Pressure washers are great cleaning equipment that utilizes highly pressurized water to help with the cleaning process. They also come in different grades, ranging from the residential types to the commercial and industrial types. It is however certain that commercial and industrial grade pressure washers are made with heavier-grade components as compared to pressure washing equipment that are particularly made for residential use only.
Since residential-type pressure washers are made for light use only, they are not made with heavy-duty components that are able to withstand abuse and prolonged usage. This makes residential-type light duty pressure washers much cheaper than those of medium-duty to heavy-duty grade. Due to this affordability, some buyers from both the commercial and industrial sectors make the mistake of buying these pressure washers thinking that these units would also be able to accommodate their commercial and industrial cleaning needs. The problem with this type of usage is that they often times are subjected to heavier workload than they are designed for, making them break down early on. These people cheap out on the more appropriate equipment making them spend more in the end.
Pressure washers are used on a daily basis by commercial cleaning contractors, manufacturing industries, food processing plants, maintenance facilities, car detailing businesses, public works particularly graffiti removal, and many more. Commercial and industrial pressure washers are made with heavy-duty grade pressure pump, motor, and other crucial components allowing them to withstand the frequency of use, prolonged usage, and relative abuse. The type of pressure washer you get will greatly depend upon the cleaning application you have at hand. This is because pressure washers come with thermal options that facilitate the increase in the cleaning potential of a unit.
There are basically three temperature options for pressure washers – cold water, hot water, and steam.
Cold water pressure washers are the regular type of pressure washers which use regular or plain tap water along with pressure to clean. It is useful for general types of cleaning. Hot water pressure washers on the other hand use heated water along with pressure to clean. The heated water can reach up to 200° F making it perfect for cleaning and removing oil and grease off of surfaces. The heated option is much viable when it comes to cleaning these substances because cold water will only solidify them making them even harder to remove. Heated water on the other hand will melt them making it much easier to wash them off. The third type of pressure washer called the steam pressure washer uses both steam and pressure to clean surfaces. Steam types are much hotter than hot water types and are able to reach temperatures of up to 330° F. This makes them practically the best type of pressure washer in terms of cleaning capability, but they are also more expensive than the first two.
Another advantage when using steam to clean along with pressure is that you actually do not need any additional chemicals to hasten your cleaning process. Unlike with cold water units wherein you need to use certain chemicals to deal with oil, grease, and other types of tough dirt, with steam however, you barely need to do it. This is because the very hot temperature that steam offers not just help to clean the surface of any dirt and stains, but it also helps to sterilize it. If you’re familiar with steam cookers, then you know that you can use them to sterilize kitchen utensils and baby bottles. Steam pressure washers are similar, only it uses extreme pressure to help deal away with dirt and stains. Note: If you need to use chemicals for cleaning, it wouldn’t hurt to make sure that the chemical you are using uses 100% organic ingredients to ensure they are environmentally friendly.
Steam pressure washers use gasoline, kerosene, propane, or heating oil to heat water. This type of steam pressure washer uses wet steam. However, there is also another type of steam cleaner called the ‘dry steam cleaner.’ Basically, this type of cleaner cannot generate the same amount of pressure that wet steam pressure washers do (up to 4,000 PSI) as they can only generate up to 60 PSI. Dry steam cleaners cannot be called pressure washers because they don’t provide enough pressure to be called such, thus, when shopping around for a steam pressure washer unit, it is important that you do not confuse them from the other.
Pressure washers are powered by either a gas engine or an electric motor. How the unit is powered is relatively important for the type of cleaning task you have because each have their strong points as well as significant weak points. For example, gas-powered pressure washers, size-for-size, can generate more power than electric-powered ones. This means gas units can provide more cleaning power than electric units. In addition, since gas-powered units are not limited by the length of your extension cord, you can use them even on remote locations such as construction sites, recreational parks, parking compounds, and many more. However, despite their cleaning power and ability to be used on remote locations, they cannot be used on indoor cleaning applications or poorly ventilated spaces. This is because gas engines combust gas which in turn expels fumes. These fumes, particularly the carbon monoxide gas (an odorless and colorless gas), is very lethal when breathed in for prolonged periods. This is the very reason why it is highly discouraged to use gas-powered units on indoor spaces.
For indoor cleaning applications, electric-powered units are the ones highly recommended. The downside of electric units, however, is that they need to be constantly plugged into the grid to maintain power. Then again, they have the advantage of being quieter to operate and the need for lesser maintenance.
There are some locations that have specified regulations for both indoor and outdoor cleaning. For indoor cleaning of food manufacturing plants and facilities, the use of steam pressure washer is a necessity but regulations state that they should not use any fuel to heat the water other than electricity. For certain outdoor cleaning on the other hand, such that of hotels, hospitals, and retirement homes, the use of gas-powered pressure washers is regulated due to the noise it generates. The use of electric-powered pressure washers is often recommended.