Powerwashers, small jobs

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  #1  
Old 08-14-02, 04:31 PM
Seerialmom
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Powerwashers, small jobs

I'm looking at painting my house and before I do it I'll need to powerwash the exterior. So here's my question: Will one of the lower PSI models sold at Target or Sears do a good enough job or do I really need to rent a heavy-duty model? The house is stucco and of course has the standard plywood/wood eaves. The only other thing I was planning to use it for was cleaning my wood deck.

Thanks!
 
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Old 08-14-02, 05:10 PM
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Seerialmom:
The small homeowner model pressure washer will not do a very good job on stucco.
These little units are advertised with some fairly high pressure ratings. The number they don't highlight is the galons per minute.
You need both high pressure AND a large volume of water to do a good cleaning job.
I use two different washers in my work. I use a little homeowner model when I have to clean coils inside a commercial building. The small size allows me to carry it into tight spaces and the low volume of water keeps the mess to a minimum.
For bigger jobs I use a 5 hp gas powered unit.
For comparison the small unit plugs into a regular outlet and is 1 gal/min at 1200 psi. The gas powered unit delivers 2 1/2 gal/min at 2500 psi.
Bottom line: Rent a gas powered unit and you will make short work of your chore.
 
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Old 08-14-02, 09:49 PM
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Greg is right, and Rent is the key word in his last sentence. The gas-powered units that are sold cheaply at discount chains are junk. Especially the ones with the engine mounted above the pump, on a stand. The pumps on these things dont last but a few hours. If you do see the need to buy one, get one with the pump mounted NEXT to the engine. Most of these are better units. I have a junk pile of the cheap ones with the engine mounted above the pump. All the engines run like new. All the pumps are fried. Not even worth repairing. That is proof enough for me.
 
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Old 08-19-02, 03:11 AM
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Seerialmom,

I do an an occasional one story house in my deck restoration business. I try to avoid ladders and pressure washers!.

Actually, a long extension handle with a medium soft brush and some Jasco house cleaner will do a better job. The brush will remove the dirt as easy as the PW. Then it can just be hosed off with the garden hose. fwiw,

fred
 

Last edited by fewalt; 08-19-02 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 08-19-02, 08:07 AM
Seerialmom
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Smile Re: Powerwashers, small jobs

Thank you all for your answers; I had a feeling my suspicions would be correct and you confirmed them. This is probably why I've seen so many of these consumer/plastic/cheap pressure washers at garage sales lately. It definitely pays to do your homework, you've all been wonderful instructors

Virginia
 
  #6  
Old 08-19-02, 08:37 PM
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I have a small gas powered unit, [email protected] psi, I believe it's 3 hp. This unit works FINE for every job I've put to it, and it has many hours on it. I paid $200 for it. At roughly $60 per housewashing, I would have only had to use it 4 times to pay for it.

The important thing is to remember that the pumps are water cooled, but because they do not have a weep wand (one that weeps water even with the trigger off) they receive NO cooling when you aren't actively using it. My owners manual clearly states "Do not run more than 5 minutes with trigger off or pump damage due to overheating may occur".

No doubt that 'pile' of burned out pumps was due to the owner not following the directions and letting the unit sit and run without having the needed cooling water go through it.
 
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Old 08-19-02, 09:16 PM
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You are correct Pendragon. The owners do not follow the directions. That and the fact that the valves in the pump are made of cheap plastic. The valves are always deteriorated. Most likely due to heat buildup and harsh chemicals left inside. Anytime bleach or chemicals are used in a pressure washer, always run clean water through it for a short time to flush the pump out. Fact is, if the pump was built a little better, they wouldn't fail so quickly and easily, even when directions aren't strictly adhered to.
 
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