Choosing the Right Pressure Washer For My Business

What type of pressure washer should I use for my business? 

It is a question at The Power Site get asked every day. There is such a vast and diverse range of pressure washers available on the market that it has become increasingly difficult to know what the best pressure washer is for your business needs. 

What are the advantages of a petrol pressure washer compared to an electric or diesel pressure washer? 

What is the difference between a domestic and an industrial pressure washer? 

In this post we will explore that and many more frequently asked questions. 

What is the pressure washer going to be used for? 

Speak to most pressure washer dealers or sales people and that is the first question that you will get back. 

Pressure washers are diverse machines and have been incorporated in to a wide range of uses for a variety of business types. 

JCB Petrol Pressure Washers

To try and make things easy, here are the most common industries that purchase our pressure washers and what they require of their pressure washers for day to day use: 

Agriculture / Farming Businesses

Farmers often have large plots of land so having a pressure washer that is is able to clean trailers, barns, machinery, tractors and combine harvesters is essential. 

Farms will often need a pressure washer that is able to remove greasy stains, oil and petrol. 

Farmers often have a supply of red diesel which is cheaper than road diesel and safer to store than petrol. Red diesel can be used on any of our diesel powered pressure washers. 

Car Dealers / Salesmen 

Appearance and first impressions are so important in the motor trade. Having vehicles that are clean, tidy and sparkling can lead to a significant increase in sales conversions. 

Car dealers aren't going to use their pressure washers as often as dedicated car wash businesses and aren't going to need something as portable as cleaning companies. For this reason they may not need to initially invest as much. 

They will still need a professional pressure washer due to the amount of use but something mid range is likely to be sufficient for their requirements. 

Car Wash Businesses

Professional car washers and valets are less likely to need a portable pressure washer than other industries as they tend to use one location to clean from. 

The pressure washer is going to be in use most of the day though so durability and cost-effective running costs are priorities. 

Cleaning Businesses 

Similar to car wash businesses, cleaning companies get a lot of use out of their pressure washers. They therefore need to be durable and not expensive to run. 

However, they do need to be more portable than what a car wash requires as they are often moving from place to place to carry out their work. 

PRO TIP: if you are cleaning from a height, ensure that your pressure washer is close to the water source and that any hose extensions are made post pump to ensure that you do not lose power. 

Industrial Businesses 

Pressure washers are used on industrial sites to keep equipment and machinery clean. Often, this involves cleaning indoors which restricts the industrial company to using an electric pressure washer as they do not exhaust carbon monoxide (which petrol and diesel pressure washers do). 

There are often greasy stains, oils and petrol spills which need to be cleaned up. 

The Power Source 

Generally, when discussing the power source of pressure washers, they fall into three separate categories: 

Each power source tends to have its own selling points and which pressure washer you chose for your business depends on what your requirements are. 

Performance varies between individual models but as a rule of thumb: 

Petrol pressure washers are generally lighter than diesel, more powerful than electric and portable as they do not rely on wires like electric pressure washers do. 

Diesel pressure washers are generally more expensive than petrol pressure washers initially, but are cheaper to run and can often even run off red diesel. Diesel pressure washers often have a longer lifespan than petrol washers so the initial outlay is often worth the investment. Like petrol pressure washers, diesel washers are portable and not reliant on wires or electricity sockets. This makes diesel pressure washers perfect for most agricultural, industrial and commercial businesses. Generally pressure washers that are referred to as heavy duty pressure washers are diesel-powered. 

Electric pressure washer ownership means you don't have to worry about running out of electricity if you have a mains electricity connection nearby. Electric power washers are great for any indoor industrial work such as cleaning tanks as they do not permit any exhausts. They are also quieter than their petrol or diesel counterparts if that is a requirement of what you need it for. Electric pressure washers are split in to two categories - single phase, which are widely used for domestic pressure washers and three phase which are used for professional, commercial and industrial work. 

Hot / Cold Water 

Most pressure washers use cold water. The main reason for this is that it makes them much cheaper to run and much simpler to build. 

This in turn makes them cheaper to purchase initially and less likely to break as they have less components. 

The force of cold water pressure washers is usually enough to break through dirt or mould on most surfaces. 

Using hot water pressure washers for extended periods can also lead to skin reactions so car washers and valets will often use cold water pressure washers. 

Hot water pressure washers on the other hand use hot water and detergent. 

As with most things in cleaning, the use of heat and detergent generally help break down tougher substances; cold water pressure washers can sometimes struggle to clean grease and oil of surfaces and hot water pressure washers cope a lot better. 

The drawback is generally increased initial cost, running cost and increased maintenance.

The Pressure Washer Pump 

One of the easiest ways to tell if a pressure washer is designed for professional or commercial use is by what pump is used. 

Most domestic washers use an Axial pump with an aluminium head. This is fine for domestic use as it generally provides around 50-100 hours of use. 

When the aluminium head breaks however, you cannot replace the part, you have to replace the whole pump. 

Professional / commercial pressure washers often use a Triplex pump with a brass head. This is much more hard-wearing than the aluminium head and provides around 300 hours of use. 

The other advantage of a Triplex pump is that each component is replaceable which saves on maintenance costs long term. 


Hopefully this has answered many of your questions regarding which pressure washer to choose for your business.

If you are in any doubt, it is best to speak to one of our specially trained sales team on 01437 700123 or email

Our full range of pressure washers is available here.