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I am hoping by the end of the year to acquire a pressure washer (sooner if I am able to sell my MCS for a 1025r). I need to get the flow of my well checked and probably only see myself using it a half dozen or so times a year max and want to know what everyone thinks.

I like to buy something once and have it last, but I also want to be mindful of costs since it is not for commercial use.

I like the idea of hot water because I tend to be a bit....over zealous with the grease gun...but they are so darn expensive.

Things that would see use (though I am sure I will find other applications once I get it):
Cleaning off the tractor and attachments
Stripping paint off the deck/porch that needs to be repainted
Cleaning the vinyl siding of the house. One side specifically tends to green up quite a bit from lack of sunlight.

It seems like 600-1000 gets you a pretty solid unit unless you start talking hot water. Is soap a decent alternative to hot water? I know some people have had hot water hose bibs added but I worry about it damaging water cooled engines?

I would love to hear your thoughts.
 

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Well, my thoughts may help, they may not. They are like opinions and other body parts.

I've had a pressure washer for a few years, and there have been a couple years I didn't use it. The pump got wimpy then refused to work at all. I was looking for a new pump when I had a thought. I have to vinegar the shower heads every once and a while when they scale up. Tried it in the pump. Tipped it back and filled with vinegar. Let it set that way all afternoon then air blew it out and did it again letting it set overnight. One more round the next day. Pump worked great after that. I air blow out water before letting it sit any length of time anyway.

I had thought about using hot water but decided a little pretreating and suitable detergent would do the trick. Remember how you would use engine cleaner? I don't think it would hurt the pressure washer seals unless it was very hot, hotter than you can stand to touch. It would be the pressure that might hurt an engine, not any temp that you can stand. Radiator fins come to mind. So does connectors.

I hope you have a good filter on your well. ANY grit will mess up the nozzles and possibly the pump.

My biggest gripe is quarter turn faucets. Not much flow and they break easy (plastic inside) at odd times. I had one break that was never used. I am in the process of replacing all with the old fashioned multi-turn washer type.

If I like it the store stops carrying it. Or they quit making it. I bought mine at Lowes and now they don't carry anything for it. Not sure if anyone does. I'll just keep pollocking things as long as necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That is the great thing about internet opinions you can just ignore them. Fortunately yours was very helpful!

I appreciate the vinegar tip and will keep in in mind.

Part of getting the well checked out will also be a sedminent filter we do not currently have one. How many micron do you think is necessary?

I had a similar thought on pre-treating (but was looking for verification). A small material cost/increase in time I do not see myself making it up as a homeowner.



Well, my thoughts may help, they may not. They are like opinions and other body parts.

I've had a pressure washer for a few years, and there have been a couple years I didn't use it. The pump got wimpy then refused to work at all. I was looking for a new pump when I had a thought. I have to vinegar the shower heads every once and a while when they scale up. Tried it in the pump. Tipped it back and filled with vinegar. Let it set that way all afternoon then air blew it out and did it again letting it set overnight. One more round the next day. Pump worked great after that. I air blow out water before letting it sit any length of time anyway.

I had thought about using hot water but decided a little pretreating and suitable detergent would do the trick. Remember how you would use engine cleaner? I don't think it would hurt the pressure washer seals unless it was very hot, hotter than you can stand to touch. It would be the pressure that might hurt an engine, not any temp that you can stand. Radiator fins come to mind. So does connectors.

I hope you have a good filter on your well. ANY grit will mess up the nozzles and possibly the pump.

My biggest gripe is quarter turn faucets. Not much flow and they break easy (plastic inside) at odd times. I had one break that was never used. I am in the process of replacing all with the old fashioned multi-turn washer type.

If I like it the store stops carrying it. Or they quit making it. I bought mine at Lowes and now they don't carry anything for it. Not sure if anyone does. I'll just keep pollocking things as long as necessary.
 

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I am hoping by the end of the year to acquire a pressure washer (sooner if I am able to sell my MCS for a 1025r). I need to get the flow of my well checked and probably only see myself using it a half dozen or so times a year max and want to know what everyone thinks.

I like to buy something once and have it last, but I also want to be mindful of costs since it is not for commercial use.

I like the idea of hot water because I tend to be a bit....over zealous with the grease gun...but they are so darn expensive.

Things that would see use (though I am sure I will find other applications once I get it):
Cleaning off the tractor and attachments
Stripping paint off the deck/porch that needs to be repainted
Cleaning the vinyl siding of the house. One side specifically tends to green up quite a bit from lack of sunlight.

It seems like 600-1000 gets you a pretty solid unit unless you start talking hot water. Is soap a decent alternative to hot water? I know some people have had hot water hose bibs added but I worry about it damaging water cooled engines?

I would love to hear your thoughts.
Where companies save money on pressure washers in order to his a consumer-version price point is the pump, and that is the weak link on any pressure washer. in the $300-$400 price range no matter what they advertise the pressure to be. IMHO, the best pressure washers use CAT triplex pumps. If you're on a well, you may have to limit yourself to the 2.5 - 3.5 gallon per minute range, but if you're going to spend up to $1000 and are getting your well tested for flow...check out Northern Tool. IMHO, they have the best pressure washers.


This one is a lot of washer for the money, and almost any well should be able to handle 2.5 gal/min. NorthStar Gas Cold Water Pressure Washer 3300 PSI, 2.5 GPM, Honda Engine, Model# 157123 | Northern Tool . Really, a pressure washer is about the pump, and the engine. Honda engines will suffer horrible abuse and still last forever. Otherwise....a CAT (or maybe Comet) triplex pump, and keep the oil and seals up.

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IMG_5676.jpg

We bought this one at Tractor Supply about 5 years ago. I think it was $250 but don’t hold me to that? Have used it a LOT and not a single hick up. Started on the 1st pull. Every time.
 

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Where companies save money on pressure washers in order to his a consumer-version price point is the pump, and that is the weak link on any pressure washer. in the $300-$400 price range no matter what they advertise the pressure to be. IMHO, the best pressure washers use CAT triplex pumps. If you're on a well, you may have to limit yourself to the 2.5 - 3.5 gallon per minute range, but if you're going to spend up to $1000 and are getting your well tested for flow...check out Northern Tool. IMHO, they have the best pressure washers.


This one is a lot of washer for the money, and almost any well should be able to handle 2.5 gal/min. NorthStar Gas Cold Water Pressure Washer 3300 PSI, 2.5 GPM, Honda Engine, Model# 157123 | Northern Tool . Really, a pressure washer is about the pump, and the engine. Honda engines will suffer horrible abuse and still last forever. Otherwise....a CAT (or maybe Comet) triplex pump, and keep the oil and seals up.

View attachment 740125
I second the Cat pump and Honda engine. The brand of it makes little difference if it has those. Mine is a BG a local brand here. It has those components and it is very reliable. The ones at the big box stores won't last long with Chinese pumps. The Cat pumps are used in most commercial units.

Sent from my SM-T510 using Tapatalk
 

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I bought a used Landa commercial, 4.5gal per min @ 2500psi diesel fired a long time ago, think it cost $1500, came out of a hog confinement and the dealer rebuilt it, hot water unit and would even go to steam, if you come across one, go for it.
 

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View attachment 740128
We bought this one at Tractor Supply about 5 years ago. I think it was $250 but don’t hold me to that? Have used it a LOT and not a single hick up. Started on the 1st pull. Every time.
Have what looks like that exact model Simpson with the Honda engine from Tractor Supply, except it's 3300psi.
I have used it quite a bit and for extended time on my driveway. Works great and starts easy.

Bought it around a Thanksgiving sale. They had 50 or 100 bucks off then.
 

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I bought a belt drive Simpson with a Cat pump and Honda commercial engine. Aluminum frame and good size pneumatic tires. Outstanding performance and quality, well worth the money.
 

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One of me neighbors has a 1000 gallon black plastic tank hooked up to his well (were on county water now), it set on the sunny side of his barn so it gets quite warm. That's what he uses to feed his barn sink (in the summer) and pressure washer.
Like said cat pump and Honda engine, ethanol free fuel and when you put it up for the winter run some RV antifreeze through it or pull the drain plug on the bottom of the pump.
 

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I agree with others concerning the CAT pump. I personally have a Yamaha unit. 3000 PSI, 2.8 GPM. Whatever you buy, it isn't just about the pressure, you need GPM also.
 

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I have one from TSC. It works great. The only problems I have is the wheels keep falling off. The pound on cap for the axle wont stay on. Also my wand leaks where the extension threads on the grip. I will some day buy a new wand. I've tried new O-rings, but they don't hold. Probably a cheap wand.
 

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I've been looking at pressure washers for about 3 months now, I do a lot of research before I buy. Initially, I was on board with the Honda engine, CAT pump layout. Then I found a couple commercial pressure washing forums. To a T, they prefer the General brand pumps, by a huge margin. The comments are that they are easier and far cheaper to rebuild, and have to be rebuilt less often. Honda engines are preferred.

There are three types of pumps, triplex plunger pumps are the most durable and are used in all commercial units, you can read about the 3 types here:

There are also three ways the pump is connected to the motor; direct drive, gear drive, and belt drive.

Direct drive is exactly what it sounds, the motor shaft mates directly to the pump, and the pump turns at the same rpm as the motor. These pumps endure the most vibration from the motor, and do not work for drawing water from a reservoir, they need to be fed with a pressurized line. This configuration has the smallest footprint.

Gear drive is similar to direct, but there is a 2:1 reduction gearbox between the motor and the pump. This results in a pump speed of roughly 1750 rpm, which allows these units to draw from an unpressurized tank. Motor vibration is still transferred to the pump, and the footprint is only slightly larger than direct drive.

Belt drive has the largest footprint, but is the best for pump longevity, with most operators stating 4-5 times longer pump life than direct drive. Remember though, these pumps are being run 40 hours a week. The belt drive decouples engine vibration from the pump, and has the same 2:1 reduction of gear drive units, meaning they are well suited to draw water from an unpressurized source.

If you want to run a surface cleaner, 4 GPM is the magic number. You can run one with less, but the requirements for almost all of them start at 4 GPM.

A hot water unit is only necessary if you will be cleaning grease often. Otherwise it is overkill, and you will be parking a bunch of money in a feature that has questionable value to you. Additionally, you should not run hot water through a cold water pump, this is a great way to burn up the pump.

Burning up the pump brings us to the unloader, which is the pressure regulator. There are two types, internal unloaders, and external unloaders. When you release the trigger on the gun, the pump continues turning, building pressure, and the water has to go somewhere. Enter the unloader. When pressure exceeds the spring pressure inside, it opens a bypass. Internal unloaders have the bypass cast into the pump body, its maybe a 1 inch passage from the high pressure side to the low pressure side. External unloaders have a hose looped from the high pressure side to the low pressure side. You want an external unloader, and here's why: when you release the trigger on the gun, the pump goes into bypass. As it continually pumps the same water, that water heats up a lot. With an external unloader, that circuit contains 25-50 times more water, hence more ability to absorb heat. It also has another benefit; the main cause of a burnt up pump is leaving the pressure washer running without spraying. You can burn up a pump in as little as a minute doing this. With an external unloader, you can disconnect the return line from the low pressure side and block the port. Now when there pump goes into bypass, it dumps water on the ground, ingesting fresh cold water from the supply. You can let the engine run without spraying until it runs out of gas and you won't burn up the pump.

As to house and deck wash, those are done at low pressure, using chemicals to clean. In fact, many guys use a 12 volt pump for house wash, as they only need to get the chemical on, no pressure is used to do the actual cleaning.

One thing to note that the professionals also do, is they set the pressure once on their machine, and then they use a larger orifice nozzle if they want a lower pressure. There is a chart floating around that relates GPM to pressure depending on nozzle size. That saves you from needing a pressure gauge to adjust pressure when you change applications.

This is the unit I have settled on. It is direct drive, Honda motor, General pump, with an external unloader. My use is surface cleaning my driveway, the aisle in my barn, and the stalls 4+ times a year. I want to be able to run a surface cleaner in order to keep the overspray off my house and the other surfaces in my barn. Additionally, I will probably use it to wash the equipment and trailers. Im going with direct drive because my use is so seldom, I doubt I will ever wear it out the way a professional would.

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I think I posted mine is a BG from memory but it is a BE. It's several years old maybe 10 and it still works great. I use it quite a bit to clean my concrete and RV and vehicles and equipment. It has a Cat triplex pump and Honda motor. It is direct drive.
 

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I went with a Northstar Hot water/Steam w/electric motor. This is pretty much what I have, but mine is this version 15+ years ago. Back then, I believe they went for about $1800. I wanted hot water, the steam I seldom use. I also wanted an electric motor verses gas engine---as I have enough to maintain. Wiring up the electrical, 240v 30A, was not an issue for me. (The plus side is I don't have to tell people that want to borrow it no, as they don't have the electrical to operate it.) It does everything I want it to do and most of the time I'm reducing the pressure to prevent damaging whatever I'm cleaning. I probalby don't utilize it even a half dozen instances per year. So it was probably overkill, but I've always been a top-shelf guy when it comes to tools and equipment.

I've only had trouble with it once. The unloader was stuck in bypass--from lack of use. I disassembled, cleaned, lubed and re-assembled to correct the problem.
 

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This is what I ordered and will be delivered Tuesday.


Order summary

SIMPSON® POWERSHOT 4000 PSI @ 3.5 GPM - AAA Pump - Direct Drive Gas Pressure Washer × 1
$879.00

Discount DISC5
-$43.95
Subtotal
$835.05
Shipping
$0.00
Taxes
$0.00

Total
$835.05 USD
You saved $43.95​

 
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