Breaking Down Gas Vs. Electric Commercial Power Washers



While shopping for a commercial power washer, maintenance professionals face the dilemma of choosing between a gas or an electric-powered pressure washer. Sellers may also promote a specific category — for instance, a gas-powered washer as a more powerful option.

Even though the statement is true, it's also misleading. An electric-powered commercial power washer is equally powerful because it can deliver up to 3000 PSI found in a standard gas-powered commercial power washer.

That said, each category and corresponding model has unique strengths in terms of mobility, cost of use, and convenience. The ideal commercial power washer depends on the intended use and other personal factors.

Let's explore the two different types of commercial power washers further.

breaking down gas vs electric pressure washers

hot vs cold basics

When you're ready to shop for a pressure washer, you have to decide if you need a cold or hot-water washer. Both designs work excellently but serve different functions. There are several reasons why you would pick a hot-water pressure washer over a cold one. 

  • Hot-water pressure washers are excellent for cleaning oily grime and removing stubborn grease stains from surfaces.
  • Usually, hot-water pressure washers are more powerful than their alternatives. 

Cold-water pressure washers are ideal for removing dirt and grime from surfaces that don't require hot water cleaning (i.e. concrete walls and pavement). Pressurized cold water is also suitable for materials that warp when subjected to high temperatures — for example, wood and plastics on house siding and cars.

gas-powered commercial power washers


1. Enhanced Power

The power of a pressure washer is measured in PSI (pound per square inch) — the higher the power, the more powerful the pressure washer. The PSI of gas-powered commercial power washers ranges from 2500 to 5000, which is considerable power. While electric-powered washers can match that PSI, it’s less common. The enormous PSI makes them ideal for heavy-duty cleaning, commercial, and domestic.

2. Mobility

Mobility is a crucial factor because it allows you to work on a project located away from a power source. A gas-powered commercial power washer utilizes gasoline which negates the need for power cables. It's also fitted with wheels, making it ideal for movements while working on outdoor cleaning projects like driveways, street cleaning, and construction site cleaning.

3. Saves Money

The high PSI implies the ability to dispense water using high pressure. Therefore, you can eliminate dirt, dust, and debris from the surfaces with minimal detergents. As a result, you'll save money on detergents, stain removers, and other washing agents needed for the job. The high performance means they're super-efficient — they can clean 4-5 times faster than other models. Consequently, you'll use less time, energy, and labor hours — all of which result in savings.

4. Durability

Gas-powered commercial power washers are built in a sturdier design and are more compact. Manufacturers understand the harsh outdoor environment, which is why they opt for metal bodies. With great care and maintenance, you can enjoy the services of the machine over a long period.


1. Expensive

Gas-powered power washers are relatively costly compared to their electric-powered counterparts. That said, if you're looking for a solution on a budget, it's prudent to buy an electric one.

2. High Running Cost

A gas-powered machine requires a frequent gas refill, oil change, new filters, and check-ups for optimal performance. The recurring expenses reduce profitability and durability — if unmaintained.

3. Poses Safety and Environmental Risks

The fumes and the high combustion nature of gasoline pose a fire risk to the storage area. The fuel emissions are neither friendly to the environment nor the user.

Electric-Powered Commercial Power Washers


1. Energy Efficient

Electric-powered commercial power washers use minimal electricity, which leads to high power saving. On the contrary, gas-powered power washers require gasoline to run, which pushes the running cost up. 

2. Ideal for Domestic Projects

The perfect home commercial power washer should be moderate in size, low on cost, and has enough PSI to execute home assignments. Electric-powered power washers PSI can be as high as 2500, making it perfect for light duties like cleaning decks, cars, floors, or your patio. The moderate pressure is mild on surfaces, and this prevents potential damage.

3. Eco-Friendly

In an age where humans are rallying to protect the ecosystem, gasoline machines are counterproductive. Electric power washers don't emit harmful fumes — making them kind to the environment and the population. They also run with minimal sound, which results in negligible noise pollution — the low sound makes it perfect for quiet environments.

4. Provides Convenience

People prefer gas-powered commercial power washers because of the associated mobility. Nonetheless, these machines are heavy and bulky, making them less convenient. On the contrary, electric-powered commercial power washers are smaller and lighter, making them ideal for storage and movement.

It's more convenient to use an electric-powered power washer in a high-rise building or transport it in a small car than a gas-powered power washer.

5. Affordable

You can find a powerful electric-powered commercial power washer for less than a gas-powered one. It's a contrast to gas-powered power washers that cost twice as much. On the other hand, it has a minimal running cost which reduces the total acquisition cost.


1. Less Durable

Despite its low running cost and purchase price, it has a short lifespan. The short lifespan is attributed to plastic material, fuses, starters, and potential damage to power components.

2. Insufficient Power

An electric-powered pressure washer is ideal, but its low PSI limits its effectiveness. A PSI below 3000 may be ineffective in dealing with heavy-duty stains and debris — you may need to hire a powerful alternative propping up the cost.

3. Limited Mobility

Electric-powered commercial power washers operate when the power cord is connected to electricity. The cord can only extend to a few meters, which minimizes the reach and extent of the operation. As such, you can only work on projects that are within the cord's radius affecting your productivity.

Which Commercial Power Washer Is Right for Me?

If you're looking for a power washer, but you're on a budget, an electric machine is a perfect solution. The low PSI is gentle on the floor, patio, or car exteriors. You can also use a gas-powered power washer on domestic projects — for instance, car detailing — by regulating pressure or distance to the target.

Maintenance professionals working on commercial projects require a heavy-duty machine, more power, and high performance. To that end, a gas-powered power washer provides sufficient PSI, which makes it ideal for more intensive projects.

Let Us Help You Select the Ideal Commercial Power Washer

Both electric-powered and gas commercial power washers have unique advantages. Whether it's the mobility in gas machines or the affordable electric models — every model is perfect for different niches. It's essential to gather comprehensive information about the different models to make an informed purchase.

That said, NorTex Sales & Service is the ideal company to help you break down which commercial power washer is the best choice for your unique needs. Our team in Dallas is well versed and experienced when it comes to commercial power washers. We understand the unique requirements for industries like construction, agriculture, food services, and city municipalities. Contact usto learn more.

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