OT: Pressure Washer

Was thinking of buying this pressure washer. I've never had or even used one before, but my driveway and deck suggest I need one. camelcamelcamel.com indicates the price is good, compared to the usual price.
Champion 3200-PSI 2.4-GPM Dolly-Style Gas Pressure Washer (Amazon.com product link shortened)
Does this one seem okay, or better to buy something by Generac. I really don't have that many uses for a pressure washer, but I don't want to buy "junk"....
Thanks, Bill
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Champion makes decent homeowner equipment. I've never used their pressure washers but I have a Champion generator that works (the output waveform isn't the best but most things work OK).
Speed the cleaning of horizontal surfaces (sidewalk, driveway, patio) with a surface cleaner (short metal cylinder housing a spinning arm with 2 nozzles - maybe $50 pr so)
When cleaning vertical surfaces, there are two camps - top down or bottom up. If you use soap, bottom up works better because you don't get extra-clean lines from soap running down the wall. I never use soap when pressure washing, so I start at the top and work down.
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On Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 12:42:16 AM UTC-5, Bill wrote:

B06XPX3CVC

Don't know about that unit, but do know about some "do not uses" with press ure washers, in general, beyond cleaning driveways and decks. No matter wh at unit you get, 1) Don't power wash your windows and doorways, at least with full power or very close nozzle position, adjacent to windows and doors. The pressure w ill damage your window construction, seals, etc. 2) Don't power wash your 4 wheeler seals in the wheel areas, steering area. ... it'll damage your seals. Same for other engine powered tools, etc., as to damaging parts. 3) Be careful about power washing on a ladder. The forward force may shov e you (backward) off the ladder. 4) Wear safety glasses. Debris always flies up into your face. At my o ld shop there is a brick "patio" and walkway area, no mortar between bricks . Crap would fly up into my hair, as well. I'd wear an improvised head s carf, of sorts, to keep my head/hair clean(er). 5) As to power washing driveway cracks: Any loose pieces of concrete may be loosened, too much, more. Depending on how severe the cracks (loose p ieces), clean them gently, then possibly, when convenient, reset the pieces in new concrete/mortar mix, i.e., modest repair. *Mortar mix, preferably , in many cases. Concrete mix often has too large of rocks to insert into some cracks or to apply to some resetting of some pieces. Use the type "S " mortar mix.... it's for load bearing applications. It's recommended to allow to set/cure for a week, before driving on the new mortar, though for small repairs, you may not have to wait a week. Not sure if this repair i s suitable for northern climates (freeze-thaw cycles), as well as here in s outhern climates.
Sonny
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I've used gas powered pressure washers and got tired of the issues associated with gas powered equipment. Years ago I switched to electric and got a Karcher. Finally last year decided to buy a bigger one with wheels. Works great for all my needs, including deck cleaning.
I bought this Greenworks Pressure Washer... https://www.greenworkstools.com/shop-by-tool/pressure-washers/1800-psi-electric-pressure-washer
I compared a few, including a Sun Joe but got a better deal on the Greenworks locally and have not regretted it.
I've got a few Greenworks yard tools and they keep on working great with little maintenance. My neighbors giving me sour looks every spring when they struggle starting their mowers up and I just slip in the lithium battery and mow very quietly. No drop in batteries yet after four years.
Good luck with your choice.
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On 9/20/2018 8:24 AM, Casper wrote:

Agreed. Gas-powered equipment can be a real PITA if it use only occasionally. I bought an electric pressure washer and for its once-or-twice-a-year use it is more than sufficient.
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A lot of good points made here. No need to regrind the sausage, so I will only share my experience with the power washers I have owned and rented. I think the best direction is to decide what you will use it for and how oft en you will use it. My old gas powered monster pushed about 3 gpm at 3000ps i. I could write my name in concrete and it would cut wood with the right tip. It was also $700 about 20 years ago. It had a Honda engine which was superb, and as long as I took care of the pump it was a great machine. I u sed it to wash houses before painting, clean driveways (as a bonus for my c lients when I remodeled), clean commercial walkways and drives, etc. I rep laced the wand a couple of times and the commercial size water hoses (a mus t!) but never had a problem with it. It saw a lot of use and finally when it crapped out, it was the pump. No reason to replace a pump on a 20 year old, well used machine.
Nothing will replace the brute strength of a big gas powered unit for utili ty. You can always "up" the pressure and spray pattern, or go down using t he same method. But you can also run into problems with the pumps fouling and the gas in the engine going bad if you don't use it frequently. And the good ones are made to run all day long.
Electrics are different. They certainly have their place. I like the no f uss aspect of plug and play. I like the fact that they are so much quieter than the gas models which my client's neighbors complain about from time t o time. I like not keeping fresh fuel around or transporting fuel to the jo b and keeping the machines fueled. They are easier and cleaner to transpor t, and one guy can get it in the truck by himself.
So what I don't like about electrics: You have to have a lot of extension cord to use it commercially and you always have to be mindful of your conne ction location. On the larger machines, you need to run a 12ga cord to the m since most pull 14 to 15 amps. I have a few 12ga cords, and when we use t hem in bad weather, I tape the connection, which is the smart thing to on t he washer as well. They don't clean as fast or as easily as a gas machine because they don't move the water out of the machine. The higher powered g as machines will push about 3gpm, the higher powered electric won't push 2 gallons. It makes a really big difference in practice, but mostly in the t ime spent to clean.
But... (can you tell it's a rainy day down here?) I will probably be buying this washer
https://goo.gl/LW3RjZ
Or one like it. It seems to be a pretty generic model, priced right, and a ll the other badged models of this generic get good reviews. Back it up wi th a Square Trade warranty and I will be set. It's small, portable, and ha s about the top end of gpm rating I can find.
I can use this washer occasionally, and it will work fine for washing small houses, projects, a few driveways and decks, and any of my other medium pr ojects. It is small enough to easily store, and with a long cord included I won't always have to connect to more extension cords. And I can put it i n the back of the truck myself with a couple of hoses and be on my way. And it's half the price or less than a really nice gas washer.
I can rent a big gas washer at any number of places here in town for $55 to $65 a day and have no maintenance, special storage consideration, no "wint erizing" for storage. I can pick it up, use it, drop it off.
So just a few more thoughts on a rainy day...
Robert
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On 9/20/2018 1:42 AM, Bill wrote:

I know zip about Champion motors or products, but, a pressure washer is just a motor hooked up to a pump. I have owned a Sears Crapsman 4.5H.P 1800 psi washer for many years with a Briggs&Straton engine and never once had a problem with it, not much to go wrong. Pumps,if they ever go bad should be easy to replace, and motors, typically just a lawn mower engine that gets way, way less use should last a lifetime on a little used washer. The pressure gun started leaking a few years ago and after a number of failed attempts to fix it failed, I spent $46 on a new gun and hose, and it's better than new.
As far as usage goes, you likely will find lots of uses besides decks and driveways. They are dangerous on wood decks, mine is only 1800 psi and I can frazzle the wood fibers with it if I get carried away.
Washing cars, trucks, tractors, boats, lawn equipment, lawn furniture, cleaning rain gutters, house bricks and siding. I even used it to blow the dirt off shrub roots I yanked out with my truck so I could carry them away. My dust collector has a 2" thick metal filter and I use it to blow out the dust. With the right nozzle and enough hose you can even use them to clean out clogged sewers.
Personally, If all I was going to use it for is deck and driveway, I'd still want one. Whether I would buy this specific one, not sure, I would certainly shop around a bit and see whats out there.
--
Jack
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Thank you for all of the thoughtful and helpful replies. I visited 3 relevant stores this evening, not finding as many models as I might have hoped. Reading reviews, people who have used the "round attachment" ($50-70) for concrete/decks seem to swear that it really speeds things up (not to be confused with the other rounded attachment that is designed for smooth things like cars). When I was a teenager, my dad used to say that "my eyes were bigger than my wallet"--and so I am drawn towards Generac. Generac's have a "pistol grip" that feels like quality, with pressure controls in the grip. I'm not sure whether the round "attachments" mentioned above can be quick-connected to it...-I should have looked while I was at the store. I would be interested in knowing the answer to this, if it is convenient.
Thanks again! Bill
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On 9/20/2018 9:57 PM, Bill wrote:

The surface cleaner ("round attachment") is really a must for driveways and sidewalks. The standard nozzle only cleans in a strip an inch or two wide, so it is slow and difficult to clean large areas without leaving stripes. It also more difficult to hold the nozzle at a consistent height above the surface, so it either cleans poorly or removes more of the concrete surface. The surface cleaner keeps the height consistent and the spinning nozzles reduce the striping while cleaning quickly. When I bought mine a few years ago I did not see any that included the quick-connect fittings for the wand though the cleaner itself has a male end. I just bought a set of matching male & female connectors so I can quickly switch back to the standard nozzle.
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Larry Kraus wrote:

Thank you for sharing these details--I'm learning!
Bill
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Something nobody's mentioned--if you let a pressure washer run at full power for too long with the nozzle closed it can cook the pump. How long this takes depends on the pressure, the flow rated, the pump quality, and probably some other variables. On a high powered model I understand that it can happen in minutes.
Some models have an idle-down featuer that automatically throttles down when the nozzle is closed, and some have a thermal release valve that lets some water go through when the temperature gets too high.
So you have to ask yourself, and be honest, "Am I the kind of guy who will leave the thing running and talk on the cell phone for 20 minutes". If so you want one that has idle-down and thermal release, or you want an electric that just stops the motor when there's no water going through it.
*******
Another consideration. Do you live where it freezes in winter? If so then you'll have to winterize a gas model, either by draining the pump if it can be drained reliably, or by running some antifreeze through it. Otherwise it can freeze and bust the pump. An electric you can store in areas where it would not be safe to store something gas powered.
*******
A third consideration. I've seen a lot of comments on various sites about how pressure washer with the pump underneath generally has a lower-grade pump than one with the pump in front. I don't know if this is true from my own experience.
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J. Clarke wrote:

I'm the kind of guy who only has a 50% chance of answering my cellphone even if I am already IN the house. I treat the cell phone the same as I treated the old "stationary" phone--I don't move it even if I am using it. I've heard my wife tell her friends, "He doesn't even unplug it when he is using it!". %-)
I'm now looking seriously at a Generac (model 6882) on sale for $299.99 at Menards. It's has 2900-psi. It would apparently take another $100-150 to upgrade that to 3100-3200 psi in the Generac family. The views of the product are not "stellar"... So I may go take a look at Menard's return policy...
Bill
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On Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 8:46:28 PM UTC-5, J. Clarke wrote:

/B06XPX3CVC

To return to this discussion on one point: I called Simpson about winterizi ng my pressure washer because there was nothing in the owner's manual. The representative said to use the following and I'll be fine: https://www.home depot.com/p/Powerwasher-12-oz-Pump-Guard-22PWA-715/203278696
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Michael wrote:

My new pressure washer is hibernating until spring, while the list of projects I have for it grows. I also picked up the surface cleaner and extension wand, so I'll be ready to go. 32-degrees F. in the evening here this week.
Bill
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On Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 6:18:30 PM UTC-5, Bill wrote:

/dp/B06XPX3CVC

rizing my pressure washer because there was nothing in the owner's manual. The representative said to use the following and I'll be fine: https://www. homedepot.com/p/Powerwasher-12-oz-Pump-Guard-22PWA-715/203278696

28 degrees tonight here. Glad I took care of it tonight.
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On Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 3:38:23 PM UTC-4, Michael wrote:

dp/B06XPX3CVC

zing my pressure washer because there was nothing in the owner's manual. Th e representative said to use the following and I'll be fine: https://www.ho medepot.com/p/Powerwasher-12-oz-Pump-Guard-22PWA-715/203278696
Do you not find this spec just a bit strange?
"Protects pump from freezing temperatures up to 25° Fahrenheit"
I wonder what happens above 25°F.
What's that cracking sound I hear?
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On Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 2:38:23 PM UTC-5, Michael wrote:

zing my pressure washer because there was nothing in the owner's manual. Th e representative said to use the following and I'll be fine: https://www.ho medepot.com/p/Powerwasher-12-oz-Pump-Guard-22PWA-715/203278696
I am sure that is a typo on the ad as the other products on the site that d o the same thing (and Karcher brand is cheaper) correctly say they protect down to -25 degrees.
Thanks for posting that. I use "Pump Armor" in my two airless sprayers and swear by it as it has kept them alive LONG past their due date. I never th ought to look for a product to protect my power washer, which should have b een something I keyed in on.
Robert
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On 10/18/2018 1:24 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I wonder if this will help the pressure washer pump prime faster. O refuled and cranked my pressure washer up for the first time in 30 months and it started on first pull. I drained the fuel out back then.
But it takes forever, 5 minutes or so, for the water to go through the pump and into the spray hose/wand, after sitting.
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On Friday, October 19, 2018 at 3:32:34 PM UTC-5, Leon wrote:

You know... that's a pretty good question. I don't see why it wouldn't hel p the pump prime faster. Part of the reason that that SW told me to /alway s/ keep "Pump Armor" in my airless if I am going to store it for 30 days or more is that it coats the metal piston parts (to prevent rust, even though they are stainless) and to keep the seals lubricated.
I think you might be on to something. Certainly cheap enough to try. HD s ells the Karcher brand of pump armor for a couple of bucks less than in the link, so why not?
Robert
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On 10/20/2018 1:51 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I actually ordered the Briggs & Straton brand, it is an aerosol and it foams. I think it might be less wasteful and penetrate better. Should be here Monday.
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