The All-in-One Guide to Hot Water Pressure Washers



Hot water pressure washers — an essential part of any general contractor's cleaning tools, but arguably one of the most challenging to decide between. The truth is, there can be a lot to choose from in terms of brand, quality, purpose, and preference.

This makes knowledge more powerful for your business because the more you know about pressure washers, the more equipped you will be in finding the right one for you. 

The key to your success? Our all-in-one guide to hot water pressure washers, created by the experts in our NorTex team for everyone interested in learning everything there is to know about pressure washers.

cold vs. hot pressure washer: which is right for you?

Deciding between cold and hot pressure washers can be one of the first challenges you face as a general contractor, but fortunately, there are some solid ways to make that decision.

Take, for instance, whether you're cleaning dirt and grime or oil and grease. Oil and grease need hot water to come off the toughest jobs, while cold-water pressure washers can take care of a dirt and grime job with no problem.

This is because the up-to-200 degree heat from hot water pressure actually breaks down oil and grease bonds that exist at a molecular level — eliminating bacteria, algae, and nearly everything else in the process. 

Cold-water pressure washers, on the other hand, aren't quite as efficient at taking care of the hard jobs. The cleaning power is just not the same, making the biggest difference between the two heavy-duty cleanings.

While hot water has the added heat to help take care of the job for you, cold water pressure washers rely solely on the strength of the pressure to take off dirt and grime. It's also common for washing detergents to be added to help clean and sanitize equipment for more efficient results.

So, if you're deciding between a cold and hot pressure washer, consider your job first. Cold water is best for surfaces like wood and plastics that don't do well with heat, like siding, decks, boats, and cars. As for construction equipment, sanitation jobs, or jobs in cold-weather climates, hot water pressure washers are best for you. 

>>To get a more in-depth look into the differences between cold and hot water pressures, check out the full blog here.

There's nothing more frustrating than getting ready to take on a big job, only to fall behind because your propane pressure washer expired sooner than expected. However, you won't have to ever worry about this problem if you make sure you're keeping up with regular maintenance and repairs.

Instead, you could enjoy more business continuity with your investment, meeting deadlines and performance expectations at every turn. You can prevent major breakdowns that slow down the growth of your business, avoid expensive repairs and replacements, and ensure that you're performing at your maximum potential at every job. 

This is your livelihood. The last thing you want to do is skip out on its regular maintenance. 

Propane pressure washer maintenance checks should be before each use, annually, and:

how to extend the life of your propane pressure washer

  1. After the first 5 hours — this includes changing the oil, removing and rinsing out detergent from your siphoning tube, removing water from your washer pump, and letting it cool before storage.
  2. Every 25 hours — you should be cleaning out your air filter, especially if you work in a particularly dusty environment. 
  3. Every 50 hours — change your engine oil as recommended by the manufacturer. 
  4. Every 75 hours — examine your spark arrestor for any signs of holes in the screen. Replace if needed. 
  5. Every 100 hours — after 100 hours, you should check the spark plug for damage. 
  6. Every 200 hours (or 2 years) — replace your air filter, examine your fuel line for cracks, & check for damage.

>> Read the full blog post here for more detailed information on extending the life of your propane pressure washer.

when to opt for a hot water pressure washer rental

It can be daunting taking in everything you need to know about pressure washers before renting the right one. Fortunately, we have the entire rental system breakdown already laid out to help get you through it.

This includes the following things you will need to know before renting your hot water pressure washer:

  • Know your needs — when determining what type of pressure washer to rent, you need to thoroughly understand your pressure washing needs. There are tons of features and models to choose between, from hot vs. cold to electric vs. gas. 
  • Look for training availability — going with a rental place that is ready and able to train you on the equipment you're about to rent is very important. Proper use ensures that you're getting the most out of your experience, and the equipment is safe from accidental damage and harm (that can cost you much more than just the rental fee). 
  • Shop around — there are always weekend specials and deals going on. Take advantage of your options, and shop around for the best rental prices and deals for what you need. This is especially true for rental outlets, where discounts are plenty generous more often than not. 

With that being said, going the rental route makes the most sense if you're testing out equipment to determine which one is the best fit for you, only cleaning on a contract or using the hot water pressure washer occasionally.

A hot water pressure washer can be a pretty hefty expense if it isn't used frequently and properly. So, if you're more likely only to need it on occasion, opting for a rental may be in your best interests. 

>> Get more insight into renting a hot water pressure washer by checking out this blog.

why you should invest in hotsy pressure washers

In a market full of different brands and models to choose from, it's no easy task to weed out the right pressure washer for your business. There's nothing more important than finding pressure washers that you can rely on to be high-quality and long-lasting.

After all, they're a huge investment in your business, time, and performance. Hotsy is an industry leader in commercial pressure washers and the ideal option for maintenance professionals on the lookout for their next system. 

Here's why that is.

Hotsy has been in the industry for more than 50 years, investing extensive time and money into the research and development of equipment up to industry standards. They have more than 100 models of hot and cold pressure washers to choose from, providing a solution for every maintenance professional's job needs (including portable heaters, accessories, and detergents for your pressure washers).

Hotsy also develops its pressure washer pumps in-house, whereas most other brands look to external manufacturers to supply the pumps for them. They also have a longer life span (welded together instead of bolted and using polyethylene tanks instead of metal tanks that rust) and are safety-certified with regular testing on equipment, liability protection, and several other regulations for your protection. 

>> Learn more about Hotsy pressure washers in this resourceful blog. 

does a hot water pressure washer make sense for your industry?

There's a lot that goes into choosing the right pressure washer for your business, beginning with what your business actually is. Depending on the type of jobs you often take on, you will need either a cold water pressure washer or a hot water pressure washer.

Having the wrong one can slow your business down, keep you from meeting strict deadlines, and ultimately cost you some big jobs. Here is the breakdown for which pressure washer makes sense for you, depending on the industry you're in:


When working in the transportation industry, you're likely cleaning dirt and grime off of shipping vehicles, private fleets, and public transit systems. You will need a pressure washer that can clean without damaging paintwork and accessories, making the cold-water pressure washer the most ideal option for you in this situation. 

Oil & Gas

In this industry, you're working with machinery that accumulates its share of dirt and grease over time. You'll want to use hot water pressure washers for this job because water pressure alone won't be able to break down oil and grease. You'll need the heat to help with the job.


When cleaning mud and soil off commercial farming equipment and tractors, you're going to want to use a cold water pressure washer. This is because you don't need the added heat to remove dirt from equipment since there isn't any oil or grease sticking to your machinery. 

Food Service

This industry requires heavy-duty cleaning and sanitizing since you're working with dirt and grease in areas where food is being prepared. In this case, you will need a hot water pressure washer to help remove any germs from the area and sanitize the environment. 

City Municipalities

Maintaining areas like public roads and sidewalks doesn't require a hot water pressure washer. A cold water pressure washer would do just fine because the job mostly requires cleaning off dirt and washing it down city drains.

>> Consult our blog for more industry-specific information on hot water pressure washers. 

breaking down gas vs. electric commercial power washers

When it comes to finding the right fit for you, each category of gas or electric power washer model has its own unique capabilities regarding convenience, cost, and mobility. The key is to know the differences and pros/cons of gas versus electric to better identify which one makes the most sense for you and your jobs. 

Gas-Powered Commercial Power Washers:

  • Pros — have enhanced power from 2500 to 5000, use gasoline over power cables (improving mobility), clean 4 to 5 times faster than other models (saving money and time), and are durable enough to face the harsh outdoor environment. 
  • Cons — they're also more expensive than their electric counterparts, require frequent gas refills, oil changes, filters, and check-ups to maintain their performance. They also pose safety and environmental risks because the fuels are far from environmentally friendly, and the high-combustion nature of gas makes it a fire hazard. 

Electric-Powered Commercial Power Washers:

  • Pros — they are energy efficient and ideal for domestic projects because they're low on cost, a moderate size, and an ideal PSI for home projects. They're also more eco-friendly than gas because they don't emit harmful fumes, provide convenience through ideal storage and movement, and can be found at a more affordable price than gas.
  • Cons — on the other hand, electric models are also less durable than gas-powered and have shorter life spans. They have fewer PSIs (below 3000) than gas, making them the wrong choice for some bigger jobs. Furthermore, electric-powered models are limited in their mobility due to the constraints of a power cord. 

>> Get a more in-depth breakdown of the difference between gas and electric commercial power washers in this blog.

pressure washing pricing guide: when does a system pay for itself?

Before diving into pressure washing pricing, it's important to consider how much you charge for your services to make the use of your expensive investments worthwhile. 

After all, you'll want to make sure you're making much more than you’re putting in to get the best out of your business. This can be a challenge in this competitive industry, but as long as you consider the following, you should be just fine:

  • Overhead costs — make sure you can afford all your monthly expenses like utilities, wages, transport costs, rent and operation costs, interests on loans and tax payments, insurance, supplies, and spending on equipment rental, maintenance, and fuel costs. Also, you'll want to calculate how many hours you'll be putting your pressure washer to work. Divide your total monthly expenses by the working hours per month to find the amount you should produce per working hour to break even.
  • Competitive Analysis — compare your pricing with your competitor's pricing, but know that a newer business to the industry would do better to have lower prices. In contrast, one with years of expertise and experience in the field is more likely to do well with premium pricing. 
  • Price your services — in most cases, you'll want to make your pricing dependent on a square-foot basis, but you can also use hourly rates for surfaces that are more challenging to measure.
  • Assess areas of improvement — consider changes that can affect future pricing, especially if you're using a loan because you'll want to incorporate that amount and interest into payments.

With that being said, the cost of your pressure washer depends on whether it's hot or cold (hot pressure washers cost more), the model because pricing various per machine model, PSI (gas has higher PSU than electric, so it costs much more), and whether it's gas or electric. Electric models are inherently more affordable than gas models. 

>>Learn more about pressure washing pricing and what you should charge to make the price worth it in this article.

5 of the best pressure washer accessories

When looking for the most out of your pressure washer, the best thing you can do is get your hands on some of the best accessories for your machine. Depending on your use and purpose, the following pressure washer accessories are among the five best, according to our NorTex Sales & Service team in Dallas, Odessa, and Kilgore.

  • Hose Extension — a hose extension can be beneficial in situations where you need more length to reach hard-to-get-to spaces. Take, for instance, commercial transportation fleets extending 40 feet in length. You'll need more hose to clean those areas. 
  • Pressure Washer Detergent — not just any detergent will do when working with pressure washers. Having a pressure washer detergent that cleans effectively without damaging and improves the longevity of your machine is important. That is the case only if you're using the right detergent for the job and your machine. 
  • Surface Cleaner — surface cleaners are great for surface jobs that would otherwise take hours to finish. This includes decks, driveways, parking lots, warehouses, garages, and even sidewalks. 
  • Pump Lube — clubbing your pressure washer parts ensures that everything is up and running smoothly at all times. This can also prevent o-rings from corroding and mineral buildup/damage to pump pistons and seals.
  • Rotating Brush — these have special benefits to your machine, including an extra layer of cleaning for delicate surfaces, a means of cycling the water so it doesn't hit the surface directly, and a more thorough cleaning job the first time around. 

>>Get more insight on all 5 of these pressure washer accessories by diving deep into this blog. 

shop hot water pressure washer with nortex

Here at NorTex Sales & Service, we understand the challenges that go along with finding the right hot water pressure washer for your business. We also know the power of knowledge in the industry.

The more you know about pressure washers, the more prepared you will be in getting the most out of your investment and experience. Contact our team of experts to help you get the perfect machine for your business needs.

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