WTB: Power Washer... but am a PSI newbie

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Kevin_W, May 29, 2003.

  1. Kevin_W

    Kevin_W Second Unit

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    Greetings,

    I have an average sized deck... ~350sq ft. I've decided that I'd like to own my own power washer but prices seem to change drastically going from 2000psi to 2600psi to 3400psi.

    I plan I'll use it once a year with the occasional loaning out to family.

    Sears is selling a portable (essentially no wheels) power washer for $220. Seems reasonable, but its specs are 3.75hp Briggs&Stratton Sprint engine w/2000 PSI. I have no idea of how well Craftsman compare to other brands.

    Looking for opinions on how to approach this purchase and how I can relate PSI ratings to real world results.

    Thanks in advance,
    Kevin
     
  2. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    Something else to consider is going in with a neighbor/friend on one; my parents went in with their whole cul-de-sac on one, and they only ended up paying $50 per family...because honestly, its one of those things you use about every 2 months or so.

    PSI is important, but make sure it has a pickup hose so you can mix liquids before spraying (bleach, deck cleaner, etc).

    Have you tried the deck cleaner from Home Depot? Supposedly cleans like a pressure washer without the pressure washer. I think its about $10/gallon. You just spray it on.
     
  3. Kevin_W

    Kevin_W Second Unit

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    Thanks for the tips.... unfortunately, most neighbors have bricked patios and of the two neighbors that have decks, they seem content with just slapping on another coat of the darkest stain they can find.

    How does a 2000psi pressure washer compare to a 2600psi model? Does it just mean you are going to be able to strip the deck faster? And for the occasional user, is the money still better spent on the more expensive model?

    Kevin
     
  4. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    I don't know much about these units, but this I do know. Honda makes some very good ones. Youd be surprised how much money you can make using these things as a side income.
     
  5. Drue Elrick

    Drue Elrick Stunt Coordinator

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    More pressure basically means you can strip or clean a bit faster and/or shoot the water farther. Whether this is worth the price difference to you is for you to decide.

    Look for a reliable brand name on the pump and on the motor, a good warranty (and if repairs are local, etc)., cost of replacement parts (washers, pistons, couplers, etc.), ease of doing repairs, maintenance requirements (gas vs. electric, lubrication of engine and pump), longer duty cycle (how long it states it can run at normal pressure before you must give it a break or else you risk damage), portability (mounted on cart or simply rubber feet), length of hose, quality of 'gun', cost, types, and availability of nozzles (doesn't help if you need a new nozzle and you have to wait three weeks while the order comes from Europe or China or whatever), and ask the retailer how long they've been selling the line and particular model - and even ask if they have any feedback from other customers or news on how long they will carry the brand.

    Lots of stuff to think of, but it will save you headaches down the road.
     
  6. MikePeroni

    MikePeroni Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey, I bought an electric 'Karcher' power washer at Lowes for 110.00 and its great. Its 1400 psi and when I did my deck if I held it too close it would take out small chunks of wood so be carefull. But the electric models are nice, low cost and one less thing with gas and oil to worry about.
     
  7. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Kevin,

    I've considered buying a power washer for my deck too, but decided not to. More and more, the experts are advising against power washing decks because the high pressure damages the wood. If you do buy one, go for a lower-pressure washer.

    Here's a LINK with an alternative, non-damaging method for deck washing.

    Here's a quote from the article:

     
  8. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    Great advice. Less pressure= less damage. I have been able to clean my deck just fine with my 1300 psi Karcher from Home Depot. Even that can do damage if used improperly. There might be a way, however, to get a wider stream at lower pressure from one of the stronger power washers. That would be the best of both worlds.

    On a side note, I highly recommend Olympic Maximum deck/fence stain. I have a lot of wood around my home, and have found it to work the best through trial and error.
    It sounds like you're not a fan of colored stains, but they do last a lot longer than clear.
     

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