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  • Pressure Washer Help: Which to Purchase?

    Home Depot has 2 commercial units, both with Honda engines. Both are 'Excell' brands.


    They have a 6.5hp and I 'Think' it is 2800psi and 3.0gpm. It is $699.


    Then they have the big dawg. A 13hp unit is like 3700psi and around 4.0 gpm. It is $999.




    Well, my question is hopefully simple. I'm not really worried about price. I am more worried about not being able to use the big one as much because it is TOO strong. Can I wash our trucks and equipment with that beast? Or should I get the smaller unit?


    I need something to remove old paint from my house as well. I have seen more guys using the smaller unit, so that worries me. But maybe they have the smaller units because they don't want to lug around the bigger unit?


    Keep in mind, I will likely be using it in the future for deck cleaning, or things like that (commercially probably). One of the employees wanted to get into it.

    Do I need to buy both so I have a powerful unit, and then a not so powerful unit? I just don't know much about them. I did buy one about 4 years ago that removed logos from my mowers, so I took it back. It was not as powerful as either listed.
    a.k.a.---> Erich

    www.avalawnlandscaping.com


    Build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.
    Set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  • #2
    For whatever reason, Home Depot doesn't have the 13hp listed on their website, but I know they have them, I looked at a bunch of them a couple days ago.


    But they do show an 8hp unit that puts out 3200psi at 3.0gpm for $879. But I never saw them on the floor at HD. Maybe they don't carry them around here.
    a.k.a.---> Erich

    www.avalawnlandscaping.com


    Build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.
    Set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

    Comment


    • #3
      Dear Money Bags from Ohio...

      Originally posted by Scaper-S2k
      Then they have the big dawg. A 13hp unit is like 3700psi and around 4.0 gpm. It is $999.
      I'm not really worried about price.
      Erich:
      Get the 13HP, 3,700psi with 4.0gpm & do not worry about how powerful it is.

      There's a knob to adjust the pressure & if you smart you keep it on maximum pressure at all times. You must gain some experience using it, you will immediately learn that you can adjust the pressure by the distance you hold the wand from the object you are pressure washing...

      My experience with washers is, I've done more damage to wood using the Mikey Mouse washer as compared to the Tasmanian Devil washer.

      The difference in the 2 washers you selected is, you will probably save 50% Labor (Time) using the the Big Dog as trying to force Mickey to do more than he can do.

      I had a big one for many years... Sold it due to my Lazy Butt not needing it any more. Later my wife decides to buy a little one at the shop for the guys to wash equipment with. Then takes it home one day to wash at house.

      It was virtually an impossible task as Mickey didn't have any ass behind wand. It took me over an hour to clean 1 side of my carports utility room, it had painted wood siding.

      I was probably cleaning a 2" to 4" max swath due to it being under powered. I was leaving marks because of it being held so close to the wood. If I had the Taz, it would have been a 10 minute job max & I would have been cleaning at least a 10" to 12" swath with it.

      We then moved on to my steps down to the house. It took me almost 2 hours, 4 cigarettes & a beer to clean those steps. They had streaks like what a PW Scrub leaves using Micky trying to make Tazz Dollars. If I had Tazz it would have been a 30 minute job no sweat, Cigarettes or Beer...

      It would have looked like a job Mr. Scott would have done if I had Tazz.

      I have had numerous problems using other so Called Pro's to wash at the house & at the shop. To do the work I need done at least once a year it is over a $1,000 a pop & the guys no matter who I use do a crappy job.

      I'm seriously looking at taz...
      http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...210&lpage=none

      I already know that I need at least another 50' minimum of hose & I will get a Roto - Turbo Nozzle like this one...
      http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...723&lpage=none

      I doubt I buy the Turbo Nozzle from lowes & possibly not the Hose either because I'm sure they are not very good quality. I'm hoping Mr. Scott chimes in on the hose & Turbo nozzle. LOL, I think he has before.

      The turbo nozzle will cut my concrete cleaning by more than 50%. They the real deal for cleaning concrete surfaces.

      While I'm purchasing Tazz, I will buy him a 10 foot piece of 3/8 water pipe threaded on both ends & a Male & Female quick disconnects so I can attach this to the wand to give me that extra distance so my big ass will not need to get on ladder doing 1 story structures...

      BTW: That piece of pipe will be bent on the spray tip end about 1 foot back from the end at a 20 degree or so angle... This will make my life a lot easier cleaning tall sides of buildings.

      Using this set up will be perfect for me, I might later get more hose, yes probably 150 feet total maybe 200 because I hate dragging washer around on bigger jobs. I might even break down & get some decent chemicals that Mr. Scott recommends, but to start with I will use bleach the preferred chemical of PW'ing Scrubs!

      If I find out you get the Mickey Mouse PW, I will put on my Black Ninja Samurai Moo Moo Redneck Disguise track you down & steal your Mickey Mouse Washer I will give it to a relative that I dislike very much & if you or your employees catch me stealing it... I will beat who ever catches me with a Stick & they better pray it's not my Ugly Stick!

      Again forget about it having too much pressure, it's all in the distance you hold it from the object you're washing. I don't care if it's concrete, a cloth awning, roofing shingles, truck floor mats, equipment, peeling paint, deck or what ever. You will lean the distance to hold it from the object. All of the objects I mention will require different pressures. I promise you, you will learn it quick.
      GrassMaster, LSF Administrator!
      LawnPro - Lawn Care Business Software:
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      Comment


      • #4
        Scaper, Grassmaster is exactly right. Get the big one that has adjustable pressure. If you get the small one you will regret it. Will take to long to do work. If that big boy you are looking at has adjustable pressure, get it. I made the mistake of first buying a small one, took too long to do jobs, then went an bought one with 3600psi, 3.5 gal/min and kick my self in the ass for not getting the big one first, but make sure the one you get has adjustable pressure or you will be taking paint off stuff you don't want to. I bought a guage that attaches to my pressure washer and shows exaclty how much pressure you are putting out. Northern tool carries them:

        http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...=47632&R=47632

        Also, get a hose reel, pressure washing hose has a tendency to want to tangle. You will be fighting hose instead of pressure washing. A hose reel is worth its weight in gold!!! My hose reel didn't come with the little hose that connects it from the hose reel to the pressure washer. Make sure yours comes with one or you will have to go to a store that specializes in pressure washer to get it. Home depot or lowes wont carry one rated for 3700 psi.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks guys. The other units I posted were commercial duty but I guess I will be getting the 13hp unit.


          Grassmaster, that one you posted from Lowes is exactly like the one at Home Depot, but it has the TroyBuilt logo.

          At least I think so. I will go to Lowes and make sure.
          a.k.a.---> Erich

          www.avalawnlandscaping.com


          Build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.
          Set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Scaper-S2k
            Home Depot has 2 commercial units, both with Honda engines. Both are 'Excell' brands.


            They have a 6.5hp and I 'Think' it is 2800psi and 3.0gpm. It is $699.


            Then they have the big dawg. A 13hp unit is like 3700psi and around 4.0 gpm. It is $999.




            Well, my question is hopefully simple. I'm not really worried about price. I am more worried about not being able to use the big one as much because it is TOO strong. Can I wash our trucks and equipment with that beast? Or should I get the smaller unit?


            I need something to remove old paint from my house as well. I have seen more guys using the smaller unit, so that worries me. But maybe they have the smaller units because they don't want to lug around the bigger unit?


            Keep in mind, I will likely be using it in the future for deck cleaning, or things like that (commercially probably). One of the employees wanted to get into it.

            Do I need to buy both so I have a powerful unit, and then a not so powerful unit? I just don't know much about them. I did buy one about 4 years ago that removed logos from my mowers, so I took it back. It was not as powerful as either listed.
            What Grassmaster says!

            Erich, don't be a wuss, get the larger of the two. If you get that lil unit, you won't even be able to come to the table vs the F/T'ers or even the P/T'ers. Plus the whining will just get worse day by day.
            If you're gonna get into deck resto, you'll need different tips and chems. We can address that later if you chose too. As a matter of facto,, I'm supposed to strip a deck this week(actually it was supposed to be done about a month ago). I'll post pics in once it's done.

            If I where you, I would focus more on your fast food cleaning customers prior to venturing out on wood resto. You already have the clientel, start cleaning their driveways and dumpster areas monthly or quarterly. You'll need heat and a surface cleaner though and that lil pw'er won't cut it. 4gpm is the minimum in this industry.

            Washing vehicles and equipment.
            Sure you can wash anything with it, just use the proper nozzle. I guess it's safe to assume that your troops will be doing the washing so you'll need to instruct them that high pressure kills, cuts, and will scrap paint off surfaces. I'd get an M5 x-jet fo around $150. It's great for soaping up anything,,, QUICK!
            If you decide to get a turbo/roto etc... nozzle make sure you get one that is rated for the size of pw'er you get and don't use it on your vehicles. These units can do serious damage if you're not careful.

            Get the larger of the two units and then we'll talk about how to make some money with it after you wash your trucks.
            If you feel that you must burn our flag, please wrap yourself in it first.

            Comment


            • #7
              best deal for general use

              This is what we use around the shop to clean trucks,mowers,bobcats,sod cutters ect.....

              Its not 3800 psi but it does the trick and i bought it w/ pocket change . We've got about 30 hrs on it and its been flawless thus far. Its got 4 nozzles so if i want to eat off paint,, Ive done that. Also has a chemical inlet but i havent used it.

              Now if i were going to open a power wash division i certainly would not expect this unit to stand up,,, but we use it 1-2 times weekly around the shop. It doesnt even get put away actually.

              Its also got pheumatic wheels. For $300.00,,, i was amazed.
              SENIOR MODERATOR LSF COMMUNITY CONTROL CORDINATOR
              Have a Nice Day, from the Lawn Service Forum S.A.S.M
              www.lawnbook.com
              www.lawnservicing.com
              Click Here: For Lawn Care Business Kit
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              Please ask questions about the business here, I'm unable to answer them 1 on 1.
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              ""POYMIT"

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              Comment


              • #8
                Well, I'm really not understanding something. I went to Home Depot and looked at the bigger model. It is an Excell brand, 13hp, 3700psi at 4.0gpm. They have about 20 of them sitting out assembled. Model ZR3700.

                BUT, I don't see it anywhere on their website AND, when I search for it on Google, I don't get squat for info. Like it doesn't even exist??? What gives?

                I guess it might make sense to go with the unit GrassMaster posted?




                Seascape, I have an employee that thought it might not be a bad idea to offer pressure washing, so I am going to get a fairly commercial unit 'just in case'. Your model would likely do me just fine at the shop, but commercial work might be done later.
                a.k.a.---> Erich

                www.avalawnlandscaping.com


                Build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.
                Set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Scaper-S2k
                  Seascape, I have an employee that thought it might not be a bad idea to offer pressure washing, so I am going to get a fairly commercial unit 'just in case'. Your model would likely do me just fine at the shop, but commercial work might be done later.
                  Certainly. I wouldnt suggest that unit for that purpose. It may be something you really should consider,,, especially since you got your foot in the door of several FF joints already. I would design a flyer (well you know what i mean) informing the FF food joints you have now,, and all others in your area that you are now offering this service. Perhaps a dirct mailer. Id be willing to bet youll rip a few more maintenence accounts within 12 mos. Use it as a lost leader?

                  But like Scott and the others said,, if your gonna do that i wouldnt purchase anything but the best. And actually,,, im wondering if a power washer of that caliber shouldnt run in the 2.5-3k range? Perhaps it would if you have to haul your own water? Which you would if you were going to perform grease pits and dumpster areas at FF joints? I dont know,, would it Scott?

                  wel now im listening,,, I wonder what kida rigs these guys are toting to pull of those jobs? 200 gal pre solution?

                  Im all ears. And i wonder what they get ($$$) per grease pit,,, per dumpster bin? Per drive thru ?
                  SENIOR MODERATOR LSF COMMUNITY CONTROL CORDINATOR
                  Have a Nice Day, from the Lawn Service Forum S.A.S.M
                  www.lawnbook.com
                  www.lawnservicing.com
                  Click Here: For Lawn Care Business Kit
                  Click Here: For FREE Marketing "Mini-Course"
                  Please ask questions about the business here, I'm unable to answer them 1 on 1.
                  Please Visit Our Sponsors, They Make this Forum Possible!
                  NOW AVAILABLE FOR FREE LSF IN 5.0 !!! JUST PM GRASSMASTER TO GET YOURS TODAY!!

                  ""POYMIT"

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                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Seascape
                    Certainly. I wouldnt suggest that unit for that purpose. It may be something you really should consider,,, especially since you got your foot in the door of several FF joints already. I would design a flyer (well you know what i mean) informing the FF food joints you have now,, and all others in your area that you are now offering this service. Perhaps a dirct mailer. Id be willing to bet youll rip a few more maintenence accounts within 12 mos. Use it as a lost leader?

                    But like Scott and the others said,, if your gonna do that i wouldnt purchase anything but the best. And actually,,, im wondering if a power washer of that caliber shouldnt run in the 2.5-3k range? Perhaps it would if you have to haul your own water? Which you would if you were going to perform grease pits and dumpster areas at FF joints? I dont know,, would it Scott?

                    wel now im listening,,, I wonder what kida rigs these guys are toting to pull of those jobs? 200 gal pre solution?

                    Im all ears. And i wonder what they get ($$$) per grease pit,,, per dumpster bin? Per drive thru ?
                    To do surface cleaning you can take a couple routes.

                    1. Buy a pw'er, hot box and a surface cleaner.
                    • pw @ HD(direct drive) = $1100
                    • hot box = start around $1300
                    • 16 in. surface cleaner = around $350
                    • 28in surface cleaner = $800


                    2. Buy a skid unit and a surface cleaner.
                    • skids run (4000psi @ 5gpms) = 5k
                    • 16 in. surface cleaner = around $350
                    • 28in surface cleaner = $800

                    total starts around 6k to include hoses

                    now for FF drive thrus and dumpster pits you'll probably want to use something with sodium hydroxide in it and you'll probably have to reclaim, which is an additional cost. Regular surface cleaning like walkways, you'll only need hot water. If you do steps you'll need a turbo nozzle and wand.

                    fees run in the neighborhood of $0.10 per sf of walkway, $0.20 sf per drive thru and $0.25sf per dumpster area.

                    Now this is just me but for 5k I could buy option 1 with two HD units and two surface cleaners and get done quicker for the same cost but then I would be a scrub.

                    Personally surface cleaning is the ticket and one of the best ungrades you could do to a pw'er is change out the unloader to a k7 which eliminates that heavy initial surge.

                    Do search for pressure washing under my posts because I think covered this area in a bit mo detail not too long ago.

                    If you're serious about pw'ing and want the real deal, no crap equipment along with the best customer service available, pm me and fwd you a #.
                    If you feel that you must burn our flag, please wrap yourself in it first.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hey guys, I appreciate all the help on this. Today I went and looked closer at the unit GrassMaster posted (Troybilt 13hp). I do believe it is better than the one at HomeDepot.


                      I did some searching and found that Troybilt just puts their name on it. It is actually a Generac washer. I'm fairly confident that is a good well known brand. Matter of fact, Home Depot use to sell Generac a few years ago. Now Lowes does, but with the Troybilt logo.

                      I think I'll go pick it up this weekend. I hope I don't do any damage to whatever I aim it at! I'll likely have more questions next week after I rip some siding off my house with that pressure!
                      a.k.a.---> Erich

                      www.avalawnlandscaping.com


                      Build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.
                      Set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        http://www.mitm.com/.. Erich or Scott, I don't claim to be a pressure washer specialist. I have, however, when I worked in a rental yard, used these pressure washers on several occasions, and they are very well made. I used one of their cold 3000 psi models that worked real well for cleaning, and had several different sized tips, along with detergent injectors & solutions for cleaning vinyl siding & what have you. They also had a 1000 & 2000 psi hot box units, really nice for cleanups & degreasing equipment. These units were rented & also used at the business, dependability was very good. I personally would consider them as a real good commercial pressure washer, onew that you can depend on. As we used them on a regular basis, I highly recommend them. Possibly Scott could add something here, If I were going to buy a durable unit, these would be it. My .02. I might add, also, that these can be gotten with the Honda engines. The ones we used had them, great units.
                        Conan, what is best in life? To crush the Democrats, to see them driven before me, and to hear the lamentation of the liberals.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Whats Karchers reputation???

                          Originally posted by crclawn

                          Also, get a hose reel, pressure washing hose has a tendency to want to tangle. You will be fighting hose instead of pressure washing. A hose reel is worth its weight in gold!!! My hose reel didn't come with the little hose that connects it from the hose reel to the pressure washer. Make sure yours comes with one or you will have to go to a store that specializes in pressure washer to get it. Home depot or lowes wont carry one rated for 3700 psi.
                          I was coming home today when i see my neighbor playing with a new toy he bought... He picked up what looked to be a pretty handy unit for a pretty cheap price with that hose reel......

                          crclawn made a goodpoint about the hose reel because when he was done that thing makes restoreing the hose a simple job instead of a nightmare that always bothered me with the units i had with 100 ft of hose...

                          I dont know Karchers rep in the pressure washing dept, but the unit looks pretty well desighned and rugged...

                          Engine was honda 13 hp GX series.... Low oil shutdown protection
                          Pump must be karcher made as they brag about this and has a sight glass on side for viewing oil level and a brass head....

                          3600 psi at 4 gpm rateing on the frame id plate.

                          His house is pretty large in size and he was proud of his new purchase ... He said the 10 yr old 2500 psi 2.5 gpm unit used to take 2 hours to do what the karcher easily did in less then half a hour...

                          I thought he was jokeing with me when he told me he purchased it at Big Lots for $699 but then he showed me the flier he had in his truck....

                          I just did a quick google search for karcher 3600 to check out the normal priceing ,and the ones i saw run around $1200....I noticed in the sales literature Karcher brags about their superior "German engineered pump" for which they claim is better then all the competitions....

                          Scott/ Grassmaster seems to be the leading authorities on the pressure washers so maybe they will weigh in on the rep of Karcher based on real life experience as i really dont know much about Karcher except that the one i saw today looked pretty good.... ANYWAY,,,,

                          That standard hose reel that comes with the unit really makes me feel its "the reel" is almost mandatory for anyone because i always dreaded finishing a job and dealing with 50-100ft of tangled high pressure hose as crclawn had mentioned.....

                          Good luck in whatever you decide scape!!!, TRANS......
                          GOD BLESS AMERICA (MY HOME SWEET HOME ) !!!!!



                          - ahum : Kawi piston at full speed just before crank wipes out and rod shoots threw block

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm by far NOT the authority on pw'ing but I do know that honda GX motors are the choice for that size pw'er. I believe the oil shutdown switch is standard on most honda motors, now the site glass is cool but I'm not sure if it's necessary. I mean how hard is it to take off that cap and see if you have oil up to the threads?

                            Now this is just my personal observation; most pw'ers(the person behind the wand) start out with the honda GXV motors from either HD or Lowe's. They use them until the frame craps out and then they mount the motors directly on their trailers. Meanwhile as cash comes in they start to modify the pumps with better unloaders (k7) and may even change the pump out and get mo press/gpm. They'll add reels, different wands, tanks, etc... Now I couldn't say that Karcher is better than another since I've never used one but what I look at is the bottom line,,, how much, what size honda, press/gpm (which is subject to change)
                            If you feel that you must burn our flag, please wrap yourself in it first.

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                            • #15
                              We got one from Sams Club, Honda 13 or 15 hp engine, 3600 PSI, attatchments etc. for I believe $699.00, may have even been $599.00.
                              '05 GMC 2500HD
                              '02 GMC 2500HD
                              '01 Silverado 1500
                              Garage full of stuff

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