Power Washers - Painting & Finish Work - Contractor Talk

Power Washers

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-03-2015, 05:21 PM   #1
Pro
 
instock's Avatar
 
Trade: Handyman
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 305
Rewards Points: 525

Power Washers


I noticed an oil slick under my pressure washer today. Maybe I spilled more gas than I thought? Nope. All the oil went out. Engine seized up. So I need a new machine quick.

I'm a handyman, so I do a lot of other stuff too, but I definitely get use out of my power washer. I don't mind paying more if it'll last longer or make my day go faster.

Been working with a Home Depot machine. 3000 PSI. 2.5 GPM. It lasted me 4 years, though I did have to change the pump once. I was pretty happy with it.

I'm wondering, though, if there is a big difference if I switch to a Dewalt or one of those mity M machines they sell at Sherwin-Williams.

What should I pick up?
instock is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 06-03-2015, 06:25 PM   #2
Pro
 
Caslon's Avatar
 
Trade: State Licensed Painting Contractor
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: So. California
Posts: 1,162
Rewards Points: 3,246

Re: Power Washers


First of all , get a pressure washer that automatically shuts itself off if the engine is low on oil.

Advertisement

Caslon is offline  
Old 06-03-2015, 06:48 PM   #3
Pro
 
BCConstruction's Avatar
 
Trade: Construction
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 16,392
Rewards Points: 2,394

Re: Power Washers


Or get an electric one.
__________________
www.bcconstructionllc.com
BCConstruction is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-03-2015, 07:36 PM   #4
Pro
 
tccoggs's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpentry
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 732
Rewards Points: 874

Re: Power Washers


Quote:
Originally Posted by BCConstruction View Post
Or get an electric one.
I think the downsides of not being fully portable probably make this no viable for most purposes as well as the fact that you need a pretty large electric circuit to produce nearly the same amount of power as with a small gasoline engine.

Electric probably more appropriate for on premise use where its used over and over again and provisioning a circuit is worthwhile.


After blowing up a briggs engine and an AR pump, the only things original about my washer are the frame, hose and wand. I have a Predator Engine from HFT (Actually runs better than the Briggs it came with) and a Mi-T-M pump. So far its working great, not that I use it a ton as a painter might, but it sees quite a bit of use.

Mi-T-M and Landa both make good pro grade washers.
tccoggs is offline  
Old 06-03-2015, 08:22 PM   #5
Pro
 
Tom Struble's Avatar
 
Trade: siding
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: west milford n.j.
Posts: 17,271
Rewards Points: 20

Re: Power Washers


the Predator is a Honda clone..and a good one at that
__________________
Tom
Tom Struble is offline  
Old 06-03-2015, 08:25 PM   #6
30 year novice
 
carzie's Avatar
 
Trade: Painting contractor
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Ontario
Posts: 517
Rewards Points: 2,653

Re: Power Washers


Or just change the engine
carzie is offline  
Old 06-03-2015, 08:30 PM   #7
Pro
 
instock's Avatar
 
Trade: Handyman
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 305
Rewards Points: 525

Re: Power Washers


Nah, I'm not really that worried about running out of oil going forward. I think some seal or something blew and that machine would have been pretty much done anyway. I'm not going to order parts and rent a machine. Easier to just replace it and maybe even upgrade.

I'm just trying to figure out the difference between a pro-grade machine and consumer grade. I was just talking to the Mi TM guy at the SW pro show. He sure couldn't explain why his machine deserved the price tag.

I'm looking at this Generac one as well:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_600020-24212...c#BVRRWidgetID

Amazing reviews. But it looks pretty gimmicky.
instock is offline  
Old 06-03-2015, 08:35 PM   #8
Pro
 
Caslon's Avatar
 
Trade: State Licensed Painting Contractor
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: So. California
Posts: 1,162
Rewards Points: 3,246

Re: Power Washers


Buy one that will last this time. I own a Simpson Pressure washer with a Honda engine and it's lasted me over 10 years now! I just change out the pump fluid and oil every so often. Honda engines last forever, not so with Koehler and other brand engines.

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?...llow&cId=PDIO1

Or this one:

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?...llow&cId=PDIO1

Ya, that one you linked to looks more the type for a homeowner. Not professional grade at all.

Last edited by Caslon; 06-03-2015 at 09:05 PM.
Caslon is offline  
Old 06-03-2015, 11:02 PM   #9
Pro
 
SuperiorHIP's Avatar
 
Trade: Home Improvement Contractor
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 1,494
Rewards Points: 1,450

Re: Power Washers


I can't recall for sure but I remember feeling the ones at Sherwin Williams were very pricey. For the most part you will end up with a briggs or honda engine and Cat pump, get the biggest machine you can afford and belt driven if you can afford the extra $300 or $400. Some machines have a steel frame, pressure washers use ...... water, get an aluminum frame model. Cat makes Cat pumps, Honda makes Honda engines, throw that combo on any aluminum frame and I don't really care whose name is on it.
I purchased this one from this place probably over 5 years ago. http://store.spraymallstore.com/e413hocatpu4.html
Great machine that we racked up hundreds or hours on.
Recently while browsing on craigslist I found the same machine but belt driven and almost brand new for a really good price so that is now my primary machine and I keep the other for back up.
I would never do less than a 3.5-4 gpm unit, would go bigger but after 4 gpm they get very expensive and then you have a lot of other things to worry about (like water supply) and we just don't do that much concrete cleaning.
SuperiorHIP is offline  
Old 06-03-2015, 11:49 PM   #10
Pro
 
Caslon's Avatar
 
Trade: State Licensed Painting Contractor
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: So. California
Posts: 1,162
Rewards Points: 3,246

Re: Power Washers


Ya, I noticed both Simpson units I linked to were both 2.5 GPM. My old Simpson still going strong was 3 GPM. It does ok for house washing and light blasting. It was fairly light to load into my truck and move around on jobs. I think my old Simpson 3000 psi 3 GPM cost $1200 back then. I got it as a paint store rental unit refurbished for $800. You might want to explore that angle.

Additionally, it's not the pressure, it's the water output. You earn more by being able to move along faster with higher GPM. Consider getting a 3 GPM or higher unit, especially if you get a job removing mold, algae and mildew off glazed tiled roofs (or algae-mildew covered brick/concrete patios), which I've done OK but wished it put out more than 3 GPM. It went kinda slow blasting algae-mildew off those roofs and patios, square inch by square inch.

Last edited by Caslon; 06-04-2015 at 12:28 AM.
Caslon is offline  
Old 06-04-2015, 06:21 AM   #11
Pro
 
instock's Avatar
 
Trade: Handyman
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 305
Rewards Points: 525

Re: Power Washers


It seems like all the machines that have more than 2.5 GPM also have high PSI. That machine SuperiorHIP linked to looks sweet. I'm loving the 4.0 GPM. But what if you just have to wash a deck or some vinyl siding? Can you dial that 4000 PSI down?

Too expensive for me anyway. I'm thinking maybe $700 to $800.
instock is offline  
Old 06-04-2015, 08:22 AM   #12
Pro
 
SuperiorHIP's Avatar
 
Trade: Home Improvement Contractor
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 1,494
Rewards Points: 1,450

Re: Power Washers


You can turn the pressure down using the black handle on the unloader. I always leave mine turned all the way up, I control my pressure with fan size and distance. I do have 3 different sets of tips with varying orifice sizes which give me a pressure range of 4000 down to around 800.
SuperiorHIP is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to SuperiorHIP For This Useful Post:
instock (06-04-2015)
Old 06-04-2015, 08:23 AM   #13
Pro
 
hdavis's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CoastalME
Posts: 23,353
Rewards Points: 2,866

Re: Power Washers


Quote:
Originally Posted by instock View Post
It seems like all the machines that have more than 2.5 GPM also have high PSI. That machine SuperiorHIP linked to looks sweet. I'm loving the 4.0 GPM. But what if you just have to wash a deck or some vinyl siding? Can you dial that 4000 PSI down?

Too expensive for me anyway. I'm thinking maybe $700 to $800.
That's the price jump - you get much more productivity with the higher GPM, but they go into the higher pressure range, so they cost more and have bigger engines. Loading them in and out the back of a truck solo can be a chore. IMO anything less than 2600PSI and 2.5GPM isn't worth hooking a hose up to for a lot of applications, an a 4GPM machine will run circles around those.
hdavis is online now  
Old 06-04-2015, 08:42 AM   #14
Pro
 
SuperiorHIP's Avatar
 
Trade: Home Improvement Contractor
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 1,494
Rewards Points: 1,450

Re: Power Washers


I think they jump to around $2500 for much over 4 gpm too but boy would a 6-8 gpm machine be nice!
SuperiorHIP is offline  
Old 06-04-2015, 01:41 PM   #15
Pro
 
instock's Avatar
 
Trade: Handyman
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 305
Rewards Points: 525

Re: Power Washers


Lowes had that $700 Simpson machine in stock. I pulled the trigger on it. No pun intended. Thanks for all the words of wisdom!

Holy crap. That thing is a monster. =D

Last edited by instock; 06-04-2015 at 02:47 PM.
instock is offline  
Old 06-04-2015, 07:39 PM   #16
Pro
 
SuperiorHIP's Avatar
 
Trade: Home Improvement Contractor
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 1,494
Rewards Points: 1,450

Re: Power Washers


Congrats, should serve you well. First thing I do to my machines if they don't come that way is to put a quick connect chemical injector, nothing can kill a job like a screwed up chem injector. I keep a few spares in the truck, one goes out its as simple as popping a new one on.
SuperiorHIP is offline  
Old 06-04-2015, 11:35 PM   #17
Pro
 
Caslon's Avatar
 
Trade: State Licensed Painting Contractor
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: So. California
Posts: 1,162
Rewards Points: 3,246

Re: Power Washers


Quote:
Originally Posted by instock View Post
Lowes had that $700 Simpson machine in stock. I pulled the trigger on it. No pun intended. Thanks for all the words of wisdom!

Holy crap. That thing is a monster. =D
Congrats on your new toy. An extension wand will extend your reach. The wand that comes with it is OK but a bit short. I'd consider buying a 31" wand at Lowe's and using that as your default wand. I use that as my default wand and also own a 48" wand. They aren't that expensive. I use the short wand like your default one for patios and the like. You'll find the default wand a bit short for pressure washing structures.

I bet when you got it, you had to find something to water blast, ha...same here.

Last edited by Caslon; 06-05-2015 at 12:00 AM.
Caslon is offline  
Old 06-04-2015, 11:47 PM   #18
Pro
 
Caslon's Avatar
 
Trade: State Licensed Painting Contractor
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: So. California
Posts: 1,162
Rewards Points: 3,246

Re: Power Washers


Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperiorHIP View Post
I purchased this one from this place probably over 5 years ago. http://store.spraymallstore.com/e413hocatpu4.html
I rented one that size for the purpose of sandblasting.
I practically had a hernia unloading and loading it.
Yes, you can sandblast with bigger pressure washers. It's akin to chemical injection, only you take a tubular spike and spike it into 90 lb. bags of sand. It draws up sand with the water to the sandblaster tip. It worked pretty well on a Mexican type stucco house with loads of old paint on it.

Still, it was a bit slow going...square foot by square foot. It was cheaper than renting a huge sandblasting unit tho, which would have been prohibitively expensive.

Last edited by Caslon; 06-05-2015 at 12:08 AM.
Caslon is offline  
Old 06-05-2015, 05:56 AM   #19
Pro
 
instock's Avatar
 
Trade: Handyman
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 305
Rewards Points: 525

Re: Power Washers


One thing I always find myself wanting is a little stubby wand. Sometimes I want to do something right in front of my face at the top of a ladder. Or pull back a bush with one hand and reach in with the other hand.

I'm wondering about the throttle too. My old machine didn't have one. Do I just run it at full throttle all the time?
instock is offline  
Old 06-05-2015, 05:54 PM   #20
Pro
 
SuperiorHIP's Avatar
 
Trade: Home Improvement Contractor
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 1,494
Rewards Points: 1,450

Re: Power Washers


Always full throttle. Be very careful with a short wand, you can literally rip the flesh right off your body. I have 2 and 3 footers, a 24 foot extension wand, and a soap tip that will shoot chemical around 30 feet. I try my best to stay off of ladders when pressure washing if possible.

Advertisement

SuperiorHIP is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to SuperiorHIP For This Useful Post:
hdavis (06-05-2015)


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fire alarm power supply issues sparkie741 Low Voltage 6 04-28-2015 09:24 PM
Frick, I think the power company fried my computer. VinylHanger Off Topic (Non Trade) 9 04-18-2014 10:51 PM
Any suggestions for getting power to a housing complex common area? rtztgue Electrical 2 08-29-2011 07:45 PM
High-end power tools mos Tools & Equipment 30 10-17-2010 06:52 PM
power vents and roof vents 232323 Roofing 4 03-19-2009 05:31 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?