There are basically two types of pressure washers, either hot water pressure washers or cold water pressure washers. Which version you choose depents on the type of cleaning required. After that, more choices come into play such as fuel types and mobility. Below we cover the main difference between hot water and cold water pressure washers. Click links under the images below to for a brief explaination of the application each type is best for.
Perfect for cleaning dirt and soil. Cold water pressure washers are great for removing dirt and surfaces that do not involve grease or oil. Caked-on dirt or mud is quickly and easily removed with our industrial pressure washers, speeding up your cleaning process. When you save time, you save money!
Hot water pressure washers are designed to cut through oil and grease, much like washing greasy dishes in the sink. Soap alone doesn’t cut through the grease and you just end up smearing the grease around in the cold water. Turn on the hot water, and it cuts through the grease and oil with no trouble. The samething applies to cleaning with a pressure washer. If you need to clean through oil or grease, you will need a hot water pressure washer to remove it quickly.
Selecting the right pressure washer for your needs can be complex. Here are some of the most important factors to consider when buying your next professional pressure washer.
What you will be cleaning will designate if a cold water washer or hot water washer is needed.
At Hotsy, we are contacted weekly by people who bought a cold water washer from a big box store and find it’s not delivering the cleaning power they expected or needed. Hotsy has over 130 models of cold and hot water pressure washers. We’ll do a free on site Cleaning Analysis & Efficiency Survey to understand your specific cleaning requirements, and then recommend the best pressure washer – cold or hot water – to solve your toughest cleaning problem. Cold water pressure washers clean by blasting the surface with pressurized water. Rule of thumb – the higher the gallonage and pressure the cold water washer produces the better it will clean. However, when that water contacts grease and oil it hardens these substances and actually makes them more difficult and time consuming to remove and after it is removed there will still be a greasy oily residue.
A hot water pressure washer cuts through the viscosity of grease and oil and melting it away leaving a smooth dry surface with no oily residue left behind and many times at lower pressures than a cold water machine. If you try to wash greasy hands with cold water the results are poor, add detergent and they get a somewhat cleaner, but for maximum results hot water and detergent is used. This same rule applies to pressure washer application. If oil or grease is present in any form, then you will need a hot water pressure washer. The fact is, almost everything comes cleaner when using hot water.
UL-1776 Pressure Washer Standards/ETL-ETLC/CSA certifications guarantee you purchase a safe and well built machine.
It is now the law in the workplace [OSHA regulation 29CFR 1926.403(a)] that electrical equipment must be“approved” by a recognized electrical testing agency. Be assured you are buying a pressure washer engineered for safety when you purchase any Hotsy.
Certification to UL (Underwriters Laboratories) ETL-ETLCand CSA (Canadian Standards Association) safety standards is a must in comparing machines on an equal basis. Not all pressure washers have been tested to UL Standards. It’s legal to sell a pressure washer that is not certified to UL or CSA, but with today’s insurance rates and liability risk, it’s not a great idea to buy one. Even with the certification there can be major differences in equipment and how they perform. Let your Hotsy dealer explain the differences and what to look for when it comes to purchasing a machine that is both safe and efficient.
Hotsy has more than 130 models to choose from, all certified to UL, ETL and CSA safety standards performance ratings.
Pressure washers are a mechanical piece of equipment with water moving through it under intense pressure.
Add to that the challenging environmental conditions these machines often operate in and regular maintenance becomes a necessity. Regular oil changes are required on gas engine equipped machines and the machine’s pressure pump. Parts that wear, such as belts, nozzles, trigger guns and hoses need replacement when worn, and become a safety hazard if not replaced prior to failure. Without a clean fuel supply burner systems can become clogged and burn dirty if not serviced. Heating coils may need descaling if hard water is used and pump seals, packing and check valves will eventually need to be replaced from wear.
The frequency of maintenance and service runs hand in hand with the frequency the pressure washer is used. Most companies that own pressure washers do not have the in-house expertise to service them. In selecting a pressure washer vendor, select a company with local parts and service capabilities that include on-site service at your facility. Check with other customers to see how quickly they respond. If you use your pressure washer regularly it will need minor maintenance 2-3 times per year. If you can’t do the maintenance yourself, then buying from a big box store, a catalog company, an internet company, or anyone else without local on-site service would not be advisable.
Most Hotsy dealers have been servicing Hotsy machines for 20 – 30 years. Each has a story to tell of Hotsy machines that are 15 to 20 years old and still working fine due to proper installation and regular maintenance. Hotsy service technicians come to you, or you can bring your machine to the shop, if that’s convenient. Hotsy service trucks carry an extensive parts inventory so your pressure washer is fixed in one trip.
Cleaning Systems Specialists personally inspect your washing application and minimize the risk of buying the wrong machine for your cleaning needs.
What’s more important, the GPM (gallons per minute) of a pressure washer, or the PSI (pounds per square inch) of a pressure washer? Is 2000 PSI at 4 GPM better than 4000 PSI at 2 GPM? The answer depends on your cleaning application. When you have heavy soils to wash, GPM (gallons per minute) is important for the flush and flow of carrying the soils away. When you have stuck-on grime, PSI is important in penetrating the soils and lifting them, thus the proper combination of GPM & PSI varies to each user’s cleaning application. Can the soil be cleaned with cold water or is a hot water machine needed? Where will the washing be done? Numerous locations requiring a portable machine, and if so how portable does it need to be gas engine or will electricity be available at each wash site and what voltage/s? One location where LP or natural gas is available? Will your pressure washer have multiple users or limited users? What options and accessories should the machine be equipped with to lessen or eliminate service calls caused by operator mistake or negligence?
Your local Cleaning Consultant will invest his time, expense and expertise to travel to your facility, do a Site Cleaning Profile & Efficiency Inspection, then work together with you to size and recommend a pressure washer to meet your needs.
Economical options and accessories when added to a pressure washer can speed cleaning, lower costs and reduce machine wear-and-tear.
Machine options and accessories have a minor cost, but can have a huge impact on your cleaning.
Adding an auto start/stop feature makes operating the pressure washer easier, reduces risk of the machine being left on in by-pass and extends the life of your machine by automatically shutting it down when not in use.
A turbo nozzle can speed cleaning of caked-on grime by blasting it away with a jackhammer effect.
A hose reel will help keep your pressure hose from lying on the ground where it can absorb oil and grease or be damaged by vehicles driving over it.
A flat surface cleaner added to your pressure washer will clean walkways, driveways, and parking areas much faster and more uniformly than you can clean with just a pressure washer alone.
A fixed orifice system can be installed to release the concentration of detergent needed to achieve maximum cleaning results while using the minimum amount of detergent. This drastically reduces the amount of detergent you use, often in half, with zero impact on cleaning power.
A water softener in an area with hard water will again greatly reduce your detergent use and improve the finished look of the surfaces you are cleaning.
Your Hotsy Cleaning Consultant will do a free Cleaning Survey & Efficiency Inspection to determine whether adding accessories will speed your cleaning, lower your cleaning costs and reduce machine wear-and-tear.
Why is the heating coil design important? Aren’t they all the same?
When buying a hot water pressure washer the heating coil performs a major role in not only how the pressure washer will clean, but also at what expense. There are two options when buying a pressure washer, a horizontal (or “lay- down”) coil or an upright vertical coil. With the horizontal coil design the coil is lying down so the top half of the heating coils get hot but the bottom coils won’t achieve the same temperature. An upright coil has the burner at the bottom of the coil instead of at the side as with a horizontal coil. Since heat rises, in a vertical coil it rises up from the bottom past all the coils and out the top. This is the most efficient coil for heating and energy usage, and produces hotter water, which cleans better.
The coil also makes a difference. Half-inch ASME Schedule 80 pipe is rolled in a cylindrical shape to create the coil, with the length of pipe used varying by manufacturer. To lower production costs some manufacturers use the same size (length) coil for all of their hot water machines, regardless of the amount of water (GPM) the coil is attempting to heat. The more water volume the washer is rated for the longer the heating coil needs to be to achieve proper heat rise to efficiently and economically heat the water. Using larger burners to add BTU’s isn’t fuel efficient and adds to operating costs.
Our industrial pressure washers use vertical coils designed exclusively for the amount of water (GPM) to be heated, higher water temperatures and fuel efficiency. There are over a dozen different sizes of heating coils for hot water pressure washers. Coils can be matched to the amount of water to be pumped through them, for maximum temperature while using the least amount of fuel possible.
Stationary or portable, which is better?
When most people think of pressure washers they think of a gasoline engine and pump that rolls around on wheels. Portable pressure washers are great because they can be rolled around an outdoor facility to clean equipment in place. For total portability gas engine machines are mounted with a large water tank on a trailer allowing the operator to wash anywhere. They can also be easily loaded onto vehicles and moved to other facilities but transporting the pressure washer can also lead to damage, premature wear, lending the machine to “friends” or theft!
A permanently installed stationary pressure washer can be an even better value in many applications. First, the cost is often the same or less than for a portable machine. If there’s LP or natural gas available, a stationary pressure washer can run on LP-natural gas, which is more cost effective and doesn’t require refueling the burner system. The pressure washer can be located in a shed or room, with piping or hose out to the wash area. This protects the pressure washer from weather, from damage, and from operator abuse. A stationary machine can be mounted on an equipment stand, with the detergent barrels or totes placed under the stand to conserve floor space. Hotsy manufacturers a full line of portable and stationary hot and cold water pressure washers.
Your best solution may be a pressure washing system.
If you will be washing in specific locations at your facility, your best solution may be a in-plant washing system. The pressure washer would be located in an central equipment room or outside of the wash bay or wash areas with pipe plumbed to the different wash areas. Each location or “drop” would have a hose, hose reel, washer gun/wand, and a control box for turning the pressure washer on or off. The operator controls the machine from the drop allowing him to pressure wash without having to go back to the machine. The pressure hose can be suspended in the air on a 360° boom or on a trolley system. This helps prevent damage to the hose. Clear view plastic curtain walls can be used to restrict the spray from going outside the wash area. A waste water recycle system can be included to process the water and the wash residue so that it can be legally discharged to the sewer or even reused. Applications for pressure washing systems with these multiple “drops” include truck & vehicle wash bays, repair stations, food processing plants, kennels, fleet maintenance centers, and any site where you want two or more operators pressure washing at the same time. The system recommended may be as simple as a two-wand option or as complex as a system with multiple machines, remote controls and numerous cleaning stations.
Your Cleaning Consultant will do a free Cleaning Survey & Efficiency Inspection to determine what washing system will be the most cost effective and efficient solution for your application and insure all the components of the pressure washing system work together to best meet your cleaning needs while reducing operating costs and providing a safe operating environment.
What is your cleaning budget?
How and how often you use the pressure washer should determine what grade of washer you should purchase. To calculate your cleaning budget first list what you will be cleaning and the number of each to be cleaned. Cars, trucks, tractor trailers, farm implements, decks, drive ways, pool areas, home brick and mortar or siding, just to name a few. Next list the total dollars you have invested in your washing applications. In this day and age you can have an investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions! With the influx of Asian low dollar pressure washers flooding the big box stores pressure washer pricing starts at under $200.00 but it is buyers beware. Many pressure washers sold are throwaways, aren’t repairable or have no local parts and service. If you purchase a machine that is incapable or unable to perform the job it was purchased for and clean to your standards it is literally money down the drain. Investing a little bit more can solve your cleaning problems, meet your needs and provided you years of service.
Invest some time speaking with one of our cleaning specialists to talk over your cleaning application and what machine or models would best fit your needs. You’ll find that in most cases cost is a fraction of 1% of your total investment to own a machine to solve your toughest cleaning problems and to protect your equipment investment.