Buy or rent a pressure washer?

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The daily rental for a 3000 psi pressure washer is $ 65. It has a gasoline engine.
A new pressure washer from Harbor Freight costs $ 89. It is a 2 hp electric unit and puts out 1,300 psi at 1.7 GPM.
I need a PW for cleaning stucco paint, removing spalling paint from my concrete foundations and for cleaning up some lightly peeling paint from my concrete patio, prior to painting.
If I owned a PW I would also use it for general cleanup around the house. I could probably find lots of things to wash around the house, including the dog.
Never used a PW before. I would appreciate any advice/opinions regarding buying or renting.
--
Walter
www.rationality.net
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Rental is too high given the price to buy. The rental may be larger but . . . . . You can buy a gas one for $250 to $300. Most gas are better than the smaller electrics, but there may be exceptions.
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Walter R. wrote:

Bought a low-end model at the BORG a couple of years ago, first use was to prep the exterior of our cabin for staining and painting. Little bit of a pain to use, might have gone easier with a more powerful unit.
Current usage (in no particular order): - Blasting pigeon poop off the roof - Cleaning the barbecue grill - Cleaning the kool deck
Jerry
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Now that I have one I don't know how I got by with out one. I found mine at Home Depot as a scratch and dent, paid ~$300 for a 6.5 hp 3500 psi unit. I use it at least once a month, often once a week or more. BTW, way too powerful for the dog washing unless it is a pain in the rear that you want rid of. I was cleaning the cow water tank in sandals and went across my toes & immediately blackened 2 toe nails, careful now, you hear? Great for pre painting prep, doesn't replace scraping, but it sure cuts the job down to size. Gunky lawn mower, no problem, ready to sharpen and clean up the deck on a riding mower, about 15 minutes. One thing I would advise is a better wand, most of the included ones suck (I think that's the technical term). Northern Tool has some nice ones. I got a turret tip that lets you plug different angled tips in, that is a nice toy, I use the 25 degree one to death, the others occasionally.
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i think if your doing the work listed at least get a 2500 psi washer..the more the better for that kind of work.
http://www.minibite.com/america/malone.htm
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Wonder if 1300 psi will remove the mildew from my pool deck?? Anyone know?
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Walter
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Walter R. wrote:

It might with the right nozzle, but it will only do it slowly.
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Joseph Meehan

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I have a Karcher electric - 1300 PSI, I think. It pulled the mold off my treated timber deck without any trouble. Just took a while, but works nice.
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Are there any higher powered electric models that are recommended?
For the few times I would use a gasoline model (and I know they are better), it just seems an electric would be easier to live with?
Steve
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Steve wrote:

It might be easier to live with, but it is twice the pain to use. Besides dragging a hose along, you have to drag an electric cord with you. Make sure you have a long extension cord if you plan to do any cleaning far from the house electric outlets, and you'll spend a lot of time untangling the hose and cord when moving the washer around. Most home owner Electrics top out at less than 2000 psi. My $180 120v Husky electric is rated at 1650 psi. It'll do most of the jobs of a gas washer, but takes longer, since the head has to be closer to the work, thereby reducing the spray area. If you want to spend more money for an electric washer, you can get professional electrics up to 3500 psi for $2,000 - $3,000+, but then, the gas powered units at a few hundred dollars look a lot better.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Sure, but it will take longer than a bigger one. The high pressure ratings are a bit optimistic, but a higher rated one does have more power than the lower rated ones.
That 1300 or 3500 psi is over a very small area; think of it as a way to compare though. As soon as you use the spray nozzle and put some distance between the outlet and the piece to be sprayed, the pressure is actually much less.
Is your pool deck wood? Use care so as not to make gouges in it. Get that pinpoint spray up close and you can do a lot of damage.
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

Hey ds549... Thanks for that wonderful song... did you write it?
Rob Mickatavage Port Chester, NY snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net
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1300 PSI sounds a little light. I have a 1750 Husky from HD that has been perfect for everything I've used it for.
I'd recommend spending a bit more.
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Walter R. wrote:

I would be real careful about that stucco. More than one person has damaged that stuff with a pressure washer. Remember that there are a number of different kinds of stucco and some will not hold up to that kind of cleaning.
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Joseph Meehan

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I would buy, not rent.
Having said that, I borrowed one instead.
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Don't know about Harbor Freight but my electric Karcher with the plastic compressor lasted only about 5 hours. Funny I had my Karcher in the trash can at the same time my neighbor had his electric Karcher in the trash. Same problem, his plastic compressor broke too and he seldom use it either. Spend a little more money and get the gas model with a Honda engine good a compressor.
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# Fred # wrote:

Um, it's a pump, not a compressor. Water is (essentially) non compressible.
I've not looked closely at the Karcher units, but I tend to doubt the pump is actually plastic as plastic is rarely used at high pressures and indeed the plastics that could handle those pressures are likely more expensive than case metal. Might be cast aluminum pump housing with paint that could look like plastic at a quick glance.
Don't spend the extra $ on the Honda engine unless you really need the quieter engine. Other name brand engines will run just as well if a bit louder and save a fair amount of money.
Another recommendation is to wear safety glasses when pressure washing. While you're not likely to point the nozzle at your eye, it's quite easy to get a spray back that contains debris which would not be fun to get in your eye.
Pete C.
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Yes, it's plastic. Having looked at several at the stores.
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Christopher A. Young
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Thanks for th e product report. Mine was from Home Depot, with a diecast metal pump housing. I thought those plastic housing didn't look good.
I had a Campbell Hausfield with a plastic pump housing. The high pressure outlet cracked, and left the machine useless. Wonder if I threw it out the same day you two fellows pitched your machines?
Mine cost about $100, and worth it. Made my money back by now.
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Christopher A. Young
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wrote:

A power washer is one of those pieces of equipment that need good justification. If you are going to use it regularly, then you need to buy a good one. Skip the little 1300 PSI unit.
I use mine to clean the driveways and street gutters, and the bricks on the house, but the main use is on the concrete area where the dog hangs out. That main use justifies the purchase of the power washer all by itself.
However, if you buy a good-sized 2500+ psi washer, realize that it can be noisy, and it can take up some room in the garage (just like all of those other power toys you have).
For people with limited time on their hands, it really is easier to rent one and let the vendor handle storage, depreciation & maintenance.
Sy
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