Pressure washers-what kind to buy?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Tim L, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. Tim L

    Tim L Second Unit

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    I am looking into buing a pessure washer-nothing too powerful (2000 PSI give or take) mainly to clean paint off steps-clean vinyl siding etc. I'm not sure what brand to get- I was looking at some Troy units (Lowes) but couldn't realy find any reviews on any units- there is a home depot near me also-but they were selling a brand I was not familar with (slips my mind at the moment)- does anyone own one of these- or have any knowledge of brands that are good- or ones to stay away from? thanks
    Tim
     
  2. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    I was also wondering about these. Karcher seems to be the best known brand, but there is a big range of pressures. I saw a relatively small electric one at Costco for only $137 but the max pressure is only 1600 psi. Is that strong enough to clean a driveway? I've seen big gas-powered units that go over 3,600 psi -- does having that kind of pressure come in handy without being dangerous?
     
  3. Tim L

    Tim L Second Unit

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    Brian, I'm on the fence also between a gas and an electric unit- I'm sure draggin a cord around can be a pain if you have along driveway etc- but a gas unit needs to be serviced more (oil-gas etc). I've seen a few around 230-280 dollars for gas models and around 150-180 dollars for electric units- renting one for a day is around $80-so two rentals you could basically buy an electric unit.
    Tim
     
  4. Jim Sentry

    Jim Sentry Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought a 2600 psi unit at HD powered by a Honda Motor.

    It took forever to clean just one section of my driveway and I returned it.
     
  5. todbnla

    todbnla Screenwriter

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    I don't think this has anything to do with the washer, it just isn't an easy 1-2-3 job. I too have a unit I bought from HD, it is 2750psi and also has a honda motor. When I did a section about 14'w x 20'l of my drive, that alone took about an hour or so to get it all, and if you look close, you're actually taking off the top few thin layers of concrete as well as the fungus and dirt. Anyone that has a pressure and does their walks and drives will attest to this, it even looks different if you look closely.

    Back to the topic:
    I love mine, but keep in mind, pressure washing anything is no glamorous job!! Its work, plain and simple. I love mine and can't live without it, but again, this is no glamourous job.
    You will get wet and dirty.

    Having said that,

    I use mine for:
    Driveways
    Walkways
    siding
    automobiles
    barb-b-que pits
    wood fencing
    motorcycles
    bicycles
    decking
    anything you can think of...
     
  6. KenLeBlanc

    KenLeBlanc Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I bought a Simoniz gas powered one (Canadian Tire in CAN w/ Briggs and Stratton engine) and am finding out that they are quite a bit of trouble to maintain. If you don't use it for 30 days you are supposed to store it (fuel stabalizer etc...) Mine actually isn't starting now, might have somthing to do with it being outside in the rain for a few weeks. Doesn't say anything about not leaving it outside but I dunno ? We don't have a shed/garage and we got a tonne of rain the past 3 weeks. I managed to get it started but it stalls within a minute or less. Almost as if the throttle is too low even though I have it all the way. Manual isn't helpful as it is for 3 different engine types and mine doesn't seem to be pictured for adjusting the throttle. Now I'll have to bring it in service depot and go through all that hassle. the thing is only a few months old and has been used 4 times probably. Argh [​IMG]

    Anyway if I could do it over again I'd probably go the electric route. Not quite as much power and an extra cord to drag around but much less maintenance required.
     
  7. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    I just used my new electric Karcher (K3.86M?) on my deck and it did just fine. Not sure if it has the oomph to handle other jobs, but for dirt it seemed up to the task.

    One word of caution about the gas models. They can generate enough pressure to damage the stuff you are cleaning if you are not careful. I rented a gas model a few years ago to do the deck cleaning job and wound up blowing the pulp out from between the growth rings on some sections of my cedar deck. Not good ! [​IMG]
     
  8. Shane Roach

    Shane Roach Stunt Coordinator

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    Ken, have you checked the air filter? My mother once left her lawnmower exposed to the elements for several weeks and it developed the same symptoms you describe. It turns out the air filter element was so clogged with mold (ick!) that it wouldn't flow sufficient air for the engine to operate.

    Anything with an exposed engine should not be left out in the rain. It tends to lead to high maintenance and drastically shortened service life.
     
  9. KenLeBlanc

    KenLeBlanc Stunt Coordinator

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    Checked air filter and it looks clean. Might still be damp but I don't think that would matter ?

    I called their support line and there is a place in town that services them so hopefully they will fix it under warranty. Annoying to have to take it down there though. From now on I'm gonna cover it with a BBQ cover, fits perfectly. At least until we can afford a shed or something.
     
  10. Tim L

    Tim L Second Unit

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    I may just buy an electric one for under $2000 that way if I use it only twice I covered the cost of a rental for 2days (I'm sure I wil use it more that that though). Basically cleaning old paint off concrete steps, cleaning rubber mats-vinyl siding cleaning, driveway. Is it okay to use extension cords with electric units? I know you should use a GFI outlet (water and electricity). Between the snowblower, weedwacker, leaflower- I really don't want another gas unit right now to maintain- I think the cheapest one so far for a gas unit was $220 for a craftsman at sears.
    Tim
     
  11. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    Not sure about the extension cord, but my electric pressure washer has a GFI built into the plug. It's bigger than your normal 'wall wart'. As such, I found it necessary to use an extension cord just to be able to plug it in to my outside outlet.
     
  12. KenLeBlanc

    KenLeBlanc Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I got my gas powered pressure washer going. There must have been water in the gas. I drained the gas, put in some gas treatment and fresh gas and after a few pulls got 'er going. had it running for a while tonight. From now on the cover goes on when it's giving rain [​IMG]
     
  13. Tim L

    Tim L Second Unit

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    I ended up buying an elecric one from HD (husky) for basically the price of 2 days of renting one- so if I get 16 hours of use out of it- I'm covered I guess. i was a little hesistant about buying electric (shock value)- just have to be careful-since I have never used one before. I will try to get it going tomorrow-if you don't hear back from me that means I screwed up [​IMG]
    Tim
     
  14. Tim L

    Tim L Second Unit

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    Well I bought the husky from home depot- got it ready plugged it in to go- the motor came on for a second then..nothing.. DOA..so I packed it up and I will be returning it next week. needless to say - I got nothing done on what I planned to do witht he washer. It looked good out of the box though[​IMG]
    Tim
     

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