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Induction vs Universal Motors in Pressure Washers – Pros and Cons [FAQ014]

Induction vs Universal Motor Pressure WasherThe two types of motors to power electric pressure washers are induction and universal motors.

You will see induction motors in more expensive commercial-duty pressure washers and universal motors in light and medium-duty residential grade machines.

The gist of the reason for this is induction motors are much larger/heavier and more expensive for the power it provides compared to universal motors. However, they are also more rugged, quieter and will have a longer lifespan.

In this guide you will learn the pros and cons of induction vs universal motors in pressure washers and we’ll show you what an induction and universal motor looks like by taking a look inside my Lavor Eagle and AR Blue Clean electric pressure cleaners.

Let’s Look at the Two Types of Electric Pressure Washers Before Getting Into Pros and Cons

Here’s my AR Blue Clean 360.

These are its specs:

  • Power: 1600 W
  • Pressure: 1500 PSI
  • Flow rate: 1.5 GPM
  • Sound level: 94 dB

AR Blue Clean Electric Pressure Washer Universal Motor

Now take a look at my Lavor Eagle 28.

These are its specs:

  • Power: 2800 W
  • Pressure: 2100 PSI
  • Flow rate: 2.2 GPM
  • Sound level: 92 dB

Lavor Eagle Pressure Washer Induction Motor

What do you notice so far?

Did you notice the Lavor’s induction motor is much larger than the AR Blue Clean universal motor, but it also provides more power and is quieter?

Here’s the size difference with the universal motor outside of its casing:

Universal vs induction motor size comparison

Pros and Cons of Induction and Universal Electric Pressure Washer Motors

Engineering an electric pressure washer is a complex process that comes down to answering a series of questions… Here’s a few:

  • Is the machine intended for home or industrial use?
  • Do we want it to cost less than $150?
  • Do we care how loud it is?
  • How compact/portable does it need to be?
  • What PSI and GPM pump is it powering?

The answer to those questions takes you down the path of deciding on induction or universal motor in the pressure washer. Here’s how each stacks up in different categories.

Size/Weight

Winner: Universal

Induction motors are bigger, heavier and are thus less portable. Universal motors are tiny in comparison.

Lifespan

Winner: Induction

There is no doubt the reason induction motors are used in all electric pressure washers in industry is because they last much longer. How they due this is because they run at lower RPM to generate electricity.

Power Efficiency

Winner: Induction

Induction motors generate less heat and require less current to generate higher power than universal motors.

Sound Level

Winner: Induction

Universal motors run at very high speeds and are loud. An induction motor pressure washer twice as powerful as a universal powered machine will still be quieter.

Cost

Winner: Universal

The main reason universal motors are used in entry level models of electric power washer is because they are more affordable (much more). A typical 2,000-watt universal from the factory will be around $10. The same power induction from the same factory will be more like $100.