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Old 03-07-2016, 07:47 PM   #1
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Default Advice on Pressure Washer Purchase

Sorry if this is a common thread but I tried to search through the forum and couldn't quite find what I was looking for.

I am just starting out my own painting business and I need to purchase... well literally everything. Starting out with a pressure washer. I know the paint pump I am going to buy and everything else but my knowledge of pressure washers is limited to how to turn them on/off, adjust pressure, and wash a building.

As for the company, I am hoping to paint approximately 20-25 exteriors this year. I have three lined up.... only 22 more to go! Most of which will be under 3000 sq ft.

I want a pressure washer that has plenty of power to wash a residential house quickly with little ladder work, is reliable, and cheap to fix. I was looking into belt drive washers but 1. I don't know what the advantages are and 2. They are probably all out of my price range (less than $1500)

So, here are some options I was looking at.

1. I want to know if these are all going to be reliable for the next 5 years with the amount of work I will do.

2. Which one do you recommend and why?

http://www.pressurewashersdirect.com...er/p12833.html

http://www.pressurewashersdirect.com...her/p1467.html

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Simpson-H...240H/203448619

Leaning towards this one but I don't know if this would be overkill for what I am doing. I looked through the forum and read that having a separate unloader as opposed to built-in is the way to go and I think this is the only one of the options that has that:

http://www.pressurewashersdirect.com...O5EaAnMW8P8HAQ
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Old 03-07-2016, 08:27 PM   #2
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I hate to promote Lowes but they have a 4000 psi Simpson with Honda engine for $900. With military id for 10% off. Used one last summer and it was a workhorse. I also have the 3000 psi model for decks and my house. The disadvantages of direct drive is that they don't last as long, and cant draw water without pressure or from a tank.
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Old 03-07-2016, 08:38 PM   #3
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The Simpson appears to have the ability to downstream, which is what you want since you stated you'd like to be on a ladder as little as possible while cleaning. Whatever you go with, be sure you have downstream capability, not upstream. In other words, you want to be able to introduce soap into the system after the pump, not before.

The pump is also rated for 4 gpm. This could be fine since most homes produce at least 4 gallons per minute of water from the spigot. So there is less of a chance that you will starve the pump with inadequate water supply. It's really ideal to get yourself a buffer tank to better protect your pump, but I am not sure your looking to invest much only doing 30 houses per year. Just be sure the spigot produces 4 gpm before you use it or that will prematurely damage the pump.
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Old 03-07-2016, 08:45 PM   #4
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The first 2 links are consumer-grade washers which appear to have built-in unloaders. Since the unloader will fail before the pump, when it comes time to replace it, you'll have to buy a whole new pump, which could cost anywhere from $200-$500. The last one is a pro-sumer grade, kind of in the middle of a pro-grade and consumer-grade. It could last you several years if you took care of it, but the problem all of these have is the option of being able to be tank fed. Belt drives can be forced fed or tank fed, whereas most direct drives have problems pulling from tanks. This could limit your options in the future, depending upon what and where you plan on using it.

Belt drives cost a little more, weigh a little more, but will last twice as long as direct drives, and can pull water from any source. If you get a direct drive, just make sure it has an external unloader, try to get one that's at least 4gpm, and shoot for right around 13hp, like the GX390. You'll never go wrong with that Honda motor.

Just read the last paragraph of your post. The final link you posted looks like a good machine. Not overkill at all. Just FYI, some people are big fans of Cat pumps, until they have to pay for repairs. Much more costly than other pumps that are as good or better than Cats IMO.
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stelzerpaintinginc. View Post
The first 2 links are consumer-grade washers which appear to have built-in unloaders. Since the unloader will fail before the pump, when it comes time to replace it, you'll have to buy a whole new pump, which could cost anywhere from $200-$500. The last one is a pro-sumer grade, kind of in the middle of a pro-grade and consumer-grade. It could last you several years if you took care of it, but the problem all of these have is the option of being able to be tank fed. Belt drives can be forced fed or tank fed, whereas most direct drives have problems pulling from tanks. This could limit your options in the future, depending upon what and where you plan on using it.

Belt drives cost a little more, weigh a little more, but will last twice as long as direct drives, and can pull water from any source. If you get a direct drive, just make sure it has an external unloader, try to get one that's at least 4gpm, and shoot for right around 13hp, like the GX390. You'll never go wrong with that Honda motor.

Just read the last paragraph of your post. The final link you posted looks like a good machine. Not overkill at all. Just FYI, some people are big fans of Cat pumps, until they have to pay for repairs. Much more costly than other pumps that are as good or better than Cats IMO.
on all points.

I am a big fan of Udor pumps. You are better off with a used belt driven 4+ gpm machine with a Honda GX motor and pro grade pump then paying for a new consumer grade product. As Troy mentioned, never buy a machine with the unloader built into the pump.
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:52 PM   #6
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I own the 4/4200. Don't buy it.

The injector for downstreaming stopped working on the second job and an aftermarket one won't work. I'll probably replace the pump this year. It produces pressure just fine, but I never was able to get the injector working.

After 8 months of fighting with the simpson to get it working, I ended up buying a pressurepro 4/4 belt drive for around 1329 out the door.
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:53 PM   #7
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/EB4040HG-400...5amI1MWQ0vewXQ
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:23 PM   #8
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Sorry to hijack this thread but how does everybody feel about the Mi-T-M 's ? Worth the investment? I got myself a dewalt 3500psi at HD for 200$ , it was reconditioned with 1 year warranty and it's still running strong after 2 years but I'd like something with variable pressure if something like that exists...especially on deck stripping jobs, I need about 1500 psi but then to be able to blast 4000 if I need to clean up my driveway.
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PressurePros View Post
on all points.

I am a big fan of Udor pumps. You are better off with a used belt driven 4+ gpm machine with a Honda GX motor and pro grade pump then paying for a new consumer grade product. As Troy mentioned, never buy a machine with the unloader built into the pump.
I just noticed that that unloader was molded as part of the pump. I never knew that was how it was done sometimes. I guess if it goes bad it's time for a new pump? Nuts.
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hines Painting View Post
I own the 4/4200. Don't buy it.

The injector for downstreaming stopped working on the second job and an aftermarket one won't work. I'll probably replace the pump this year. It produces pressure just fine, but I never was able to get the injector working.

After 8 months of fighting with the simpson to get it working, I ended up buying a pressurepro 4/4 belt drive for around 1329 out the door.
Nice find Hines! I am going to go with this machine. Since it is belt driven, can I run the pump out of a buffer tank? I know I have had problems with water pressure plenty of times in the past and I would love it if I could avoid it with a tank.
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DynaPLLC View Post
Sorry to hijack this thread but how does everybody feel about the Mi-T-M 's ? Worth the investment? I got myself a dewalt 3500psi at HD for 200$ , it was reconditioned with 1 year warranty and it's still running strong after 2 years but I'd like something with variable pressure if something like that exists...especially on deck stripping jobs, I need about 1500 psi but then to be able to blast 4000 if I need to clean up my driveway.
You vary your pressure with nozzles not with the machine. Even a 4000 psi machine is capable of putting out 200 psi with a large orifice nozzle. You use a nozzle chart to determine what your gpm is, match it to your desired pressure and it will give you the orifice size.

Mi-T-M's are generally good machines.
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Old 03-10-2016, 01:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Nice find Hines! I am going to go with this machine. Since it is belt driven, can I run the pump out of a buffer tank? I know I have had problems with water pressure plenty of times in the past and I would love it if I could avoid it with a tank.
Ya, you can run it off of a tank. You just need to make sure you use a short hose (the shorter the better) so that you don't burn up the pump.
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Old 03-10-2016, 01:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PressurePros View Post
You vary your pressure with nozzles not with the machine. Even a 4000 psi machine is capable of putting out 200 psi with a large orifice nozzle. You use a nozzle chart to determine what your gpm is, match it to your desired pressure and it will give you the orifice size.

Mi-T-M's are generally good machines.
Thank you for educating me. Goes to show how little I know about them. I don't mind spending more for a better machine.
What is the general consensus on the best brand and model when talking about pressure washers?
I'm going to be looking into getting a good one this summer. Thank you!
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Old 03-10-2016, 08:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DynaPLLC View Post
Thank you for educating me. Goes to show how little I know about them. I don't mind spending more for a better machine.
What is the general consensus on the best brand and model when talking about pressure washers?
I'm going to be looking into getting a good one this summer. Thank you!

That may be along the lines of asking what car manufacturer is best.

Landa: Expensive to buy and service but built like tanks. I am not a fan because they use proprietary parts so its like owning a Jag or Mercedes. They will last but when they have problems it can get pricey.

Pressure Pro: Probably the most common in the PW'ing industry. Lower buy-in cost but still a pro grade machine. Best car analogy.. Old Chevy. Parts are cheaper and easy to find. That's where I would steer most guys to look. If you are going with a decent sized reserve tank (50 gallons or larger) go with a 5.6 gpm belt driven. It will last a long time with maintenance and be faster than a 4 gpm. Don't worry about pressure. Anything over 3000 psi, even on concrete is overkill and not necessary.

There are other machines that are perhaps better than the pressure pro, like Alkota, Hotsy, Mi-T-M, etc and you may get better customer service. Is it worth the more premium price? Up to you.

Here is an easier guideline. Go with anything that has a good motor (I like Hondas GX) and any of these pumps:

Comet (low end)
General
AR
Udor
Cat (high end)

There are others but those come to mind
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Old 05-31-2016, 09:48 AM   #15
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Downstreaming has some obvious advantages, but don't forget you can just throw an X-Jet (or preferably M-Jet) on there. On your first link the engine is listed as "other". I'd avoid it just for that. I have a GX390 and AR pump and am happy with both so far.
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Old 06-20-2016, 11:35 AM   #16
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How do you guys feel about hot water PW ? I have wondered lately if I should just sell my two cold water pumps that we use for paint prep and buy a hot water machine, wouldn't that get rid of mildew and grime better?
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Old 06-20-2016, 05:50 PM   #17
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For house wash I think cold with the right mix of chems is best. I'd also think that the hot hose may leave brown lines across the yard from burning the grass.

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Old 03-19-2019, 06:54 PM   #18
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For sale in Indianapolis
Pressure washer- trailer setup
4.7gpm @3500psi(x2)
2 Landa pumps
4 Hannay reels 3/8”-1/2”
550gal

Less than 150hrs
Clean unit ready to go like new
$7500
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:00 PM   #19
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For sale in Indianapolis Pressure washer- trailer setup 4.7gpm @3500psi(x2) 2 Landa pumps 4 Hannay reels 3/8”1/2” 550gal
Less than 150hrs Clean unit ready to go like new $7500
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:25 AM   #20
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If you think of it as build a Pressure Washer piece by piece, you can price the one you like and see which ones are overpriced, etc... All parts of a pressure washer are replaceable, and often cheaper to replace than repair.

There are (4) things to consider:
1. Engine
2. Pump
3. Frame
4. Tires

1. If you like the Honda GX390, you can actually price a replacement engine to know how much the company is marking the unit up. This is arguable the most important part on a pressure washer, with the pump being a close second.

2. Pumps are an important part of any pressure washer. You want a TriPlex Pump. There are several reputable names to look for, but it is important that you buy this for commercial applications. I had to replace mine last year. cost about $200. There are some other features to look for, like ceramic plungers,
soap injectors, pressure dials, and etc...

3. Frame. I like Aluminum frames, and actually bought an aftermarket aluminum frame and bolted my old engine on last year. Frame design and balance are important, but my last metal frame was heavy and rusty, and will never buy a metal frame again.

4. Tires. You definitely want pneumatic tires, not solid.


*Once you have your pressure washer, you can look into some handy upgrades for your gun and attachments.

Last edited by Holland; 03-20-2019 at 08:29 AM..
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