Best Petrol Pressure Washers
In this guide, I reviewed the 5 best petrol pressure washers for 2022 in UK. I compared engine power, water pressure, machine weight, hose length, flow and cost to give you my best recommendations.
About a Petrol Pressure Washer
A petrol pressure washer has enough power to take care of the toughest stains. Find out what you should look for before buying and which models I recommend.
I remember a few summers ago staring out of my back window at my old, dirty deck. There were stains all over it giving it a grey, aged look. I knew it was time to power clean it and get it looking like new again. I also had some old paint stains on my sidewalk that needed to be cleaned up. With the paint stains and a large deck I knew I needed a powerful petrol pressure washer. So I started researching and here’s what I found out.
How do Petrol Pressure Washers Work?
If you are looking into pressure washers, you already know that using a pressure washer is the best way to get something clean fast, but that does not mean you have ever used a petrol pressure washer yourself. Before you take on the project with this powerful machine, make sure you understand how it works. Keep in mind that different pressure washers work in different ways so you will want to adjust these instructions according to the model you have chosen. I always recommend reading the instructions manual before you start.
Most pressure washers have a stream that is 50 times more powerful than the average garden hose. But because the water is pressurized and comes out through a small hole, you are actually using less water than you would with your regular garden hose.
When you start your petrol pressure washer, the water pump inside will start the pistons. The fresh water that comes in through the garden hose you have hooked up to the machine will enter the water tank just off to the side of the engine. The water pump will then pressurize the water and drive it up the hose that is attached to your spray gun. Then you pull the trigger and fire away at that dirty surface.
Best Petrol Pressure Washers in UK
There are many options when it comes to finding the best petrol pressure washer for your projects. You should base your decision on the PSI you think you need as well as ratings, reviews, and features. Here are 5 highly rated models that I recommend.
Types of High Intensity Cleaners
If you have ever encountered a tough cleaning project, you might think about using or even purchasing a power washer. The hard part about choosing the right machine is that not all models are created equal. You cannot simply go out and buy the cheapest washer you can find. There are actually two different types of engines associated with power scrubber systems: petrol and electric.
If you are considering a petrol machine, there are advantages and disadvantages of these models.
- Petrol washers have more power. The PSI (pounds per square inch) measure for petrol machines ranges from 2,500 to 4,000 psi. Petrol machines are almost 2 times as powerful as many electric models.
- Petrol powered max psi scrubbing engines can clean larger areas in shorter amounts of time using smaller amounts of effort. They are able to clean the same area as much as three times faster than electric models.
- These models have a longer lifespan than electric models. A petrol engine is generally built with stronger and tougher parts than an electric engine.
- You will not need an electrical outlet to be nearby. You can move the machine around your house as much as you want and even take it to locations where there is no power.
- Petrol powered clean-up equipment will take more maintenance on a regular basis. You’ll have to deal with oil changes, engine tunes ups, and winterizing the engine and pump during colder months when you won’t be using your washer.
- They are heavier. Petrol washers are bulkier and require more storage space. Most have wheels, but if you need to move them up steps or put one in the back of your car or truck it can be difficult. The average petrol machine weighs about 75 pounds, whereas the average electric machine weighs just 30 lbs.
- They make more noise. They are also much louder, as much as 8 decibels, which sounds almost twice as loud as an electric washer, which is pretty significant.
- They need to be used outside because they emit petrol fumes and carbon monoxide. There may be certain occasions where you’ll need to use your washer in an enclosed area like a basement, shed, or garage. In those cases you cannot bring a petrol machine inside.
- They are more expensive. Most electric models will run you £150 – £250 whereas a petrol washer can range from £500 to £1500 depending on PSI.
If you decide on a petrol pressure washer, you will also want to keep in mind that there are two different types of petrol-powered engines – the Side Valve and the Overhead Valve. The side valve is also known as the L-head. This type of engine has been around for 60 years and is quite cheap for manufacturers to create. The running life of the engine, however, shows that the manufacturing is cheap because the engine is prone to have quite a few different problems. The overhead valve engine, also known as the OHV is the best type of engine. Petrol pressure washer models with this type of engine have more power and make less noise. They also use less petrol and have a longer life span that includes energy efficiency.
In order to stay safe when you are using a petrol pressure washer, you will need to use some common sense.
- Be sure never to aim the sprayer at another person or an animal because the pressure is high and could cause injuries.
- Read through your manual and make sure you understand how your petrol pressure washer works.
- Since you are using water, keep your petrol pressure washer away from electricity sources.
- Make sure you understand how far away you need to be from the surface you are cleaning. Standing too close can destroy the area, especially something like soft wood siding, and possibly cause harm to you.
- Use the proper cleaning chemicals and not bleach. Using the wrong chemicals can damage the washer and the surface you are trying to clean.
- Adhere to the safety check list that comes along with the washer.
- Wear protective eye gear and check the washer’s connections before you turn it on every time.
- Clean from the ground, instead of a ladder, when possible to avoid falls and unstable footing.
The Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Best Pressure Washer
Here are some important things to know before you choose a pressure washer. Learn about psi, gpm, and find out whether petrol or electric power cleaners are better.
If you’re like me, you like to try to do something yourself before you just hire somebody. This is especially true around the house. I’m not what you call an extreme do-it-yourselfer trying to tackle complex electrical wiring or putting up solar panels for example, but I do feel that I can handle some of the easier things, like power washing my deck.
Now I’ve got a pretty big deck on my house, it’s about 400 square feet, so I wanted something that was going to get the job done fast. The last thing I want to do is to have to speed 3 or 4 weekends in a row cleaning my deck and walkway every summer. We all have better things to do with our free time.
So I set out to find the best high psi cleaner engine that will work the fastest and get the job done without damaging my deck. Surprisingly I found out that PSI (pounds per square inch) is not the most important factor you should be looking at. Here is what you need to know when choosing a pressure washer.
How Much Power A Washer Can Produce?
Intensity scrubbing apparatus are fantastic for speed cleaning your car, bikes, lawn furniture, deck, siding, driveway and walkways. Many are even powerful enough to peal paint. Even the cheapest electric models will deliver at least 20 times the pressure of your standard garden hose and use about 20% less water to clean the same area. And you can save a ton of time as well, especially if you’ve been cleaning with a scrub brush in the past. There are three important measures that determine how effective washers are at cleaning a particular surface.
When looking for a high pounds per square inch cleaner apparatus, it’s better to go for a bit more psi than you think you might need. This means you’ll have enough power to take care of tough stains and you won’t have to run your machine at full blast which can wear it down quicker.
Here is a general psi range usage breakdown:
- 1,000 to 1,500 psi – This range is perfect for washing your lawn furniture, cleaning cars and bikes, and garden tools.
- 1,500 to 2,000 psi – You can use washers at this power level for cleaning the muck off your patio or small deck and washing the siding on your home. This level will take off some easy stains but for tougher stains and mold and mildew on decks that have not been cleaned in a couple years, you’ll need a bit more power.
- 2,000 to 3,000 psi – This pressure level is perfect for large areas like a big deck, walkway, or driveway. You can also clean your home’s siding using the proper safety measures to protect the wood.
- 3,000 to 4,000 psi – You’ll be able to strip paint at this power level and clean stained concrete. Machines that have this psi level are very, very powerful and you should be careful using them.
Hot Water or Cold?
All consumer power washers on the market for residential purposes use cold water. That is what I cover on this site. Hot water over 104 degrees Fahrenheit will damage the pump and cause leaks in most residential pressure washers. If you have a tough job like the removal of grease and oil then you’ll need to use detergent and a machine that blasts hot water. In this case I would recommend renting one or hiring a power washing company to come out and take care of the job.
Pressure Washing Terminology
So, let’s take my deck as an example, 400 square feet, and use the lower numbers of 5 and 8 square feet per minute. Using the lower 2 gpm washer, it would take me about 80 minutes (400/5) to pressure clean my deck. On a side note, it usually takes me much longer than this, because I add cleaning solution and like to go slow over trouble spots. Using the stronger 3 gpm model I would be able to get done in 50 minutes (400/8), saving myself 30 minutes each time I clean my deck. In my opinion, that’s worth upgrading especially if the price difference between the 2 and 3 gpm models is not too steep.
Now that you understand how power is measured and have a better idea of what type of washer you need to get the job done, you can start looking at engines. Pressure washers are powered by either a petrol powered engine or an electric engine.
Picking a Petrol Powered Max PSI Cleansing Mechanism
Petrol powered machines are able to generate a lot of power, up to 100 times as much power as your garden hose, which can deliver about 40 psi. You can use petrol machines to clean large decks, the outside of your house, your driveway and sidewalk, and even to strip paint if you get one with enough power (usually greater than 3,000 psi).
These are fantastic machines to have to speed up the cleaning process and remove mold and mildew that often stain the areas around your home. With a price tag typically around £400-£500 it’s much more cost effective to buy one than it is to rent, which can usually run you about £100 per day.
You have to be careful when you use petrol powered washers though because they are so powerful. You can damage the siding on your home and splinter the wood on your deck if you don’t use the right spray setting. Soft wood siding like cedar is especially vulnerable to damage as are areas where you’ve caulked. You need to make sure you have the nozzle set at a wide enough setting to get the job done quickly and not damage the surface you’re cleaning. A 20 degree setting usually does the trick.
Choosing an Electric Pressure Cleaner
Electric models are very popular with homeowners and can be used to clean a variety of different things including small decks, cars, and lawn furniture. They are cheaper and less expensive to operate that petrol powered models and they are better for the environment because they do not emit fumes. You’ll need to plug these units into an outlet so you’ll need to have an extension cord. Also some models will require a 20 amp circuit and a special extension cord.
Electric heavy psi cleansing tools are also generally much quieter than petrol powered units; 78 decibels versus 85 for petrol. To give you an idea of what this means, 90 decibels sounds like a truck without a muffler, or a large symphony orchestra. According to experts, when sound levels get above 90 decibels your hearing can get damaged without proper protective head gear. 80 decibels is about like a car going by you at high speed or a police whistle. Coming on down to 70 decibels is about like hearing your radio at a normal level, or street noise on an average street. So, your power washer is going to be loud, but not as loud as your lawn mower, which comes in at 100 decibels. I don’t wear head gear when I cut the grass, but maybe I should after researching this topic.
When you shut off the spray by releasing the trigger, most electric units will stop running, so the noise goes to zero and you save on electricity. Manufacturers refer to this as “total stop system or total stop trigger gun.” Some units have a timer setting where the unit will only shut off after a certain number of minutes. So if you take a short break of two to five minutes the unit shuts off. The motor on a petrol unit will continue to run even when the spray nozzle is not being used.
Many electric models will also come with two built in cleaning tanks. This means that with a turn of a knob you can go from washing your car to power washing your deck and using two different sets of cleaning solution for each specific task.
Some electric models will also come with two different types of nozzles. The standard nozzle is adjustable and sprays in a fan type position. The extra nozzle is a turbo or rotary style model that will shoot water in a circular motion. This allows you to cover a broader area and get things cleaned much quicker.
Which is better Petrol or Electric?
This depends on how you plan on using the machine. As you can see from the grid below, if you plan on heavy uses like power cleaning your large deck and cleaning the siding on your home every year, then you definitely want to go with a petrol unit. If you think you’ll just be using your washer for some lawn furniture, your car, and a small deck, then an electric model will be just fine.
Also if you’re a contractor or plan on using your pressure washer for commercial purposes, then you also definitely want to go with a petrol powered model. Consumer Reports Magazine recently conducted comparison testing between petrol and electric powered models and they found that petrol models are ten times faster at stripping paint off vinyl siding. They used the paint test to simulate deep, hard stains like tree sap.
|PSI Range||2,500 – 4,000||1,300 – 2,000|
|Best Uses||Cleaning large decks, siding, and large areas, removing tough stains.||Cleaning patios and small decks, outdoor furniture, cars, boats, grills.|
|Sound Levels||85 decibels (dBA)||78 dBA|
|Pros||Nearly twice as powerful as electric and can clean the same area three times as fast. Many spray and nozzle options to choose from.||Light, quiet, easy to maintain, have no exhaust emissions. Easy to start and stop and can be stored indoors. Many models shut off automatically.|
|Cons||Heavy and noisy. Pull start. More maintenance overall than electric models. Need tune ups and must be winterized with anti-freeze in cold climates. Extra power means you need to be more cautious as wood and other surfaces can be damaged or you could be injured.||Not as powerful as petrol, which means slower cleaning. Need to be near an outlet or have a long extension cord to use. Wands and nozzles are not as sturdy as those that come with a petrol powered model.|
Additional Features to Look for
Here are some additional features that you need to be looking out for when shopping for a pressure washer.
Durable washer pumps – The pump is a very important component of your power scrubbing tool. It is also the part that is most likely to wear down so you need to find a machine that is constructed of durable components. Brass headed ceramic triplex plunger pumps are the best because they last the longest. They are considered commercial grade and can easily be repaired. You’ll also want to look for stainless steel moving parts, ceramic plungers, and brass manifolds.
You’ll see cheap wobble pumps or axial cam pumps on certain inexpensive machines. The bearings on these will wear down faster because the pump is connected directly to the engine and spins at the same speed. You should just replace axial cam or wobble pumps when they wear out. They are designed for light use machines – 20 hours or less per year in a homeowner setting. Experts consider models that use these types of pumps as throwaway because it’s not worth it to repair them. They are much cheaper than higher quality models though, but of course you get what you pay for in this case.
Cleaning solution tank – When this is included with the model you can just add the soap or cleaning solution to the tank and not have to worry about a separate container. Adding specialized cleaner or crud cutter to your deck or siding before you pressure clean it can cut down on your cleaning time because the soap will help break up dirt and mold. I always like to add some soapy cleaning solution onto my deck before I power wash it.
CARB certified petrol powered washers – CARB stands for the California Air Resources Board and they have strict low ozone emissions standards for all engines sold and used in the state. Engines that do not meet CARB standards cannot be used in California. Many petrol powered cleaners have Honda GX overhead valve engines that are CARB compliant. You should look for these if you want an environmentally friendly engine and live outside of California. If you live in California, there are a must have. CARB certification only applies to petrol engines, not to electric washers as they have no emissions.
Multiple spray tips – It’s nice to just be able to attach a specific spray tip designed for the task at hand. If you’re going to be cleaning an area with a tough stain, then you want a spray tip that will focus the water like a narrow beam. If you’re cleaning your car then you want something broader. Most pressure washers will come with one adjustable tip, but owners often mention, and I’ve found too, that it can be hard to get the right adjustment and know that it’s right for the task at hand.
Also look for a turbo nozzle if you are going to clean concrete or your deck because these can accomplish the task three times as fast as a standard type nozzle. I wouldn’t use one to clean my car though as it can tear the paint off.
Induction motor for electric models – When looking at electric motors, there are two types, universal and electric induction. You’ll find universal motors in inexpensive, small, handheld washers. Induction or brushless motors are more durable, quieter, and run cooler than universal motors, but they are more expensive. It’s worth it in my opinion to pay the slightly extra amount though because the pump on an induction motor will last about 3 times longer than a universal motor.
Secure connection between parts – Since force cleansing systems deal with a lot of water at very high pressure, there are many different spots on a machine were leaks can pop up. As a result, bayonet connections and cheap plastic threads are bad and prone to wear down and leaking. You should look for threaded brass connections that provide a tighter, more secure connection. If you decide to purchase a cheaper electric model and all of the features fit your needs but this one, then it’s very easy to head down to the local hardware store and purchase a brass male to male hose adapter for under £10. That should solve any possible leakage problems.
Adjustable pressure options – This is not an essential feature but a nice one to have. Many models do not allow you to adjust the psi as needed for different jobs. You can of course use different nozzles to control the water stream, but being able to adjust the pressure provides you with additional flexibility.
Tool, hose, and cord storage – I know when I pack my power instrument away I like being able to roll the hose up nice and tidy and put the nozzle on a nice hook. For electric models it’s also nice to be able to store the long electric cord on the unit and not have it out all over your garage or shed.
When you start looking for the best petrol pressure washer, first think about how you will use the washer. If you need it for light cleaning, like your car, small decks, or lawn furniture, then a smaller petrol washer will work or even an electric powered model. For paint removal, big decks, home siding, sidewalks, and other large projects, look for something with more power like one of the best petrol powered models with a high 2,700 plus psi.