Pressure washer - buy or rent?


I'm planning to paint the exetrior of my house to get it ready for sale. The old paint is in decent shape, with not much peeling, so the main function of the pressure washing will be to clean the surface, not strip the old paint. In fact, I'll mainly be repainting the faded trim and only touching up the walls.
I was planning to rent a 2,400 psi washer from Home Depot, but am also considering buying a low-end consumer washer for $70-100. For example, there's one on sale at Sears with 1,500 psi (not sure about the GPM rating).
Would something like this be sufficient for my needs, or should I rent the heavy duty one?
Thanks.
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FWIW my $70 low-end wallmart unit ended up in the trash because it did not have enough oomph to be good for much of anything.
Rent at least once to get a feel for what a washer can do.
-Steve

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Rent a HD one. 1,500 is wimpy.
Dave
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I always find it amazing to find dozens of opened (returned) 1500 PSI washers at the local big box for sale as 'demos'..or 'clearance'. Why? Fricking things are useless.
I rented a 10 HP Honda powered 3000 psi unit last summer...NOW you're talking. Blew the paint and rust off the railing on my front porch. Perfect! That one liked to cut wood too... so I guess we're still on topic?
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A 1500 will cut softwood. DAMHIKT.
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wrote:

I rented a big pressure washer to remove loose paint off of a cedar shingle house. It removed a fair number of shingles too. Which was OK, because they needed to be replaced. But I had to be careful. Otherwise it would just eat the cedar shingles away.
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I tried a low cost washer like you described for the same application you are planning. I found it not to be any more useful than the water coming from a garden hose. I then borrowed a 2400 pound machine from a friend and was successful.
Don Dando

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I then borrowed a 2400 pound machine from a friend and
Wow, did it come on a trailer? LOL Some one was going to ask it.
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I agree with the respondents that the 1500psi ones are crap. How about buying a 2400+ psi unit?
3 years ago my neighbor & I bought a Karcher 2400psi w/ a Honda engine at Costco for $300. I figure I'm at payback (vs rental) already. There's now no pressure(no pun intended) to hustle thru the job and return a rental unit. In addition to washing the house: Cleaning and/or stripping the deck. Annual blasting the winter moss from the driveway. Cleaning the mud from the toys - quads, M/Cs, etc Degrassing the underside of the lawnmower. Peeling the bark(and mud, grit, whatnot) off of logs/wood before running them thru the saw/jointer/planer. Etc, etc, etc.
You'll be surprised at how many uses you can think of for your new "toy".
Art

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Neighbor have one? Does he use that particular commodity accepted around the world for negotiations and settlement of accounts ---- the six pack?
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com ( snipped-for-privacy@aol.com) wrote on Monday 27 June 2005 01:11 pm:

I'm going to have to go against the grain here. I bought one of the cheap-o Karchers for just the purpose you're planning to use it for and it did the job. The paint's been up for three years without a problem. I've also used it for some cleanup of stuff around the house. The big plus is that it's low maintenance - I didn't want another motor to maintain (already have lawn mower, paint sprayer, cultivator, chain saw, three cars). Just remember to set your expectations properly.
The soap dispenser sucks, so don't depend on it's usefulness.
--
Michael White "To protect people from the effects of folly is to
fill the world with fools." -Herbert Spencer
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

...why would you need a ladder?
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On Mon, 27 Jun 2005 22:30:51 -0400, the opaque Robatoy

He must be short, and not very tall, too. <gd&r>
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I wouldn't buy anything less than 3000 psi, 3 gpm. The less powerful models are good for washing the car, but that's about all.
If you decide to buy one, take a good look at the pump. A $400 model gets you a plastic oilless pump. If you want an oil-lubricated metal pump from Cat (US) or Annovi Reverberi (Italy), expect to pay $800-$1000.
Gas engines require maintenance. If you aren't going to use the washer very often, renting it might be the way to go, even if you end up spending more in the long run. Let the rental store deal with storage, parts and maintenance.

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<snippage>

at or below 1500 PSI. Really slow way to get little done!
*Rant mode: ON* I finally bought what was represented as a 2700 PSI 3 GPM unit (when shopping, remember the GPM is almost as important as PSI). Later during a time when the had the pump in for "warranty repair" the company went out of business :<(. I got the pump back and got it repaired a little closer to home and found the pump had a max. 200PSI 3GPM rating. The 6 HP Honda driving the pump would not have been adequate for a larger pump according to Cat. It has a sticker on it stating 2700 PSI, who to believe? ;<) *Rant mode: OFF*
The point to my ramblings above to make you aware that if buying one, get the model number of the pump and do some research to learn if you are receiving what you are paying for. Now to add my two cents to the loads of other good replies you've had;
Pressure will add additional area to the cleaning "zone" and may be controlled with a valve on the machine, or more easily by varying the distance to the working surface.
With a low power machine, you have to get close and then be able to clean an area of a few square inches at a time. With mine an a special additional nozzle that throws a "cone" of single stream being spun out of the end for the large concrete slabs and walls (plus the usual jets for fans and streams) .
Poorly advertised or not, it will remove a cheap auto paint job, cuts wood and plastic nicely and has an appetite for foot mats made like 3M sanding pads .
It will allow for about a 10" to 12 " cone if I move slowly ( I get lotsa spiral patterns if I don't <G>).
How often can you invent uses for it (to justify this with SWMBO)? A lot? Get out the crowbar! Not often? Rent one! Simple.
Tom
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<snip>

Should read 2000 PSI T
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On 27 Jun 2005 11:11:07 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I was going to do the same thing, but then I heard from a couple of different sources that pressure-washing as paint prep was a really bad idea. First one was on a rerun of This Old House a couple of months ago, and the second was the salesman at the Sherwin Williams store. Evidently, it can wreck the paint from the inside, even if you let it dry for a couple of weeks. Previously, I had always scraped and sanded, and after hearing a couple of folks warning against pressure-washing, I figure I'll stick with the old tried-and-true method. Could be a load of BS, but I figure they know more about it than me and I'd hate to waste a couple hundred bucks worth of paint.
And really, if you're just mainly doing trim, it's not all that hard to sand it down, even if you're taking it down to bare wood.

If you're main concern is washing it, consider how deeply you really need that water to penetrate the wood... seems like the smaller one would work just fine to me.
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Is your first name John? That's amazing, considering what you've been through.
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His middle name oviously isn't "Wayne"...
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