Pressure washers

I have just bought my fourth pressure washer in six years. The first was a Karcher and it was junk The last was from "Active Products" and it lasted one year, almost to the date but, of course, until after the warranty expired. They do not get heavy use. Am I just unlucky? I'd like to hear of other experiences. Maybe I'm going something wrong. I suspect the problem on the latest unit is failure of the little spring loaded pressure switch that attaches to the pump inside the cowling.. Is this fixable? More to the point, with washers going as cheap as $90, is it worth fixing? Would I have better luck with a gas driven model? Tx ds
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My Karcher is maybe 7 yrs old and gets maybe 8-20 hrs a year, my friends is 12 yrs and is used weekly commercialy. What blows, do you turn on the pump before water is through the system and all air is out, is voltage good, did they freeze. With things china made who can know what quality is anymore. It seems like most things are just made cheap. HD offers some of the best warrantys on power tools and my shop vac, maybe they have a better warranty on power washers, but I dont know. Before I got the Karcher, in one afternoon I blew out 2, 100$ chinese Generacs, there is alot of junk being sold these days.
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Buying cheap pressure washers merely morphs what should be a capital expenditure into multiple purchases of consumables.
The cheap pressure washers are junk and not worth the money unless you justify the purchase as being in lieu or hiring someone to do it, or renting a unit. That's perfectly acceptable logic, but the problem is you get to keep the pressure washer, and no doubt have intentions of using it again, only to find that they're less than reliable.
The customer service I've encountered with my one mistake buying a cheap one was laughable. The customer service rep was starting to take offense when I pointed out that a wand splitting along the seam under normal operating pressure is a clear indication of a manufacturing problem, and should be covered by the warranty. He dug in his heels, I opened my wallet to another manufacturer.
R
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DS wrote:

I've had a Karcher with a Honda engine for about six years with no problems other than a hose replacement.
I don't know about the electric models, as in the U.S. these aren't powerful enough for many uses (in 220-240V countries you can get a good electric unit).
The pump on the gasoline powered units is replaceable, though it's $140 which is about 2/3 the cost of whole new unit.
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What is going wrong with them? My bet is you have bad water that is gumming them up. That is what happens to mine. Now I tilt them up with the hoses disconnected, (outlet/inlet down) run them dry. (about 10 seconds)
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I'm wondering if pressure washers are really needed. I've had a house for 20 years and have not used a pressure washer, altough considered one that would operate with my 20-gallon 5HP air compressor.
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You get what you pay for. I've a honda pressure washer, mower, snowblower all 15+ years old. They all perform as if new (regular servicing). Same goes for the 1990 accord in the driveway.
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If you had one you'd find all sort of uses for it. It's a very useful addition to the home maintenance arsenal. It's tough to beat for most outdoor cleaning projects and for prepping a house for painting.
If you don't use a pressure washer you end up using a lot more effort and/or a lot more chemicals. I also think it's a regional thing. In wetter parts of the country, where stuff grows on everything, they're almost indispensable.
R
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I'm in much the same situation. My latest one is from Home Depot, because it was the only one I could find with a metal housing. Where the high pressure hose hooks on, it's zinc die cast, not plastic.
The two I had before that. One was Sears electric (red), off Ebay. Bad pressure switch. And then a blue Campbell Hausfield, that cracked the high pressure outlet.
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Did you read the manual? Explain a typical use.

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