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school me on power washers

klork

Well-known member
Joined
May 19, 2020
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73
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Looking to buy a power washer soon. I would like to keep it at a max of $400. Any decent ones out there at that price point? Not wanting to drop $700 for a top of the line honda pro.
 
What do you need to clean and how often?

The Chinese electric ones work just fine for blasting caked on oil and grease off of vehicles, heavy equipment and parts.
 
need to be new?

what about used or to repair/build your own unit? I see power washers for cheap or free often, 99% of the time because the pump is bad (froze and broke or just totally failed from lack of maintenance or seized from sitting so long)

find a cheap used one with bad pump, so you have engine, wand, hose and some nozzles, and spend $300-$400 for a new pump and be on your way.

"washing power" is calculated by pressure time flow.

example: 3000psi * 3gpm = 9,000 washing power. FWIW
 
Big difference on a commercial rated unit and homeowner unit , Homeowner brands generally cost less then $600. basically they have junk pumps that cannot be rebuilt , and replacement pumps almost as much as a new unit. True commercial units like what the equipment rental industry buys can be rebuilt and last ten times as long. IMO buy a used used from a Rental store with a real Honda GX engine not the GC engine with piston pump. My unit I have is over ten years old Cat pump with a Handa GX. #1 rule never ever walk away leaving the unit running, always shut it off. They will over heat quickly and trash the pump.
 
Just bought an electric karcher, $166.oo 1800 psi 1.8 gpm suits my needs. just washing junk cars and stuff.
 
I just snagged a 22hp predator engine to replace a Vanguard that died. The pump is a 3000si 5.5gpm CAT.

Its a lot of machine, but I have several trucks that I wash, so its paid for itself.
 
The pressure washer I have has a GX engine and was about twice the cost of what you are wanting to spend so no suggestions there. The suggestions I do have are to make a short wand for whatever you get so you can get into tighter places and to get a rotating nozzle for it.
 
I bought an electric Ryobi. Nice because no carburetor to deal with or gas lines to replace. Plug it in and it goes. Unplug it and store it for however long I want. Seems like sometimes I don't spend enough time getting air bubbles out of it so it loses power for a while. Electric is nice because I can use it for 5 minutes and store it for 6 months then fire it right back up. I haven't run it out of power yet, and the only reason I didn't like the largest electric one they have is the engine/motor runs 100 of the time it's plugged in. Mine shuts off when I'm not using it.

Apparently it's not made anymore and I bought it a year or so ago. 2000+ psi.
 
What are you trying to clean?
If you just want to do normal stull like clean your house / porch / clean your car then a standard one is fine.
If you actually looking at cleaning off mud/ grease parts washing you do need a commercial unit.
I just got a used Hotsey off craigslist for cheap, hot water changes everything.
 
Anything under $300 seems to be disposable, the engines will out last the pumps which seem to be what craps out first.

Unlesa it burns oil and you never check it, in which case youre a dumbass like me. :grinpimp:
 
What are you trying to clean?
If you just want to do normal stull like clean your house / porch / clean your car then a standard one is fine.
If you actually looking at cleaning off mud/ grease parts washing you do need a commercial unit.
I just got a used Hotsey off craigslist for cheap, hot water changes everything.

I just picked up a used Aaladan heated pressure washer couple weeks ago. it's electric powered pump but diesel burner. guy said it wont suck out of the tank but will run with the garden hose connected directly to the pump input. i got it for $300 and a buddy said the pump is a good rebuildable pump if it needs it. have other stuff going and haven't dicked with it yet. have to change the plug to 50A to plug into my welder cord/outlet in the garage. Damn thing weighs like 300# and unloading down the ATV ramps out of my truck it nearly pulled me off my feet. :homer:
 
do yourself a favor and get a horizontal shaft unit crawling around to get to the bottom mount units sucks donkey balls.

in that price range you'll get the Honda GC motor which isn't as bulletproof as the GX but we have abused the shit out of a troy bilt pressure washer one for 15+ yrs now with 0 maintenance to the honda GC motor ( maybe 1 oil change) and a pump replacement around yr 10.

this would be my suggestion for new in your price range: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Simpson-...0551/203177499

That is the homeowner/ price-point engineered version of the same frame with medium/heavyduty motor/pump: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Simpson-...0629/203448615


edit: if youre really firm on your price cap after tax, then at this sale price, its hard to beat this honda GX motor clone for 3 bills: https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...8033_200818033
 
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To piggy back on this topic, will a pressure washer really damage the paint on a vehicle? I wanted to get one to hose down the salt off my truck every so often. I was told a pressure washer to take the paint right off.
 
To piggy back on this topic, will a pressure washer really damage the paint on a vehicle? I wanted to get one to hose down the salt off my truck every so often. I was told a pressure washer to take the paint right off.

Depends on what tip you use, how close you are, how nice the paint is and how shitty the pressure washer is.

I hose vehicles down all the time from 6-12" with the medium tip on my shitty electric washer.
 
Depends on what tip you use, how close you are, how nice the paint is and how shitty the pressure washer is.

I hose vehicles down all the time from 6-12" with the medium tip on my shitty electric washer.

I guess in this case, shittier the better. :laughing:
 
I may use it to wash my vehicles. The main purpose right now is to clean the absolutely disgusting engine bay in my truck so I can paint it. I also need to blast old paint off of part of my house roof and off of my shed to repaint. Wash the house. I also need to eventually paint my garage roof so it will need cleaned as well. I am not opposed to buying used so maybe I should cruise craigslist or faceplant marketplace for a used industrial unit. I am not too worried about long term storage. I generally run lead free avgas in my small engines so I dont have to worry about long term storage.
 
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To piggy back on this topic, will a pressure washer really damage the paint on a vehicle? I wanted to get one to hose down the salt off my truck every so often. I was told a pressure washer to take the paint right off.

Never peeled paint on dozens of cars & trucks using several 3000 psi gas washers with a wide fan tip ( 25*) and keeping it at least 6-8" away from the surface.

It would be easy to inflict damage at point blank range with a 0* tip though if you wanted.
 
Used commercial model is going to be better than a new homeowner unit. I bought my Mi-T-M last year for 300 bucks. Honda GX340 and a direct drive pump that I can get parts/rebuild kit for.

Bare minimum get something with a horizontal engine, the ones that use vertical shafts the pumps are usually fucked up, and the pump costs more than going to HD or Lowes and buying a whole new machine.
 
To piggy back on this topic, will a pressure washer really damage the paint on a vehicle? I wanted to get one to hose down the salt off my truck every so often. I was told a pressure washer to take the paint right off.

They will not fuck up paint that isn't already damaged unless you are actually banging the wand into a car. I have hit just about every car I've ever owned with 3000+ psi pressure washers, you still have to go behind them and hand wash to actually get the thing clean. I've never pulled paint off that wasn't already peeling or bubbled.
 
Good to know of the vehicle paint. I'll poke around for one now if something should ever come up.

+1
 
I picked up a honda GX powered pump that had a nice triplex piston pump for $50 that the PO tried to fix the carb and lost parts.

Slapped a $100 Harbor Freight 212 Honda clone motor on it and got a nice unit for short money
 
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