Let's talk pressure washers

Status
Not open for further replies.

Panhead5496

New member
Messages
908
Reaction score
0
Location
Athens, Georgia
With spring fast approaching here in the South (if not already here!), it is time for some spring cleaning...driveway, porch, deck, siding, dock at lakehouse, etc.

It seems silly to rent a pressure washer each time I need one.

They can be had relatively cheaply, if they are electric models. Seems to just plug in and go.

Any thoughts on electric pressure washers? Amazon has a lot, the best seller seems to be this one: https://www.amazon.com/Joe-SPX3000-...pID=41OAg8ggg8L&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

Anybody have any comments on a pressure washer for relatively light use around the house? The idea of plug it in and go seems very nice, but at what cost? Power? GPM?

Let's hear it guys :popcorn:
 

anickode

Active member
Messages
2,296
Reaction score
7
Location
S.E. Michigan
Power and gpm.

Electric units are nice for things like wood, cars, vinyl siding, etc.

The big gas ones (like my 4 gpm at 4200 psi unit) will darn near strip the paint off a car.

It will ruin siding, turn wood decks into pulp, blow trim pieces right off a car and get water into places it shouldn't be like sealed electrical connections.

I have both, and most of the time for household work, I just grab my little electric one.

I know, the bigger unit can be used with a wider nozzle at a greater distance for the lighter duty work, and you can move much faster, but a little slip or trip could result in a 4' long gash in the side of your house or worse.

If you buy an electric unit, get one with an induction motor. It will advertise that it has one, because it's a big improvement in longevity over the gear or belt driven pump with a universal (brushed type) motor that many of the cheaper ones have.

---------- Post added at 01:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:01 PM ----------

If you really want to get serious and have something that will last a lifetime (or more) get a Cat plunger pump and a motor and build your own.
 

ezcome-ezgo

G'me sumthin to write on
Messages
3,087
Reaction score
21
Location
Atlanta, GA
I have the Northern Tool Powerhorse 3100 psi washer. It runs a 6.5hp clone engine (ever heard of those?) and has been a pretty solid tool for cleaning the driveway and such. More power is always better of course, but I've seen mine for as little as $299 on sale, for the money, it can't be beat IMO. Forget about electric PW's. They are mostly junk.
 

Panhead5496

New member
Messages
908
Reaction score
0
Location
Athens, Georgia
Power and gpm.

Electric units are nice for things like wood, cars, vinyl siding, etc.

The big gas ones (like my 4 gpm at 4200 psi unit) will darn near strip the paint off a car.

It will ruin siding, turn wood decks into pulp, blow trim pieces right off a car and get water into places it shouldn't be like sealed electrical connections.

I have both, and most of the time for household work, I just grab my little electric one.

I know, the bigger unit can be used with a wider nozzle at a greater distance for the lighter duty work, and you can move much faster, but a little slip or trip could result in a 4' long gash in the side of your house or worse.

If you buy an electric unit, get one with an induction motor. It will advertise that it has one, because it's a big improvement in longevity over the gear or belt driven pump with a universal (brushed type) motor that many of the cheaper ones have.

---------- Post added at 01:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:01 PM ----------

If you really want to get serious and have something that will last a lifetime (or more) get a Cat plunger pump and a motor and build your own.

Good info. Yeah I saw that anything over 2000psi can start to hurt cars if not careful, so I imagine 4000psi wouldn't be good LOL

Not sure I could build one, but I will look into it.

The pressure washer is mostly for my car and the occasional deck and porch, maybe siding. The driveway might be too big a job for it.

I have the Northern Tool Powerhorse 3100 psi washer. It runs a 6.5hp clone engine (ever heard of those?) and has been a pretty solid tool for cleaning the driveway and such. More power is always better of course, but I've seen mine for as little as $299 on sale, for the money, it can't be beat IMO. Forget about electric PW's. They are mostly junk.

3100psi might be a little too much for what I want to do. Is the pressure adjustable? I mean other than just changing tips.

Little $80 Harbour Freight electric, it ain't much, but works for me.

Gotcha. I am leaning towards an electric one.

I like reading reviews off of the family handyman. We have a gas Honda 2500 pressure washer, works pretty nicely. Though is a 160 GC engine.

https://www.familyhandyman.com/tools/the-best-pressure-washers-reviews-tips-for-buying/view-all/

Good stuff there. Great site! I saved it.

I have a small electric which is more than enough for my needs. Paving, decking etc

That's good to hear. Like I said this is mainly for my car and the deck. Oh and furniture, we have a real problem around here with birds who think anything left outside is fair game for using the bathroom on it :p
 

Panhead5496

New member
Messages
908
Reaction score
0
Location
Athens, Georgia
Ended up going with a SunJoe 2000psi electric. Amazon best seller, and I can see why. Works amazing. Car hasn't been so clean since it was new :D
 

KartFab

Active member
Messages
3,378
Reaction score
3
Location
Dallas, TX
So that's what pressure washers are for? I thought they were for finding inexpensive honda engines after the pump broke. Learn something new every day.
 

Panhead5496

New member
Messages
908
Reaction score
0
Location
Athens, Georgia
So that's what pressure washers are for? I thought they were for finding inexpensive honda engines after the pump broke. Learn something new every day.

LOL the gas ones could strip paint off a car :D

Mine is just for around the house.

I will keep a lookout for cheap ones now though, never thought about it that way
 

anickode

Active member
Messages
2,296
Reaction score
7
Location
S.E. Michigan
LOL the gas ones could strip paint off a car :D

Mine is just for around the house.

I will keep a lookout for cheap ones now though, never thought about it that way

I have 4 perfectly good engines that came from defunct pressure washers that were given to me. All 4 engines ran perfectly, but the pumps were shot from improper winter storage.

Briggs 190 OHV
Generac 196cc Honda clone (made by LIFAN)
Honda GC160 (not great for mods, but a strong runner)
Honda GX340

Plus all sorts of other free goodies...
Cut the frames and handles up into pieces. All those bends are great for exhaust work.
Hand truck wheels (not for go karts but still useful)
Engine mounting plate

Anything free with a horizontal shaft engine is worth picking up if it isn't seized. Even if it takes a few bucks to make it good for a kart.
 

KartFab

Active member
Messages
3,378
Reaction score
3
Location
Dallas, TX
Well dang that's awesome man. I will definitely keep an eye out for old pressure washers now!

Secrets out. That’s where I got almost all my Honda engines over the years. Something like “pump is broken and engine turns over” $50 and a carb clean and you got yourself a decent engine.
 

Panhead5496

New member
Messages
908
Reaction score
0
Location
Athens, Georgia
Yeah that's pretty sweet.

I'm thinking I'm going to take a trip around the industrial area and see if anyone is dumping pressure washers off :D
 

supermanotorious

Winchmaster 5000
Messages
2,088
Reaction score
0
Location
New River, AZ
related question, I have a HF pressure washer, generally speaking, how much PSI of water does the washer need? I ask as I was thinking of putting a 55 gallon drum of water in my truck bed to do mobile pressure washing, would gravity feed be enough water PSI or would I absolutely need a pump to feed the washer more PSI?
 

supermanotorious

Winchmaster 5000
Messages
2,088
Reaction score
0
Location
New River, AZ
well I read an article on Popular Mechanics that gas powered pressure washers typically need 2-3 GPM to operate, I think my rain barrel with 3/4" valve and a short hose could deliver that from the bed of the Avalanche, and actually I guess I do have a 5 gallon tank I could time the fill up
 

PanelDeland

New member
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
Greensboro Nc
Retired pressure washer service tech here. Some things to know about PWs. Don't play "Rambo" with the gun. It works the "Unloader (type of pressure regulator) which goes bad way more often that the pump seals. Don't run it dry or without enough water to feed it (Cavitation kills pumps quick). Don't let one run idle for longer than a minute, the water passing thru cools the pump and when temps reach about 140-160 the seals die. So don't run hot water thru one either. The small electric home units are a disposable PW> The cost of a new one is usually less than the cost of diagnosing the problem. The pumps aren't easily serviced and finding parts may cost more in time than a replacement. PWs are rated in CU "Cleaning Units" which is simply put, GPM X(times) PSI. So a 3 GPM 2000 PSI PW would be a 6000 CU unit.

Most of those Free/cheap engines had a damaged pump attached to them because they were run dry or in cavitation or were not drained and stored properly.
 

Panhead5496

New member
Messages
908
Reaction score
0
Location
Athens, Georgia
Very good information there! I am still enjoying mine, works great to clean cars and small patches of pavement.

As far as playing "Rambo", what do you mean there? I'm guessing don't spray the water into the air randomly to make a big spray and see how far it can go, as well as get people wet? :p
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top