Electric vs Diesel – Choosing An Industrial Pressure Washer

When it comes to choosing between industrial pressure washers you may think there’s no real difference between electric and diesel powered models. After all, they both force water through a nozzle, what more do you need?

But in actual fact there are many distinct benefits and downsides to choosing either electric or diesel power washers, so let’s take a look at some of the factors you may need to consider when purchasing or hiring your next industrial washer.

Electric Industrial Pressure Washers

The electric-powered pressure washer tend to be the choice of domestic users rather than those seeking industrial cleaning equipment, but that doesn’t mean mains-powered devices cannot be used in a professional capacity.Karcher HDS 7/10-4 MX Commercial Pressure Washer

High performance electric pressure washers – such as the Kärcher HDS 7/10-4 MX Pressure Washer – are worth considering as an alternative to petrol or diesel, as a mid range pressure washer designed for commercial use. Electric pressure washers are relatively lightweight, so if you need to pressure wash in a tight spot these may prove easier to move into position than a heavy petrol-powered piece of equipment. These hot water high-pressure cleaners reach very high levels of performance, reliability and economy, meaning you get a great all-round machine with superb performance for daily and deep cleaning jobs.

Electric washers are most suitable for small to middle size rather than huge areas, but their quiet running sound and lack of fumes mean they can be used in close proximity to workers with minimal disruption.

However, don’t expect to be able to use the smaller handheld electric models for any significant length of time as they are only designed for occasional rather than daily use. With such a short lifespan you’ll also find repairs are rarely cost effective, so whilst these models are cheap, you must be prepared to replace it if it sees regular action.

Their lack of petrol fumes also makes an electric powered washer an environmentally friendly solution, but obviously the use of mains power with water could prove dangerous if overlooked. Make sure you always follow recommended safety practices, and ensure all employees are aware of the risks involved.

Petrol & Diesel Industrial Pressure Washers

Diesel models, such as the Kärcher HDS 801 D, typically consist of a more heavy duty pressure washer designed for regular and prolonged industrial use. If you have a large surface to clean then a diesel engine-powered pressure washer will make light work of the job, and run without trouble for as long as you have fuel and water to supply it with.

Of course the use of a petrol engine presents you with several problems which electric models do not have. Due to their exhaust fumes a diesel engine is entirely unsuitable in any kind of enclosed space, and the presence of extra fuel sources may prove an additional hazard you must consider.

Also, as with any engine, it will only run as well as it is maintained. Since petrol-based washers tend to be more expensive you will obviously want to book them in for regular servicing, but if used and looked after correctly most repairs should prove cost effective over replacement.

A diesel or petrol-powered washer is of course not reliant on mains electricity, and therefore your only restrictions in terms of longevity on an individual job concern your access to water and fuel. Extra fuel for the motor is something you can of course bring with you, but an unlimited supply of water does not necessarily mean you have everything you need.

Diesel engines have a much higher flow-rate than electric models, and it may be more than your water supply can handle. To combat this you should fill up a bin or barrel for your washer to draw water from to act as a buffer. If regularly topped up this should ensure your washer has everything it needs to work efficiently.


Clean Sweep Hire UK are the Official Kärcher Hire company in the UK, providing specialist hire of a wide range of Kärcher commercial cleaning machines including electric pressure washers for short and long term hire and diesel pressure washers for long term contract hire.

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