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School me-Electric vs gas pressure washers?

  1. #1
    Member bassomatic's Avatar
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    School me-Electric vs gas pressure washers?


    Anyone have an opinion/experience with electric pressure washers? I have a ton of decking that needs to be refinished this summer and would like to cheap-out with a
    Harbor Freight electric pressure washer if it'll get the job done. Advice/Caveats?

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  2. #2
    Senior Member TwelveGaugeSage's Avatar
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    Re: School me-Electric vs gas pressure washers?

    We did our deck with one of those cheap electric ones and it seemed to work pretty well. The small gas powered one we use on our trucks at work tends to rip the paint off of them if we aren't careful. Electric variations of gas powered tools have come a pretty long way in the last 20 years. There's a bit less to maintain, and if you only use it occasionally I think it's the better route. That or renting. If you want one to use all the time gas is still significantly better IMHO.

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    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: School me-Electric vs gas pressure washers?

    I have a Karcher electric, looks a bit like a vacuum cleaner, definitely home owner special. If your deck has a lot of built up finish, it will not take that off. It will clean oxidized wood back to yellow vs grey. The electrics tend to be low volume and medium pressure. Large and heavier jobs are better suited to gas. I bought the electric to do my boat interior as it doesn't have the power to tear it up. My gas (2.2/2500) would shred the vinyl and is in general a pain to move around. The electric I can set in the boat and clean easier. I find myself using the electric all the time now though as it is lighter and more convenient to grab and use. But if I were to have only one, I'd get the gas, you can turn the pressure down but still have the power when necessary.

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    Lifer
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    Re: School me-Electric vs gas pressure washers?

    I have one of those Karchers and it's a great little device, with surprising power. But I'd think to do large areas, you'd want something super powerful to run a wider spray beam.

    Can't you rent something like that from a place like Taylor rental? Get some commercial gear for the weekend.

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    Member bassomatic's Avatar
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    Re: School me-Electric vs gas pressure washers?

    Quote Originally Posted by aldend123 View Post
    I have one of those Karchers and it's a great little device, with surprising power. But I'd think to do large areas, you'd want something super powerful to run a wider spray beam.

    Can't you rent something like that from a place like Taylor rental? Get some commercial gear for the weekend.
    I thought about doing that but I have so much to do that it's going to be a multi-weekend project and it's always a crap shoot if the weather is going to cooperate.

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    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: School me-Electric vs gas pressure washers?

    I used to have one that was listed here in the FS section, powered by 350ci Chevy, capable of up to 1500psi and water temps right up to an including steam, it could easily blow the paint right off siding, it was part of a carpet cleaning system installed in a Chevy Van

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  7. #7
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: School me-Electric vs gas pressure washers?

    We have a Karcher electric and a gas powered unit, 2.8gpm at 3400 psi. DeWalt branded, actually made by Simpson. We also have a HF gas 2.8gpm 3400psi.

    We use the electric in winter, and to clean items like car floor mats or underhood. We use the gassers for everything else. Just not enough power with a 120V system.

    BE SURE you use the storage treatment on the gas pump over winter or extended storage. Just replaced our pump for $250 as it was corroded and may have frozen. Have to find a mail order place to see if they will rebuild the old one as a spare.

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    Re: School me-Electric vs gas pressure washers?

    A good question is what you want the unit to do. Both electric and gas will do dirt, slime, etc. The electric should do nice with a lite spray of soap. Enough pressure to blow off tree sap may require higher pressure than the electric would deliver. Moving the spray wand closer might lift the sap but etch the wood. You can borrow my electric pressure washer and try it to see if it fits your expectations before buying or renting.

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  9. #9
    Lifer ZX-12R's Avatar
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    Re: School me-Electric vs gas pressure washers?

    Portable electric pressure washers are not as powerful as gas units. The electric will work for your application but it will take longer than a gas unit. As your power and flow goes up with the bigger units, you can use wider nozzles to cover a larger swath and get the same cleaning power as a smaller unit with narrower nozzle. A wider swath gets the job done quicker.

    All types and sizes are capable of destroying the material you are cleaning if you choose the wrong nozzle and keep it too close to your work surface. I have a mid-sized gas pressure washer (3100psi, 2.8GPM) that can cut asphalt with a 0-degree nozzle. The 15-degree nozzle from about 6"-8" away is great for cleaning concrete and bricks and harder wood. The 40-degree nozzle works well for cleaning soft wood like pine or cedar siding and trim.

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    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: School me-Electric vs gas pressure washers?

    I hit part of the intercooler on my WRX with the electric by mistake. Took a lot of work with a coil comb to straighten them out. Caveat.

    This the electric, bought 2012 so it's holding up. They make some $160 models also, not sure of

    Amazon.com : Karcher K5.540 Electric Power Pressure Washer with Hose Reel & Detergent Tank, 2000 PSI, 1.4 GPM : Power Washer : Patio, Lawn & Garden

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    Last edited by Garandman; 06-20-17 at 05:42 PM.
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  11. #11
    Lifer Rosco61's Avatar
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    Re: School me-Electric vs gas pressure washers?

    I picked off one of these a few years back. not the same brand but same principle. It clears a wide swath in a minimum amount of time. Don't miss it.

    Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner

    Just an example of it's cleaning prowess.

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    Last edited by Rosco61; 06-20-17 at 08:11 PM.

  12. #12
    Lifer Stromper's Avatar
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    Re: School me-Electric vs gas pressure washers?

    I have had ancient electric unit for 50 years used it a beast

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