recommended pressure/ power washers for home use

I've toyed with this idea in the past and now I'm thinking of it again after seeing my neighbor use his own. In the past, I just hired someone.
What is a good power washer to do concrete, maybe wood fence, windows and car? That's all I can think of now and I probably would not use it but 2 or 3 times a year for the next 10 years or so. If I wash the car with it, might use it a bit more. I'd like it to be able to be lifted and put into a car trunk for portability and easy on the budget (in other words, don't want to buy the best).
Don't mean to start a flame war here as I know it's like asking about what's the best car for me so I'm trying to give information to narrow the choices here. Can you recommend brands, gas or electric, accessories, etc... . If I omitted any information, just ask.
Last, is it possible to use it with some accessory for 2nd story windows without going up a ladder?
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Doug wrote:

Check out Northern Tool, they have plenty of PW units, telescopic poles and other accessories. Any of the small units with a basic Honda GC engine will do fine for light home use.
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Subject to the logistics, I would recommend an electric one. They have enough power for typical home uses and last thing I need is another gas engine that is rarely used to worry about.
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On 4/25/2012 11:39 AM, Doug wrote:

This is not a simple issue. If you want portable, you want an electric one. Problem is that they're weak and unreliable. It takes a LONG time to clean up concrete. My neighbor is on his third one in as many years. The motors burn up. And if you don't get every bit of water out of it, it freezes in winter and the pump is broke.
I have a 3HP gas unit. I found it to be more trouble than it's worth. It can dislodge most, but not all of the moss from an exposed aggregate patio, but it takes forever. I'm afraid to try it on the roof. It'll dislodge the moss...and the shingles... It does a fair job on motorcycle wheels if you put cleaner on 'em first. I've found that a steam cleaner works as well and is less hassle. I've read cautions about using them to wash a car. Having the paint ripped off is an unpleasant experience. Same goes for your house.
What most people don't realize is that you can get a LOT of pressure over a small area. Yep, with a 0.1" stream, you can blast a lot of stuff off the concrete. If my math is correct, it'll take you 100x144x100 = 1,440,000 of those .1" areas to clean up that 10'x10' patio. Yes, that's 1.4 million. So, you fan it out to an inch. Goes much faster, but the pressure is down by a factor of 100 and it don't work so pretty good no more.
A washer that can do the tough jobs quickly has the potential to tear the small stuff to shreds.
So, I put chemical moss killer on the patio and the pressure washer is buried under a pile of crap in the shed.
Offer to buy half of your neighbor's. Let him store it.
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Or, ask what kind he uses. Mine is electric, from Home Depot. It was the only one I could find that had a metal pump body. To find out, look where the high pressure hose connects, that's the pump body. I've been very pleased with mine.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Offer to buy half of your neighbor's. Let him store it.
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On Apr 25, 7:20pm, "Stormin Mormon"

Same here with my electric one. But mine is an older one that someone gave me. It's built like a brick s**house, very heavy to the point that it's hard to move. But it works great. I clean my stamped concrete patio with it mostly.
The only problem I was having was that it was kicking out the breaker after a while and overheating. I finally realized the real problem was the extension cord wasn't heavy enough. I went down and bought a big mother, think it;s 10 gauge. Since then, no more problems.
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You can get a real 5HP electric from Northern that will kick ass (3000PSI and 2.5GPM or so) I have one and it is better than most small gas machines I have seen. It starts every time, quiet and lighter without having to screw with gasoline.
You do need a 240v 30a outlet. I put a dryer plug on mine and I have 75' of 10ga extension cord along with 85' of hose. I can get anywhere on the property from the garage outlets. Most of the time it is right there tho. (driveway out the front and patio out the back).
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