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What is the difference between a pressure washer and a power washer

Fact Checked By Daniel Wood | Post Updated On: May 4, 2023

Pressure washers and power washers are two types of equipment that use similar pressure to create a high-pressure stream. A lot of people wonder whether these 2 machines are the same or not. While their functions might be the same, there are differences in how these machines operate. 

So let’s find out. 

Understanding the Functions: Pressure Washing and Power Washing

Pressure washing is all about using the high-pressure water blast created by the pressure washer to wipe out various particles, including dust. Power washing is almost the same process, except for two things: The material it cleans and the temperature of water used to clean surfaces.

Where pressure washing might fail to clean rigid surfaces containing residues like harsh salt, mold, or even chewing gum, power washing‘s job starts precisely there. For an average pressure washer, cleaning hard surfaces can be a strenuous task, requiring the right amounts of pressure and temperature. 

Power washers make use of heated water to clean hard surfaces. Pressure washers run on non-heated tap water to essentially clean soft surfaces. However, this does not mean that pressure washers don’t clean up hard surfaces; it’s the presence of the heating element inside power washers that does the job exceptionally well. 

Where to use?

As a general rule of thumb, you’d want to use pressure washers for regular household purposes on surfaces that don’t require heated water to get cleaned. For those surfaces where a high amount of pressure is required, along with the right temperature, go with power washing.

After all, these two roles sound pretty similar but are different in the nature of what they do and how they react to different surfaces, mainly soft and hard.  

The Effect of Power Washing vs. Pressure Washing:

Because power washing achieves results almost twice as fast as pressure washing, its effects are almost double that of pressure washing. Note that this can have damaging effects on soft surfaces that don’t usually require that much effort while cleaning. 

The use of power washers becomes almost certain when we’re talking about commercial spaces, large driveways, and patios. Still, it pays to hire a professional to consult them before performing any type of cleaning on your own, especially one that involves power washing.

On the other hand, pressure washing can be done by a non-professional. The amount of pressure from pressure washers can effectively remove dirt from small-moderately saturated surfaces.

However, for heavily saturated surfaces, a power washer can be used. But as we mentioned earlier, it is best to consult a professional before making a decision.

About Daniel Wood

Daniel has completed his graduation mechanical engineering from a reputed university in US. He worked as a technical engineer in a pressure washer manufacturing plant for four years. He has a great passion for mechanical devices and has opened a workshop where he does research on various machines in his leisure time. His high interest in technology made him an expert in commercial and residential pressure washers.

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