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Old 05-15-2007, 10:17 PM   #1
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Default Need help deciding on a pressure washer

I am really getting sick of renting a washer every time I need one, and I'm starting to need one more and more. Not to mention the fact that it's $90 each time. So, hopefully in the near future I'll invest. Now...

What machine is best for me? This is what I need.

-A cold water machine is fine
-Needs to be no more than 150 lbs since I'm lifting it alone into a full size truck
-At least 2400psi, and decent gpm
-Not the type you carry
-Somewhere between $300-$500 new

I'm not looking for walmart quality, but I'm also not looking for one made of gold.

Any ideas, comments, concerns, specific models/brands please help me out if you can.
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Last edited by Rich; 05-15-2007 at 10:40 PM..
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:07 AM   #2
 
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This is what I own.

This is what I wish I had bought.
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:56 AM   #3
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Humble

What is the main reason you wish you got the second one? It's obviously a much better unit, but what features do you wish you had or what issues are you having with the one you have? I'm assuming the gpm...

Thanks
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Old 05-16-2007, 07:56 AM   #4
 
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I saw a Dewalt PW at HD the other day. It was 2800psi and 3.o gpm. A honda engine and a price tag of around $600.00. Dewalt used to make a good product. I don't know if that has changed. It seems to get a good PW you need to lay down some dough no matter what.
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Old 05-16-2007, 08:07 AM   #5
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seems like a very low price your willing to pay for such an important piece of equipment you use to make a living. I beleive in buying the best tools, and would recomend a honda engine 13 hp, with adjustable water pressure, last forever, but that cost a lot more.

Honda engine with less hp, you might be able to find in your price range. honda=good

thanks
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Old 05-16-2007, 08:16 AM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
Humble

What is the main reason you wish you got the second one? It's obviously a much better unit, but what features do you wish you had or what issues are you having with the one you have? I'm assuming the gpm...

Thanks
It's a better unit for one, higher quality. If you buy a machine from HD, Northern or any big box store, the pumps are basically throw aways. You spend $600 or $700 on a PWer and in two years the pump goes, it will cost you $400 to replace. Good luck getting the big box to fix it. Then you have to take it to a guy who sells quality machines and have him tell you you were a fool to buy it in the first place.

From what I've heard if you want to be washing for the long run belt drive is where it's at.

Right now with my unit it will take about 3 to 5 hours to wash a two story house and for some of it I will have to get on a ladder. I even have a sweet "after market" tip that shoots really far. With a higher gpm unit you can shoot a two story house all from the ground in about 2 hours once you get the hang of it.

I'm just repeating what I've learned on other PWing forums... Just reading about those guys rigs for a while is enough to make me realize I bought the wrong machine every time I use it. I've owned it for almost exactly one year and the damn thing is already starting to show signs that it's dying. Needless to say I will be replacing it with that $1600 unit.

Hey! It's for sale, you wanna buy it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantainPainting
Dewalt used to make a good product. I don't know if that has changed.
It has. Home Depot has turned a lot of high quality manufacturers into junk dealers in order to keep costs low...

The Honda engines might still be nice but you've got to worry about the pumps.

Check out www.cleaningtalk.com
I'm sure there are a lot of discussions about Pressure Washers over there.
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Old 05-16-2007, 08:28 AM   #7
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WARNING
The "Honda" engines you find at Home Depot are NOT the Honda engines with the rock solid rep you've heard of
Completely different factory, specs, etc...

Just ask your law care professional
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Old 05-16-2007, 08:55 AM   #8
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Thanks for your responses so far all. Thing is...it's easy to say to buy the "best", but quite frankly, I have a budget. I don't think that's wrong or anything, it's just true.

I'm looking for the "best" in my price range. If it lasts 2 or 3 years, big whoop. If it takes me longer to wash a house, big whoop. I simply don't have the volume of work (which is seasonal) that requires me to invest more on a pressure washer than I spent on my titan 440 (which I use all year).

So my question is- best pressure washer for under $500?
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:12 PM   #9
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I'm not sure you'll have enough responders that have tried enough machines you describe to give you a "good/better/best" response

I can however, give you my experience

It sounds like your use would be about like mine
I don't use it all the time, but enough seasonal work to warrant a small unit
-In my case mostly decks and the occasional house

It must be mobile and portable, gas powered, and attachments and repair parts available
And repairable if need be

Now that last one ditches any no-name brands
You walk into the local small engine repair shop with a YukoNukoMata engined unit and see how quickly they fall over laughing

It also ditches many of the HD/Lowes/WallyWurld name brands
They are not powered by the same engines the Power Equipment Dealer's ones are

I went with a Craftsman 2700 psi 2.5 gpm unit (might be 2600)

Parts, repair, attachments-check
The next size up, I had trouble lifting up
Any more gpm, and I'd have a problem with some of those Southern New England wells (as it is I had to check them before hooking it up)

The pressure is adjustable by engine speed, the "tips" are one tip that you adjust for spray/stream/high/low

The gun itself is not very ergonomic, I could use something more comfortable...but it's OK enough that I haven't yet (guess if I used it 8 hrs. a day I would've)
But the connections are common, I could put any gun really
Even one with "tips"

The motor/pump has been fine
Direct drive
It's leaking water now, but I think I may fix it myself
It's obviously the gasket between the pump and motor
The local Sears didn't have the part, so I'll find out soon enough how easy it is to get

I'm trying to think of how long I've had it...I think it's been 5 years now
If it imploded right now it wouldn't owe me a penny
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
I am really getting sick of renting a washer every time I need one, and I'm starting to need one more and more. Not to mention the fact that it's $90 each time. So, hopefully in the near future I'll invest. Now...

What machine is best for me? This is what I need.

-A cold water machine is fine
-Needs to be no more than 150 lbs since I'm lifting it alone into a full size truck
-At least 2400psi, and decent gpm
-Not the type you carry
-Somewhere between $300-$500 new

I'm not looking for walmart quality, but I'm also not looking for one made of gold.

Any ideas, comments, concerns, specific models/brands please help me out if you can.
Rich check out your local paint store that rents airless and power washers, they sell there rentals after a certain amount of time really cheap, I bought one about 5 years ago for $200.00 it is still working good and has made a ton of money for me, I do vinyl power washing as well as decks and exteriors. Ya don't need a machine that will remove the wood, just enough to clean the mold off and dirt basically.
BPTL
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Old 05-23-2007, 02:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenPaintinTooLong View Post
Rich check out your local paint store that rents airless and power washers, they sell there rentals after a certain amount of time really cheap, I bought one about 5 years ago for $200.00 it is still working good and has made a ton of money for me, I do vinyl power washing as well as decks and exteriors. Ya don't need a machine that will remove the wood, just enough to clean the mold off and dirt basically.
BPTL


Yes that's what we do our sales rep calls us to buy the pro show demos or store rentals. Anything to save a buck.
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Old 05-25-2007, 04:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
I am really getting sick of renting a washer every time I need one, and I'm starting to need one more and more. Not to mention the fact that it's $90 each time. So, hopefully in the near future I'll invest. Now...

What machine is best for me? This is what I need.

-A cold water machine is fine
-Needs to be no more than 150 lbs since I'm lifting it alone into a full size truck
-At least 2400psi, and decent gpm
-Not the type you carry
-Somewhere between $300-$500 new

I'm not looking for walmart quality, but I'm also not looking for one made of gold.

Any ideas, comments, concerns, specific models/brands please help me out if you can.
Rich, S.W. has what you are looking for for only $449.00 on sale this month!
BPTL
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Old 05-25-2007, 07:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenPaintinTooLong View Post
Rich, S.W. has what you are looking for for only $449.00 on sale this month!
BPTL
I checked my local SW and noticed they we're junk. I'm better off finding a used one from somewhere. But...I'm probably going to get all pissed off, go to Sears and just buy one the next time I need one (1 month). I can see myself doing that...lol

good looking out though BPTL
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Old 05-26-2007, 11:12 AM   #14
 
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Sounds like me when I first started... no employees, just wanted one to call my own. I didn't care that it took me all day, I had all day scheduled anyhoo to allow for drying.... it was my dime. I bought my first one and loved it, no more renting... I cheered, I cried, I worked... it lasted 5 years.

Pawn shops are your friend.
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Old 05-26-2007, 05:29 PM   #15
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Yeah, that no employee thing is coming to an end Tuesday. I'm getting too much work. Not complaining at all. I have 3 complete large houses in a row as of right now. Not to mention I'm going to offer window cleaning here in a bit and will probably hire someone for that side of the business too.
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:42 PM   #16
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Rich, do yourself a favor and buy a good machine. If you buy a pump from any box store ,and it breaks, you will not find a repairman to fix it. They want nothing to do with them. Buy a good one and keep it forever. We have 3- MiTiM machines and have not had one problem yet.
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:04 PM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slickshift View Post
WARNING
The "Honda" engines you find at Home Depot are NOT the Honda engines with the rock solid rep you've heard of
Completely different factory, specs, etc...

Just ask your law care professional
What he ^ said. Look for the Honda GX engine and a good pump like the General or Cat pump.

I had a home depot 2500 psi pw that I used for small light wash jobs a few yrs ago and when I took it to my repair guy he wouldn't even look at it. Said it wasn't a Honda engine and whole machine was basically a throw away.
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