You know you need a powerful pressure washer for an upcoming cleaning job – but what kind do you need? The answer is, it depends!
You’ll have to consider what you’re using the pressure washing equipment for, and how much power you need. Of course, there are a few other factors at play too. That is where things start to get a bit complicated.
Today, we’re going to help you decide which type of equipment is right for you in our deep dive on the commercial vs residential pressure washer debate.
We’ll cover everything you need to know on this subject, including the pros and cons of each, and where you can find the highest quality power washer catalog online. We’ve got a lot to cover today, so let’s not waste any time!
Residential Pressure Washers
Residential pressure washers are great for cleaning your roof, your deck or patio, the undercarriage of your truck, and all sorts of other messes you encounter at home.
Sure, you could use your garden hose with a high-intensity nozzle on it. But if you’ve ever used a pressure washer first hand, we don’t need to convince you of the advantages of a high-power pressure washer. You really can’t beat the cleaning power pressure washing offers!
And these days, there are all sorts of pressure washers out there to choose from. There is a myriad of choices for homeowners. These are the perfect balance of power and affordability.
Commercial Pressure Washers
On the other hand, commercial pressure washers are used for industrial cleaning jobs. Some common use cases for these are for cleaning industrial equipment of dirt, oil, muck, and grime.
Tons of industries rely on commercial pressure washing systems. These include the automotive, construction, food service, trucking, and manufacturing industries, among many others.
A residential pressure washer wouldn’t offer enough cleaning power or durability for these types of jobs. So, how can you tell the differences between these two and verify which one you’re getting? Let’s take a look.
What’s The Difference Between A Commercial and Residential Pressure Washer?
Most people consider the difference between commercial vs residential pressure washers to simply be power. In pressure washers, this is rated as PSI – pounds per square inch. The higher the PSI, the more power a pressure washer boasts.
But, pressure alone isn’t the only thing that separates commercial pressure washers from residential options. Let’s take a look at each one and help you understand the key differences.
Commercial Pressure Washers Offer More Cleaning Power
First and foremost, commercial pressure washers blow their residential counterparts out of the water – pun intended. They are far more powerful, and thus, better suited for the toughest cleaning jobs.
But, what is the specific PSI that makes a pressure washer residential vs commercial? While home users should seek out pressure washers between 1,300-2000 PSI, commercial pressure washers fall somewhere between 3,200-8,000 PSI.
This high of power may seem like overkill to you – but there are instances where this much cleaning power is necessary. That can range from graffiti removal to paint stripping, surface preparation, construction cleaning jobs, fleet maintenance work, and more.
Electric Pressure Washers vs Gas Pressure Washers
You also should consider how your pressure washer is fueled. There are all sorts of different ways these power washer machines can be operated, with the most common being electric pressure washers or gas pressure washers.
While either of these types of equipment can be used for both residential and commercial pressure washing, you’ll often use an electric pressure washer for home use.
There is actually a reason gas-powered pressure washers are a more commercial-style product. Many cleaning jobs are in remote locations, where an outlet isn’t accessible. As such, you’ll keep a fuel tank with you and continue to top off your high-power washer throughout the workday.
While commercial operations will often use electric pressure washers too, you won’t frequently see a gas-powered pressure washer in residential situations.
Commercial Pressure Washers Are More Durable and Versatile
Along with being more powerful, commercial pressure washers are more durable and versatile than their residential counterparts. We want to preface this by saying that your typical residential power washer is still a quality, great piece of equipment.
However, manufacturers go the extra mile with their commercial pressure washing systems. They feature more rigorous build quality and can withstand the intense conditions they’ll be placed under as commercial pieces of equipment.
They are also more versatile – many of which can be mounted onto an ATV for on-the-go use. As such, the commercial washers are able to be taken on the go around the farm, around a construction site, etc.
Let’s take this even a step further – there are commercial pressure washing trailers out there that can be towed from job site to jobs site. How’s that for versatility?
Number Of Operators
Another consideration you should take into account is how many people you want to use the pressure washer at once. A residential pressure washer only comes with one wand/hose. And that’s really all you’ll need for home use, right?
On the other hand, commercial counterparts can come equipped with 1, 2, or even 3 different hoses. In a commercial setting, you want to get the job done right. But you really want to get it done as quickly as possible. With multiple people operating the pressure washer at once, you’ll be able to work twice as fast – or maybe even three times as fast!
Commercial vs Residential Pressure Washer: Which Specific Product Is Right For You?
We’ve covered the main differences of commercial vs residential pressure washers – but this is not an inclusive list. There are other factors that can separate these two from each other, but the main factors are listed above.
So now, we’re ready to help you pick the right option for you. For the most part, it comes down to evaluating the four factors we outlined above. But there are a few other things worth considering before you pull the trigger on your new pressure washing system.
How Much Cleaning Power Do You Need?
The very first consideration you need to make is how much cleaning power you need. As you now know, this is indicated in PSI. If you are just looking to clean a deck, driveway, or gutters – a residential pressure washer is more than enough.
But, if you need to blast through grease, oil, road grime, and other hard-to-clean muck, a commercial pressure washer is what you need. You’ll want one that is as powerful as possible, up to 8,000 PSI!
Do You Need Gas or Electric Power?
As we mentioned earlier, you also need to consider how you’re going to operate your power washer. If you’re working around the home, you’ll have no issues finding an outlet – and so electric will be the right choice.
However, if you’re headed out to various job sites, you can’t always bank on having an outlet within reach of where you need to clean. And thus, you’ll need a gas-powered washer.
Do You Need Cold or Hot Water Pressure Washers?
You came here to learn about residential vs commercial pressure washers, but there is another debate in the pressure washing world: hot water vs cold water pressure washers.
While they make cold and hot water pressure washers for both residential and commercial use, this is another factor you need to take into account when shopping. While hot water washers are a bit more expensive, they offer even more cleaning power than a cold water pressure washer.
Again, think about the type of cleaning job you’re going to be using the machine for. If it’s just your standard patio cleaning, you actually don’t want hot water – it could strip the wood and leave the surface looking worse than before.
But if you’re cleaning grease or oil, or stripping paint off a wall, a hot water pressure washing machine is the way to go. There are so many instances in which you could use a hot water pressure washer.
How Often Are You Going To Use Your Pressure Washer?
Another thing worth thinking about is how frequently you’re going to use your new pressure washing system. Because while you’re probably thinking about buying your unit, you can also consider renting a pressure washer if you only anticipate using it every now and then.
If you are going to use your pressure washing machine weekly, you are going to save a lot more money in the long run by investing in your very own. But, you also might want to consider renting if you just need a pressure washing machine for the odd job here and there around the house.
Where Can I Find Commercial and Residental Pressure Washers Alike?
There you have it – the commercial vs residential pressure washer debate is really not much of a debate. Instead, it’s just about considering what you’re going to use your machine for and determining where you’re best off spending your money.
If we could leave you with a few parting thoughts, it would be to consider how much cleaning power you need for your job, how often you’ll use the machine, and whether you need hot/cold water or electric/gas operation.
Still not entirely sure which type of machine is right for you? Hotsy is here to help! Take a look at our review of the best commercial pressure washers of the year. We are the #1 pressure washer shop online and have over 40 years of experience in this line of work. As such, we encourage you to call in or stop by a Hotsy store if you’re in South Texas. We can help you find the perfect product. Here are some of our most popular offerings.
The Hotsy Lineup
At Hotsy, we offer all types of commercial pressure washers. These range from cold pressure washers to industrial hot water pressure washers, and we even have pressure washer parts to keep your equipment running as intended! If you ever need pressure washer service, we can help with that as well.
But, we offer all sorts of other cleaning essentials too. From detergents to commercial disinfectant spray, to even automatic parts washers – we’ve got everything you could ever need to keep your workspace clean, safe, and tidy.
With multiple locations in the South Texas area, chances are, there is a Hotsy dealer near you. Come visit us or give us a call, and we’ll help you determine which type of machine you need – and then we’ll help you find the right one, at a price that works for you.