Tips for using a pressure cleaner/washer?

I'm going to rent a pressure cleaner to prepare a smooth stucco on cement block house for painting. It's been several years since the house was last painted and the surface is chalky with some areas of peeling paint.
As someone whose experience with power tools and accessories is pretty much limited to rare use of a 40 year old electric drill, I wonder if there's is much of a learning curve for using a pressure cleaner. Would 3000 psi be adequate for a job like this? Are there certain things to do or to avoid doing to improve the chances of satisfactory results or is it simply a matter of just starting the thing up and off I go?
Any and all advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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On Apr 7, 4:30 pm, snipped-for-privacy@ymail.com wrote:

Before committing, talk to a pro (painter, whatever) and get prices. If the $$ are reasonable have it done and get on with the painting. Pressure washers can be tricky like any power tool, and its well to do your learning on a project where mistakes don't really matter. A high pressure water stream into a stucco crack could blow a section off the wall, and then everything stops while you do the repairs. OTOH, paint brushes and rollers are more benign and the work enjoyable. After seeing how the experts do it. you'll be able to judge next time where a pressure washer would be suitable for your project.
Joe
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On Apr 7, 5:30 pm, snipped-for-privacy@ymail.com wrote:

It's plenty. In fact, the best advice I can give you is to be careful with using too much pressure. You don't want the gun set to anywhere near full force. If you do, you can easily damage the stucco or blow water behind it, where you don't want it. If there is any wood trim, be extra careful there too, as it's easy to over do it and raise the grain. You may want to experiment on some scrap wood first.

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Given your admitted limited tool use, I'd hire someone to do it. It won't really cost all that much more than renting/hauling/returning yourself and you'll significantly reduce chances of damage to your house.
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On Apr 7, 4:30 pm, snipped-for-privacy@ymail.com wrote:

A 1200 lb unit will clean, it will just take longer but is easier to use, When cleaning high up, far from the gun with 3000lb use the 0 degree nozzle, if you are within maybe 5-8 ft use a 30+ degree nozzle so you dont blast away anything. Experiment, you are just washing off dirt. Black areas are likely mold, household bleach in a garden sprayer should be used where ever there might be mold, if it is it will change color in a few minutes. Be sure you have a good supply 4-5 gpm is needed at the faucet with a big machine. Consider buying an electric, for 2 day rental price you can own one, one that is portable.
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Did you ever wash your car at the do-it-yourself wash with the sprayer? That's the same thing. If you can handle doing a car, you can do your house.
Pay attention to the others' advice about getting too close and damaging the siding and trim.
--
Steve Bell
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Getting too close is about the only thing you can do wrong. Unless you leave the windows open. Or don't move the flowers from the window boxes. Don't ask how I know.
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Keep the tip 12 to 18" from the surface and **keep the wand moving**. Stopping the wand could cause the water to cut into the wood. No joke!
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Be sure you aim it at the thing you want to clean. Do not put the washer wand up your ass.
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Might save on colonic bills?
--
Christopher A. Young
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After you start the motor, point the wand off into space. Squeeze the trigger. Adjust for wide fan spray. Slowly get closer to the house, until you find the distance that works. Probably about six inches.
If you spray a straight stream of water to the house, you risk damage. Having left permanant lines on a black top driveway with a straight stream out of a 3,000 PSI washer.....
--
Christopher A. Young
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