Advice on Power Washing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ztrguy, Jul 9, 2004.

  1. ztrguy

    ztrguy LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE FL
    Messages: 466

    I'm wanting to get a new power washer. What should I look for? What should I stay away from? What psi? Any other helpful info appreciated.

  2. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 427

    IMO, to get a decent pressure washer, you need to spend a minimum of $400. That will get you a decent quality unit with a Honda horizontal shaft motor and pneumatic tires. Seems like the cheapies all use a Briggs vertical shaft with the pump mounted below.
  3. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,266

    Look for one with a Cat triplex ceramic piston pump. Their company moto is:" Cat pumps have nine lives " and I believe it.
    Honda engine with low oil shutdown is also a must.
  4. fixer67

    fixer67 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,098

    I work on pressure washer so let me tell you a few thing on how to keep them up and running. First thing NEVER start on up unless there is water flowing though it. The water acts as a lube and coolant. With out any water flowing though the pump it will melt. Generac did a test in which a pump was ran dry and in 90 seconds the pump failed when the internal temp hit 700 degrees. Even with water hooked up the pump should not be ran any longer that 3 to 5 minutes with out depressing the trigger and spraying. The pump goes into recycle mode pumping the output back into the input to cool and lube the pump but it will still over heat if left in recycle mode too long. If you have to stop spraying for any reason that will take longer than 5 minutes it is best just to shut the motor off. Pressure washer DO NOT pump water in. The input pressure must be at least 40 PSI with a minimum flow of the pump rating. You can not put the hose on a barrel of water and use it to pressure wash with. CLEAN,CLEAN,CLEAN is the thing to remember about using a pressure washer, the water you use has to be clean for the smallest bit of sand can ruin the pump. I tell our costumers to run the hose for a minute before hooking to the machine to flush any thing that may be in the hose. and even to make sure the hose threads are clean.. For those of you who will be using a pressure washer on well water you should know that minerals in the well water will shorten the life of the pump. I have seen many pumps ruined by calcium build up. If I owned a pressure washer I would get a water filter like the ones you get to go the kitchen sink and mount it on the unit. I go to school for this and this completes your course, Pressure washers 101
  5. harley29710

    harley29710 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    Thanks for the education. Do I get a certificate for my office wall?
  6. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    Ztr guy, it the details that count, What are you gonna use it for? That will help a lot in the advice dept.
  7. Fescue Farmer

    Fescue Farmer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 202

    Buy a Hotsy! They are sweet!
  8. Yard Perfect

    Yard Perfect LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    I would be very carefull spending only $400. Look and review twice, check PSI flow and pressure. I spent, at Home Depot about $600 and it lasted a season. I then went to a reputable dealer and spent about a grand and have been very happy with the power, reliability, and have made money for three years running on this machine. Get good advice froma dealer and then go to another dealer and check out the advice again. DON'T RUSH THIS DECISION. Power washer are money makers or -------losers
  9. DALMlawn&landscaping

    DALMlawn&landscaping LawnSite Member
    from TX
    Messages: 186

    i like pressure washin, back in the day when i use to clean boats at Travis Boating Company, we used to always use one, it was freaking huge though and probably cost a fortune, even the mini one had to be lifted up and horsed around by one or two people, but that thing was awesome... sorry i have no advice other than you get what you pay for....
  10. GNRL

    GNRL LawnSite Member
    from Wi
    Messages: 51

    Hot water works best for cleaning. Maybe spend the extra $$ and get steam cleaner?

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