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my friend is looking for a pressure washer.

this is his post if anyone has comments or feedback:

Hey Everyone,

I am in the market for a pressure washer, and I was wondering if anyone here has any advice on the best one to get.

I am undecided on a high-end electric pressure washer (either the Briggs & Stratton or a Karcher), or a mid-level gas pressure washer (likely a Karcher). I know the performance in terms of overall pressure is quite significant between gas and electric models. Just wondering if a decent electric pressure washer will be sufficient for cleaning my cars and spraying down my garage and driveway. The electric pressure washers are quite a bit cheaper than the gas models, and they seem fairly convenient to use. My hesitancy with the gas units is the noise and inconvenience of maintaining the engine of the unit. The noise is probably the biggest issue for me.

Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated! My budget is about $500.


Thanks!
 

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I have a Nilfisk Alto washer, the high-end version with brass connectors etc. They ought to be available in the US but the fact that you have 110V instead of 220/230V means that they might not be directly comparable? Anyway, the build quality is excellent and I'd recommend it. Of course, once you get water into the crevasses of a car, you need to blow it out again, so I'd also invest in an air compressor.

An electric washer should be fine for domestic purposes. Only the fire services really need a petrol-powered motor. Unless your friend wants to find a Coventry-Climax pump unit for bragging rights, of course ;).
 

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I have a low end Karcher electric, and I've had it for years....it cost me like $179 or so. It does all the domestic chores easily, although I do believe a more powerful one would do it quicker, for example to clean a concrete driveway, you really have to have the nozzle pretty close to the concrete. Connections or not brass, and I've had one break, easily. Luckily I found a replacement part on line.
 

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I have a Karcher from Costco. Very useful for the low cost. It's biggest limitation is total flow rate, not pressure. OTOH, I clean my entire pool deck and don't even get big puddles of water to sweep - very low water for the cleaning. I've pressure washed my entire house with it, along with any part of the car.

What I like most is ease of use. I put a quick disconnect on the water input, and have a long extension hanging at the appropriate 120V outlet, so it's grab the hose, grab the washer and you're in business.

If I were to get another, I would go for as high a flow rate as possible. Watch out for too high pressure (should be adjustable) 'cause it'll strip the paint off and make grooves in the woodwork!

For heavier use, I've rented a steamer - high pressure washer with a big (kerosene) heater - to really clean my car for a major overhaul. It will remove absolutely all the grease and oil and other crud without any solvents. Then maintain clean with the small sibling.

Robert

PS - I had one of the plastic connections break after a few years. Got a replacement part on line from Karcher for a few bucks. Great service.
 

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I bought a no name brand off eBay last Nov. I was looking for good pressure and volume for a good price. I think I paid $150. I've used it quite a bit and It seems to clean well, but I just wore it out. It trips. I have to wait 5 minutes for it to reset:( Stick with a name brand.
 

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My Karcher pressure washer from COSTCO does that too. It's several years old now; I never noticed this when it was new. If I leave it on and running, but put down the wand to do something for a few minutes, it will overheat the motor and trip off; it takes a few minutes to cool down and reset. As long as the water is flowing (wand in use), I have no problems. So if I'm going to do something - like moving a big planter, or moving the chairs, etc. I just turn it off. No problems then, though tis is a bit of a PIA.

THis was only $99 at COSTCO, and clearly is light duty.

Robert
 

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Mine just starting doing it with the water running. Does the Karcher come with different tip, or the variable one?
 

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I believe most of the Karcher models come with a variable tip. This, of course, allows multiple spray widths for one wand. However, because it has moving parts, typically made of plastic, it's one component that wears out the fastest. As noted above, residential PWs are fine if you use them occasionally and not for very long each time. The motors and pumps are not designed to be used continuously. I have a commercial grade electric PW that was being thrown out because it didn't work and the only thing wrong with it was a broken variable spray wand. Although the original post is old, for those looking for a PW, the most important part is the pump. Forget the name on the unit, most companies that sell PWs simply put together units from parts they buy. Instead, look at the pump manufacturer and electric motor (or gas) manufacturer. A name brand pump like a CAT, General, AR, Comet, will last a long time. Unfortunately, the old "get what you pay for" is certainly true with PWs, so there's quite a jump in cost between the residential varieties to the commercial ones. And no need to go by psi ratings, it's all marketing like HP ratings on lawnmowers. Even 1000 psi models with a narrow spray pattern tip will put a hole in wood or take the paint of a car. In comparison, a typical garden hose with a narrow water spray is about 50 psi. Either way, a solid metal wand with interchangeable tips is a must.
 
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