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Gas-powered pressure washers are heavier and more expensive than electric, but only gas generates the pressure you need for the big job — 2,000 to 2,800 psi compared to electric’s 1,300 to 1,700.  Enter the Red Dragon, which delivers 2,800 psi along with electric-powered light weight and low cost.

A 110V 2 hp motor delivers the Red Dragon’s “ultra-high pressure” water via a 20′ hose.  Add to that a 20′ power cord, and you can reach the end of most driveways.  The nozzle also adjusts from a fan to a pencil spray to handle a variety of applications, and like most upright-style pressure washers it also features a detergent dispenser.

Street pricing starts at around $130, which coupled with the Dragon’s managable 34 lbs seems to give you the best of both worlds.

Street Pricing [Google Products]
 

13 Responses to Electric Pressure Washer Convenience With Gas-Like Power

  1. Robert says:

    When comparing pressure washers, two numbers matter – PSI and GPM. Pressure determines what the machine is capable of removing, and gallons per minute determines how fast it will work. The reason there ain’t no powerful plug in electric pressure washers is because the power is limited by the 20 amp circuit in your home. It may be possible to have a high pressure on electric power, but the GPM will be so low that you will get bored and give up long before you get your driveway clean.
    Ther may be a place for a high pressure, low volume washer, but if you need to wash your driveway, house, or deck, either rent or buy a 9 to 13 HP gas powered rig. Most equipment rental stores have them, and big box stores and online sites have 13 HP direct drive washers for around $1000.

  2. Douglas Kwan says:

    yea i was going to mention you have to also watch GPM when looking at pressure washers

  3. ivan says:

    Reading the other comments, so wouldn’t the GPM be the same for a gas or electric powered washer as they both connect to your water hose?
    I mean even gas powered tools are not sucking more water from the system, or am I missing something.

    A couple years ago I bought a cheap 1300 PSI from the local improvement store and it has served its purpose as cleaning the deck, siding, car etc.

  4. jgb says:

    Had one of these plastic electric pressure washers. After a couple of years the pump quit. Took it apart and a plastic part was broken in what was an almost completely plastic pump. The part was so expensive it didn’t make sense for me to fix it, so I saved up and got a Karcher gasoline model. Big lots routinely has refurb Karchers with Honda engines at a good price.

  5. Kyle says:

    soooo, has anyone actually used this? Or is this all just speculation?

  6. Robert says:

    “so wouldn’t the GPM be the same for a gas or electric powered washer as they both connect to your water hose?”

    Garden hoses deliver far more GPM than any portable washer can use. Pressure washers have positive displacement pumps. GPM is a function of pump displacement and RPM. It takes a lot of power to put out 4 GPM at 4000 PSI like my 13 HP washer.
    By the way – 1300 PSI is fine for deck washing, too much pressure causes the wood to “fuzz”.

  7. Chris Ball says:

    I agree with everyone else, the amount of water that leaves the end of the pump is probably vanishingly small. Also I’m pretty dubious about the two hp rating. My rule of thumb is that you get 1 to 1.5hp per 15amp circuit. One if you are using cheap equipment or you want to have the lights on while you use it and 1.5 if you have a completely dedicated circuit.

    Here’s a couple links so you can quickly figure out what you should be able to pull with an average motor:
    1.) This will give you the efficiency by hp of induction motors (universal motors should be similar). These numbers seem a touch pessimistic but aren’t too far out sounding.
    http://www.actionmachinery.com/hp-eff.htm
    Alternately you can go to baldor’s site and just pick a motor that matches you application and it will tell you all the specs which should be a lot more accurate than the other table, if a little bit more work.
    http://www.baldor.com/products/default.asp

    2.) This will do the math for you, give it your voltage and current at the plug and the efficiency from the other table and out pops your hp.
    http://www.dxpe.com/gadgets/horsepower.asp

    3.) Finally here is a good motor primer from somebody that probably knows considerably more about these things than me.
    http://www.faqs.org/faqs/woodworking/motors/

    Finally do keep in mind that there is an initial surge current when the motor starts that is several times what is calculated above fortunately it comes and goes before the breaker can pop so everything works out, usually.

  8. Greg says:

    Don’t know it there are any experts out there for this wierd question but here goes.

    I have one of those patio-type misting fans – which you hook up to a house-fed garden hose (at 60 psi or so) and it sprays a mist in front of the fan blades – works good at cooling things down. Because it emits a fine mist, the output is something like 1-2 GPM at 60-80 psi

    I want to use this fan at the NASCAR race in Daytona next weekend – in the infield. We have access to electric power (an RV) but no water.

    Thinking I can find a way to make this work, I hooked dropped an electric sump pump in a bucket of water with a short garden hose to the fan – it spit out a little water – but not nearly enough. Those sump pumps emit 1,100 (or more) GPM at relatively low pressure.

    Then I got the bright idea of trying the electric Karchner pressure washer I have in the shed. It is rated at 1400 psi. I filled a 3 foot length of garden hose with water, hooked it up to the unit where the garden hose (under pressure) would normally be fitted, stuck the other end of the hose in a bucked of water, and screwed another short length of garden hose to the output position of the pressure washer in lieu of the high pressure hose (it’s threaded the same).

    I hit the switch and it started pumping a small amount of water – with a lot of pressure behind it (if I used my thumb to cover the hose it would NOT stop the water flow). So I hooked it up to the fan – and it worked GREAT for a few seconds and then blew the small diameter hose to the fan. I then hooked up a 200psi water pressure gauge to the output garden hose, which quickly pegged at 200psi and then the garden hose blew.

    I’m thinking it I can find a way to bleed off some pressure this unit will do what I need it to do – dispense a few GPM per hour at 80 psi or so.

    Thoughts???? Thanks

  9. Greg, you want a well pump. Or, you want to use the RV’s internal water pressurization system (which probably pumps air into a tank to force the water out) to feed the fan, which I guess will happily accept the 30 or 40 PSI that the RV system probably operates at.

    Are you sure your trouble with the sump pump wasn’t just due to air in the lines? If the fan’s internal pump is a positive-displacement type, it might take a while to purge any air, and during that time you’d get spits and dribbles of water.

    The trouble with using a bare well pump is that it’s not designed to run at 100% duty cycle against a “brick wall” sort of load like that. You want an expansion tank that it can pressurize, then switch off, and switch back on when the pressure in the tank drops again. That’s bulky and expensive, and I’m still pretty sure it’s all duplicated in the RV’s systems. See if the sink faucet has an aerator thread that you could adapt. (Check a garden supply for a sink-threaded “watering hose”.)

  10. mike says:

    This pressure washer sucks dick. DON’T BUY IT!!!!! i’ve been through two in a month, and returned it for a gas. Electric is a defnitite NO

  11. Steve Jones says:

    Hi, I have just bought a gas powered pressure washer from pressurewasherbitz.com.

    I think they are far better to an electric powered washer as the GPM is much higher

    Gas powered pressure washer

  12. gorp says:

    What a waste money on these little hobby pws
    Used it once had to take if back and upgrade And that lasted one year and the next it was hit or miss if it was going to work

    The pressure control knobs on these things don’t work and now that’s not working after three years and five uses I have a nice paper weight.

  13. Justin says:

    Electric Pressure Washers are SIGNIFICANTLY superior to ALL Gas-powered washers in nearly every regard, but also far more expensive. The universal-motor units, like the one reviewed here, are very cheap, short-lived, and of limited use. “REAL” electric pressure washers start at around $700 for low-pressure units with typical units at $2,000. All use induction motors (usually capacitor-start for higher starting torque on heavy ceramic pumps) with lifespans well over 50 years. They also produce anywhere from 2000psi to 4000 psi or so and at least 4 GPM or more meaning they can clean entire driveways in half the time of a Gas-powered unit.

    The reason most people think of cheap universal 120volt units when they hear ‘Electric’ is because they’re most common and affordable for residential use.

    Unfortunately, ‘commercial’-marketed ‘Real’ Electric Pressure Washers aren’t as common because they would need to be plugged into a 240v 30amp Dryer outlet (for the Small!! units) or a 240v 50amp Range outlet in order to run. Most home users find this absurd, but it’s the simple truth when it comes to condensing enough power/watts into a smaller unit of time.

    Simple Facts:

    ELECTRIC (Induction Motor) Pressure Washers:
    – Longest lifespans of any design
    – No messy Gas or Carcinogenic Exhaust Fumes
    – VERY Quiet
    – VERY Expensive
    – VERY Powerful (high PSI & high GPM)
    – Minimum 240volt designs (no 120v) and HIGHLY efficient (85% to 90% efficient)
    – For Home use, you’ll Need Dryer, Range, or ‘commercial’ 240v Receptacle; 3-phase units reserved only for commercial supplies where available but are ridiculously efficient (around 95% with only 5% lost to waste heat!).
    – Most are TEFC Motors (sealed), meaning you can leave out in rain, storms, and other weather without damage to unit.

    GAS-Powered Pressured Washers:
    – Requires frequent refilling of Gasoline/Petrol
    – Requires Breathing Protection (no catalytic converters), so unlike new cars these gas engines are similar to lawn-mowers and produce heavy concentrations of pollutants and carcinogens highly dangerous to the operator and nearby observers not wearing protection. Their overall world-world carbon footprint/impact is minor, however. Mostly bad just for you, the operator.
    – Moderately to VERY powerful depending on model (high PSI and high GPM)
    – Approximately HALF the Cost of comparably power Electric models, but heavy use offsets this given rising gasoline prices vs stable (for now) electricity costs.
    – High maintenance: Gasoline engines of this type have mediocre lifespans, depending on maintenance, oil, and other care.
    – Gasoline engines should be kept out of rain/weather.
    – VERY NOISY; like lawn mowers and gas-powered leaf blowers, these models are quite efficient at alienating your neighbors and ruining people’s days.

    UNIVERSAL Electric Pressure Washers:
    – Essentially a Shop-Vac motor connected to a cheap axial pump
    – Short lifespan
    – NOISY (identical to a Shop-Vac since same motors)
    – No dangerous exhaust/fumes (other than what’s aerosolized when sprayed of course)
    – INEXPENSIVE and widely available
    – Upper end units require a solid (read: 12AWG) circuit under 100′ from SP, but 15amp circuits (dedicated or no other loads) are perfectly reliable if solid; else seek 20amp kit/bath typical circuit).
    – LOW Power; as in, low PSI and low GPM. Useless and/or time-consuming for heavy-duty cleaning, but well-suited to small area cleanings especially where higher psi would damage surface/material (e.g., can be used to clean certain types of outdoor carpets/mats, garden implements, etc.).

    Hope that helps! Apologies for any ‘tone’ in the above— I find myself either laughing or annoyed whenever I read the common Pressure Washer advice columns say “electric units are _____” (something bad) when what they really meant was “Universal electric units” since all the highend commercial washers are Electric—just Induction-powered, and for very good reasons! (exhaust, noise, and most importantly: power).

    Food for thought: A 5hp electric motor (e.g., 23amp 230v) will kick the ‘snot’ out of any 5hp Gas engine every time! To match the load performance of a 5hp (real 5HP = around 5000watts) electric you’d need 7.5 to 10 hp gas engine because a typical electric torque motor (not squirrel cage fan motor, but farm-duty, etc.) can easily handle 250% to 350% rated hp loads for short periods without any fear or life-shortening whereas a 5hp motor will instantly stall, stop, and fail when hit with a 300% load for 2 seconds. Also, gas engines have very short lifespans compared to these types of electric motors.

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