Looking for Advice in Choosing a Pressure Washer

locust78(6)April 27, 2009

I just finished treating my screened-in deck with a bleach solution to remove some areas of mold & to spruce it up. I applied the solution with a hand pumped garden sprayer to the walls, ceiling, etc., and rinsed it off with the hose. I ended up with as much bleach on me as on the wood.

I thought that a small pressure washer might be the way to go in the future. I'm not looking for any kind of high-power unit. All I want is something that will apply my bleach solution from a safe distance & allow me to hose it off afterward. I borrowed a friend's gas pressure washer & found it to be too powerful for such a tight area.

Is there a pressure washer out there that's somewhere in between a garden sprayer and your typical, wood-carving pressure washer? Also, will pressure washers allow me to draw from my pre-mixed bleach solution, or will I need to feed it straight bleach & allow it to mix with the water flow?

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I wouldn't allow bleach to contact the insides of my pressure washer, as I understand that bleach is the "kiss of death" on seals in the pressure washer.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 10:17PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

Yep, forget about bleach and a pressure washer...it will eat up those seals in the pump. However, you can spray from a tank sprayer and then apply the pressure washer to clean off the junk...works just as well.

I bought mine from HD about 6 years ago and have never looked back. It was a 2500 w/Honda engine/deVilbiss pump and around 2.5 gpm, I think. I've used it for a lot of things and it's still ticking. I don't think a homeowner needs one bigger than a 3000. Just overkill. Cost around $400 then, and I think about the same or less now. You just have to use common sense with it's uses and spray ends. It will tear things up including you skin if you are not careful, but keeping safety in front it's a good tool.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 9:33AM
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Sorry, I got so carried away making sure that you didn't use bleach in your pressure washer that I forgot to tell you what I have.

About 5 years ago I bought a Karcher Pressure washer from SAM's for about $500. Mine is powered by a Robin-Subaru EX 27 engine rated at 9 HP. Unit output is 3.1 GPM at 3100 PSI. The feature that I especially like is that the pressure is adjustable. Apply your bleach solution with a hand-pump garden sprayer and then do the pressure wash thing at your desired pressure.

This unit has done an excellent job at decks, driveways, houses and whatever else I need it for. Especially good for washing vehicles after getting them muddy.

Good luck with whatever you decide. Paul

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 11:05PM
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I like Northern Tool for Pressure Washers/Generators, etc.. General advice, the cost of under-buying is greater than the cost of over-buying. In other words, if you get one too big, the only thing that will happen will be the job gets doen faster and machine lasts longer (because its more heavy duty). If you get one too small, you will curse every time you use it and after about a year you will be on this group posing questions like 'my one year old pressure washer won't start--what to do' OR 'my relatively new pressure washer does not have enough pressure any more'. Use pressure washer grade cleaning agents as they are meant to be used this way. They have all types, for decks, vinal siding, etc..

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 8:15AM
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DO not use bleach in a pressuer washer. It will attach the seals in the pump wand, hose etc. After visting a few landscaping forums, I found this. Its basically a nozzle that attaches to the wand and pulls a cleaning mix through. Its low pressure and allows you to use a your pw to spray bleach without harming the pw itself.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 9:50AM
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the best electric pressure washer is AR North America AR383 with 1,900 PSI. This should cover most, if not all of your needs and it's under $300

Here is a link that might be useful: electric pressure washers for sale

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 9:40AM
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Recently the Bosch has released their latest AQUATAK High Pressure Cleaner.
Looking at the technical details, i think is quite light duty.
I will say for home use only.
The price range is from USD 150-250.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bosch AQUATAK High Pressure Cleaner

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 2:21PM
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FWIW I used to have a gas powered PW, it worked fine, only used it 3-4 times a year. It was stolen and I never replaced it. My brother picked up a cheap Electric unit at Lowes for around $100, probably 4 years ago. I now use that 3-4 times a year and it does what I want, slower, but does do the job. Also, don't have to worry about "mystery fuel" issues in a seldom started gas engine.

As for the bleach issue, I just used the PW and it blasts down to the wood, you can get "deck cleaning" soap for them as well. If I'm feeling energetic after everything is dry, I'll spray some bleach and water solution on the deck where the mold was with a garden sprayer and let it dry.

Good Luck,


    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 3:22PM
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