electric vs gas pressure washer

Electric vs Gas Pressure Washer: Which is Right For Your Business?

Managing cleaning processes is a critical part of operations for most businesses. Pressure washing has repeatedly stood out as the most reliable way to manage cleaning tasks efficiently, as it takes just a fraction of the time and labor required by manual methods.

However, when many businesses are just getting into pressure washing, an inevitable choice awaits: how do you decide between electric vs gas pressure washers?

Each type of pressure washer has distinct pros and cons. While some businesses have the luxury of being able to choose without any production delays, for most, the choice between gas vs electric pressure washers will directly impact their efficiency.

Thankfully, you won’t have to figure out all the differences between an electric pressure washer vs gas by yourself. We will explore each fuel type in detail, including which cleaning tasks and environments suit each model, so let’s begin!

Key Differences Between Gas and Electric Pressure Washers

The comparison between electric vs gas pressure washers has more layers than you may expect at first. The engine type within a given machine will affect everything from use cases and mobility to noise and longevity.

Therefore, to properly understand the gas vs electric pressure washer debate, we must first understand how each one works.

Overview of Gas Pressure Washers

We will begin our comparison by looking at models with gas-powered engines. Gas-based pressure washers are renowned for their exceptional power and performance. Most gas-powered machines come with high-displacement engines, with some reaching sizes above 400cc.

Due to the power of their engines, gas pressure washers consistently produce water streams strong enough for most cleaning tasks. You will often find gas-based models with PSI (pressure per square inch) anywhere from 2,000 to 4,500+ and GPM (gallons per minute) of 2.0 to 8.0.

It is also essential to note that some diesel-powered models are similar to gas models. Diesel models offer a slight boost in power in exchange for higher fuel costs and upkeep requirements compared to gas machines.

That said, our primary focus is on electric vs gas pressure washers, so let’s switch gears and discuss the counterpart in this debate.

Overview of Electric Pressure Washers

Unlike gas models, electric pressure washers use smaller, lightweight motors designed for energy efficiency and user-friendliness. These machines require electricity to run, so you must keep them plugged into an outlet.

Historically, gas pressure washers have outclassed electric engines in terms of power, but the gap has closed a bit in recent years, especially with machines from industry titans like Hotsy. You can still find electric machines with high GPM and PSI ratings, though the top end is still a slight win for gas models.

Electric models are beloved for their environmentally friendly design, low-noise operations, and accessible learning process.

So, between an electric pressure washer vs gas, which one should you choose?

Electric vs Gas Pressure Washer: Which is Right For Your Business?

Because either option of electric vs gas pressure washers offers fantastic cleaning power for your business, we will need to dive much deeper to declare a winner.

We will compare each engine type across nine key categories, ranging from cleaning power and versatility to noise level and upkeep requirements.

Cleaning Performance

One of the first questions business owners should ask when considering a pressure washer is simple: Can this machine handle all of the tasks my business requires?

Cleaning power has historically been at the heart of the electric vs gas pressure washer debate. Gas-powered machines have a reputation for being more powerful, and for good reason. Industry staples, like the Hotsy 1200 series, regularly reach PSI ratings up to 4000+, with GPM in the range of 4.7. This provides more than enough cleaning power for almost any task, including tough stains found in industrial or maritime settings.

However, in recent years, electric models have nearly caught up with gas machines in terms of power. The Hotsy 5700 series, for example, reaches up to 3000 PSI and 8 GPM, which is suitable for everything but the toughest stains.

Additionally, if you are shopping for an electric pressure washer, it is easier to find a lightweight and delicate pressure washer on the lower end of power. This may be necessary for light-duty tasks like cleaning vehicles or patios that could be damaged by excessive power.

So, while gas wins for very high-end tasks, electric has come a long way and can still hold its own in most settings.

Portability and Mobility

When considering portability and mobility, you must consider the scale at which you use your machine.

Gas pressure washers are generally heavier than electric models, which makes them less portable for small-scale jobs. However, this advantage gets nullified if you use a pressure washer trailer or a model with wheels on a large-scale job.

This is because electric pressure washers must be plugged into an electrical outlet. While you can get creative with extension cords, gas models are significantly more mobile, especially in hard-to-reach areas.

We give gas models a win in this category, other than very small-scale jobs where the lightweight feel of an electric machine is preferred.

Maintenance Requirements

Upkeep for your pressure washer is crucial if you plan to buy or lease a machine. 

Electric models lack complex fuel systems, which lowers the required maintenance. Gas-powered models require frequent upkeep, such as oil changes, spark plug replacements, and fuel system cleaning.

While there are ways to lessen the load of upkeep for a gas model by buying a machine from a dealer with a friendly warranty policy and in-house repair, we have to give this win to electric models for their comparatively stress-free upkeep.

Cost Considerations

Streamlining your cleaning operations with a pressure washer will save you money in the long run, but it is vital to ensure you are getting the best value for your investment.

Electric models generally run slightly cheaper than their gas counterparts in terms of initial price tag and long-term upkeep. However, consider whether an electric model can handle your cleaning needs. 

Adding in occasional rental costs of more powerful gas models for jobs with tough stains or limited outlet access can eventually cause the initial cheaper investment of an electric model to cost more in the long run.

We give electric models a slight cost advantage, assuming you won’t need to invest in renting a gas model later.

Noise Level

Noise can be a significant concern for businesses, especially those in residential or urban areas where noise pollution can put you in the crosshairs of local regulations.

Electric pressure washers are surprisingly quiet for such a powerful tool. This allows them to be used indoors without disrupting operations or neighbors. 

Gas models are significantly louder. However, this is often less of a concern for industrial and outdoor commercial applications. You also have the option to mitigate some of the noise with accessories.

Low noise is a calling card of electric pressure washers, so we give them the win over gas models.

Environmental Impact

Environmental concerns are growing for businesses, with new emissions regulations being codified each year. 

Electric pressure washers avoid producing direct emissions with their engines, making them a sustainable choice that could help your business participate in tax breaks or other beneficial environmental programs.

Gas pressure washers naturally produce emissions due to their engines. This can make them tricky to use in poorly ventilated indoor spaces without protective equipment. Additionally, fuel storage and handling add another layer of environmental concern that must be addressed and could subject your business to regulations.

We should also note that both types of pressure washers must be used in conjunction with local regulations regarding water runoff to comply with environmental standards.

Electric models are a winner in this category.

Application Versatility

If you are investing in a brand new pressure washer, you want to be able to tackle all of your business’ cleaning tasks rather than just a couple.

Gas machines can reach higher PSI and GPM ratings, which allows them to excel in a wider variety of situations. This is especially true with machines that can modulate water flow, as they can be used for delicate scenarios like vehicles and stubborn industrial stains.

Electric machines still have plenty of uses but lack the extra power for the most challenging stains. They can also be difficult to use if you cannot access a power outlet, which is common in outdoor settings.

We give a slight nod to gas machines here.

Longevity and Durability

While the durability of any given machine will depend more on a brand’s reputation, gas pressure washers have a slight advantage here.

Gas models usually feature heavy-duty metal throughout their internal components, making them capable of withstanding frequent rigorous use in industrial settings. When properly maintained, they will usually last a couple more years than electric models.

Still, electric models are no slouch either, especially when you follow proper storage and repair procedures with them.

Ease of Use

If you and your staff have never used a pressure washer, electric models are an easier way to start. They are lightweight, easy to start and stop, and require less maintenance than their gas counterparts.

Gas models are still relatively simple, especially with professional advice guiding you.

Okay, so we have compared the two engine types across various categories. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on your business needs.

But there is still one thing to consider before you start shopping: Figuring out where to rent a pressure washer to utilize this fantastic cleaning power for your business! If you are in New Jersey, we have just the place in mind.

You Can Count on RJP Hotsy for Efficient, Reliable Equipment Whether You Need a Gas vs Electric Pressure Washer!

RJP Hotsy New Jersey is the Garden State’s best resource for pressure washers! Over the years, we have built a reputation as the #1 home for commercial pressure washer trailers in NJ, working with reputable clients like the Jersey Turnpike Authority, the Philadelphia Phillies, Penske, and more!

As the only authorized Hotsy dealer in the state, we offer the best commercial pressure washers in New Jersey from the industry’s most storied brand. Hotsy has built a strong reputation over five decades, helping businesses streamline their cleaning tasks worldwide.

Whether you are looking to buy a new commercial hot water pressure washer in New Jersey or just want to test out the waters with a commercial pressure washer rental in NJ, we have you covered. Our friendly team will work as your strategic partner to find the perfect machine for your needs, whether electric or gas.

Once you purchase a machine, our job does not stop there. Rather than trying to figure out how to repair pressure washers yourself, you can rely on our best-in-class commercial pressure washer repair in NJ. As an authorized Hotsy warranty center, we carry all the parts needed to keep your machine pristine.

Bringing Our Comparison of Electric Pressure Washer vs Gas Pressure Washer to a Close

Overall, the pros and cons of an electric pressure washer highly depend on your business’s needs. Gas models offer extra mobility and power, while electric machines are quiet, environmentally friendly, and safe for use indoors.

If you enjoyed our guide on electric vs gas pressure washers, check out our blog for more! You will find plenty of helpful articles on pressure washing, like the cost to repair a pressure washer, hot water vs cold water pressure washers, the cost to rent a pressure washer, and how to set up a pressure washer trailer.

Beyond our blog articles, the best way to learn about commercial pressure washers is by asking our friendly team at RJP Hotsy! As the #1 home for commercial cold water pressure washers in New Jersey and the state’s only authorized dealership, we have everything you need to streamline your business’ cleaning processes.

Whether you want advice to decide between gas vs electric pressure washers, need help with commercial pressure washer leasing in NJ, or have to get a specialized detergent for a specific stain, our RJP Hotsy is right by your side.

Call us at (609)-286-2958 or stop by our New Egypt storefront to learn more about how to take your cleaning to the next level with a Hotsy pressure washer!