Will a 3.5gpm unit do for this?

Discussion in 'Power Washing' started by Texas Aggie, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. Texas Aggie

    Texas Aggie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I've been reading a lot on here, with much of the advice geared toward the 4.0gpm units being a minimum. However, I'm not planning on using the unit in the same fashion most of you do. I have several rental properties I want to wash and keep clean, plus I add a property or two every year. In all of them, I'd do the following: clean the garage floor, clean the driveway, spray down the siding, etc. Plus, I'd do that to my two houses -- main and vacation. Finally, I have several vehicles I'd like to keep clean.

    I've found a 3.5gpm/3800 psi unit that's in the price range I like. It won't be running 40 or even 20 hours per week -- more like approximately 15 hours per month. I don't think the consumer units can handle that but I don't want to spend the $1500 for a good pro unit.

    I understand some of the pressure adjustment is made with the tips, but can this 3800 psi unit, with the right tip, wash a car without damaging the paint and tires?

    Thanks for the input.
  2. Pressure Washing Cleve

    Pressure Washing Cleve LawnSite Member
    Messages: 71

    There should be an adjustment on the pump to turn the pressure down.
  3. HighTide

    HighTide LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Aggie, that unit will work for the small amount of hours you plan on using it. It will also work well in safely cleaning vehicles. You can order a few different tips for this machine to provide you with lower psi cleaning (NEVER ADJUST THE PRESSURE WITH THE UNLOADER). Once your unloader is properly set for your PW, don't ever mess with it. For example, if you want to clean a car with your 3.5 gpm PW using just 700 psi then use a 2508 tip (25 is the 25' fan and the 08 is the orifice size). If you want to clean with 1,000 psi, then use a 2507 tip. Those are two tips that I safely clean my own cars with. Hope that helps!
  4. Texas Aggie

    Texas Aggie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Thanks for the input. However, I've already "messed" with the Unloader (I'm guessing that's the big black dial on the pump wit the + and - on it??). How do I properly reset it?

    Also, and maybe a function of the above issue, I'm getting a lot of air coming out of the sprayer with certain tips. Is this normal, or if not, how do I fix it?

    This unit by the way seems to be working well. It was very easy to set up -- push down on the handle and let the inlets "click in," and the motor started on the first pull. Well, I may have had to move the choke lever and pull again, but its started right up after that.
  5. JCinNJ

    JCinNJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 159

    Spend the money on a pro set up (~$1500) and you will never spend another penny on power washing equipment for your lifetime with the amount of hours per year you say you will be using it.

    Buy a cheap one and you will be replacing it every few years.

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