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Buyers Guide & Information

Best Hot Water Pressure Washers Reviewed

Clean areas more effectively with these highly-rated commercial and portable products.

by

Buyers Guide & Information

Best Hot Water Pressure Washers Reviewed

Clean areas more effectively with these highly-rated commercial and portable products.

by JohnL

by JohnL

Have you been staring at your driveway, thinking that it needs a good scrub? Oil, grease, and grime can build up over time, giving your driveway that dingy appearance. The easiest way to take care of this problem is to use a hot water pressure washer to power away all of the dirt. These machines use a heating element to heat the water up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The heated water will assist in taking off all of the residue. If you're in the market for one of these machines, give this buyer’s guide a read to find out the best models.

Image

Model

Pressure

Key feature

Check Price

NorthStar Electric Wet Steam and Hot Water...

NorthStar Electric

2000 PSI

Fully adjustable heat setting

Shark SGP-353037 3,000 PSI 3.5 GPM Honda Gas...

Shark SGP-353037

3000 PSI

Extensive manufacturer’s warranty

Northstar Electric Wet Steam Cleaner and Hot Water...

NorthStar 157495

4000 PSI

Add on unit for cold water pressure washers

SIMPSON MB1518 1500 PSI at 1.8 GPM Diesel Fired...

Simpson MB1518

1500 PSI

Very long 50-foot hose

NorthStar Trailer-Mounted Portable Hot Water...

NorthStar Trailer Mounted

4000 PSI

Trailer mounted model with 200-gallon water storage tank

NorthStar Gas Wet Steam and Hot Water Pressure...

NorthStar Gas

3000 PSI

Diagnostic light and easy temp control knob

Shark STP-352007A 2,000 PSI 3.5 GPM 230 Volt...

Shark STP-352007A

2000 PSI

Ergonomic handle design

How Hot Water Pressure Washers Work

Heat

One of the main features of this type of machine is the heating element. Hot water pressure washers use a heating element to heat the water. They are typically powered by gas, propane, diesel, or electricity. This heating element can usually provide 4 hours of continuous washing. The hot water pressure washers can get up to about 200 degrees. This is a handy feature since the hot water can exacerbate the removal of dirt.

Agitation/Impact

The impact of pressure washers makes cleaning a breeze. When the trigger on the pressure washer handle is pulled, the water bypass valve becomes restricted, and the water is forced through. This creates a high impact that will agitate the dirt and cause it to wash away easily. Hot water pressure washers can produce pressure up to 5000 PSI, so the trigger should be pulled every 5 minutes or so to ensure that the pressure doesn't build up.

Detergent

The use of detergent in your hot water pressure washer will allow you to provide scrubbing power beyond just using water. You can think of it this way; what if you tried to wash your clothes without any laundry soap? They wouldn't be nearly as clean as if you used laundry detergent. It provides you with the extra scrubbing power that you will need. Many soap types are designed for specific surfaces such as wood, concrete, or cars.


Benefits Of Using Hot Water Pressure Washers

I have discussed how hot water pressure washers work, but what are the advantages of buying one? There are many reasons people purchase hot water pressure washers. The main reason is that hot water removes dirt and grime better than cold water. The hotter the water, the lower the surface tension. This means that the particles are further apart so that makes it easier to loosen up a tough stain.

Hot water machines will get the job done quicker than cold water machines. Typically, hot water machines are more gentle on surfaces. The steam from hot water pressure washers penetrates dirt without being abrasive. Hot water pressure washers are ideal for commercial cleaning projects and people who want the most effective stain-removing method.


Buying A High-Quality Hot Water Pressure Washer

Power Source/Fuel Type

You should consider what type of fuel source you want to use. The main options are electric, diesel, and gas. Your decision should be based on where you will be cleaning. You need to ask questions like, is there an electrical plug near the cleaning space? If so, then an electric model may work perfectly for you. If you are looking for a more high-pressure model, then diesel or gas will be your best bet. Electronic machines tend to reach a cap at about 2000 PSI, but gas-powered power washers cannot be used indoors.

Burner and Burner Fuel Tank Size

The heating element on hot water pressure washers produces a certain number of BTUs. The fuel tank sizes normally run between 4 and 10 gallons. The larger the tank size, the heavier the unit will be, but you’ll also have to fill it up less. If you are searching for a more portable unit, then you should consider a smaller burner fuel tank.

Upright burner design

image source: hotsypacific.net

Pressure Rating

The main item that people usually search for when it comes to their new pressure washer is the PSI. This unit of measure determines the pounds per square inch of water pressure. The higher the PSI rating, the stronger the pressure will be. You should take a look at your needs and purchase only the max pressure that you need.

Heating Capability

One question on customer's minds is, "How hot does the water get?" Some hot water pressure washers get hotter than others, but you can expect a range of 130 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. At the high end, you can expect wet steam to be emitted from the wand. At the lower end, you can expect the water to be hot enough to burn you, but not steaming.

Pump Quality

This is the heart of every hot water pressure washer. This is what drives the water through the hose at a rapid speed. You want the quality of this part particularly to be top-notch. Water pumps are driven by the gas or electric motor of the machine. Most hot water power washers are capable of pushing through 1 to 3 gallons per minute.

Portability

Most pressure washing jobs require you to be able to have some flexibility in the movement of the machine. For example, you need to be able to roll it over to clean the other sections of your driveway. Most of the models that I will review either have wheels or can be picked up and moved.

Ease of Use/Versatility

Everyone enjoys a simple design when it comes to cleaning equipment. Hot water pressure washers were designed to work under the point and shoot philosophy. Once they are set up, you can simply pull the trigger and you’re on your way. Another factor that is important is the versatility of your machine. The pressure washers below can be used for many different surfaces  and cleaning solutions. Some of them even have quick-change settings for concrete, wood, and car.

Other Features

Included accessories are always an amazing bonus when buying new items. Many of the models below come with different attachments and nozzles to make cleaning more efficient. Some of these products also come with electric starters and extended hoses. One feature that is appreciated by many customers is the quick change settings for different surfaces. They are often found in accessible areas on the power washer.

Price and Warranty

Regardless of how big or small, everyone has a budget. In this buyer’s guide, we have found products to fit everyone’s budget. This will help you get the best bang for your buck. You will also find that all of these products include a warranty. Make sure that you register the warranty upon receiving the machine.


7 Best Hot Water Pressure Washers Reviewed

1. NorthStar Electric

Our Top Pick!

Pressure

2000 PSI

Flow

1.5 GPM

Power Source

Diesel

Fuel Tank Size

8.25 gallons

Weight

337 lbs

Key Feature

Fully adjustable heat setting

Warranty

Yes, 2 years

Many users simply want the absolute best option right off the bat. If this sounds like you, then the NorthStar Electric model is a great option. I named it the best hot water pressure washer in our roundup. It comes with loads of amazing features, and it will get any job done with ease.

This NorthStar Electric has a very powerful burner to heat up the water to a max of 250 degrees Fahrenheit at 2000 PSI. This model comes with a CAT 4DX water pump that is encased with brass manifolds and ceramic plungers. The coil assembly is encased in a ceramic chamber that resists thermal shock.

It comes with a rear connecting hose that will stay out of your way. This model features an industrial spray gun and a diesel burner. I thought that this NorthStar model really lived up to the expectations of being the best hot water pressure washer. I loved the adjustable heat setting so that I could quickly change temp on the fly.

As one purchaser stated, “Works as good as it was rated. Works great to blast ice off of vehicles. Adjustable heat setting is great.” This model would be perfect for jobs in a winter climate.

Pros

  • Adjustable heat setting
  • Water pump is resistant to thermal shock
  • Rear connection hose

Cons

  • Some users had issues with the O-ring in the detergent hose breaking

2. Shark SGP-353037

Best Commercial Hot Water Pressure Washer

Pressure

3000 PSI

Flow

3.5 GPM

Power Source

Gas

Fuel Tank Size

8 gallons

Weight

550 lbs

Key Feature

Extensive manufacturer’s warranty

Warranty

Yes; 7 year pump, 1 year parts, 3 year coil

If you plan to purchase a new machine for business use, then I highly recommend checking out this model. The Shark SGP-353037 is the best commercial hot water pressure washer on the market. This beast will tackle any commercial job that you can imagine.

This Shark model is easily portable so that you can roll it around on a job site. It features pneumatic wheels for maneuvering around any type of terrain. It has a rugged steel chassis that is durable in any conditions. It has a leak-free heating coil that is wrapped in a stainless steel casing that protects it from overheating. The direct-drive water pump can push out 3.5 gallons per minute. This exceeds other models in this class. The 3000 PSI spray gun allows you to blow off any grime on a commercial scale.

One of my favorite features about this Shark model was the overwhelming amount of power. I was able to clean any type of surface with ease. Lesley Lewis from Power Complete gave this hot water pressure washer high reviews. This product is versatile and easy to use. I also enjoyed the portability. The oversized tires made it easy for me to move this powerful machine around at job sites.

Pros

  • Comes with 3000 PSI of continuous pressure
  • Features an extensive warranty
  • Has a dual wand spray gun

Cons

  • Might be too expensive for some users

3. NorthStar 157495

Best Electric Hot Water Pressure Washer Add On

Pressure

4000 PSI

Flow

2 - 4 GPM

Power Source

Diesel

Fuel Tank Size

4 gallons

Weight

253 lbs

Key Feature

Add on unit for cold water pressure washers

Warranty

Yes, 2 years

Sometimes it can be a pain to fill up a fuel tank and bring it on-site just to start pressure washing. This NorthStar model is an add on to existing cold water pressure washers. If you own a pressure washer and want to incorporate a heating coil to heat up the water, then this model is perfect for you. The NorthStar 157495 is the best electric hot water pressure washer add on that is available.

This model is easy to hook up to your existing cold water pressure washer. It can produce 4000 PSI of pressure at an impressive 4 GPM. This add on will heat the water to an impressive 250 degrees Fahrenheit. It features a 5-foot quick coupling hose that makes it easy to set up by yourself.

The burner runs on diesel fuel that includes a large 4-gallon tank. This model has an easily adjustable temperature control knob that can be adjusted while you are working. Since this is the only add on model that we have featured in this buyer’s guide that makes it pretty unique. I loved that I could quickly add this heating unit to my existing pressure washer. It saved me time and money.

One verified purchaser from Northern Tool exclaimed, “I use this hot box with my NorthStar power washer and it delivers hot water on demand. Cleans all surfaces better than just cold water.”

Pros

  • Quickly add this unit onto your existing cold water pressure washer
  • Produces up to 4000 PSI
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Could use larger wheels

4. Simpson MB1518

Best Industrial Hot Water Pressure Washer

Pressure

1500 PSI

Flow

1.8 GPM

Power Source

Diesel

Fuel Tank Size

4 gallons

Weight

255 lbs

Key Feature

Very long 50-foot hose

Warranty

Yes, 1 year pressure washer, 5 years water pump

Previously we reviewed the best commercial pressure washer, which is designed for small businesses. The Simpson MB1518 is the best industrial hot water pressure washer since it runs on diesel fuel for long periods. We recommend this one for big businesses.

This Simpson model is named the Mini-Brute for a good reason. This machine is a massive and powerful device for deep cleaning heavy grease stains. It features an industrial triplex pump that is sure to last for years. It comes with a heavy-duty armor steel braided hose that has quick connect threading. The 13-inch tires make this beast easy to move around the warehouse. It comes with 5 different cleaning nozzles as well as soap.

One feature that impressed me about this model was the massive burner tank. It would last for hours on a tank of diesel fuel. I thought that the industrial tires made for easy moving despite its size. This hot water pressure washer produced 1500 PSI of pressure, which was more than enough for all my cleaning tasks. The 50-foot armored hose was long enough to walk around a job site during clean up.

Pros

  • Includes a large 50-foot hose
  • Massive burner fuel tank
  • 13-inch tires for easy moving

Cons

  • You have to purge the chemical injection line before use

5. NorthStar Trailer Mounted

Best Hot Water Pressure Washer Trailer

Pressure

4000 PSI

Flow

4 GPM

Power Source

Gas

Fuel Tank Size

10 gallons

Weight

961 lbs

Key Feature

Trailer mounted model with 200-gallon water storage tank

Warranty

Yes, 2 years

This model is the only one that we have included that features a water storage tank. This NorthStar model is the best hot water pressure washer trailer. It is ideal for those massive jobs where you won't have access to a water source. You can bring the water source with you by attaching it to a work truck.

For starters, this machine features a 200-gallon water tank. It produces a substantial 4000 PSI at 4 GPM. It boasts a CAT direct drive pump that has ceramic plungers. This will extend the life of your water pump. With this package, you will get the hot water pressure washer, a trailer, and a storage tank. The trailer is even road-ready with lights and joint hookups. The included hose reels make packing up a breeze. It boasts an easy start pump as well.

I absolutely loved this NorthStar model. While I do agree that it may not be the right choice for some users, for others, it is incredible. People who are searching for a smaller residential machine won't need a trailer-mounted model. If you are using this for work, then this may be the way to go.

A purchaser stated, “I use for industrial, commercial, and residential applications. Bought 7 months ago and doing a great job for me.”

Pros

  • Includes a 200-gallon water tank
  • Comes with a road-ready trailer
  • Easy start water pump

Cons

  • O-Rings May Break At Super High Temperatures

6. NorthStar Gas

Best Gas Hot Water Pressure Washer

Pressure

3000 PSI

Flow

4 GPM

Power Source

Gas

Fuel Tank Size

8.75 gallons

Weight

547 lbs

Key Feature

Diagnostic light and easy temp control knob

Warranty

Yes, 2 years

Since gasoline is more accessible and cheaper than diesel, it makes sense that we include the best product in that category. The NorthStar Gas model is the best gas hot water pressure washer in this roundup. This model is ideal for users who are looking for a reliable gas model that will suit all of their needs.

This machine features incredible pressure at 3000 PSI at 4 GPM. You’ll be able to blast right through the dirtiest stains. It comes with the new GX390 Honda engine, which provides you with the ultimate reliability and easy start convenience. It is easy to maneuver with 14-inch tires that limit vibrations when the water pump is on. The burner comes with a thermostat control up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. It comes with antivibration V-rings to keep your machine grounded.

I liked using this NorthStar gas model. It was simple to operate, and the quick-change nozzles were simple to change. I also loved that it included a diagnostic light, so if something was malfunctioning, you were made aware immediately.

One user from Ohio noted, “The added hot water has made an incredible difference on maintaining my tools and equipment. Cleaning is a breeze with the various nozzles included.”

Pros

  • Antivibration V-rings
  • Easy thermostat control
  • Diagnostic light

Cons

  • Some users experienced issues with the chemical siphon

7. Shark STP-352007A

Best Portable Hot Water Pressure Washer

Pressure

2000 PSI

Flow

3.5 GPM

Power Source

Electric

Fuel Tank Size

1.5 gallons for burner fuel tank

Weight

500 lbs

Key Feature

Ergonomic handle design

Warranty

Yes, 7 year pump warranty, 1 year parts

If portability is what you need in a new machine, then look no further. The Shark STP-352007A is the best portable hot water pressure washer on the market. It is perfect for residential users since you can move it around as you work.

This Shark model includes 3 ceramic pistons that run cooler and last longer than others. It features 5 different spray nozzles that are securely stored in the machine itself so that they don't get lost. This model comes with a 326,000 BTU burner for all of your hot water needs. It boasts an insulated pro-grade ergonomic grip handle. This handle includes the pressure adjustment so that you can change it quickly. This hot water pressure washer will produce 2000 PSI at 3.5 GPM.

The feature I liked the most on this unit was the dual position wand. I thought it was comfortable and easy to use. I also liked that I didn’t have to worry about losing the nozzles since they were securely stored in the machine. The chemical induction was made in a downstream design, which never seems to fail me. The portability with this device was top notch. I had no issues moving it, and the tires really seemed to hold up.

Pros

  • Extreme portability
  • Ergonomic and easy to use wand
  • Nozzles stored in the unit

Cons

  • May be challenging to find warranty assistance without shipping the product off

Cold vs. Hot Water Pressure Washers

Similar to when you do the dishes or wash your clothes, if it’s a tough stain, then you’ll use hot water instead of cold water. This is the most effective way to take out stubborn grease. One difference is that cold water pressure washers are significantly cheaper than hot water ones. If you don’t have a large area to cover or tough grease stains to deal with, then a hot water pressure washer should be enough for you.

If you’re fine with dropping the extra dough, then you will see a big difference between hot and cold water cleaning ability. Hot water will blast away any grime since it loosens up the dirt and provides agitation to the greasy particles.


How to Set Up and Operate a Hot Water Pressure Washer

I hope you’ve been able to narrow down your choices to the perfect machine for you. Now, let’s focus on assembling and setting up your new hot water pressure washer. Follow these guidelines for setting everything up effectively.

  • Step 1:
    Connect the water source to the water pump.
attaching hose

image source: jackssmallengines.com

  • Step 2:
    Fill up the oil tank with the oil recommended in your instruction manual provided with your hot water pressure washer. You can check the oil level on the side of the tank or use the dipstick.
  • Step 3:
    If required, fill up the tank with gasoline or diesel. You will need to fill up the burner tank with the required fuel as well. Most of them run on diesel, so remember to keep the fuel types separate for each tank.
  • Step 4:
    Install the proper battery for your machine.

Now that the set up is taken care of, you can focus on operating your new machine. Follow these tips and tricks below for operating your hot water pressure washer.

  • Step 1:
    You should complete your first run of the machine with the nozzle or wand removed to clear out any dirt or blockages.
  • Step 2:
    Next, you will need to either need to pull start the machine or push the electric start button. I recommend running cold water through the machine before turning on the burner fuel tank.
  • Step 3:
    Once the water pump is turned on, you should test the wand by slowly pulling the trigger away from you.
  • Step 4:
    Turn on the burner. Test the hot water functionality by squeezing the trigger again.

Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Even though your hot water pressure washer is built to be durable, there are still some things that can go wrong. The troubleshooting tips below should help you alleviate any issues with your hot water pressure washer.

If your power washer will not run, then you should check these items first. Ensure that the power switch is turned on, and the power supply is fully connected. Next, check all of the fuses to ensure they are in working order. You should also check that the motor is not too hot. If it is, then allow it to cool before turning it on again.

Another common issue is low pressure from your spray gun. The first step is to check to make sure that there is an adequate water supply. If you have just filled up the water tank, then you should check that your hose is not damaged or clogged.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why are hot water pressure washers expensive compared to regular pressure washers?

They generally require more maintenance and contain more expensive parts than cold water pressure washers. The most costly component is the burner tank and heating coil. Fixing a burner coil can be quite expensive.

Are there any risks or safety precautions when using a hot water pressure washer?

There are always safety measures that you should take when operating heavy machinery. You should follow these safety precautions when operating your hot water pressure washer.

  • Never aim the wand at anyone.
  • Always wear the proper protective gear.
  • Make sure that you always wear the proper safety gear.
  • Select the proper nozzle for the task you are completing.
  • Be aware of electric shock since water conducts electricity.
What’s the difference between a steam cleaner and a hot water pressure washer?

There are a few main differences between these types of machines. Steam cleaners use very little water compared to a hot water pressure washer. Steam cleaners offer a more hygienic approach since the high temperature kills any bacteria. Another difference is that a steam cleaner uses a more gentle approach than a pressure washer and can be used indoors.

What kind of cleaning agent or detergent should I use with my hot water pressure washer?

Many of the popular brands that we reviewed make their own detergent. Many companies make soap for different surfaces. Some of the best brands include Simple Green, Karcher, and Krud Kutter.

How much water is used for hot water pressure washing?

Every model that I have reviewed includes a GPM rating. You can expect a pressure washer to use slightly more water than your household shower.

Who are the best hot water pressure washer manufacturer brands?

The best brands have developed their machines to be the best in the business. Some of these brands include Shark and NorthStar.


Conclusion

In this article, I have reviewed the best hot water pressure washers that are available on the market. I have also provided you with tips and tricks to make sure that you are ready to go once your new hot water pressure water gets delivered.

I'm sure you are probably wondering what the absolute best machine to buy is. In my opinion, the NorthStar Electric is the best all-around choice. It comes in at a medium price range and provides you with everything that you need to get your cleaning tasks done.

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