powered washers.
  • They need less space and no special preparation (other than normal maintenance) when put in storage for both short and long periods.
  • If the need arises, electric power washers can be used indoors as they don't produce toxic fumes like gas models.

The drawbacks:

  • To operate, electric washers need to be near an electrical power outlet, so their range can be limited, even if using an extra-long cord (remember no extension cords!).
  • Less power means slower operation - gas models with higher PSIs and GPMs (measure of water flow - "gallons per minute") will do the job faster.
  • Less enduring, penetrating power. Don't plan on stripping paint or stain of a large deck with an electric power washer.

An electric pressure washer is a straightforward, easy-to-operate cleaning tool ideal for small exterior projects that can be managed within the distance of a 35-foot power cord to an outlet

 

 


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