Pressure Washer help?

TENdriver

TENdriver
User
My HOA wants us to pressure wash the concrete retainer walls leading down into my basement and a small area of a concrete side porch.

Is renting a pressure washer a good option or are there smaller electric units that are effective?
 

Hjanes

Harlan
User
I use a small green machine power washer I bought at Lowe's on my boat. 120 v electric. About $99. Compact enough to easily store. If you use a cleaning solution this machine might have all the power you need.
 

Grimmy2016

Board of Directors, Development Director
Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
Do you have other uses, like siding gutters, windows etc that you could get the usage out of one? I bought mine as I have a lot of concrete and decking to wash so it was worth buying.
 

Jeff

New User
Jeff
My HOA wants us to pressure wash the concrete retainer walls leading down into my basement and a small area of a concrete side porch.

Is renting a pressure washer a good option or are there smaller electric units that are effective?
A fine example of an HOA snooping around your property and overstepping what they should require!
 

TENdriver

TENdriver
User
A fine example of an HOA snooping around your property and overstepping what they should require!

Jeff, While I fundamentally agree, the HOA is reviewing 100% of the properties.

At least in my case, what they’ve requested is work I was already doing and agree with, so their list was absolutely spot on.

This specific push will be a sprucing up for the entire community and so far, none of my neighbors have complained about any of their work.

So maybe this one time, it’s a good thing.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
My HOA wants us to pressure wash the concrete retainer walls leading down into my basement and a small area of a concrete side porch.

Is renting a pressure washer a good option or are there smaller electric units that are effective?
Don't you just love HOA's? Is pressure washing required in the HOA agreement?
 

danmart77

Dan
Corporate Member
I bought the Subaru 3100 model for under 300 dollars about 4 years ago. I was hesitant thinking I would not use it much. If it died today, I would go back and get another just like it. It has an electric starter and a rechargeable battery set up.

The only caution I can point out is the notice on the box to NOT USE CHLORINE IN THE PUMP. I have seen house painters pouring chlorine bleach in the soap tubs in their machines with no trouble. So I looked up Honda machines and they all have the same restriction. Go figure.

Its a bit pricey for some but now that I have it I really like owning it. It is great for cleaning house concrete.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I am glad I do not have a HOA. I need to clean a few areas of siding but am glad I can do it when I feel like it instead of when I am told to.

I have a Sun Joe electric pressure washer. I have soap for it but haven't used it yet. The only thing I've done with it is try to clean concrete walkways. It did that without soap. I need to wash vinyl siding on a shed and a dormer and I will need to dial down the pressure - use a different nozzle - for that. I think the 2000psi+ electrics should handle any cleaning task, at least that I can envision. They are a little challenging to hook up and use, however. You have both the extension cord and the high pressure hose to deal with. The hose wants to kink all over when the pressure hits it and if the cord gets involved it makes a mess. I think a gas one would simplify things by eliminating the electric part of this. But I am sure that with some practice I can do what I need to with what I have.
 

NOTW

Notw
Senior User
If that is the only chore you have to do with it then I would look into hiring someone. I had my entire house done a year or so back for around $100
 

HickoryHacker

New User
Paul
Purchased a full-size power washer several years ago, thought I would use it once and give to my son, no way. I use it to clean the trim on the house, wash cars, clean the driveway, clean outdoor furniture. I have the room to store it and usually start it every month for at least one or two clean up projects. A good set of control nozzles is critical so you do not blast away what you are trying to clean.
 

Jeff

New User
Jeff
Jeff, While I fundamentally agree, the HOA is reviewing 100% of the properties.

At least in my case, what they’ve requested is work I was already doing and agree with, so their list was absolutely spot on.

This specific push will be a sprucing up for the entire community and so far, none of my neighbors have complained about any of their work.

So maybe this one time, it’s a good thing.
That's fine that you were already planning to do the work on your own and without being told to do so. Sometimes the HOA police mandate things for the "overall good of the community" but most homeowners already take the steps to maintain or spruce up their home/property because it's their long term investment.
 

Grimmy2016

Board of Directors, Development Director
Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
That's fine that you were already planning to do the work on your own and without being told to do so. Sometimes the HOA police mandate things for the "overall good of the community" but most homeowners already take the steps to maintain or spruce up their home/property because it's their long term investment.
As much as I would love to agree all homeowners take their responsibility seriously, I can tell from driving around different neighborhoods by me that not all do. grass is knee high, green mold on sidings, cars sitting in driveways under tarps for months or years on end.

As much as I dont like being told what to do, I do like that my neighborhood has set and enforces standards around cleanliness and respectability. Not because we want to be bossy, but because we see the value in our homes stay high. Clearly thats not the only thing in my area helping us, but ensuring that our neighborhood looks clean, well taken care of, and family friendly is worth having a few stringent bylaws. IMHO.
 

Tom from Clayton

tom
Senior User
My HOA wants us to pressure wash the concrete retainer walls leading down into my basement and a small area of a concrete side porch.

Is renting a pressure washer a good option or are there smaller electric units that are effective?
Just spent 3 hours using the Harbor Freight electric power washer. Seems like it was about 80 bucks a few years ago. No problems with it since purchase and it's not powerful enough to eat a hole in my deck unless you really try hard. Very easy to use.
 

golfdad

Co-director of Outreach
Dirk
Corporate Member
I just bought a craftsman from Lowe’s.....2800psi with no prime and no choke. Starts on first pull and never needs oil changed. $249
 

Charles Lent

Charley
Corporate Member
If you want to get results, go with one producing about 2000 psi or more. Some of the smaller electrics don't do much better than a hose and small nozzle. One of the turbine nozzles on a 2000 or more psi will do a great job. It's best to start with the nozzle a foot or more away and then move in closer until you are getting good results. If spraying a soft wood or other soft material you can damage the material if you are too close. A friend cut a slot in his cedar siding with a 3200 psi unit on his first pass. Whatever the psi rating, start spraying, and then move in closer to get the desired result without damage.

I use my 6 hp 2200 psi unit and a turbine nozzle to clean my brick sidewalks and patios. I never use anything but water, and it does just fine.

Charley
 

Mike Wilkins

Mike
Senior User
If you get a gas model, be sure to seek out a gas station that sells ethanol-free gas. If you use conventional gas and let it sit unused for several months, the deposits from the gas will gum up the carb. Unlike a mower, a pressure washer washer will sit in storage for a long time until the next usage. And adding a fuel stabilizer like Sta-Bil will help.
 

TENdriver

TENdriver
User
Okay, I’m limited to a small electric.

For now, we ordered an 1,800 psi electric from Lowes. I see there also is a Sun Joe electric with 2,000 psi. I don’t know if the extra 200 psi would make a difference.
 

tri4sale

Daniel
Corporate Member
Spray something like 30 Second Cleaner (I got mine at Lowes) first and then hose down with garden hose, might be all that is needed. Worked wonders on my siding. And don't put bleach in the pressure washer, especially the lower priced ones, it will mess it up over time. Pre-treat the area and then use pressure washer to rinse clean.
 

ehpoole

Ethan
Corporate Member
Generally speaking, on average (IMHO — an essential qualifier) one is going to be better off with a gasoline pressure washer over electric as the electric models — especially any intended to be powered off a common 15A 120VAC socket — are severely limited both in terms of their working pressure and, especially, in terms of how much water they can deliver at their operating pressure due to the very limited horsepower available from a 120VAC wall outlet (at best, you can get about 2-1/2HP out of a 15A circuit). When it comes to pressure washers you can think of the pressure in terms of just how tough a stain or dirt it can remove (some tasks can be quite demanding) and the volume of water more or less determines just how quickly you can get a given job done. So a more powerful pressure washer (more PSI and more GPM) can both tackle much tougher stains and ground in dirt, etc., and at the same time does more work in much less time —even more so for lighter jobs where you need less cleaning pressure and can thus get away with using a wider angle tip further reducing the time spent cleaning.

The one exception where I would argue that electric is a potentially better option for some is when it comes to washing vehicles or cleaning wood surfaces — the fact that electric pressure washers have a lot less pressure to work with, as well as less total flow, means you are much less likely to damage a vehicle or gouge a wood surface if you get too aggressive, or at least it will take much longer to do so, which can be an easy mistake to make if unfamiliar with pressure washing and using a much more powerful gasoline powered pressure washer. They electrics also have the benefit of less maintenance since there is no engine, and are also less expensive as a result as you can’t get much simpler than strapping a motor onto a pump, but they are also much more limited in the jobs they can tackle and the jobs typically take significantly longer — such are the pros and cons one has to weigh when making the decision which way to go. As with most things, there is no universal right answer — the absolute ideal answer could well be “both”, though it would be nice if there were more (affordable) 240V options as a 240V 30A circuit could power an electric pressure washer much more on par with the consumer grade gasoline options.
 

woodworker2000

Christopher
Corporate Member
Many people use a pressure washer incorrectly by trying to clean a surface using only the force of the water which can lead to permanent damage of the surface.......I'm neither admitting nor denying I learned this firsthand several years ago as a new homeowner cleaning a wooden deck :rolleyes:. While water pressure alone can be used to clean some things, certain things (wooden deck, wooden fence, siding, concrete, etc.) should be cleaned using an appropriate cleaning agent in conjunction with a pressure washer.
 

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