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z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/13/20 5:48 p.m.

I'd like to get a variable psi electric pressure washer for the cars, spraying down spiders/webs etc off the house, and tidy up the concrete and keep it that way.

It seems electric ones tend to have wildly varied ratings and methods for coming to those ratings, regarding psi and gpm.

All our yard tools are battery powered, so I'd prefer not to add a gas powered one.

 

Is my best bet getting "whatever" electric one to use on the cars, house, patio furniture........and just sucking it up to occasionally rent a big boy gas powered one from Home Depot or similar?

jgrewe
jgrewe Reader
8/13/20 6:21 p.m.

I used to own a tool rental company so I've seen just about every option.  The highest pressure electric unit I had was 1200psi.  It was a toy really, most people that tried it were disappointed.  The way to compare pressure washers is to convert to "cleaning units". Multiply pressure x gal per minute to get that number.  You can have all kinds of pressure and no volume and do less work than a lower pressure unit with more volume.

Pressure with high volume takes a lot of power.  The machine I kept when I sold the store is a 4000psi that moves 4 gal/min.  16hp, belt drive, cat pump.  It can bore a hole in concrete.  I'm on the look out for a small pressure washer with a bad engine so I can make an electric one with a 7.5hp electric motor I have laying around.  The big machine weighs over 250lbs and is hell to move around.

Find an electric one that does the small jobs and rent a mack daddy once a year for the driveway cleaning etc.

 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Dork
8/13/20 6:40 p.m.

Since you rented tools.....what  110v brand held up the best  ?

And which would you never buy to rent out ?

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise SuperDork
8/13/20 7:03 p.m.

I really wanted to get an electric one for home and car stuff. 
 

  • my main concern (if you look at my thread), was to mainly clean concrete/bricks /driveway/fence. 
     

I made a thread here, and everyone including Curtis73 told me to get a gas one 

 

I looked around on Craigslist and all were $180-240$

 

I got a Honda gas one on sale. $2xx bucks. 3400 psi, 3.4gpm 

 

and it has been the best tool in my life. 
 

not sure why I never owned one before 

 

the cost of renting them from Home Depot locally, isn't worth it for me 

 

good luck 

jgrewe
jgrewe Reader
8/13/20 7:07 p.m.

I don't know who built the electric one. It was a small direct drive Cat pump attached to a Baldor 5hp motor.  Very simple, none of the fancy covers etc.  I don't know what current brands out there will give you a bullet proof combo like that. Probably nothing from the orange or blue box stores.

As for gas powered units. Honda power, Cat pump, belt drive is the best combo. It doesn't matter what name is on it.  The unloader valve is where the difference is.(unloads the pump when you let go of the trigger)  Simpson had the industry's best, they were bought out by Alto years ago. I don't where that technology ended up now. 

A belt drive turns the pump slower and keeps it away from the engine heat. It will last hundreds of hours longer. 

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/13/20 7:37 p.m.

I had an electric Kaercher and was happy washing cars with it. Two years ago I bought a gas one, Husky/Honda, the difference is insane. 

For light duty I would get an electric and then rent or borrow a gas one for concrete, etc. 

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/13/20 7:40 p.m.

I actually just washed the car today with. 3000 Psi/2.5 gpm 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/13/20 7:45 p.m.

In reply to mr2s2000elise :

I knew I remembered a similar thread recently, I forgot you started and my GoogleFu failed me on pulling up the thread.

I think for the price here, it will be worth it for how infrequently I'll use it. Just to keep the garage less cluttered with stuff I rarely use.

 

Jgrewe, thanks for the advice and knowledge! I'm leaning toward the unit Griot's Garage sells.

 

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
8/13/20 8:08 p.m.

If really doing a lot of concrete, then rent (or buy) a concrete cleaning attachment. Turns a tedious job into a quick and effective job.

 

9 years ago for my 1/8th acre of concrete, I rented a genuine pro model (2 handled unit) and it worked great and done in a Saturday afternoon.  

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/13/20 8:57 p.m.
mr2s2000elise said:

I really wanted to get an electric one for home and car stuff. 
 

  • my main concern (if you look at my thread), was to mainly clean concrete/bricks /driveway/fence. 
     

I made a thread here, and everyone including Curtis73 told me to get a gas one 

At HD rental, we offered one electric rental washer.  I think it was 1700 psi and it took a good, solid 15A to run.  We rented them with our own 10ga cord because people would always ask for their money back and get ticked off they wasted their time because they would use their cute 16ga orange extension cord and it would always trip breakers.

We also had one of the same ones mounted on the wall in our cleaning booth.  It was very inadequate, but we didn't have the option of using a gas one in there.

That unit was made by Mi-T-M and I remember it cost us $1600 to add one to our inventory.  That's a dollar per PSI.  Hard to compare that to a 3600 psi gas washer that costs $400.   That's 11 cents per PSI, and usually more GPM to boot.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/13/20 9:11 p.m.

Be aware of what you're getting, also.

Most inexpensive electric washers have incredibly proprietary parts.  If you get a Karcher for $200, you get a non-lubed, wobble-style pump that you can only replace with one from Karcher that costs (you guessed it) $200.  You'll likely get two years tops from one like that.  The most common one you'll see is an axial pump.  They're the round aluminum ones.  They're fine for ocassional home use, but not overly beefy.  The nice part is that they are mostly universal.  If the pump dies, you get on Amazon and get a new one for $60.

The real sweet piece is the Triplex.  Very efficient, usually pretty bulletproof, and they make the best investment.

wobble pump:

Axial pump:

See the source image

See the source image

 

triplex pump

See the source image

See the source image

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise SuperDork
8/13/20 9:38 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:
mr2s2000elise said:

I really wanted to get an electric one for home and car stuff. 
 

  • my main concern (if you look at my thread), was to mainly clean concrete/bricks /driveway/fence. 
     

I made a thread here, and everyone including Curtis73 told me to get a gas one 

At HD rental, we offered one electric rental washer.  I think it was 1700 psi and it took a good, solid 15A to run.  We rented them with our own 10ga cord because people would always ask for their money back and get ticked off they wasted their time because they would use their cute 16ga orange extension cord and it would always trip breakers.

We also had one of the same ones mounted on the wall in our cleaning booth.  It was very inadequate, but we didn't have the option of using a gas one in there.

That unit was made by Mi-T-M and I remember it cost us $1600 to add one to our inventory.  That's a dollar per PSI.  Hard to compare that to a 3600 psi gas washer that costs $400.   That's 11 cents per PSI, and usually more GPM to boot.

I didn't understand most of what you wrote above. I have 0 interest in doing home improvements or home work. However, living with a woman - as you have seen, had to work on my fence, build new sun room, redo pool blah blah. 

 

Couple of years ago I rented a gas pressure washer from HD. I forget 60 or $90 for the day. This time when I wanted to do the same thing (redoing 250+ feet of fencing), I knew I needed that pressure washer for week at a time. The rental wasn't feasible. Thus ended up buying what you recommended. For that I am eternally thankful! Your advice is always on point, and very aprpeciated and helpful. 

All that said, I know in the pressure washer thread many people helped. It was combined with the fence staining.  The amount of help you provided, I will be FOREVER grateful! I have followed what you and SVREX have said to a T, and it all worked out perfectly. 

Only two regrets:

1) If you had a proper telephone - I could call you about home stuff instead of posting on here cheeky

2) If you were closer, I would have gotten the Impala SS off you - my Tim the TOol Man dream car. 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
8/13/20 10:06 p.m.

How much concrete do you want to clean, and how often?  For smaller areas an electric consumer grade machine can work fine, it will just take longer.  There's also less of a chance of causing any damage to the concrete - too much pressure from a big gas powered machine can potentially etch lines in the concrete if you're not careful.

I have a Karcher electric I bought at a big box store.  I've probably had it for 15 years and it's been trouble free.  I admit it only gets used a couple times a year to wash the back porch or the garage floor; if you need something that's going to be used all the time it may not be appropriate.  (Personally, I wouldn't use a pressure washer on my car.)

Strizzo
Strizzo PowerDork
8/13/20 10:28 p.m.

I have been very happy with my karcher k1700 cube.  I did the patio with slate tile which it worked very well with the turbo nozzle. The sidewalk was a lot slower and left tiger stripes but it wasn't slick when it was wet anymore so problem solved. 
 

i primarily use it for washing cars so wide nozzles and foam cannon. 
 

I also like the compact footprint of the cube since storage in my garage is at a premium

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
8/14/20 7:39 a.m.

The problem of a low powered electric washer is solved with a 220v 30 amp circuit, but I bet you can buy a Chinese gas powered one for way less money.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/14/20 7:50 a.m.
Streetwiseguy said:

The problem of a low powered electric washer is solved with a 220v 30 amp circuit, but I bet you can buy a Chinese gas powered one for way less money.

Yeah, they do sell 220v electric power washers.....................a quick Google the cheapest one I saw I think was $1400 or so? Completely unnecessary.

As I suspected, it seems buy the electric one for car washing, cleaning off the cobwebs from the house, keeping the patio furniture looking nice...............rent a big boy gas powered one to clean the concrete, then rent as needed in the future. In the long run it's more expensive, but it's what suits my needs.

 

I picked up this one a couple of months back for light cleaning around the house and shop. It doesn't clean nearly as fast as my 3000 psi gas version, but frequently I need to clean something and don't want to pull the big machine out of the garage. It gets the job done 95% of the time. I haven't used my gas machine since I bought it. 

AR Blue Clean AR610 1350 PSI 1.9 GPM Electric Pressure Washer

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/14/20 8:36 a.m.
stuart in mn said:

How much concrete do you want to clean, and how often?  For smaller areas an electric consumer grade machine can work fine, it will just take longer.  There's also less of a chance of causing any damage to the concrete - too much pressure from a big gas powered machine can potentially etch lines in the concrete if you're not careful.

I have a Karcher electric I bought at a big box store.  I've probably had it for 15 years and it's been trouble free.  I admit it only gets used a couple times a year to wash the back porch or the garage floor; if you need something that's going to be used all the time it may not be appropriate.  (Personally, I wouldn't use a pressure washer on my car.)

I'd say it's an "average" amount of concrete? Two-car driveway, that is two deep. Sidewalk from the driveway to front door, then sidewalk to the other street (since it's a corner lot) and a small 12'x13' foot patio off the back door.  You can even see some of the stains in the driveway from the previous owners. I doubt they will all come up completely, but even lessening them would be nice.

I'd imagine once cleaned, once per year would be the MOST I would need to do after that?

 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/14/20 8:40 a.m.
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) said:

I picked up this one a couple of months back for light cleaning around the house and shop. It doesn't clean nearly as fast as my 3000 psi gas version, but frequently I need to clean something and don't want to pull the big machine out of the garage. It gets the job done 95% of the time. I haven't used my gas machine since I bought it. 

AR Blue Clean AR610 1350 PSI 1.9 GPM Electric Pressure Washer

I like your praise because I know you use actual tools, little steeper in price than I was hoping for. But not too much.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/14/20 8:42 a.m.
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
8/14/20 9:28 a.m.

This is my amount of concrete...

Your job is still a big. Renting a pro machine will make the job quicker.  With the time you save, then take the rest of that time to apply a good concrete sealer to the whole area too.  

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
8/14/20 9:32 a.m.

I suspect the ratings for pressure washers are often as optimistic and misleading as the ones used for vacuum cleaners, but the price is pretty typical for a homeowner electric pressure washer.  I just checked the Home Depot website  and they list dozens and dozens of them in the $100 to $150 price range.

Aaron_King
Aaron_King GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/14/20 9:40 a.m.

In reply to z31maniac :

I am curious.  I really don't want another ICE to take care of.

z31maniac said:

And what's the deal on these super cheap ones? Do they explode 3 minutes into use? This is kind of what I was getting at in the OP, this is a way cheap electric one that claims way more psi and gpm, than Toyman's unit. To say I'm skeptical is an understatement. 

https://www.amazon.com/WHOLESUN-Electric-Pressure-Cleaning-Driveways/dp/B08BYK4KJ7/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=electric+triplex+pump+pressure+washer&qid=1597412452&s=lawn-garden&sr=1-2-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzOUZIWjJKMlJCMk9CJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMzExMTYyVEZJMlBVV1VJRDZXJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTEwNDEwMDQxUTU0Vks3OE5USFY2JndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

At a guess, the pressure rating is at stall. The gpm rating is at free flow. Ratings are kind of like statistics. They can say anything you want if you twist them correctly. 

I had a Karcher several years ago. It did a decent job as well. My only complaints were the noise level approached that of a gas and the bastard size hose connections they used on the pressure side. I have 50' of pressure hose for my gas unit. It's nice to be able to use it and the bigger wand on the electric as well. 

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
8/14/20 12:36 p.m.
z31maniac said:
Streetwiseguy said:

The problem of a low powered electric washer is solved with a 220v 30 amp circuit, but I bet you can buy a Chinese gas powered one for way less money.

Yeah, they do sell 220v electric power washers.....................a quick Google the cheapest one I saw I think was $1400 or so? Completely unnecessary.



 

For your application.  Using a gas powered one in my shop would be less than ideal...

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