Gas vs. Electric Pressure Washer (Pros & Cons)

Gas vs. Electric Pressure Washer is a bit of an eternal debate. Both are designed for keeping your premises clean. However, both differ in a multitude of factors like water flow, maintenance, noise level etc. Do pay close attention to all the important factors that would have a bearing on where you make an investment.

Let’s dive in and try to find out which one is the right option – gas or electric pressure washer.

Gas vs. Electric Pressure Washer Comparison


If you were to go by the sheer pressure generated, which is so important in pressure cleaning, the electric version has an upper ceiling of 2000 PSI.

What limits the power of an electric model? The 15 ampere electric motor cannot generate more power than that. The actual pressure generated by an electric model hovers in the range of 1500 PSI to 1800 PSI.

Plastic and steel components used in electric unit limits the generated power. However, they are reasonably quiet and is suitable for applications like cleaning vehicles, backyard grills, patios and the poolside area. They are lightweight and easy to carry.

The perspective from the other side of the Electric vs. Gas Power Washer debate is quite compelling. Even the cheapest gas cleaners claim to offer much higher PSI than their electric counterparts do. At the lower end, Power of electric unit ranges between 2000 to 2500 PSI. Pressure of the higher-end units can be as high as 4000 PSI or even more. Surprisingly even at 4000 PSI, these are sold as domestic units.

Electric pressure washers can be equipped with different kinds of motors. For instance, the water-cooled induction motors circulate the liquid in the engine before discharging it through the hose. Some are equipped with axial cam design pumps whereas the more costly heavy-duty ones feature triplex plunger pumps.


Now this one really comes under the purview of pressure washer maintenance. Greater the pressure generated by a unit, greater is the chances of injury from it. Hence, one needs to be more careful with gas models. This is because they tend to splinter and etch the wooden surfaces. Then there is also the risk from carbon monoxide seepage in the case of gas models that needs to be taken care of.

Water flow ratings

Here again gas powered washers win hands down. Electric pressure washers churn out water at the rate of 1.4 to 1.5 GPM. Gas powered washers on the other hand routinely deliver 2.5 GPM or even more. In some rare cases, gas powered unit deliver 1.5 GPM.


Gas powered ones are way more expensive. Besides, you will need to buy detergent, gas and oil regularly, which can be quite bothersome. Many prefer to go with electric models, as it is cheap and affordable.


best gas pressure washer

Source: Powerstroke

Here again gas pressure washers require more care and upkeep compared to electrical ones.

Good news: 

Regular maintenance ensures gas pressure washers last for longer duration. Make sure to change the oil and air filters regularly. Another concern is that 90% of the gasoline available in the US is blended with ethanol. Gasoline mixes fast with ethanol and can have a detrimental impact on the engine.  How? It can spearhead the corrosion and deteriorate the internal components.

Recent study reveals that nearly 60% buyers choose electric model over gas ones as they require less maintenance and are cheaper to own and operate.

Make sure to read user manual thoroughly and use gas power washer with caution. This article will explain how to use a gas-powered model.


Gas-powered models are noisy. Save yourself from the headache of dealing with abhorrent neighbors or a newborn by investing in an electric power cleaner.

Noise level of gas-powered models shoot upto a minimum of 88 decibels (dBA). Compare it with the noise level at which one needs to wear a hearing protector – 85 dbA. They are noisy indeed.

Electric pressure washers on the other hand are a lot quieter at an average noise level of 78 dBA. Besides, they go silent when the trigger is released as that cuts off the motor.

Gas powered pressure washer has the advantage of not having to connect with a power source through an electrical cord. Hence, you can move it around with ease. This is because you need to connect an electrical pressure washer to an electrical power source. This limits the reach of the unit. However, extension power cords and wands can take care of that problem to some extent.

Which one to buy – gas or electric pressure washer?

Best medium-duty pressure washer reviews

medium-duty power washer

An electric pressure washer is suitable for indoor use as it does not emit fumes. Besides, these are smaller, lighter, easier to maintain, less noisy and more user friendly. So definitely, electric units are better suited for indoors.

Gas pressure cleaners score big time in terms of portability and power. These have a heavy-duty pump that generates sufficient power to enable one to perform tough jobs like second story cleaning and paint stripping. They are also quite sturdy and you will likely not have to worry about things like replacing brass quick-connect couplers. Electrical pressure cleaners use plastic ones that see a lot of replacement. The same holds true for hoses.



If you are planning to get some real heavy duty cleaning or offering professional services, you will be better served with gas pressure washers. Electric models are suited for low-pressure and indoor applications.

Now that you have the entire lowdown on Gas vs. Electric Pressure Washers, making the right choice should not be that much difficult. Needless to say, the choice is a matter of one’s own discretion.


1. Can gasoline damage engine? ” from PopularMechanics

2. “Pressure Washing” from Wikipedia, learn more about types of pressure washers, uses, safety precautions etc.


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