Requesting opinions on pressure washers.

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  1. Kern Dog

    Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    I'm looking to buy a gas powered pressure washer to use on the cars and around the house. I need something that can assist in degreasing underbodies and engine bays, clean engines, etc. I would also use it to clean driveways, knock loose paint from wood before painting...pretty much everything except annoying the dog.

    I looked at one of these at a local landscape supply place, the 200 model:

    https://www.stihlusa.com/products/pressure-washers/homeowner-pressure-washers/

    There are others I have seen online but I have a hard time knowing what to trust. Online surveys can be "paid for" by the product that rated the best.
    I am looking to spend under $500.
    Thanks everyone.
     
  2. khryslerkid

    khryslerkid FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    You can't beat a Stihl product. Buy new and take care of it.

    Buying used, a lot of people don't drain the pump. Corrosion plays havoc and ruins them. Water left in the pump freezes when the temps drop and cracks the seals or worse, the housing.

    It's another one of those products that you get what you pay for.
     
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    • 69L48Z27

      69L48Z27 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      Just get the best brand for the budget. PSI and GPH are what you need to compare. FYI - to degrease you need heat.

      We always bought the Lowes/HD stuff and it seems like the pumps take a dive around year 5 with less than moderate use. No real advice other than you'll torture yourself trying to make a decision. Too many choices and I've never personally found a stand out pressure washer in this price range. Have a Ryobi w/ Honda idle down motor now and hate it.
       
    • Mike67

      Mike67 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      I have bought several over the years...went ahead and paid the extra $100 over the others prices and bought a Honda... easy start , no issues and the carb seems to be the most problem free.
       
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      • PP1RT

        PP1RT Well-Known Member

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        Honda engine. Brand not so important. Check psi and gpm.
         
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        • Fran Blacker

          Fran Blacker FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          As 69L48Z27 said GPH+PSI. I bought a 13 hp x 4GPM to clean my deck yearly. Deck is 1100 sq ft and takes 5/6 hours to do. You can see the difference, need to be careful, it WILL rip the skin off you instantly. If your cleaning a deck 45 degree nozzle and start 3 or 4 inches away. Move wand closer to surface and sweep across board and before you stop sweeping move it away from surface. If you stop it close to surface you'll have a stop mark. My deck was black in areas from oak sap. I have no experience with soap injectors to cut grease. Gunk pretreat? Environmental problem?

          Edit: Had gallons per hour should per minute. If your p washer is say 4 gpm make sure water supplied to wash is more than 4 gpm!

          deck1.jpg deck2.jpg
           
          Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
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          • Cranky

            Cranky Moderator Staff Member FBBO Gold Member

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            • NJRR

              NJRR FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              I used to rent out pressure washers. Like Cranky said, Honda engine with a Cat pump is a kickass combo. I've had at least 4 from Northern Tool and they took a beating from rental customers, held up very well. Like anything, gotta do maintenance on them. Change the engine and pump oil regularly. In comparing machines, you want to look at GPH, how much water it's pumping out and PSI, the max pressure. Like 69L48Z27 said, heat works better for degreasing. Just connect the water supply to a faucet with a hose adapter instead of regular aerator. If no faucet is close, you can go direct to the drain valve on your water heater, but then you can't control the temperature. Also you have to open the relief valve to get water out of the drain valve.
               
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              • Kern Dog

                Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              • Trashdog67

                Trashdog67 Well-Known Member

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                • Ski 61701

                  Ski 61701 Well-Known Member

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                  Kern, Kohler engines have been around forever and for the most part industrial quality. Hondas are good also, but like you said you found some probs with Honda motors. I guess each mfg has rheir problem child.
                  Heres what I learned from my power washer fiasco earlier this year. I was given a 5hp Honda washer several years ago. It wasnt taken care of and I had to rebuild the pump head. Luckily it was rebuildable. It worked fine for a couple yrs and this yr i went to use it and the pressure kept surging. I replaced the carb and eventually replaced the pump head (which is a Giant brand pump) with a non rebuildable pump head. Reason being is my whole set up was really abused and at this point I priced out a complete rebuild kit for the pump and it was almost the cost of the non rebuildable pump. I asked the shop that sold me the pump how many hours can I expect to use it before the pump is shot, he said around 500 hrs. It looks like the stihl washer has a non rebuildable pump head.
                  After I put the new pump on, I still had surging probs. Come to find out motor for some reason was over spinning both the original and new pump heads causing cavatation. Why it started this yr i do not know, of course this really tweeked me to say the least.
                  I later completely tore down the Giant brand pump the wobble plate and ball bearings were fine, i couldve gotten by just purchasing a o ring seal kit and new plungers. For much less than the cost of my replacement pump head. But at the time I was needing to get things done yesterday.
                  Sorry for long rant, but if you buy a washer look at ones with Giant brand pump heads.
                  If you dont use it for long periods of time, at least here where it freezes, flush pump with rv antifreeze
                   
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                  • kiwigtx

                    kiwigtx International Mod Staff Member FBBO Gold Member

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                  • kiwigtx

                    kiwigtx International Mod Staff Member FBBO Gold Member

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                    Here is my Husky with a Briggs & Stratton motor - has been extremely reliable to me....even lent it to my brother a couple of times. I recently bought 2 x extra 8m (25ft) hoses and extension couplers....for washing the upper levels of my parents house early next year. my buddy sourced this from HF I think - or Sears...about 6-7 years ago and it cost me around $400. For the use I have had with it, this is a great price.
                    upload_2017-12-13_21-43-4.png

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                    The only thing I had to do was adjust the spring clips that hold the wheels on - they would vibrate off after an hour or so.
                     
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                    • 747mopar

                      747mopar Well-Known Member

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                      Mines probably 15 years old now and still kicking, It's a 2,500 psi Troy Built with a Honda motor. The pump is about shot but you can't beat the reliability I've had with the engine, 15 years is really good considering how often it gets used too.

                      2,500 psi will blow just about anything off, don't see much need for anymore than that.
                       
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                      • 69L48Z27

                        69L48Z27 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                        @WileERobby - what did I say that you don't agree with? Curious.
                         
                      • Fran Blacker

                        Fran Blacker FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                        You need to winterize it if you have below freezing temps and store it in unheated area. Don't your Ca weather. Non toxic anti freeze run through pump. I connect a 18"short hose with a funnel full of anti freeze and pull start it with ignition off. Put a fitting in output line pull until anti freeze comes out.
                         
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                        • Mike67

                          Mike67 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                          One other thing Ill add is that if you use the drop in soap that you flush the pump. Do not let it sit in the pump ...it takes a toll on it.
                           
                          Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
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                          • DeltaV

                            DeltaV FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                            These run on "peanuts a day"

                            how-to-capture-animals-in-action_zps0lxu03i4.jpg
                            :lol:
                             
                            Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
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                            • bm02tj

                              bm02tj Well-Known Member

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                              Honda makes two grades of motors I think the ones with the white tanks are the good ones
                              I always disconnect all the hoses then restart to blow all the water out
                              No problem with freezing
                               
                            • Bobo

                              Bobo Well-Known Member

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                              In Florida I buy Honda engine powered and cat pump (the one with 9 lives ) is the cats motto built proof so far after many years bought from northern tool suppy
                               
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